3 Cures for the Compositional Rut

Posted by on Jan 10, 2017 in Harmony, Inspiration, Rhythm

Jazz tune writer’s block? We all know the feeling. In fact, I’ve also been in a massive blogging dry spell, having taken over a year off from this site. But in the spirit of this post, it only seemed fitting to blog about the idea of having no good ideas.  Here are a few jump-starters to get cooking on your …read more

On the Evolution of Kendrick Scott Oracle’s Covers and “We Are the Drum”

Posted by on Oct 15, 2015 in Inspiration

Kendrick Scott We Are The Drum

What do Flying Lotus, Kendrick Lamar, Sufjan Stevens, and Björk have in common? Besides their shared flare for artfully blending electronic and acoustic sounds, they are among the unintentionally curated set of non-jazz artists that jazz musicians, myself included, have almost universally anointed …read more

50 of Today’s Best Jazz Pianists

Posted by on Mar 12, 2015 in Inspiration, Piano

mehldau-jazz-face

Adding to my previous top 50 sax and trumpet player posts, I think it’s time to show the piano, keyboard, and organ some love.

Looking for an answer to something like this? “I love Bill Evans, Monk, and Keith Jarrett. But I don’t even know where to start with most of these modern guys.” Well, here’s a list of contemporary …read more

New Music: Tigran, Katie Ernst, & Makaya

Posted by on Feb 26, 2015 in Chicago Scene, Inspiration

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From local Chicago friends to Armenian prodigies, musicians worldwide continue to knock my socks off with their new releases. Here are three recent albums that span the vast array of music that gets lumped under the unassuming and all-too-broad label of Jazz.

 

Tigran Hamasyan: Mockroot

Tigran made his first journey to Chicago 2 weeks ago, and after attending my …read more

50 Killer Living Trumpet Players: Chad & Mike’s Excellent Adventure

Posted by on Feb 5, 2015 in Inspiration, Trumpet

Avishai Cohen meets Bill and Ted

Correction: The names of Jim Rotondi, Bert Joris, and Jonathan Finlayson were previously misspelled and have been corrected below. Sincere apologies for the lack of proofreading, we still love your playing!

 

This week, trumpeter Chad McCullough joins me for The Woodshed’s first ever jazz fantasy draft. After the interest I received in a previous post, 50 Living Sax Players You Need to Check Out. Right Now., I knew Chad was the perfect companion to help me follow up, hipping you to a more stylistically and geographically diverse set of trumpeters than I could possibly concoct on my own.

Chad’s a wonderful trumpet player; look out for his upcoming Origin release with …read more

Live in LA: Ben Wendel Quartet, Jeff Parker w. Eric Revis, & Kendal Moore’s Octet

Posted by on Jan 29, 2015 in Bootlegs, Inspiration

Beach

After 5 action-packed days in Los Angeles, I’m rejuvenated. Yes the beaches were amazing, the sunsets made for beautiful sky porn* (like this shot I took after almost running out of gas just north of Malibu), and the sushi was scrumptious. But even better was the music. All three shows I checked out while visiting …read more

50 Living Sax Players You Need to Check Out. Right Now.

Posted by on Jan 23, 2015 in Inspiration, Sax

markturner

 

Preface:  The following list represents a group of today’s amazing jazz saxophonists. This is by no means the gold standard, it’s entirely my opinion, and the exact rank order should be taken with an extra-large grain of chunky sea salt; it’s just a guide. There may be 50 other guys who I’ve …read more

Bootleg a Day #6: Tony Malaby live in Bogota, Colombia

Posted by on Oct 2, 2014 in Bootlegs, Inspiration

 

About 1 year ago Josh Moshier and I took our group …read more

Bootleg a Day #5: Adam Rogers, Nate Smith & Fima Ephron – Elephant live @ 55 Bar

Posted by on Oct 1, 2014 in Bootlegs, Drumset, Inspiration

Starting around 1:30 Nate Smith really lets loose over this …read more

Bootleg a Day #4: Kurt Rosenwinkel crushing 26-2 w Orlando le Fleming & Jochen Rueckert

Posted by on Sep 30, 2014 in Bootlegs, Inspiration

Halfway through our week of bootlegs, it’s time for a little …read more