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

300 Tunes to Know: Prioritized, Categorized, and Organized

Posted by on Jan 16, 2015 in Improvisation, Practice Tips

Tune Tracker

Tunes are our shared language. One of the most beautiful and unifying aspects of jazz is this common musical familiarity that enables any group of seasoned musicians to get together and immediately start making music. I’ll cover the pros and cons of learning tunes as well as the right approach to building a solid base of tunes in your arsenal. At the end I give …read more

Roy Hargrove: Playing “Out”

Posted by on Jan 6, 2015 in Harmony, Improvisation, Theory, Transcription, Trumpet

strength

Say what you will about Roy Hargrove’s current lifestyle choices; the man has blown some serious trumpet in his day. Roy’s ability to effortlessly glide between playing “in” (playing notes that fit the harmony) and “out” (creating tension by playing notes that don’t fit) has always impressed me, so I recently …read more

Playing Over Half-Diminished

Posted by on Jan 2, 2015 in Harmony, Improvisation, Theory

When I was first exposed to the half-diminished chord, I was told to simply play the major scale a half-step up, thus giving me the proper chord-scale relationship. After giving a number of other approaches a shot in between with mixed success…

I’ve started thinking about the half-diminished chord in a new way that really opened up my playing: think about simply playing the dorian minor starting on the third of the root

(i.e. for Emin7b5, play your G-dorian). You will give weight to the proper chord …read more

A Transcriber’s Evolution: Your Routine Should Grow With You

Posted by on Dec 31, 2014 in Improvisation, Practice Tips, Theory, Transcription

evolve

In case you didn’t already notice, this is a blog, thus I’m going to try to use an infographic to communicate an idea. Read below the graphic for more information.

 

As a saxophone player I’ve transcribed many, many saxophone solos. When you’re starting to learn jazz, transcription is …read more

Marquis Hill – Live at the Whistler

Posted by on Nov 10, 2014 in Bootlegs, Chicago Scene, Trumpet

In honor of Chicago’s own Marquis Hill’s big win at the 2014 …read more

Practice Ideas, Not Just Licks

Posted by on Oct 29, 2014 in Improvisation, Practice Tips, Theory

vocab-card

I’ve been obsessed with harmony lately. Those of you who read my last analytical post on harmonic discipline might have guessed as much (yes, I still owe a follow-up to that post, and it’s coming soon!).  Specifically, I’ve been experimenting with ways to expand my harmonic vocabulary.

 

Transcription: a place to start

You know those points in a solo where one of your idols plays …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