Who teaches whom?

Here we are. End of March, first of April. This is when universities release acceptance/rejection letters and scholarship offers. Over the past three Springs I have worked with one senior each year. Parents, students and I discuss recommended programs that will continue to challenge the student and help develop their artistry. We prepare audition material. I write recommendation letters […]

Student Spotlight: Ben C.

Congratulations to Ben C., a Rising 8th Grader. He studies Contemporary Music Theory and Jazz Improvisation, playing Alto/Tenor Saxophones and Flute. He will be starting Clarinet studies very soon. This past year, his accomplishments include 1st chair Tenor Saxophone in the All-County Symphonic Band, 1st Chair Alto Saxophone in the All-District Concert Band, and a […]

…but it’s not in my Fake Books!

So what do you do when you teach a student about, say, “Piano-less Jazz Quartet” and the student is excited to learn a specific tune? You allow that passion to drive the learning forward. Sometimes that means transcribing a less familiar song. We will hear this at a private saxophone student’s Senior recital. She has recruited […]

Oft Overlooked Jazz Singer

One of my “If you could only listen to 10 albums for the rest of your life” picks, John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman ranks up there at the top. Love Hartman’s tibre, love his swing, and love his subtle emotion. Rhythm section is a who’s who of Bop/Post-Bop jazz: Mccoy Tyner on piano, bassist Jimmy Garrison, […]

Charlie Parker at 19

I have always been in awe of the structure, melodic content and fire in Bird’s playing. He will forever be revered as an innovator of be-bop music, pioneering the use of rapid passing chords, improvising new variants of altered chords and chord substitutions. It is interesting to me to hear the earliest recordings of influential […]

Jazz Landmark Album, 1959?

1959 was the year of great recordings including “Mingus Ah Um”, Dave Brubeck’s “Time Out”, “Art Pepper + Eleven” featuring fantastic arrangements by Marty Paich, Ornette Coleman’s “The Shape of Jazz to Come”, and the iconic “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis. Each of these had a huge influence on jazz as the be-bop era […]

2013 JJA Jazz Awards Winners!

Musicians Honored in 28 Categories Lifetime Achievement in Jazz: Wayne Shorter Musician of the Year: Wadada Leo Smith Composer-Arranger of the Year: Maria Schneider Up and Coming Artist of the Year: Aaron Diehl Record of the Year: Centennial: Newly Discovered Works of Gil Evans (ArtistShare), Ryan Truesdell Record Label of the Year: ECM Large Ensemble […]