Category: Music

Vocabulary

I’ve been talking with students about the use of vocabulary, “licks”, and learned musical sentences in improvisation in 20th century Black American Music.  If we compare music to visual art, I think sometimes it can be helpful to practice improvisation more like creating a collage than trying to paint something completely new on a blank […]

Transcription Clip – Joe Henderson, “Song For my Father”

When I was 15 my family went to Berkeley CA to visit my brother at college, and the Tower Records store there had a CD called “The Best Blue Note Album Ever”, a double-disc compilation. I was getting into jazz/BAM at the time but I don’t think I knew what Blue Note was. I bought […]

Theoretics

  Theoretics released a new track, “Suspended Animation”, last week, part of an EP that we hope to release in the near future, funded by pay-what-you-want donations.  You can check it out here:  https://theoretics.bandcamp.com/album/suspended-animation-3?fbclid=IwAR3xPbt23Jebf3QftaaSO2YgY-fI00VB0Kp3tB32T7S6ox79EWH3T_NLRWU The group has taken a break for a while now, mostly focusing on getting the last of our creative material out […]

Transcription Clip: John Coltrane, “I Hear a Rhapsody”

Playing Alto Saxophone exclusively when I was studying in college means that most of my knowledge is still pretty deeply related to that voice; I didn’t learn songs or jazz solos in all keys (which I should have), and for most of my time as a musician I heard ideas on alto rather than on […]

Transcription Clip: Melissa Aldana, “Free Fall”

      This clip is from a solo from Aldana’s first album, released in 2010.  I’ve really gotten into her playing the last couple of months for a few particular reasons.  I think she’s one of the tenor players currently on the scene that really explores changing tone and expression while executing technical ideas […]