Starting the day with a classic: Dexter Gordon – Sophisticated Giant
A few weeks ago, we had put a quartet together to perform during the local Tulinberg Viikko. We learned about the concert a few days before, so it was one of those spontaneous, last minute gigs.
At the rehearsal it clicked and sounded immediately very nice and playing later with a acoustic quartet in the Tulinberg Sali, with a nice grand piano was simply a joy. No mikes, no nothing 1. Just acoustic music with good friends. All gigs should be like this.
Either way, we had a great time and everyone in our quartet played great and here’s the tune, aka as the full set2:
Sami Juntunen: piano
Tapio Tekoniemi: bass
Tauno Räsänen: drums
and yours truly on tenor messing up the fills at 1:46 and 2:15 a bit, but anyway.
Steve Neff shares another solo transcription from Bob Mintzer. This time it’s a solo on a blues in all keys and I can hardly think of a better to practice than a blues through all keys.
I love Bob’s playing because it is so melodic and thematic. He always plays ideas that you can grasp on to and that are catchy, yet he mixes in some pretty hip and advanced harmonic concepts into his lines.
Bob had been a huge inspiration to me as well since I met him in person last year. I had the chance to listen to him during a clinic and follow his playing on a rehearsal and concert. It was very inspiring and motivating.
Steve Neff has published a few more from Bob Mintzer during the last few weeks. Such as his solos on I Love You, Invitation and one on Blue Bossa which dates back to last year. Also make sure to check out the other transcriptions as well.
I like how he has chosen to transcribe solos on Jazz Standards as opposed to originals. Not only is there’s a lot to learn in those, but also the lines and concepts can be easier applied somewhere else.
Kudos to Steve for sharing.
“We all have a natural human tendency to take the safe route – to do the thing we know will work – rather than taking a chance. But that’s the antithesis of jazz, which is all about being in the present. Jazz is about being in the moment, at every moment. It’s about trusting yourself to do that, you never stop exploring, you never stop learning, in music or in life.”
Herbie Hancock in Possibilities
A Jam Session is a great and informal place to explore and learn the Jazz language and most importantly, play with friends and learn from fellow musicians. Sadly so it seems there aren’t as many anymore. Despite this making me sound old, I do remember having been able to go to sessions four nights a week. Which today, even if I wanted to (which I admittedly don’t am), wouldn’t even be possible.
I have joined and listened to quite a few sessions, and it didn’t seem to matter which city or even country I was in, all of them shared more or less a common repertoire. A while ago I already had put a list of these tunes together, and since our local session is about to start again, I thought it would be neat to share it here as well.
Is this a complete list? Absolutely not! It’s not even intending to be, but if you are planning to join a Jazz Jam-Session knowing these, or at least some of these would be a good start. These are great tunes to play and learn anyway.
On Wasted Years on Blank on Blank is an animated interview with Stan Getz. The video is an adaptation of an interview hosted by Joe Smith from the year 1986 in which Stan talks about his life and career and his relationship with drugs and alcohol. Very interesting.
It’s very nicely done but a little hard to describe. You just have to watch it yourself.
“It’s like a language. You learn the alphabet, which are the scales. You learn sentences, which are the chords. And then you talk extemporaneously with the horn. It’s a wonderful thing to speak extemporaneously, which is something I’ve never gotten the hang of. But musically I love to talk just off the top of my head. And that’s what jazz music is all about.”
Just this morning I ran into the collection of Jazz Photography by William P.Gottlieb in the Library Of Congress’s Flickr-stream. As I wrote in an earlier post I’m a sucker for photography like this and this is truly a wonderful find.
From the album description:
Gottlieb was both a notable jazz journalist and a self-taught photographer who captured the personalities of jazz musicians and told their stories with his camera and typewriter. His portraits depict such prominent musicians and personalities as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Thelonious Monk, Ella Fitzgerald, and many more.
It’s a collection of overall 1601 images and is full of iconic and famous images. I like how images like these open a door into another time and world and almost send one into this era. It is Jazz history in images.
According to the album description the first 219 pictures were included in Gottlieb’s book The Golden Age Of Jazz. I used to have a large print of this image of Dizzy Gillespie in a slightly different crop on my wall for a long time.
I think it’s a shame that there is no good, definitive collection of notable quotes by everyone’s favorite musicians. So I’ve begun collecting quotes from different books I have and from across the internet.
As I was running through my collected quotes the last night I ran into Jazz-Quotes maintained by WordPress founder and saxophone player (at least I think so) Matt Mullenweg. It is really a great collection of quotes.