One of the most important aspects of performing is communication. Even though the quality of our performance will mostly depend on how prepared we are musically, communication can help make the performance less stressful while allowing us to put most of our energy into the main thing – the music.
As endless and overwhelming as music can get, sometimes it feels really good to just let things fly on a simple blues with good friends. This recording is of a song I wrote called “Dead Man Blues”. Hopefully it will make it onto a record soon. In the meantime, you can check it out here…
While a student at University of Miami, I wrote an original jazz tune for one of our ensembles that I was very excited about. I felt the tune captured the vibe of the famous Miles Davis quintet from the ‘60’s… That was the theme of the ensemble. The tune had unpredictable harmonic rhythm, harmony based on modes of melodic minor and a lot of suspended chords, and romantic-influenced melodies. It wasn’t extremely complicated but it wasn’t simple either.
For many students of music, performing without the printed music in front of them can be a stressful venture. Over the years I’ve eliminated the word “memorized” from my teaching vocabulary – at it has helped my students tremendously. However, for the sake of honoring the tradition I’ve included the word “memorize” from time to time in the post – this is the first of a series of posts on playing without the printed page.
I have a new single out on all the major streaming services online. It’s called Love Song From a Montana Boy to a Wyoming Girl He Saw Once Forever. It features my friend from Senegal, Thione Diop, on the talking drum.
Here are the links… Please share on social media and add to your playlists if you’re so inclined.
There’s an assignment that we often miss as teachers. And it’s one that always makes our jobs way easier – maybe easier than anything we could have students do. Over time it simply transforms our students’ musical experiences and their abilities.
Students should be asked to listen to music each time we see them. It can be done in casual conversations about what they’ve been listening to (or what we’ve been listening to), to more precise assignments based on what you’re working on in lessons.
This is a piece I wrote a while back that never was recorded – just played live a lot with various instrumentation. My favorite was when Aiko Shimada and I would do this one as a duet. She would sing the melody and it was amazing. If you haven’t heard her music, go listen to her records today!
I was made aware by Facebook this morning that my music page has reached 500 followers. As many of you know I’m not a big Facebook or hype person, but I really appreciate that people have taken the time to find and like the page.
To say “thank you”, I wanted to give a sneak-peak to an album I’ve been working on for many years. In the form of a free download or stream to a song…
Photo: Carrie Robinson Katie Jacobson, Anna Freedman and Flora McGill listening to Paul Kimble say funny (or not funny) things through the headphones