Saturday, December 4, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
Trumpet player Woody Shaw in Conversation with Montreal Writer Marc Chenard
Within the long and often remarkable history of jazz trumpet playing, many have been called but few have been chosen. Though there has never really been a shortage of able and talented trumpeters, only a handful of "stylists" have come forth, setting new standards, be they of a technical or conceptual nature. Satchmo, Little Jazz, Diz, Miles and Brownie are all names belonging to a special category of which legends are made.
To that list, one may add the name of Woody Shaw: after all, when both Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis wholeheartedly endorse him as an important contributor to that lineage, he has a right to see himself as one of "them". Now some ten years after his debut as a successful band leader with many critically acclaimed albums under his own name, he has now moved away from the spotlight to devote his energies towards further developing his own playing, be it as a sideman or as a freelancer, working with various "local" rhythm sections.
By JEFFREY K. PARKER
UPI - Thursday, May 11, 1989 (New York).
Woody Shaw, the imaginitive "post-bop" jazz trumpeter and composer whose left arm was severed in February in a mysterious subway accident, died of kidney failure Wednesday after a long illness. He was 44.
by Steve Lake
Melody Maker magazine, October 2, 1976, p. 48
"When I was coming up, I used to say, 'I'll get my hit record and then I'll be able to do what I want to do after that." But that doesn't happen... the more money you get, the more you want. I mean, how much money are you supposed to have?
Woody Shaw Dialogues With Eugene Chadbourne
(Author's note: I was once eating dinner with Woody Shaw at a home in Edmonton, Alberta, when someone wisely or unwisely put on the album Iron Man by Eric Dolphy, Shaw's first recording date. Shaw nodded enthusiastically through Dolphy's only solo, but abruptly stood up and went to the bathroom when his own started. Shaw was 17 when the album was recorded. Now 30, he's gone through some heavy dues-paying and now may be going blind due to an incurable eye disease, retinitis pigmatosa. But he insists that followers of the music will be hearing more and more about him. "I'm the next cat", he says. When his Iron Man solo ended, Shaw came out of the bathroom and grunted, "well, that really wasn't as bad as I remembered it.")
by Wynton Marsalis (BDG Magazine, May, 1987)
Three hours will allow you to cover all aspects of playing, but 45-60 minutes is enough for one sitting. The quality of the practice is more important than the length of time it takes.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Interview conducted in 1961 and originally published in Metronome, and subsequently published in Jazz & Pop Magazine in 1970.
From the book, Notes and Tones, Musician-to-Musician Interviews, by Arthur Taylor, DACAPO PRESS. Excerpted and compiled by Dr. Larry Ridley, jazz artist, professor of Music Emeritus, at Rutgers University, and, AAJC executive director.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
A couple of exercises from Bishop's A Study In Fourths (now, sadly, out of print)...
There's an etude in here somewhere...
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
This is an article by Charles R. Meyer, M.D. from the Minnesota Medical Association, February 2003 / Volume 86.
The Perils of Trumpeting
Trumpet playing subjects the respiratory system to high, sometimes harmful pressures, and is a workout for even the most well-conditioned lips and agile tongues.
by Charles R. Meyer, M.D.
In 1999, Adolph Herseth, the dean of symphonic trumpeters, celebrated his 50th anniversary as the first-chair trumpeter in the Chicago Symphony. Herseth, now retired from the orchestra, was the stocky trumpet player seated at the back of the orchestra whose face turned deeper shades of crimson as his notes climbed higher. This deepening facial plethora looked very unhealthy, yet it belied durability unrivaled in brass instrumentalists. Herseth’s red face also belied an awesome ease with which he navigated even the most devilish demands of the trumpet repertoire. But it raises the question: How healthy is trumpet playing for the player?
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
By Barbara Gardener, Downbeat Magazine, Oct. 12, 1961
THEY COULD HAVE called him Cliff; he was the rugged individualist of his day. He could have been known as plain Brown; most people remember him as an unsophisticated, straightforward man. Yet they called him Brownie, an affectionate name one might give to a treasured pet.
by HOLLIE WEST, Downbeat Magazine, July 1980
Of the untold gifted trumpeters who died young and tragically, Clifford Brown is probably the one whose death seems most absurd. He did not singlemindedly destroy himself in the manner of Beiderbecke, Berigan, Berman and Navarro. Nor did he daily fatally with the tempestuous emotions of another person as Lee Morgan did. And he did not endure a long and painful illness like Joe Smith and Booker Little. Brown's death. in an automobile crash in June, 1956, came in a flash. Not yet at the peak of his performing power, he was struck down at age 25 without warning. in the flower of his brief and brilliant career. People mourned him rot only because of his lustrous achievement but also for his youth and promise.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Kenny Dorham's trumpet solo on the chord changes to "Blue Bossa", from the Joe Henderson recording Page One.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Chet Baker's trumpet solo on the changes to "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To", from the Jim Hall recording Concierto, transcribed by Michael Petterson.
Friday, May 7, 2010
Why Transcribe?Depending on who you talk to, solo transcriptions are either an extremely effective tool or a total waste of time for persons trying to learn to improvise. It's always been my opinion that the latter is the opinion of those people who either tried to transcribe and failed to do so effectively or those who developed the skills sharpened through solo transcription by exercising in other ways. To that end, I put forth the following things to remember to help you ensure that transcriptions speed your development as a jazz improvisor:
- Transcriptions are a tool for developing aural skills.
Much of the skill set honed through solo transcription comprises the musician's ability to convert tonal relationships (melodic modules) from concept into practice (physically realizing the notes by playing them on an instrument). This style of learning is the same way you learned how to form words as a child.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
- Transcriptions are a tool for developing vocabulary.
A phrase in a solo, like a sentence in a conversation, is made up of small pieces which can be pieced together in a variety of ways to produce similar but unique ideas. Transcriptions are a way to learn phrases, but more importantly they help you learn the building blocks from which to construct your own ideas.
Jazz is a language. Learn the words before you try to express your ideas.
- Transcriptions are a tool for developing technique.
How many times have you complained to yourself and others that you can't stand working out of the same old method books? Transcriptions (your own and those done by others like you) offer a wealth of new material to challenge you technically. Make sure to use traditional practice techniques when trying to absorb new material in this manner-work slowly if necessary, articulate carefully, and break difficult passages out for special attention.
The metronome is your friend.