Video, audio, and text form to follow: Jazz made me somebody. I was in the 7th grade, unathletic, short, awkward, you know the story right? I wasn’t noticeably good at anything but deeply desired attention. I opted for a class clown persona, loud-mouthing and doing obnoxious stunts (like freezing a photo of my face on […]
This transcription was a challenge given to me by the great Jaleel Shaw. A big focus for my semester, was to sound competent in 5 and 7. This solo took me about 3-4 months of work (10 choruses) to transcribe and play it roughly at tempo. I’m providing PDF’s of the solo below. Since I’m […]
It’s such a popular idea to tell kids to follow their dreams. The new thing is to turn your passion into a career, find what you were born to do, and reject society’s cookie cutter path. As a jazz musician, I certainly relate to this. I showed a lot of promise as a young saxophonist […]
Improvising a solo in front of an audience is one of the most vulnerable things a musician can do. While we often see solos as displays of virtuosity, an improvised solo contains glimpses into a musician’s character, their empathy with those present in the room, and all the feelings of the moment. It’s why fans of John Coltrane or Miles Davis feel as though they know something about them despite having never met them. In this post I aim to explore two questions: What makes a solo vulnerable? Why is vulnerability important?
Whether or not the doctor’s statement happened before or after this solo, I’m not sure, but Lester undoubtedly knew in some way that he was in poor condition and that his consumption was trashing his body. This solo, however, doesn’t show a “tragically past his prime” Lester Young. From the bold way he gets up to the mastery with which he packs so much meaning into so few notes, Lester is teeming with confidence here. He doesn’t try to play like he did in his 20’s; he stands tall, makes a beautiful statement with only the capabilities he had on that day, and fills the room with honesty and vulnerability.
I know I’ll get some flack for saying some of these things. I’ll just start by saying I’ve done every single thing on here. Not one, a couple, most… every single one. This post is coming from a place self-awareness/self-critique as much as it is about general trends I’m seeing in our field. It goes almost without saying that each point has many, many exceptions. No finger pointing, I just want our music to be heard and think we need to have an open conversation about these issues for that to happen. So, Jazz has become America’s LEAST popular genre, accounting for only 1.4% of total US music consumption in 2015 because:
Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.