Archive for listening

1,000 Trumpeters (301-400)

Posted in Improvisation, jazz trumpet music, Musical Influences with tags , , , , on April 12, 2015 by pogo56

Hello everyone,

Here’s a list of more players to check out! Once again these are in no particular order and please reserve your grievances until after I’ve posted all of the players.

301.Vitaly Golovnev

302.Ian Carr

303.Emmett Berry

304.Derrick Gardner

305.Clay Jenkins

306.Doug Olson

307.Charlie Porter

308.Joe Gordon

309.Voro Garcia

310.Felix Rossy

311.David Weiss

312.DeWayne Clemons

313.Mao Sone

314.Herman Mehari

315.Tony D’Aveni

316.Daniel Campbell

317.Gordon Au

318.Ray Callendar

319.Johnathan Saraga

320.Mike Cottone

321.Dave Chisholm

322.Chris Burbank

323.Bobby Gallegos

324.Trombone Shorty

325.Etienne Charles

326.Stephane Belmondo

327.Ryan Carnieux

328.James Morrison

329.Stephen Haynes

330.Suresh Singaratnam

331.Takuya Kuroda

332.Tatum Greenblatt

333.Taylor Haskins

334.Terumasa Hino

335.Steve Fishwick

336.Thomas Heflin

337.Jeff Lofton

338.Laura Jurd

339.Tom Arthurs

340.Uan Rasey

341.Valaida Snow

342.Valery Ponomarev

343.Walter White

344.Ziggy Elman

345.Humberto Ramirez

346.James Zollar

347.Donald Malloy

348.Dwayne Eubanks

349.Dusko Goykovich

350.Eddie Gale

351.Eric Biondo

352.Eric Vloeimans

353.Erik Jekabson

354.Erik Truffaz

355.Fabio Morgera

356.Bill Chase

357.Brad Turner

358.Brian Swartz

359.Frank London

360.Greg Adams

361.Gilbert Castellanos

362.Billy Skinner

363.Max Colley III

364.Mike Olson

365.Matthew Stewart

366.Chris Lawrence

367.Renaud Gensane

368.Leon Brown

369.Jackie Coleman

370.Ryan Easter

371.Matt Lavelle

372.Kenyatta Beasley

373.Jimmy Owens

374.Daniel Noesig

375.Laurie Frink

376.Curtis Taylor

377.Mark Van Cleave

378.John Swana

379.Raymond Williams

380.Jeremy Sinclair

381.JS Williams

382.Mark Chuvala

383.Matt Leder

384.Mike Vax

385.Jim Manley

386.Jon Crowley

387.Frank Greene

388.Dave Ballou

389.Alphonso Horne

390.Yazz Ahmed

391.Jay Thomas

392.Ryan Quigley

393.Ravi Best

394.Uli Beckerhoff

395.Gabe Medd

396.John Sneider

397.Gregory Rivkin

398.Tanya Darby

399.Steve Fulton

400.Bart Miltenberger

More to come,

Jason Palmer

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Toones

Posted in Composition, Improvisation, Musical Influences, Performance with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2010 by pogo56

This blog is in response to the questions I have received in the past about learning tunes. Throughout my time in college I was encouraged by my mentors (especially trumpeters Jeremy Pelt and Darren Barrett) to learn as many tunes as possible. They both possessed huge repertoires which really gave them the luxury to play really diverse sets whenever I had the priviledge to hear them live in Boston. I was also inspired to learn as many tunes as I could in order to combat the monotness of hearing and playing the same tunes at jam sessions around town. That’s still prevalent but I always do my best to encourage young cats that come down to my session at Wally’s on Sunday afternoons to learn as many tunes and not to come down week after week to call and play the same tune. When I started to go down to the jam sessions at Wally’s when I moved to Boston, I was advised to learn the tunes that were called that I didn’t know. So I learned those tunes and called them the next week or the week after (especially if they weren’t played when they were called initially). So to learn these tunes I either had to go out and buy the record or check it out of the library at NEC. I was fortunate to live in Boston where there were a handful of great record stores at the time (Tower Records in Boston and Cambridge, Looney Tunes in Boston and Cambridge, Newbury Comics, Mojo Records, Planet Records, and my favorite Stereo Jacks in Porter Square!).

When I got into the habit of checking out records in order to learn tunes, naturally my record collection grew. I developed this habit of buying a record in order to learn a tune but in the end I learned all of the tunes on the record. Imagine wanting to learn 10 tunes in a month, going out to get the records, and learning all the tunes on the record! That’s easily 100 or so tunes in that period. I am a pretty fast transcriber (because I have absolute pitch) and it was fun for me at the time still is. I always made sure to learn tunes that I really dug so there are obviously tunes that really didn’t touch me and I never got around to learning them. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve committed thousands of songs to memory that I’ll never get to play outside of my practice room, but there are hundreds of thousands of tunes that I don’t know that I should know. I consider myself to be a constant work in progress in that respect.

In my opinion, there are several useful ways to learn tunes, but I don’t think that there’s a magic bullet that will get anyone from start to finish any faster than the next person. Everyone has to put the time in to really hone their ear skills and once our hearing becomes more acute, learning tunes becomes much easier and fun.

Here’s one method that’s geared towards memorizing chord changes that was given to me by trumpeter John McNeil. This involves playing the piano.

1. Play the first chord to the song on the piano in time (maybe using a metronome or tapping your foot).
2. While playing the first chord of the song, say the 2nd chord out loud.
3. Play the 2nd chord in time.
4. Say the 3rd chord out loud, etc.

I’m sure that you all see the pattern that’s taking place now. This exercise is designed to allow you to “think ahead” when improvising. This way you are more equipped to anticipate the chord changes instead of playing in a reactionary mode (not saying that that is bad, you just add another asset to your playing with this).

When I begin transcribing a song, I start by lifting the melody. I try my best to absorb all of the inflections that the player on the record displays. I try to inhale when they inhale, exhale when they do, etc. Once I’m done transcribing the melody I move on to the bass line/part. Depending on the fidelity of the recording and the playing of the bassist on the record, this process can be daunting at times. I’ve found that there are times when the bass is either drowned out in the mix or the bass is out of tune or being played poorly. One thing that I do to remedy this is to listen to what’s happening at the same part of the form throughout the duration of the tune because what the bassist plays in the 2nd chorus may be a clearer than what is played in the 1st chorus.

In many cases once you have the melody(s) and the bass line transcribed, the harmony of the song becomes more obvious. If it’s not apparent then you can transcribe the playing of the chordal instrument on the record. If it’s tough to play back what’s being played at the time, then try singing the notes in question. In most if not all cases, if it sounds right to your ears then you are probably correct. You can also transcribe the solos to figure out the correct progression to the tune. If there’s a G chord in a particular tune and you’re having trouble figuring out if the chord is major, minor, or suspended, then check out the solos. If a B is played most of the time during in that measure during the solos then it’s probably going to be G major.

More to come!!

Jason Palmer

If you Hear Something, Say Something

Posted in Jazz Ethics, Performance, Stories in Music with tags , , , , , , , on December 1, 2009 by pogo56

I’m sure many of you that read this blog are familiar with the Miles album My Funny Valentine Plus Four and More, the live one at Lincoln Center. On the track Stella by Starlight, during the top of one of Miles’ solo choruses he plays and F# on the E half-diminished chord and there’s a person in the crowd that screams yeah. Now I don’t about you, but to me that was a feel-good moment. That record was one of the first Miles records that I owned (thanks BMG, R.I.P.) when I was in high school. At the time I didn’t think that it was okay to voice sounds of approval at intimate concerts like this one. This one person made it okay to feel like it was okay. I remember rewinding that one particular moment and wondering what it was that Miles played which cause this person to call out. I just think that that note really resonated with him, causing him to speak uncontrollably. So my question is how many of us have experienced this? How many of us have experienced this but have held back in fear of disturbing the experience for others? Let me be the first to say that it’s not cool to ruin another audience members listening experience, but I think that it’s okay to aver a sound of joy to a performer if you hear something that touches you right at that moment.

If you know me as a concertgoer, you know that I can become quite vocal when I hear something that touches me. Throughout my years of doing this I don’t ever remember receiving any snide looks from anyone, so I think that it’s okay. I consider it to be a transfer of energy from the audience to the band. Bands, especially today, really need this. For me as a performer it’s a good feeling to hear these sounds every once in a while and I gain more inspiration to play my best at all times when I experience this. I don’t think that it’s an ego-stroke per se, but more of a subtle approval from someone that you are well on your way towards “speaking” in this music, as opposed to only playing the changes, etc.

So my plea to all of you is to speak up if you hear something that you like from a performer in real time. You don’t have to wait until their solo is over to do so. They’re probably going to take 30 more choruses after that special moment anyway, lol!!

Swing it out!

J.P.