Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Vijay Iyer: Jazz in the 21st Century

A producer for a Public Radio show called Open Source sent this interview with Vijay Iyer over to me and it's absolutely worth your time.  

I first became aware of Vijay about three years ago through the podcast The Checkout (also worth your time).

This interview is notable if only for his discussion of the give and take of improvisors. Hope you enjoy it.


Friday, August 1, 2014

John McLaughlin Interivew

A reader who did this interview passed the video along to me and I'm only too happy to share it as I'm a big McLaughlin fan.

He has a lot to say about the state of the music industry and even reveals that he drove trucks and sold caviar in order to survive in the early days. It made me feel a little better about my day gigs in the past.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Top 10 Ways to Improve Everything Now

A friend turned me on to this great piece by guitarist and songwriter Bryan Baker called the Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Guitar Playing Now -- however I'm calling it the Top 10 Ways to Improve Everything Now.

I've been thinking about lot of these things lately but have never seen them articulated so well and with humor in one place. Though the piece is written with guitar players in mind, it is applicable to any instrument and I'd argue any discipline. Well done Bryan. It's a great and funny read, check it out.

Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Guitar Playing Now

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

This is Why You Keep Practicing

This has been making the rounds lately though this is the first I've seen of it in video-form. Absolutely worth watching if you haven't seen it, and watching again if you have.

Ira Glass of This American Life fame explains why you have to keep going, in any creative field. I'm not one big on inspirational quotes and what have you, but this is inspirational because it doesn't rely on hope or new-agey wishes, it relies on his actual experience.

Super short, give it a look.

For myself, I've been in the woodshed for the past three months working solely on Charlie Parker solos and trying to address some fundamental problems in my playing that have bothered me over the years.

I'll have a video up soon on addressing ii V's, both Major and Minor and the best way to practice them.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Jim Hall, One of the Greatest

I was just telling a friend how one of the most mind-blowing things I ever saw was Jim Hall playing "All the Things You Are" solo with the melody as the bass line and he reharmonized all the chords on top. I only realized what song he was playing about midway through and my head nearly exploded. What a talent. Gone but not forgotten

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Jonatha Brooke

Jonatha, yours truly and cellist Rebecca Arons

I just finished five days in the great city of Minneapolis, MN rehearsing and performing with extraordinary artist and musician Jonatha Brooke.

I've been a fan of Jonatha's since I was in college in Boston when I first heard her band The Story back in the early '90s. I've followed her career with The Story and then her solo career since then. I've been envious of some friends who have gotten to work with her over the years. And then one day the call came...

I don't mind sounding like a doe-eyed fan when I say to work with her is an actual dream come true for me.

So here is to dreams coming true.

Monday, August 5, 2013


Many of you have noticed the lack of posting for a couple months on this site and commented on it. I'm thankful that so many of you visit so frequently.

The thing is, it's Summer.

It's tough during a good week for me to get a post up on this blog as I'm a working musician which means a lot of scrambling, traveling, hustling, practicing and a generally erratic schedule. But now it's summer (admittedly, the tail end) and I've been trying to be a normal person and enjoy this time a year. I hope you are too.

Rest assured, I have a few transcriptions (Joe Zawinul, Adam Rogers), odds and ends of posts (substitutions, inversions) and ideas for video (expanding the blues, Melodic Minor substitutions) ready to go or nearly so. I just won't return to any type of regular posting until late September. But for now and the past couple months, it's been time to take a break and go outside.

Enjoy the rest of this time of year and keep practicing. I'll see you late September.