What a dead mouse reminded me about jazz improvisation

I been listening to (obsessing on) an artist I have only recently discovered. He is a genius at rhythms and the deliberate placement of notes. His music also has a sense of humor to which I relate. I can’t think of much other music to which I occasionally laugh out loud as if I was…

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Three keys to playing trombone much better

The final chapter of Trombone Improvisation Savvy was titled The Inner Game. It contained some thoughts that don’t normally appear in jazz instrumental method books but I think playing the trombone well involves more than just getting the horn out and periodically blowing notes through it for a while. Let me share some personal thoughts…

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Checking in…

It’s been too long since my last post. After the International Trombone Festival this past summer, I took on the CD project of Doug Yeo and Gerry Pagano called Fratres. I am thrilled to have worked with Doug and Gerry recording the tracks, arranging some and writing an original piece. The music turned out great…

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The piece performed at the 2017 International Trombone Festival

My good friend Gerry Pagano (bass trombone in the St. Louis Symphony) asked me earlier this spring to write a piece of music that he and I could perform at his recital at the International Trombone Festival this past summer in Redlands, CA. The result was “Conversations With Myself”. It was inspired by a comment…

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Trust. Risk. Reward

I want to thank Mike Lake for giving me the opportunity to say a few words about a project we’ve been involved in together over the last few months. Douglas Yeo (Bass trombonist, Boston Symphony Orchestra, 1985-2012; Professor of Trombone, Arizona State University, 2012-2016) • • • Gerry Pagano and I met in the summer…

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Slowing the difficulty curve of Trombone Improvisation Savvy

I received an email the other day from a very earnest guy working his way through Trombone Improvisation Savvy. His main question was, “The book quickly becomes advanced—that is, the book progresses faster than my ear! I probably could use more steps. It makes me think that I probably should go back and take some…

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Fun, music and learning from the 2017 International Trombone Festival

Finishing our last beer and listening to the final trombone note, we bid farewell to the 2017 International Trombone Festival at California’s Redlands University last night. In four short days, I heard wonderful new music, made lots of new friends and acquainted several dozens of people with my new book, “Trombone Improvisation Savvy”. I didn’t…

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The hardware and software of an improvisation method

Even though Trombone Improvisation Savvy is officially published, I’ve continued to work on the audio files. I like practicing trombone with the book’s music files and as I do, I hear things needing improvement. So I open up Logic and tweak. For some songs, adding new instruments/sounds transforms the piece into better music for play-along.…

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