How to use Jazz Patterns for Ear

Ever since the Jazz Master Summit, a lot more people are using Jazz Patterns for Ear. Because it is such a different book, people have been asking a lot of questions regarding how it works. This book/method is the polar opposite of any pattern book you’ve seen. The patterns are NOT designed to be memorized…

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Feedback on the Jazz Master Summit composition challenge

I’ve received a few emails since announcing the winner of the Billy Strayhorn composition challenge asking about the selection criteria and why personalized feedback wasn’t provided.  It’s understandable that people would like some closure to the competition other than simply knowing who won. “Why didn’t I win?” “What was the criteria for choosing the winner?”…

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Can you use the internet to sustain a jazz career?

This post is a response to a specific thread shared by some musicians on the fate of jazz and the result of so much now being free on the internet. This is a vitally important topic and one on I wish to share my thoughts, using my current internet project as an example of one…

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Randy Brecker on practicing during the COVID-19 lockdown

I remember sitting in the back of a large music classroom at the University of Redlands in California almost three years ago. Jiggs Wigham was talking about all things trombone at that year’s International Trombone Festival. Jiggs said something early on that has stuck with me ever since. He said, “I hate to practice.” I…

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Richie Beirach’s 10 essential tips for jazz mastery

I’ve had the honor over the past few months of getting to know the great jazz pianist, Richie Beirach. Richie’s best friend, Dave Liebman, introduced us after I interviewed Dave for the Jazz Master Summit event and then asked him to help me reach out to Richie to do the same. As I would soon…

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The art of living in troubled times

I received an email today from a musician friend who is having a very hard time of things right now. He’s far from the only one, but his emotional outpouring of sorrow and hopelessness inspired me to share my belief in what I’m calling the art. The art of living in times of dark clouds…

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Richie Beirach’s thoughts on comping for Dave Liebman

I asked Richie Beirach to explain a little about his comping for his friend and colleague of 50 years, Dave Liebman. As usual, when Richie is asked something, he’s never short of an enthusiastic response that nails the essence of the answer. This is what Richie wrote: For most piano players, Lieb is not easy…

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