Category: Uncategorized

To Quote or Not to Quote?

What do you think about quotes from other tunes in the middle of an improvised solo?   Some masters often quote (Desmond and Stitt are prime examples) while others almost never do (Coltrane comes to mind).  Do quotes provide a valuable resource, or are they a distraction?  Love to hear your opinion!  Please leave a post below.   Continue reading “To Quote or Not to Quote?”

Chicago’s Tris Imboden weighs in on Capistrano Sessions

capistrano_sessions_large“Great tunes! Some truly satisfying compositions played really well. It’s been awhile since I have heard a recording that would be labeled ‘Jazz’ that wasn’t overly preoccupied with trying to show off the participants’ musical muscle. This CD is more about songs and songs played really well. Don’t get me wrong, the playing is masterful, but no one seems bent on ‘going to the hot dog stand.’ I love it.”

—–   From the Review of “Capistrano Sessions” by “Chicago” drummer Tris Imboden

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Better ‘n Scales

Any improvisation teacher will tell you that knowing your scales is essential to becoming an effective improviser.  But here’s the rub:  For many musicians, mindless repetition of scales numbs the imagination, limits your lyricism, and eliminates the joy from your performance.

Here is a solution.  I have developed hundreds of phrases such as the one shown below which develop incredible technical facility on your horn while keeping your heart, mind, and imagination fully engaged.

Practice this phrase in all 12 keys, progressing around the circle of fifths as indicated on the example, while listening to the attached mp3 file.  Use the contact form below to request a free chart, if you can’t figure out the lick in all 12 keys.  Better yet, download “New Ears Resolution” for just $9.99 to totally revolutionize your playing.

8-29-13 LICK

Sonny Rollins’ Solo on “Airegin”

Would you like to train your ear, improve your “hand/ear co-ordination,” and enhance the content of your improvisation? 
Try mastering this wonderful phrase (you can use it over a V-I chord change in a minor key) from Sonny Rollins’ solo on “Airegin”!
Play it slowly enough, so that you can play it effortlessly and smoothly.  Gradually increase the tempo, but retain the smooth & effortless approach.
Once you are able to play it effortlessly in C minor, try mastering the phrase in all 12 keys. 

A transcription of the entire solo can be found in Modern Jazz Tenor Solos transcribed by Hunt Butler and available from Jamie Aebersold.

Craig featured on Sarah Shea’s debut CD

Sarah Shea’s debut CD is a delight to the ear and the soul
filled with classic melodies sung by a master. 
Craig’s clarinet sparkles in the elegant, understated ensemble.

click here to preview & purchase this lovely music.

  SELECTIONS:

  • Fever
  • I’ve Got You Under My Skin
  • Cheek to Cheek
  • These Foolish Things
  • Summertime
  • I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good
  • East of the Sun and West of the Moon
  • Cry Me a River
  • Corcovado(Quiet Nights of Quiet
    Stars)
  • My Rommance
  • Sunny
  • The Nearness of You
featuring Al Harris (piano), Craig Buhler (clarinet, sax, flute), Jon Hamar (bass), Mark Ivester (drums), Ed Donohue (flugelhorn)
Arranged and Produced by Al Harris

II-V-I in major

The II-V-I progression is perhaps the most widely used of any swing or be-bop chord sequence (besides the 12-bar blues.)   Here it is in all 12 major keys.   Try to master the arpeggios without having to look at the paper if possible.   Play along with an audio track of this progression by clicking on this arrow:  II-V-I 12 major keys

Welcome!

Welcome to my site!

If you want to learn how to play by ear and improvise jazz solos OR get started playing clarinet, saxophone, or flute OR hear the latest from the HONK Band OR discuss issues faced by Christian worship leaders OR schedule a Jazz for Youth workshop in your school, then we have something to talk about!  It would be my pleasure to get to know you.