Category Archives: Practicing

Lennie Tristano Plays “All the Things You Are”

In the buildup to the transcriptions class I’m teaching at The Nash starting this Wednesday (June 28th, 4:30pm), I’m posting some new, and some archived transcriptions. This one is from my time at New England Conservatory. NEC has a lot … Continue reading

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Chris Potter Plays “Seven Eleven”

Starting next week (on Jun 28th), at The Nash, I’ll be teaching a 3-session class on transcription – this being the main means by which I’ve developed as a musician. We’re going to look at my process, what I do … Continue reading

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Lester Young Plays “Lester Leaps In”

Bob Brookmeyer hipped me to Lester Young. A few lessons into my studies with Bob, he pointed out that my improvised lines were chordal, jumpy and relatively undeveloped – another way of saying vertical and disconnected. He prescribed a steady … Continue reading

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Phil Woods plays “Goin’ to Chicago Blues”

It’s my birthday today, but you get the present! Here’s a Phil Woods transcription from Oliver Nelson’s More Blues and the Abstract Truth. Phil Woods is possibly the greatest living bebop saxophonist, and the definitive disciple of Charlie Parker in … Continue reading

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Chris Potter plays “The Source”

Today’s transcription is the modern tenor giant Chris Potter’s tribute to 60s tenor giant John Coltrane. “The Source” comes from his album Gratitude, which is loaded with dedications to Potter’s heroes. This is the first of a few tracks I … Continue reading

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Lee Konitz plays “Subconscious Lee”

In the late 40s and 50s, Jazz was going through a bit of an identity crisis. The Big Band Era was over and Bebop hadn’t caught on in the mainstream despite the best efforts of Dizzy Gillespie. Older musicians seemed … Continue reading

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Michael Brecker & Bob Mintzer play “Giant Steps”

I’m in the weeds right now, so here’s an oldie! I picked this solo back at NAU in 2000. It comes from Bob Mintzer’s tribute record to the Tenor Sax, Twin Tenors. This is a killer 90s record that showcases … Continue reading

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Bob Brookmeyer plays “Stella By Starlight”

In my second year at New England Conservatory, I had the honor of studying with Bob Brookmeyer, the wonderful composer, pianist and trombonist. Much of our time was spent talking about thematic development and finding ways to play more freely … Continue reading

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Practicing Jazz In 12 Keys

In this post, I justified why I practice in 12 keys. As promised, today’s post breaks down my approach. Jazz By Numbers To transpose rapidly between keys, you may have to change your way of thinking. When I was a … Continue reading

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Playing Tunes In All 12 Keys? Really?

Note: This article was inspired by Neal over at SaxStation who published this post about 12-key practice. I’m sure we’ve all heard the legends about Bird practicing all tunes in every key at any tempo. And regardless whether this is … Continue reading

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