Posts filed under Random/Miscellaneous

The lost art of having your butt handed to you

This is a beautiful interview in which guitarist Russell Malone retells his first interaction with B-3 great Jimmy Smith.  Well worth the 10 minutes, if you can spare them.

Here is the blow-by-blow:

1:20  Russell Malone is introduced to Jimmy Smith as a young guitarist with a lot of potential.
2:00  Malone invited to sit in — and he hot-dogs for his friends in the audience.
2:50  Smith recognizes a teachable moment, so makes a move to put Malone in his place. Malone struggles.
3:50  On the set break Smith speaks to Malone:  Whenever we let youngsters sit in, we like to make sure they learn something. Did you learn something today, young man?  Ouch. Smith continues to give it to him in no uncertain terms.
5:15  Smith invites Malone to hang out after the gig. They talked about music and musicians until the wee hours of the morning. Some time later Smith hires Malone for a 2-year road gig.

7:00-10:00  STORY 2:  Malone gets schooled by another of his heroes, guitarist Kenny Burrell.
. Kenny Burrell shows up at Malone's gig in Philly in which they're playing standards straight down the middle.
. Burrell was getting encouragement from young musicians in the audience for playing out
. On his break, Malone sought out Burrell and asked him if he could hear what Malone was working on.
. Burrell gives it to him. Again, in no uncertain terms.
. Among other comments, Burrell tells Malone that "it takes a lot of courage to play what the situation calls for."  And, that "any time you try to prove anything to anybody, the music is not honest."

The take-home

Malone learned a couple lessons in a seemingly harsh way. But, he was lucky: the masters were kind and loving enough to tell him what he was doing wrong, and what he should be doing in order to do it right.

Sometimes we're not so lucky — we just don't get called again and are left to wondering why.

But, the theme here is summed up nicely in Burrell's first remark about the courage it takes to play what the situation calls for.

A good lesson for us all.


Posted on July 7, 2014 and filed under Random/Miscellaneous.

Get yer free staff paper

When I last restructured my site in 2012, the "Blank Manuscript Paper" download section became sorta hidden.  Anyone can download and print to their heart's content various and sundry score, sketch, grand staff, and leadsheet layouts that I use in my own day-to-day work.


Posted on June 30, 2013 and filed under Random/Miscellaneous.

Are you hip to auto-rip?

A week or two ago I bought 2 CDs (yes CDs) on Amazon:  Up From The Skies (Vanguard Jazz Orch / McNeely) and Horace Silver's Cape Verdean Blues.  After I completed the transaction I received an email from Amazon telling me that Cape Verdean Blues was one of their AutoRip CDs, and that I could download the mp3s to my Amazon player toute suite.

Toot sweet, indeed!  I got to have a whole extra week of this digital album before the CD even arrived.  And, then I didn't need to import it to iTunes.  No extra charge.  This is a nice, customer-friendly feature.  Huzzah to Amazon!

BTW, I'm probably to last guy to get into Horace Silver.  But, if you're actually the last guy (or gal), this album is worth checking out, as is Song for My Father.  I'm finally seeing that Horace Silver is a deep dude and quite singular as a composer and pianist.

Incidentally, here's the image from the Amazon store.  Note the "AutoRip" logo in the lower right.

Here's the link on Amazon.

Posted on June 11, 2013 and filed under Random/Miscellaneous.

Bird-Diz-Monk - they still got it!

When I was first really getting into playing jazz as a teenager, I become obsessed with the Charlie Parker Omnibook. Consequently, I spent a lot of time listening to Charlie Parker.

But, as time passed I got into other musicians, and my Bird-listening went on the back-burner. Until recently.

On a whim, I picked up one of those "Essential Charlie Parker" CDs -- I had previewed it on Amazon and it sounded like a good one, both in track selection and...
Posted on November 14, 2012 and filed under Audio & Video, Random/Miscellaneous.