Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bye Bye Blackbird #2

The first time I recorded this a week or so ago, I was seeing the changes for the first time. I didn't even know the melody (all I had was a leadsheet). So just to compare I recorded it again. The difference in the process here, aside from understanding the tune more and practicing, was to listen to Keith Jarrett's version a few times, seeing if I can pull something out of Jarret's style.

So here's the product. As usual, I only do a single recording.

Bye Bye Blackbird Take 2

I did it at Jarrett's tempo (180bpm) and I think my articulation was quite sloppy. Might have been better to slow it down initially. So that's something to focus on next. There are some lines here that are actually what I heard from Jarrett. The rest are just similar in structure.

Something that I have to listen more to is Jarret's dynamic phrasing of each line. It's not something I commonly hear in Jazz so I have to pay more attention. Normally I'm only thinking of offbeat/downbeat articulation and the dynamics and drag related to that.

I noticed a change in my playing here. I have no idea what other's critique might be at this point but I was suprised at how quickly I picked on things by ear, particularly if I play it right after hearing the Jarrett recording.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Quick Recording

Someone asked to me to record Bye Bye Blackbird -- which I didn't know. Well I know it from listening to Jarrett but I've never played it. So I looked at the changes, turned on the recorder and here you have it. I didn't have time to be smart and inventive, I was just making sure I made the changes. This would be akin to getting a Leadsheet at a jam session and then seconds later, someone calls ..1...2...1234.

(Happens a lot actually and it's amazing for developing focus).

Anyway the goal of recording this was to see if I was able to incorporate some bop elements into my playing. Was I successful? I don't know. Lines are longer than would be typical of me now.

Bye Bye Blackbird

It's pretty easy though.

PS I don't know how to play the melody. Just BSing my way through it...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

ATTYA and thoughts on Bebop

Not particularly proud of this but people say it's good. I have played better than this if I turn the recorder off. I just turned on the recorder and improvised a little bit with no particular plan in mind. Just one take. :)

All the Things You Are.

I was talking to my teacher and I asked him about my lack of use of the bebop idiom. He said this is neither good nor bad but just fact that I have not integrated it into my vocabulary at all. This makes me sound different from most jazz players.

He then said, that to widen my view, I should learn it. How much of it to use is up to me he says but I need to make sure I know how to play it. In the above recording there are hints of some chromatics which come from bebop, but the next task is to see if I can incorporate large chunks of it.

I'm not sure yet how much of it I'd like to be a permanent part of my voice. But certainly, some use of bebop is useful for me for connecting ideas since that style promotes continuous eighth lines with 'forward motion' concepts.

It's getting to a point where I'm needing to clarify what my voice is. I keep changing around as I search. But I'm groping right now and it is confusing me a bit as I play. I think it's coming though. I'll see how this integrates into my next performance in early December.