Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My Masterclass Performance

Now this was a special experience for me. Normally, I'm playing to a crowd of non-jazz experts so I get away with a lot of things that wouldn't pass muster.

So today was different because I played in front of Jazz master Bill Cunliffe. He was critiquing everyone all night and then when it came to my turn, the group got very positive comments and nothing negative at all. Sure he had advice for me after the session but it was obviously more advanced level stuff (like more rhythmic variations in comping).

The good news is that it confirms my self-assessment of my level. Sometime ago, I was glad to reach some level of mediocrity in jazz playing. I figure that as long as I gig, then it is OK. Being passable was my goal. Based on comments I got from Bill, he was telling me things that would he says would make me sound like I was his contemporary. Wow. I didn't think that was even possible.  I think he's telling me I can shoot higher.

I know this because he critiqued the two other pianists before me very heavily. So he must have judged me to be at a higher level.

Anyway, here's one of the two tunes I played. The other tune was Stella. Unfortunately the recorder ran out of space so it didn't record that tune.

One of the other guys in the ensemble (an actively gigging player) actually invited me to play with him. He said I've really gone far since he last heard me (a little over a year ago).