Archive | Jazz

Famous Jazz Trumpet Players

Tags: ,

Famous Jazz Trumpet Players

Posted on 25 October 2010 by Robert

Recently there have been numerous searches on this site along the lines of “famous jazz trumpet players,” or “best trumpet players.” Each name links to a youtube video of the artist, so you have no excuse not to check them out.

Reader-Submitted Artists (Thanks!)

Suggested by Jason Parker

Suggested by Jay

Whew! That should keep your ears occupied for a while! Keep ’em coming!

Comments (3)

Duke Ellington: The Most Prolific Artist In Jazz?

Duke Ellington: The Most Prolific Artist In Jazz?

Posted on 19 September 2010 by Robert

Duke Ellington was (and still is) one of the most prolific jazz artists. With over 1,500 works, almost everyone is sure to have heard at least 5 of his tunes at some point in their lives. He has inspired and influenced countless musicians from the days he played the Cotton Club in the 1920’s until his death in 1974.

Edward Kennedy Ellington was born in 1899 to a middle class family in Washington D.C.. Both his mother and father were pianists, and wanted their son to learn to play piano as well. Ellington was enrolled in music lessons at the age of 7. By the age of 14 he was writing his own tunes, and was playing gigs at the Cotton Club by his late 20’s. Ellington held the Cotton Club job for three years and for the entire time he was required to compose entirely new songs every week for a three hour show. By his 30’s birthday, Ellington’s band became a star attraction and went on the road for an impressive thirty years.

As a a bandleader, Duke Ellington wrote music for the individual musicians in his band. He believed that since each musician has his/her own traits at their instrument (some play flat, some sharp, etc..), their sheet music should be written in order to reflect those traits. If Ellington’s alto saxophone player Paul Gonzalvez always played “C” a little flat, Ellington would recognize that in his writing and write the “C” a “quarter-tone” sharp.

Quarter-tones aren’t recognized in the western tradition of music but are seen in African and middle-eastern styles.

Ellington has created a huge number of albums, but some of his most important are as follows:

  • Ellington At Newport Jazz Festival
  • Live At The Blue Note
  • And His Mother Called Him Bill
  • Piano In The Background
  • Anatomy Of A Murder

If you’re only going to listen to one Ellington album, Live At The Newport Jazz Festival should be it. It has energy that you may not ever experience on any other live album. Paul Gonzalves’ solo in “Crescendo & Diminuendo in Blue” is one of the most memorable solos in all of jazz. During the beginning of Gonzalves’ solo, a woman jumped on stage and began dancing. This launched the festival audience into a frenzy. Feeling the vibe, Gonzalves continued improvising his solo over 27 choruses. George Wein, the man who was running the festival, feared a riot and requested that the band do something. Gonzalves’ solo ended with a drum solo and a riot was averted.

You can listen to the solo, and read a more detailed story by watching the following video.

Gonzalves played his solo into the wrong microphone and the recording sounded distant. The band was called into the studio in an attempt to recreate the saxophone solo, but the feeling wasn’t there because the solo wasn’t improvised and the audience’s energy wasn’t present. However, several years later, a tape recording of the solo was found and spliced into the original recording to create what you hear today.

Ellington’s personnel include:

  • Trumpet
    • Clark Terry
    • Shorty Baker
    • Willy Cook
    • Cat Anderson
    • Ray Nantz
  • Saxophone
    • Alto
      • Johnny Hodges
      • Jimmy Hamilton (also doubled on lead clarinet)
    • Baritone – Harry Carney
    • Tenor
      • Paul Gonzalves
      • Ben Webster
  • Trombone
    • Britt Woodman
    • Lawrence Brown
    • Juan Tizol (Valve Trombone)
  • Drums – Sam Woodyard
  • Bass – Jimmy Blanton (First jazz bass virtuoso)
  • Arrangers
    • Billy Strayhorn
    • Juan Tizol
    • Clark Terry
    • Jimmy Hamilton

Comments (0)

Charlie Parker: The Man Who Lived Too Much

Tags: , ,

Charlie Parker: The Man Who Lived Too Much

Posted on 30 August 2010 by Robert

Charles Parker Jr. was born August 29, 1920. He was involved with drugs & alcohol throughout his extremely short life (35 years). These vices would eventually become part of his untimely death on

March 12, 1955.  Nevertheless, Parker has forever changed jazz and left a wonderful legacy.

Parker’s passion for music was sparked while listening to his father, a vaudeville singer & dancer, play the piano on his sparse visits home. Once enrolled in high school, Parker took up the saxophone in the high school band. Parker played with local bands until 1935, when he made the decision to leave school and pursue his dream — a career in music. He is known as “Bird,” and there are several theories as to why. One theory is as follows:

Parker got the nickname “Yardbird” while traveling to a “gig” with the Jay McShann Orchestra. The car he was riding in accidentally ran over a chicken and Parker insisted on taking the dead “yardbird” and fixing it up for dinner at their destination, rather than having it go to waste. — The Jazzine

Charlie Parker is one of the most distinguished jazz musicians with well over fifty records published. His music has influenced countless artists since his first recording with Savoy Records in 1944. He is credited as being one of the inventors of bebop, recording “Shaw Nuff” with Dizzy Gillespie in 1945. “Shaw Nuff” is noted as being the first important bebop recording. Several of Charlie Parker’s songs have become jazz standards, including “Confirmation,” “Anthropology” and “Billies Bounce.

Unfortunately, apart from having been an innovator, Parker is known for his drug addiction. After being involved in an automobile accident as a child, he developed an addiction to morphine. This developed into a heroine addiction in short order, which would eventually have a factor in his death. He would miss gigs, practices and other appointments which led to him being fired. Parker’s addiction was widely known and regrettably played a part in the connection between jazz music & drug use.

Examples of Parker’s Music:
“Hot House” -Bird & Diz are awarded Downbeat awards!

“Ballade”

Comments (0)

Denton Jazz (8/29-9/04)

Denton Jazz (8/29-9/04)

Posted on 27 August 2010 by Robert

This is a dynamic post. It will be updated as soon as information is received!

  • Jordan Gheen (Youtube) will be playing Thursday (9/1) at J&J’s Pizza in Denton. Here is an audio clip of Gheen playing “Nuance” with UNT’s 6 O’Clock Lab Band.
  • Thursday — The Ryan Davidson Trio will be hosting a CD release party at Dan’s Silverleaf in Denton. Doors open at 9 PM and the cover is $5.
  • Local jazz authority Sarah Crisman (@sarah_crisman) is now a Grown Ass Woman and there is a tour to prove it. The Grown Ass Woman tour is kicking off on Wednesday. Here are the dates (ripped from her facebook page):

Bernard Wright at Hailey’s
122 West Mulberry, Denton
Wednesday, September 8
$5 / 7 under 21 — 11pm

The Black & Blues at the Where House
2510 Hemphill, Fort Worth
Thursday, September 9
$10 — OPEN BAR — 10pm

Shaun Martin’s Go Go Party at The Green Elephant
5627 Dyer, Dallas
Friday, September 10
$10

The BK Pup Crew at Spike Hill — Double Birthday w/ Justin Stanton!
184/186 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn
Wednesday, September 15
FREE — 7pm-9pm

Comments (0)

Artist Profile: Edo Castro

Tags: ,

Artist Profile: Edo Castro

Posted on 26 August 2010 by Robert

Emotion, technical skill and passion are three things that can make or break a musician. Musicians often have two of the traits but it’s the rare three trait-bearing musician who can make it big. I’ve heard one recently; his name is Edo Castro.

Edo Castro is a jazz bassist hailing from the San Francisco Bay area. He taught himself to play and later attended The American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. Castro holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in jazz studies and electric bass. Castro was exposed to many different styles of music, having grown up in the 60’s, but was infatuated with the likes of Bill Evans, Paul Desmond and other jazz greats.

Kai Horsthemke of SABassPlayers.com said it perfectly when he wrote “Castro is much more concerned with mood and texture, not to mention melody, than with extroverted, chops-flashing bravado.” While Castro doesn’t shred as much as other prominent bassists, his technical prowess and emotive expressiveness remind you that there is more to bass playing (and music in general) than showing listeners your lightning-fast chops.

Castro has released three albums on Passion Star Records:
Edo
Pheonix
Sacred Graffiti

Castro has also played as a sideman on over 25 albums.

Comments (1)

This Week In Denton

Tags:

This Week In Denton

Posted on 23 August 2010 by Robert

What’s happening in Jazz in Denton this week:

  • Matt Hornbeck is going to be playing guitar† alongside Pete Clagett (Trumpet), Jacob Smith (Bass) and Duran Ritz (Drums) at The Greenhouse Monday night at 10 P.M.
  • Austin talent Corinna Rachel is singing alongside “her Dreamland band of Denton cats” (Thank you, Sarah Crisman) Wednesday, 8:30 PM at J&J’s Pizza On The Square.


Comments (0)

What Is Bebop?

Tags: , , ,

What Is Bebop?

Posted on 13 April 2010 by Robert

Before the second world war, big bands (also known as swing bands) were the “in” thing with artists such as Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Woody Herman being some of the more well-known leaders of the swing era. The bands usually consisted of between twelve and twenty-five musicians featuring a whole host of brass, woodwind, and rhythm instruments. Swing didn’t allow much room for improvisation and the solos (if there were any) were usually short. Wanting to show off their skills, they began to experiment with a different type of music. They began to experiment with music that allowed for more artistic freedom, that allowed them to bend the rules of music theory. They began to experiment with bebop.

Nobody can say the exact moment when bebop was born, but the first important bebop recording was one done by Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie entitled “Shaw Nuff.” You can listen to “Shaw Nuff” below:

Here’s a video of Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gillespie:

You can tell by listening to “Shaw Nuff” that bebop is characterized by fast rhythms that seem to move around a lot. I’ve heard bebop described as sounded “stressed out” or “frantic,” and it’s easy to understand why. In bebop, the bass drums rhythm-keeping function is moved to the hi-hat and the bass drum is used for accents. Below is a great video of Steve Gadd’s bebop drumming:

Bebop musicians often alter the way the chords are played by the rhythm section by flatting certain notes or adding others in order to add more “flavor” to the music and make the solo more interesting. However, as much flavor as they tried to add, bebop was not initially received very well by the general public who didn’t understand the point of bebop. Swing music was much easier to dance to than bebop, and dance music is what sold in that day. Bebop was more of a “music for musicians,” in a way that many times musicians understood what the soloists were doing while non-musicians didn’t.

Whether the general public accepted it or not, bebop greatly changed the face of jazz. Jazz went from being a type of dance music to a virtuosic style of jazz where musicians had an outlet for their creative impulses.

Great Bebop Albums:
Krupa & Rich
Bird’s Best Bop on Verve
Drums Around the Corner
Drum Suite
Moanin’
Clifford Brown & Max Roach
Tenor Madness
The Sidewinder
Smokin’ at the Half Note

Comments (3)

trumpet

Tags:

10 Useful Sites For The Trumpet Beginner

Posted on 11 April 2010 by Robert

While trying to learn trumpet, I’m constantly scouring the internet trying to find the best exercises and other information to help me progress. I’ve noticed that the good sites seem to be difficult to find if you don’t already know about them, and that there don’t seem to be any lists of the good ones. After a while of searching, you begin to feel like the guy below. So, I wamt to make a list for you beginners who, like me, are trying to find good information in order to become a better player.

1. Trumpet Herald
2. Trumpet Master
3. Exercise Database
4. O.J.’s Trumpet Page
5. How To Practice Trumpet
6. Another How To Practice Page
7. US 215th Army Band Youtube Videos
8. Solos
9. Trumpet FAQ
10. KNTU Jazz (Great music for your breaks!)

Bonus Links (keep ’em coming!)

11. Trumpet Playing Thoughts
12.Pop’s Trumpet College
13. Trumpet Resources
14. The musicians you should be studying

Comments (5)

The Ashley Hamer Group Does Avishai Cohen

Tags: , , ,

The Ashley Hamer Group Does Avishai Cohen

Posted on 09 April 2010 by Robert

I’ll admit, I have never listened to Avishai Cohen or heard anyone cover any of his songs. However, that didn’t stop me from being interested when I got an invitation via Facebook to see one of Denton’s up-and-coming jazz groups play some great music.

When I first arrived at The Greenhouse, I quickly found that it was a packed house. Granted, I arrived around ten minutes late but I’ve been to The Greenhouse before and it was never this packed. The Ashley Hamer Group played in a nice location, and it was a very in-your-face situation. The set was entirely acoustic with no mikes which had one drawback: I didn’t get to hear the saxophone as well as I wanted to. The name of the band was nowhere to be found. It wasn’t on the invitation, and it was posted nowhere near the bar or anywhere else at The Greenhouse for that matter. It wasn’t until I asked the drummer in the band, Colin Hinton, that I knew they were referred to as The Ashley Hamer Group.

Members:
Ashley Hamer – Saxophone
Matt Hornbeck – Guitar
Tim Chernikoff – Keyboard
Julia Adamy – Bass
Colin Hinton – Drums

I noticed right off the bat that Matt Hornbeck has some great chops on the guitar. He was playing some fast runs that require tremendous dexterity with ease. I was rather impressed. The keyboard fit in well with the rest of the band; almost too well. At times, I didn’t even notice what the keyboard was playing until I heard a quick fill or solo. I also noticed that Colin Hinton has a lot of fun playing the drums and seems to be a nice, easy-going kind of person. In fact, the group as a whole seems to be a  laid-back group of friends just out having fun loving what they’re doing. Between every song, they could be seen laughing and cutting up with each other. It’s this type of attitude that makes a band great.

The only negative part I can say about the experience is the fact that there wasn’t enough seating to fit the crowd. I had to sit behind a small tree in order to be close enough to the band to hear and see what was going on, but others were less fortunate. I ended up leaving at 11 PM because it became so crowded that people were constantly standing in front of me. I was disappointed, but I had already been impressed by the band and had enough information written down to write this review.

The Ashley Hamer Group is a great 5 piece band. You definitely need to go seem then when you get the chance to. The music they played at The Greenhouse was wonderful, their attitudes are great and they’re good musicians. I regret having to leave early as I’m sure the performance got even better as time went on. I’d love to hear some original tracks and hopefully I’ll be able to hear a few at a performance of theirs in the future.

Photos courtesy of Lucky George Blog

Comments (1)

Who am I?

Tags: , ,

Who am I?

Posted on 07 April 2010 by Robert

It just occurred to me that much of the people who read my blog don’t know me as well as they know other bloggers in the jazz niche. I feel that having a tight-knit community is important in small groups such as the one I’m a part of, so I’m going to tell you a little about myself and why I’m doing this.

My name is Robert, although my closest friends call me Ross. I’m a 23 year old student at the University of North Texas studying electrical engineering. I got into jazz just about the time I started my time here at the university, four years ago. Before that time, I had listened to a few jazz songs and liked them, but when I was thrown into the jazz scene here in Denton, my love for the genre grew.

The next thing I know, I’m taking classes such as “Introduction to jazz records,” and “Music health” just because my love for music had grown for so much. The music found on my iPod went to being mostly jazz tunes (and now it’s almost completely jazz). My guitar playing style went from rock to jazz and I recently began learning to play trumpet and I haven’t really played the guitar much lately at all. Soon after, I began this blog in an attempt to spread my love of jazz to everyone.

I’m always watching, always listening, always reading and always talking about jazz. You might say that I have become obsessed with it. I enjoy every aspect of it, from the theoretical aspect of it through the final result: the album. If you ever want to talk jazz, you can find me on AIM (minorsecond), or even call my google number posted on my bio page.

I hope you enjoy reading what I have to say, and you should let me know via email (robert@minorsecond.com) if you ever have any suggestions on topics or if you would like to write a guest post. Be sure to subscribe via RSS!

Comments (0)

Advertise Here

RELATED SITES