Tag Archives: free jazz

Re-posted For Ornette: Top-Down #2: Phrase Length, Strength, and the Third Dimension

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Originally posted on Professorscosco:
There’s nothing wrong with strict song form, standards, blues, etc., and I have no objection to chord progressions – some of my best friends have strong resolutions. But, jazz music’s two big building blocks, song form…

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Linear Harmony #3 – From Point A to Point B

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Let your counterpoint guide you and write from the top down. Don’t worry about chords until it sounds good. Think about the beginning and the end of the phrase and how you want to get from point A to point … Continue reading

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Linear Harmony #1: Almost Chords but Not Quite

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I started talking about linear harmony a while ago in “Lines Intertwining” (with apologies to Spinal Tap), and a few other Top-Down posts, like Melodic Pedal Points; in other posts I’ve discussed freeing up lines and counterpoint and not worrying … Continue reading

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Both Sides Now: Two New/Old Releases on a New Label

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Two recordings I played on and co-produced are now available on iTunes; CDs are available through Hudson City Records. Northern Light is from 1991, and I’m still am trying to figure out why we waited two decades to put it … Continue reading

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Scoring and Controlling Improvisation #2–Cells and Solos

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Writing “free” notation in jazz for pitched instruments is a challenge. While rhythm section players are used to making up their parts (reading chord changes, following ensemble figures with rhythmic notation), there might be some head-scratching at the session in … Continue reading

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Living in the Big City

Last week I stumbled upon a wonderful blog. On a seemingly daily basis composer and critic George Grella engages his talent, intellect and great ears and writes about a wide range of music topics from Classical to the Avant-Garde. I … Continue reading

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Posted in Free Jazz, Jazz Composition and Analysis, Jazz history, Theory and Harmony | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Scoring and Controlling Improvisation #1–Rhythmic Cells

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I’ve written a lot of ensemble music where my intention was to create an improvised texture, or a feel of rhythmic and melodic freedom—fully notated music that sounds non-metered and non-harmonic. Sometimes it works, sometimes it don’t. In many instances … Continue reading

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Amplified String Quartet? Really?

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I just mixed the piece I wrote for last April’s concert–“Effection” for amplified string quartet and three percussion. It’s an attempt at “Third Stream” music, combing some jazz elements in a modern classical setting. The musicians were cracker jack players, … Continue reading

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Last Night–One Attempt

So I tried it out again. I performed The Clothed Woman live with my trio last night. I played it last winter, but I didn’t feel comfortable with that performance. Last night it was better. Now I think I can end … Continue reading

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Posted in Duke Ellington, Free Jazz, Harmony, Jazz Composition and Analysis, Jazz history, Jazz piano, Solo piano, Theory and Harmony | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Serious” Improvisation-Surfing the Third Stream

I’m writing a piece for string quartet and 3 percussionists. In this piece I want to have the players improvise in certain passages. This creates many challenges, not the least of which is how to notate improvisation. I’ve done this … Continue reading

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