Tag Archives: jazz analysis

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

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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The Doctor is In

In an arrangement for my ensemble I performed a lot of surgery on Duke’s classic Solitude. I’ll provide an analysis and score and musical samples in my next post, but I wanted to give a little background on the technique … Continue reading

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Steal this Score

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To follow-up on my post about Gil Evans’ piece Blues for Pablo (Blues for Pablo True to Form),  I confess I’m guilty of petty theft. In a few bars of a new piece, Gaslight, which I performed with my Tentet … Continue reading

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“Blues for Pablo”–True to Form

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After the Ellington study group last week, a few of us were hanging out having lunch. For 2.5 hours we were buried in the score of Gil Evans’ Blues for Pablo. I had struggled with one particular passage, so I … Continue reading

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Lines Intertwining….

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(spoken in your best movie trailer voice:) In a world….full of hackneyed cultural references and tunes in D minor…, a composer seeks to break free. Free from the confines of the oppressive overlord…tonality…reality…How does a sailor lost at the sea … Continue reading

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Write for the Players and Play like a Writer

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How can a composer control the flow of musical information in a piece that’s improvised? How do you get a group to improvise together without it turning into an out of control free jazz fusion blowing session? Use the best … Continue reading

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