Tag Archives: music

“Hudson City Suite” – a Short Film by Gabriel Judet-Weinshel

When you surround yourself with blazing musical and visual talent, this is what happens. Gabe is a good friend, a filmmaker, writer and musician, and a longtime collaborator. He put this together using location footage from Jersey City, NJ, interviews, and … Continue reading

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Top Down #3: Phrase Length and Form

Listen to some old-school blues tracks, and dig upon how some phrases/lyric lines are longer than the 4 measures that we’re used to. The performer goes to the IV chord, back to the I, to the V, when it feels … Continue reading

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Top-Down #2: Phrase Length, Strength, and the Third Dimension

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 (4-8-12-16 bar structure) and … Continue reading

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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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Donald Fagen Interview-Keyboard Magazine, 5/06

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I had the privilege of interviewing Donald Fagen for Keyboard Magazine back in 2006 after the release of his third solo record “Morph the Cat”. It was the first of a few features I did for Keyboard. Here is a … Continue reading

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“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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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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Don’t Let Them See You Coming

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Orchestration is a controlled filling of sound space. The process of fleshing out a piece can involve difficult composing questions, like “who do I give the melody to?” and “who’s playing the accompaniment now?” It’s difficult, and it’s hard to … 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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A Jazz Chord to Say….

I rarely hear musicians discuss harmony, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not on their minds. They discuss sound, and here’s how it usually goes: “What’s that chord?” “Which one” “The funny one?” “Oh that, it’s this…” bling, strum…“Oh right, … Continue reading

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