Idiomatic Gestures, the Economy of Motion and Jazz Piano Improvisation

Sept. 21/18 edit: Based on feedback from students, understanding the idea of good fingering, hand positions and anchors may be best demonstrated first using the chromatic scale. I’ve also come to think that playing the chromatic scale with good fingering is foundational for understanding idiomatic hand gestures in general. So, I’ve added a short section […]

A Quote Worth Sharing

“The details of any art form—how to play the violin, how to improvise a raga, how to write English prose, how to make movies, how to teach are of course particular; each instrument or medium comes with its own language and lore.  But there is a kind of metalearning, a metadoing that transfers across styles […]

The Importance of Technical Facility

On May 6th, I sat down with Josh Grossman, artistic director of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival. It was part of a series of live interviews Josh is hosting called The Artistic Director’s Guide to Jazz.  We had a great discussion about four artists performing solo shows at the festival: Kurt Rosenwinkel – June 22nd […]

Artists and Creative Residencies (Part 2)

In my previous post, I mentioned that I recently returned from a month long creative residency in Bamfield, BC.  This was the result of a collaboration between Bamfield residents Nancy Hendry and Steve Clarke, and Music By the Sea.  I then reflected on the purpose of such residencies and some of the benefits that artists […]

Monk’s Wrong Notes #25

The notes here aren’t wrong, but the phrasing is! From Everything Happens to Me: Download the Mp3 here:Everything Happens to Me #4

Monk’s Wrong Notes #24

The notes here aren’t wrong, but the phrasing is! From Everything Happens to Me:   Download the Mp3 here: Everything Happens to Me #3

Two Pieces of Music I WON’T Learn

Usually, when a piece of music moves me, I’m inclined to study it to death. Occasionally though, I come across some amazing pieces of music that I deliberately won’t study.  I’m afraid that doing so would upset the novelty; familiarizing myself with its intricacies would take away some of the magic. Can you relate?  How […]