Jazz Counterpoint – Improvising Melody & Bass at the Piano

Introducing a new article on jazz piano and improvisation! As with most of my articles, I thought this would be relatively short and concise, but I’ve gone down the rabbit hole, and there are a number of topics I’ll be writing about.  This may change over time, but as of now, topics include: Transcription Analysis Designing […]

Piano Transcription & Deep Analysis – Sugar Ray by Phineas Newborn Jr.

I thought I’d take a break from the grind of writing about hand independence and transcribe something instead. In my own practice, I revisited this tune by Phineas Newborn Jr. called Sugar Ray.  I encourage students to learn it because the melody has a very specific piano/band arrangement, it covers a good spatial range at the piano, […]

Idiomatic Gestures, the Economy of Motion and Jazz Piano Improvisation

Dec. 5/18 edit: I’ve updated the article and images in “A Scale for Ascending” to include anchor points. It’s also more succinct and organized, without the digressions into alternative fingering exercises. Nov. 27/18 edit: I’ve improved my explanation of anchor points and hand positions while playing the chromatic scale.  Specifically, how they can played as […]

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 […]