Jamey Aebersold is responsible for all those fantastic play-a-longs, those books with exercises and scales and arpeggios. He is also a very accomplished and respected sax player and educator.
Having just finished two back-to-back weeks running his annual Summer Jazz Workshops in Louisville, KY, Jamey was happy to report over 500 lucky instrumentalists came from all over the globe to participate.
It can be the cool “So What” by Miles Davis or the thoughtful jazz chestnut “On Green Dolphin Street” or something fast and spicy. No matter: Claudio Roditi’s trumpet speaks in a way that fills a room with sweet honey sounds. He left his native Rio de Janeiro while in his early 20s to study at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, and played with greats like Herbie Mann and Paquito D’Rivera. His Brazilian-informed understanding of the horn puts audiences in awe, as well they should be.
Claudio Roditi first came to the US via Boston in September of 1970. “I had a dear friend from high school, Victor Assis Brasil, who had come to Berklee the year before, and he was influential in my coming to Boston to study. I also knew pianist Nelson Ayres, so I had a couple of friends.”
Are you looking for jazz piano improvisation ideas? You’ve come to the right place. If you’re new to improvising, knowing a few important basics can open up countless possibilities for you to experiment with. Keep on reading for a few tips to get you started.
You may not have wanted to hear this, but scales are the key to improvisation. Learn your key signatures and commit those scales to your memory (preferably your muscle memory). You’ll then be able to play around in a specific key during a solo without stumbling onto unwanted accidentals. Take a listen to this clip of Pascal Wintz improvising on the piano, and notice how well he is able to play around with notes in the right key in here.
Christian McBride is a bassist, composer and arranger, and jazz commentator/host. He tours and travels the world with the energy of a man constantly pumped up on the spirit of the music.
It is from listening to him play that you feel his joy for the art form. His tight musical sense of connection with other artists is strikingly apparent in the very rich and easy-going “Conversations with Christian,” his interview show now on Sirius XM’s “Real Jazz.”
What he likes about the changes in the music instrument are that the world of sound has become a lot smaller since early 1980s. “In an instant, you can pull out your smartphone and immediately find out what somebody’s doing halfway around the world. You can put music out there and anyone can access it,” he says.
Aziza Miller was a teacher in the New York City school system, and, because music has always been a huge part of her life, infused jazz into her classroom lessons whenever it was possible. She asked her students if they knew of any jazz musicians and found their realm of experience allowed for responses like Stevie Wonder or James Brown.
“I realize how blessed I was to be exposed not only to jazz but every kind of music,” recalls the pianist and singer. “The students didn’t get that exposure. I pondered over how I could pull them in so they would be interested.” She found her answer in rap, knowing the genre would pull them in and get them to listen.