A conversation about jazz with an Artificial Intelligence

As artificial intelligence is creeping into so many applications these days, I thought I’d share what it “thinks” about jazz and improvisation. To do that, I had a conversation with a site called AIChat. In its own words, the site allows users to interact with AI language models in real-time. In other words, you ask […]

How to put more swing into your playing

I enjoy writing about this topic. After all, it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing! I ask myself the question: why do some jazz players swing and others don’t? While everyone’s flavor of rhythm and swing is different, why don’t more musicians swing–really swing? Let’s start at the top: what is […]

The illusion of ego-less jazz

I was recently party to a heated email conversation between two very famous jazz teachers/players who hold polar opposite views on how one becomes proficient in learning to improvise jazz.  I want to share with you clues I found in the writing of one of them that uncover a fundamental mistake. It’s an error in […]

Quick and easy jazz improvisation?

A marketing email hit my inbox last Thursday. It was promising the benefits of their special way of  memorizing and practicing licks, that once cobbled together would make ‘improvising’ quick and easy. A whole system for playing instant jazz much like instant mashed potatoes. “Just add hot water. Your family will never taste the difference.” […]

Some post-show thoughts about the 2022 NAMM

This month’s NAMM 2022 in Anaheim was great. It had been two and a half years since the previous show. This year’s show was less than half the size and attendance of previous shows, so obviously people are not quite ready to dismiss the COVID risk within large gatherings. I’ m really glad I was. The […]

Another story from the new book by Richie Beirach and me

Richie and I have been writing a book on jazz education called Teaching and Learning Jazz: From tradition to technology – A frank appraisal of jazz education. Part one of the book is a collection of stories by Richie of musical life lessons he learned from his masters Chet Baker, Stan Getz, George Coleman, and […]

Transforming TikTok into an online course

Pocket Jazz is coming. I am finishing up transforming the nearly 70 TikTok videos I produced earlier this year into an online course I am calling ‘Pocket Jazz’. I call it ‘Pocket Jazz’ since these 1 to 3-minute bite-sized jazz tips are formatted to TikTok within the vertical space of a phone screen. I recorded […]

The new book by Richie Beirach and me

Throughout the past year, Richie and I have been writing a book on jazz education. It is called Teaching and Learning Jazz: From tradition to technology – A frank appraisal of jazz education. Throughout more than 150 pages, we explore the evolution of jazz education through the master apprentice practice of the early years, the […]

The finishing fetish

Before a rehearsal tonight, I was speaking with a couple of friends/bandmates about some of my improvisation methods They’ve been following a few of my lessons and advice on developing improvisation skills and one of them proudly mentioned that he can now play a couple of simple songs in all 12 keys. He’s been doing the work […]

Announcing my new Musicsavvy.com site

I’m happy to announce that this week I launched the brand new version of my website musicsavvy.com. I hunkered down for two weeks, learned a new Content Management System, and rebuilt the site. Building a good web site is becoming easier and easier. I’ve talked about my friends at Bandzoogle who provide a platform to exclusively […]

Quick and easy mastery of jazz?

I woke up this morning to an email from an online jazz instructor claiming, in essence, that 1. large amounts of practice is NOT necessary for impressive progress, 2. the goal of practicing is not to eliminate mistakes, and 3. that if one doesn’t keep up a consistent practice habit even when they know they […]

Announcing my new Musicsavvy.com site

I’m happy to announce that this week I launched the brand new version of my website musicsavvy.com. I hunkered down for two weeks, learned a new Content Management System, and rebuilt the site. Building a good web site is becoming easier and easier. I’ve talked about my friends at Bandzoogle who provide a platform to exclusively […]