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 […]

The digital possibilities for learning jazz

I uploaded my 45th TikTok lesson on jazz this past weekend and starting to see some momentum in engagement. Young and old alike seem to be viewing, ‘liking’, and commenting on these 3-minute lessons – some collecting over 10,000 views within a few days.

My TikTok experiment in jazz

About a month ago, I started experimenting with the social media platform TikTok. After all, it has over 1 billion users with 200 million downloads in the US alone. And by social media standards, it’s still within its infancy.