Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Tim Price Bloggin For D'Addario Woodwinds- Stay focused and believe in yourself even if others do not believe in you.

Start working toward your goals today. Ask yourself, "What can I do today to get one step ahead, however small, closer to achieving my goals?" Stay focused and believe in yourself even if others do not believe in you.Define and describe your goal. Write down when you want to achieve it. Write down the reasons why you want it. Write down what it would feel like after you have achieved it and write down your accomplished goals Figure out exactly what it will take to get it. Be realistic about the time things will take. Many people don't allow themselves enough time, and give up too soon.Once you've broken down your goal into pieces, write down the steps on a piece of paper to make sure you have everything thought out. One of the worst things that can happen is you're almost to the point of your goal, but you're not sure what to do next. Also, give yourself deadlines for each step. Otherwise, you'll end up procrastinating and never achieving your dream.
Visualize. Close your eyes and imagine yourself accomplishing your goals. Where are you? How did you get there? How do you feel? Do this often. Don’t get swayed easily with the noise and happenings going on outside. Put your attention on what you are trying to achieve. Remember the goal, and you will have control over the discomforts and difficulties.. Now that you have the momentum going, don't let it stop! Some steps may seem less exciting than others seem, but make sure to stick to your plan until the end! Avoid distractions and stay focused. Don't allow yourself to be distracted by other energy consuming efforts.Be positive. Always believe that you will achieve your goal. As soon as you stop believing, you have already failed.BUT- Keep trying. as Phil Woods once told me - " If you don't try you die

Ornette Coleman’s early records, more than anything else testaments to this insight. What can specify good improvisation — collaborators like Don Cherry and the recently departed Charlie Haden were consciously trying to innovate but there was never an aesthetic arrogance to what they were doing, compared with others from this time of aesthetic ferment. He and Don Cherry’s experiments at this point were with pitch and playfully provocative – indeed there are at least half a dozen masterpiece records from 1959 — Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue; John Coltrane’s Giant Steps; Charles Mingus’s Mingus Ah Um and its companion piece Mingus Dynasty and the often overlooked debut by by hard-bop trumpet player Donald Byrd, Byrd in Hand. There can be no dispute that all of these records are transformational. Some are more mellifluous and easy to listen in what may be called a “chilled out” fashion (Davis, Byrd), while others demand an active listen (Mingus). It is notable that while all of these records were experimental in that they brought new sounds to the jazz idiom that was moving beyond bop and hard bop, all but Byrd imported musical frameworks that had heretofore been foreign to jazz as a whole. Byrd, on the other hand experimented with texture — two saxophones, a drummer who played on the twos when he should have been playing on the ones, that sort of thingThen of course, there was Coleman’s Shapes of Jazz to Come. Like Byrd, Coleman’s innovation was endogenous within jazz as a blues-derived form, as compared with the exogenous shifts that came from Mingus, Davis and Coltrane. Indeed,  this record is simultaneously incredibly challenging .The song "Lonely Woman" stands to this day as one of the most poignant, even intimate jazz compositions, a sort of blues-for-postwar capitalism, a cold war dirge. Coleman told Derrida "I came across a gallery where someone had painted a very rich white woman who had absolutely everything that you could desire in life, and she had the most solitary expression in the world. I had never been confronted with such solitude, and when I got back home, I wrote a piece that I called 'Lonely Woman.'" Like many of the best politically-minded artists of the last half century, Coleman approached the political sideways and was never as publicly connected with the far-left as his colleagues like Haden and Cherry.

In the early nineties, Coleman was hanging out backstage, waiting to sit in with the   Grateful Dead. Coleman didn’t like what he was hearing. An admirer of Jerry Garcia’s effervescent guitar playing, Coleman had played with him a number of time.  Listening to this cacophony, Coleman said to the Dead’s manager, “Man, these guys don’t listen to each other when they play.” Yet a listen to a bootleg recording of the concert has Coleman hitting the stage during the Dead’s “space” segment (their own "free jazz"  ). Suddenly, the band sprung to life culminating in a version of Bobby Bland’s “Turn on your Lovelight” — precisely the type of Rhythm and Blues that Coleman played as a kid in Texas. The band was listening to each other again.  


This was the key to Ornette Coleman’s cultural production as a whole. It is easy to romanticize the best improvised music in a quasi-new age sense, that is to say the idea that some type of extra-human intelligence of a sort is channeled at “peak moments”. Indeed, many improvisational musicians, unable to fathom the affect they and their audience experience, take to this kind of belief. It is notable, thus, that Coleman, while sometimes having a foot in the milieu of “spiritual jazz” alongside comrades like Don Cherry and Charlie Haden.

In the study of jazz improvisation (both in books and schools), there are two major components that rarely get the recognition they deserve: ear training and rhythm. Instead, the bulk of jazz education focuses mostly on theory -- learning what notes to play over which chords. While knowing jazz theory will help you to become a better player, I think (much) greater advances are possible through strengthening ones ear and rhythmic skills. lunch for your ears- You should listen to this stuff. Start here- and go through my list ;“Porgy and Bess” (Miles Davis), “Ascension” (John Coltrane), “The Jazz Composer’s Orchestra” (Michael Mantler), “Live in San Francisco” (Archie Shepp)Listening/tunes: “Walkin’” and “Mysterioso” (J.J. Johnson), “Freddie the Freeloader” and “Flamenco Sketches” (Miles Davis), John Coltrane Plays the Blues (all tracks), “Cousin Mary” and “Mr. P.C.” (John Coltrane), “Sack O’ Woe” (Cannonball Adderley), “Now’s the Time” (J.J. Johnson), any blues record by Charles Mingus, Milt Jackson, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Horace Silver, Jimmy Smith, Wes Montgomery.Then listen to- “Milestones” (Miles Davis), “Fat Girl” (Navarro); Bird: The Savory Recordings/Master Takes: Miles Davis’ solo on “Half Nelson”...Then isolate your ears with recordings by Bud Powell, John Lewis, Horace Silver, Thelonious Monk, Oscar Peterson, Wynton Kelly, Tommy Flanagan, only piano.
Using your intuition and feelings when improvising is most important be it at the most advanced level or just a basic beginner. To thoroughly approach this as an art form and something that has deep meaning is most important. The masters when they played, be it Johnny Dodds or Sidney Bechet or Bud Powell on through the greats like Wayne Shorter or Charlie Mariano all came from a very deep place. At times, this place is something that you must go to in a natural way. Nothing cosmic about it, it's almost like a trance. It's almost like when your telling someone a story and you close your eyes and you're taking them somewhere with you. Art Pepper wrote a song about this called "The Trip." Stan Getz called this frame of mind the "alpha state."Whether its experienced in dreams, altered states, or simply sitting in solitude, the artist must be aware of the visionary realm.

Check THAT out....and I'll see you next week- - Tim Price

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