Simple Triads

One of the first theory lessons I like to teach is that there are only 12 major chords and 12 minor chords.
Learning these is attainable in a relatively short amount of time.

To simplify this further I start with…

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RIP Gunther Schuller



I had the great opportunity to perform this piece with the composer himself conducting during my time at NEC.  Without him I don't think any of us working in jazz full time with a large part of that work…

Learning how to Learn

After missing a week of my self-imposed schedule of weekly thoughts on music, and already being 24 hours behind and dangerously close to missing another I thought it might be good to whip off a quick note about something I…

Music Note Sudoku

I often encourage students to practice randomized chord patterns by picking a chord type or two, and then moving them through a tone row.

For instance CMaj7 - Ebmin7 - FMaj7 - F#min7 - Dbmaj7 - Dmin7 - BMaj7 -…

Bud Powell Un Poco Loco - part 2

Once I realized that the actual improv going on was just over a C-pedal, I was curious to know what kind of material Bud would play.  Generally it's melodic, beboppish, but the adventurous parts are especially exciting. 

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Bud Powell Un Poco Loco

My big project this fall was digging into Bud Powell's "Un Poco Loco". 



It's a song with more than one moment that pushes the envelope of standard jazz language, rhythm and form. The Max Roach drum pattern alone has…
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Happy New Year 2015

I want to congratulate my brother-in-law, Tyler Kealey for sticking to his insane goal of recording a different song every day for 2014.  Here is the final video which includes many of my favourite Ottawa musicians.  Not to leave anyone…
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Music: An Investment of Your Time

Full time and part time musicians alike are living in an age where it is increasingly hard to put a monetary value on music.  In the 20th century, people in the western world found ways to monetize every aspect of…