The music industry can be incredibly frustrating and difficult, especially if you are trying to make performing and recording your day job. It's hard to know where to start and how to plan future career steps. Do you really need a recording contract to be successful? Daylle Schwartz has written some helpful books for the independent musician to answer these questions-
I Don't Need a Record Deal, Start and Run Your Own Record Label, The Real Deal- how to get signed to a record label. She has also created a series of music biz instructional tapes with titles like: How to do your own publicity (and tour support), On getting distribution, Marketing your music on the internet. She has put together some valuable resources on her web site that she calls Indie Ammo (resources to help you succeed). Read and subscribe to her free music biz email newsletter.
The Red & Black Cafe - April 20, 2006
David Valdez Quartet with guest John Stowell
The Red & Black Café beckoned on this warm April evening. Rain was in the forecast, but I knew the real storm would happen inside the café. Five talented musicians were getting together to prove once again that jazz in Portland can be a magical experience, and with the names: "Strayhorn and Konitz" describing the musical source for the night's entertainment, King Kong guarding the door would have had trouble keeping me out.
Mary-Sue Tobin, who is largely responsible for bringing in a series of great jazz musicians every Thursday night, has to be congratulated for bringing significant, seminal, contemporary jazz to the Red & Black stage. Check their schedule and website (http://www.paxselin.com/calendar.html) to see what I mean. Mary-Sue is herself a fine sax player, who can be heard Thursday, April 27th at Blue Monk on SE Belmont. Her choices are exemplary, as witnessed by this night's line-up.
Wasting no time getting into the theme, the group kicked off with a lively Lee Konitz tune, LT. Nice solos by Gaynor and Valdez (on alto) had me bouncing in my seat--great start. A Randy Weston tune written for his son, called Little Niles, came next, ratcheting up the tempo one more notch. This number again featured hot solos by Valdez and Gaynor, and a nifty drum solo by Mark DiFlorio. Mark's style is reminiscent of noted jazz drummer Steve Davis (drummer for Lynne Arriale), getting his whole body involved, arms akimbo, with less emphasis on wrists--very melodic--fun to watch and listen to. One gets the sense that DiFlorio is experiencing every nuance of the beat.
The latinesque Tommy Flanagan tune Eclypso, with it's interesting time signatures and pulsing rhythm showed off the fleet fingers of Mr. Gaynor, and we got to hear a muscular bass solo by Dan Schulte that typifies this consummate artist's strong style. Stablemates by one of my all-time favorite composers Benny Golson, featured Dave on tenor--smooth, effortless seeming--and segued nicely into the next number, the timeless jazz standard Goodbye, with a beautiful tenor solo by Mr. Valdez . . . this was the kind of solo you want never to end, as its strong notes wrap you up and hold on to you for dear life. I love Dave's playing, but he absolutely shines on ballads. The fact that he is so sparing with them makes each one all the more precious.
Two up-tempo numbers, Palo Alto and Ojos de Rojo, finished off the first set--the latter, a Cedar Walton composition with a Brazilian feel and a big "I-can't-stop-my-leg" sound. Everybody cooked, Valdez was back on alto. What a great set.
John Stowell, a national treasure on guitar, sat in on the final set. I love John's style. The first number was Book's Bossa and featured John with his distinctive style of playing--appearing that his fingers barely touch the strings--marvelous. Dave's alto solo smoked as fire stations around SE Portland went on alert. Next, it was Strayhorn time--The Feeling of Jazz, Blood Count, Lotus Blossom and Johnny Come Lately--I was in heaven. With Johnny Come Lately, it felt as if everyone kicked it up a notch and for me it was the culmination of a perfect evening.
The Red & Black Café can best be described by the term "Bohemian." Make that "Neo-bohemian" (laptops abound). Its stage resembles a living room from a bygone era with lamps, pictures on the wall, and plants all around. The colorful walls and open feeling, coupled with old couches, smells of coffee and wood beamed ceilings give this place a very laid back touch. The crowd is usually loaded with musicians, including this evening, with Andre St. James and Robert Moore in attendance, to name but a few. There is a sliding cover charge, so it's up to the patrons to chip in what they feel the experience is worth. This evening, no one carried that kind of money . . . priceless. sk
Is Berklee College of music out of your price range? Do you want to see what you're missing?
These are the work books from Jazz Harmony 1-4,
required of every Jazz performance major.
I have no idea how these got on the web ;-)
Berklee Jazz Harmony 1
Berklee Jazz Harmony 2
Berklee Jazz Harmony 3
Berklee Jazz Harmony 4
Paul worked with me for about six years, until I went off to Berklee. He has been teaching for the Monterey Jazz Festival high school program for many years now.
Paul is a great player and a wonderful person, he's started many young players on the road to becoming professional musicians.
Paul Contos ii7 V7s
Ray Brown (the other one) is one of the most respected Jazz educators on the west coast. He has been teaching at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California for decades. Ray played the Jazz trumpet chair for Stan Kenton for years and is a master arranger. Ray has written big band commisions for many college big bands and even arranged for Count Basie. I was lucky to get my first formal Jazz harmony training from 'Brownie' and will be forever grateful to him for what he taught me.
Ray Brown Whole Tone Patterns
Ray Brown Diminished Patterns
Ray Brown ii- V7 Patterns
Ray Brown Minor Patterns
There is an entire universe of saxophone multiphonics and alternate fingerings out there. John Gross, one of Portland's own heavy-hitters, wrote about the most comprehensive book on the subject called "185 Multiphonics for the Saxophone, A Practical Guide"( published by Advance Music). You can hear John put some of these to use on his recording with drummer Billy Minz called Beautiful You.
Bert Wilson is another NW saxophonist who is crazy about multiphonics. Bert is one of the few cats that only uses multiphonics that make functional chords. Bert plays chord progressions with multiphonics. I must admit that to my ear most multiphonics sound pretty harsh and raw, whether they are harmonically functional or not. I might use one now and then when playing free music, but like altisimo, I find that it's best to limit them. I most often use them not for the multi-note effect but as barks. By a bark I mean a note that pops out louder and with a different timbre, used for dramatic effect. The most widely used barks are simply overtones. Check out Lester Young on Jazz at the Philharmonic, you'll hear him use this technique on the A sections on Rhythm changes. Every time he does it the crowd goes totally nuts. He plays repeated middle C eighth notes, alternating between regular fingering and the 1st overtone of low C. Since the overtone C has most of the keys down the sound comes out of the bell rather than the upper stack. When a mic is right in the bell this makes the overtones explosively pop out. This same technique can also be used from middle F up to G# with the second overtones of low Bb to C#. The overtone notes are bigger and darker since more of the tube is being used.
The two other barks that I use are mulitphonic fingerings without the extra notes.
- The first one is a bluesy Bb: Finger a Eb with the octave key and without your G key. Relax and tighten your embouchure slowly as you blow, actually it's more of a dropping of the jaw. You'll notice that you'll hear a Bb alternating with the G below it. By rapidly and drastically tightening and loosening your chops a minor third shake can be created. Start very slow at first and then faster as you get the hang of it. Phil Woods uses this one a lot, it has a very distinctive bluesy sound. You can use just the top note (Bb) without the shake also, this gives an extra low pitch that woofs. It's great for a Blue seventh or third (the extra flatted 7th really comes from the 7th overtone).
- The second one is a bluesy G: This one is the same idea as the last one but on a different note. Finger a low C plus the octave key and without the F key (index finger of the right hand). Try the same thing with your chops as above. You can also get a nice multiphonic with this fingering in the lower octave. Take off the octave key and just relax and blow, a full three note multiphonic should come out.
Half a century ago, inner Northeast Portland was the undisputed hub of Oregon jazz. A vibrant music scene thrived in this urban African-American community, later sadly bulldozed to make way for urban renewal. Clubs like the Dude Ranch, Lil’ Sandy’s Chicken Coop, McClendon’s Rhythm Room, Frat Hall, The Chicken Coop and the Uptown Ballroom hosted the Jazz greats of the era. Bird, Duke, Oscar Peterson, Count Basie, and Wardell Gray performed at venues along Union, Williams, Vancouver and Mississippi avenues and jam sessions rocked into the morning hours. In his book ‘Jumptown: The Golden Years of Portland’s Jazz, 1942-1957’ Robert Diestche documents this rich musical history and reminds us how deeply our Jazz roots go here in Stumptown.
Now, decades after live Jazz moved across the river to the downtown area, there are new signs of life back on the east side. In Southeast Portland the Blue Monk now has hard hitting Jazz five nights a week and Jam sessions are sprouting up again in the fertile soil of Northeast Portland.
Every Tuesday night at Mississippi Pizza, Portland Jazz Jams hosts a session from 8pm 'til 10:30pm. This room features authentic NYC style pizza and an easy going atmosphere.
The newest jam session is at the club formerly known at Billy Reed’s in the Standard Dairy Building on MLK Jr. boulavard. When Billy Reed’s opened up five years ago it immediately became the most happening nightspot in Northeast Portland. There were jam sessions weekly and excellent bands the rest of the week. Unfortunately ownership changed hands several times and the club was soon reduced to a a shell of it’s former self. The once rich mix of Buppies, Yuppies, hipsters, and neighborhood old timers stayed away in droves. The food went from gourmet Northwestern cuisine to burgers and fried cheese.
The club's new owners Brian Davis and Al Martinez, two highly experienced and energetic restauranteurs, are restoring the club's former glory as the Northeast Portland's premier entertainment venue. They are renovating the patio, stage, and banquet rooms and have revived the excellent menu. They also plan wine tasting, happy hour parties, rooftop and community events, and restaurant sponsored sporting events. The club’s new name, new look and new menu will be unveiled at the June 1st grand opening.
The Jazz jam session is every Wednesday from 8pm until 11pm and will be hosted by guitarist/bassist/singer Danny Meyers and myself. Danny Meyer (a.k.a. Captain Dan) recently relocated to PDX from SoCal, where he led his casual band through 100 performances a year, covering Jazz, Latin, Blues, Rock, Soul, Funk, Reggae, Country, Irish and Folk styles. The Jazz jam session will also explore a wide range of Jazz styles including Bebop, Afro-Cuban Jazz, Groove Jazz, Blues, Brazilian Jazz, Hard-Bop, Swing, and Funky Jazz. The top-shelf rhythm section features drummer Joe Janiga, known for his work with Klezmocracy and Bossa Nouveau, and pianist Reece Marshburn.
Thursday through Saturday nights live bands like Devin Phillips’ New Orleans Straight Ahead and DJs will be featured. If you’re a player or Jazz fan, come back and give this great venue another chance. You’ll see that the spirit of Jumptown is alive and kickin' again.
- Let's examine how triad pairs would work when the triads are taken from the harmonic minor scale-
C- ..........Ddim ..........Eb+.......... F- ..........Gmaj.......... Abmaj ..........Bdim
C- /Ddim..... Ddim/Eb+..... Eb+/F-..... F-/Gmaj..... Gmaj/Abmaj .....Abmaj/Bdim..... Bdim/C-
Each above triad pair works over every chord that a C harmonic minor scale fits over!
C-maj7.......... D-7b5 ..........Ebmaj7(#5) ..........G7(b9,b13) ..........Abmaj7 (careful here, implies a split-third major scale)
(Please refer to my previous post on 'Modes of the Harmonic Minor scale for Jazz' if these don't make sense to you)
To apply these in an informed and meaningful way you should first try them at the piano. Play the chord with your left hand while playing each the triad pairs as alternating arpeggios to hear which ones work the best. Some pairs sound hipper than others so decide which ones you like and write them down.
This is quite a lot chew on. When you're finished try the same thing for the modes of melodic minor. This will open new worlds two-tonic-triadic possibility for you!
For lines using triad pairs pick up Gary Campbell's book called Triad Pairs for Jazz.
From Tim Price's blog
STUFF TO SHED
Kinda nice too. Enjoy.
--over C7 use C Maj triad - C, E, G- and Bb Aug triad -Bb, D, F#- for a sound that is whole-toneish...
--over C7 use F# Maj triad -F#, Bb, C#- and E Aug triad -E, G#, C- for an altered/tritone sound.
--over C7, (normal dominant or altered), use Db- triad and D Aug triad
--over Dmin7b5 use Bb Maj triad and Ab Aug triad
--over CminMaj7 use F Maj triad and Eb Aug triad.
Jazz at the Loft, 03.30.06
David Valdez, alto sax
Bob Reynolds, tenor sax
Dan Schulte, double bass
Tim Rap, drums