Musical Listening Test

Here's an interesting musical listening research study from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne-

"We are interested in studying musical perception ability in the general population. The following test, developed by Isabelle Peretz (University of Montreal), takes less than 10 minutes. It involves listening to pairs of tunes and deciding whether they are the same or different. We will give you your score at the end.

Musical Listening Test

Elementary Training for Musicians


Secrets of Pere Soto!

Here is a peek into the musical mind of Pere Soto. Click on pages for large version
From Pere's chord substitutions and V7 resolutions books-


Loren Weisbord's transcriptions

Saxophonist Loren Weisbrod has some choice transcriptions on his site- featuring Dexter, Stitt, Trane, Ralph Moore, Johnny Griffen, Hank Mobley, Billy Pierce, Freddie Hubbard and Miles.

Loren Weisbord's transcriptions


Stravinsky and the Bird of Paradise

Excerpted from Jazz Modernism
by Alfred Appel

Charlie Parker enthusiasts circa 1950 often declared him the jazz equivalent of Stravinsky and Bartok, and asserted that he'd absorbed their music, though skeptics countered that there was no evidence he was even familiar with it. Parker himself clarified the issue for me one night in the winter of 1951, at New York's premier modern jazz club, Birdland, at Broadway and Fifty-second Street. It was Saturday night, Parker's quintet was the featured attraction, and he was in his prime, it seemed. I had a good table near the front, on the left side of the bandstand, below the piano. The house was almost full, even before the opening set -- Billy Taylor's piano trio -- except for the conspicuous empty table to my right, which bore a RESERVED sign, unusual for Birdland. After the pianist finished his forty-five-minute set, a party of four men and a woman settled in at the table, rather clamorously, three waiters swooping in quickly to take their orders as a ripple of whispers and exclamations ran through Birdland at the sight of one of the men, Igor Stravinsky. He was a celebrity, and an icon to jazz fans because he sanctified modern jazz by composing Ebony Concerto for Woody Herman and his Orchestra (1946) -- a Covarrubias "Impossible Interview" come true.

As Parker's quintet walked onto the bandstand, trumpeter Red Rodney recognized Stravinsky, front and almost center. Rodney leaned over and told Parker, who did not look at Stravinsky. Parker immediately called the first number for his band, and, forgoing the customary greeting to the crowd, was off like a shot. At the sound of the opening notes, played in unison by trumpet and alto, a chill went up and down the back of my neck. They were playing "Koko," which, because of its epochal breakneck tempo -- over three hundred beats per minute on the metronome-- Parker never assayed before his second set, when he was sufficiently warmed up.
Parker's phrases were flying as fluently as ever on this particular daunting "Koko." At the beginning of his second chorus he interpolated the opening of Stravinsky's Firebird Suite as though it had always been there, a perfect fit, and then sailed on with the rest of the number. Stravinsky roared with delight, pounding his glass on the table, the upward arc of
the glass sending its liquor and ice cubes onto the people behind him, who threw up their hands or ducked. The hilarity of the audience didn't distract Parker, who, playing with his eyes wide open and fixed on the middle distance, never once looked at Stravinsky. The loud applause at the conclusion of "Koko" stopped in mid-clap, so to speak, as Parker, again without a word, segued into his gentle version of "All the Things You Are." Stravinsky was visibly moved. Did he know that Parker's 1947 record of the song was issued under the title "Bird of Paradise?"


In the Studio

Sorry to the regular readers for not posting for a long time. I have been totally absorbed with a recording project. Last June I went to Barcelona to play with my guitarist friend Pere Soto. We did several gigs with an Argentinian drummer named Salvador Toscano and decided that the chemistry was good enough to make a CD. Pere got back into Portland last month and we flew Salvador in from Barcelona two weeks ago. Last Sunday we flew up my old buddy Dan Robins from Santa Cruz to play bass. Dan is one of the few guys I know who can really play Brazilian and Jazz equally well. I booked one of the best studios in town and last weekend we spent 24 hours recording 17 tunes. I was pretty stressed out dealing with all the details like finding a drum kit, acoustic bass, getting the music together and of course finding a good reed. The reeds I had been using for over a year, the WWBW Paris Jazz reed, were on back order and since the purchase order has somehow been lost were not expected until late in the month. I started ordering all the reeds the reeds that I had ever played in the past in hopes that at least one would be great. I imagined going through hundreds of new reeds and not finding a great reed.
I really needed a great reed since I was spending so much energy and money in the studio, a good reed would simply not do. I imagined myself buying case after case of bad Javas or Rico Jazz Selects and wanting to kill myself. A few days before the session some boxes of Riggotti Gold alto 3 strongs showed up on my doorstep. I wasn't sure if I had tried them before on alto even though I had been playing them on tenor for a while. Lo and behold they worked great. In fact they were even better and more consistant than the WWBW reeds I had been playing. The cane was great and they had more body to them, making them a little darker than the WWBW reeds.

The band had several days to rehearse and also four nights of gigs leading up to the recording session. This was a good warm up but we were pretty wiped out by the morning of the session.
We had a lot more material than just one CD and we wanted to try to record all of it.

In the past when I've taken bands into the studio I've never been happy with the result. Recording studios are the worst place to be creative, especially if you're the one bankrolling the session. This time Pere and I were splitting the expenses and the workload, this helped manage my stress level quite a bit.

There were a few problems, like the piano not being close enough in tune and some signal distortion issues, but all in all everything went smoothly. I never expect to play great in the studio, just average. This session wasn't earth-shattering but better than usual. The music was mostly mellow romantic Bossanovas, a few Jazz waltzes, a minor blues, an Afro 6/8 and one fusion tune.

rough mixes