Jazz Rooster joke from Tim Price

A rooster is getting ready to retire from his gig at the Farm....he sent the word out to some young roosters to come up and audition for the gig....the first young rooster comes up and scats the bird solo on Night in Tunisia.....nothing happens the sun doesn't come up no dogs start barking..........the next young rooster comes up and does Trane's solo on "Giant Steps'.........still nothing happens...a third rooster comes up and does Ornette's thing on "Ramblin'' still nothing happens
Finally the Old Rooster says, why you sad motherf#$%&@s , and clears his throat gives a little cough and cry's out COCK A DOODLE DO >>>> COCK A DOODLE DO >>>>>. the sun comes up dogs start barking the farmer wakes up and all the rest.....The old rooster looks at younger ones and says...


Harmonic Major- Modern Jazz Vocabulary vol.1

The harmonic major scale (simply a major with a flat sixth) is a relatively new addition to Jazz improvisation. It has an interesting exotic sound and can be a important element of a modern Jazz musician's vocabulary.

Music theory always lags significantly behind what musicians are actually playing on the streets. There are many useful "exotic" scales like the harmonic major (some of which are only one or two notes different the handful of scales that most Jazz musicians are taught in schools) that have been used by players for years without showing up in any Jazz theory books. Saxophonist Matt Otto is bringing the world of Jazz theory up to speed with his new book on the harmonic major scale entitled Modern Jazz Vocabulary Vol.1.

Here's what Otto has to say about his book:

I finally finished my first book on jazz improvisation. After years of practice journals and outlines for the ultimate jazz tome, I finally realized that I’m not Mick Goodrick or Hal Crook (no matter how much I practice) and in general, I always liked a music book with a fairly narrow focus; with “baroque counterpoint” for example, you know what to expect. After much deliberation, I decided to take one concept that inspires me constantly, that I really enjoy practicing, and write a book about that. After digging through my practice logs, and organizing boxes of semi-legible manuscript, I found a lot of material about creating an original, non-cliched, modern vocabulary, as well as a lot of melodic examples from the harmonic major scale (an Ionian scale with a b13). So, I ended up writing a book on how to develop an original melodic vocabulary for improvisation using specifically the harmonic major scale.

The book outlines the various ways I’ve come up with to practice scales, melodies and harmonies while focusing on developing an original melodic vocabulary. Included are not only a lot of lines, melodies and “licks” (if you will), but the methodology I used to create them. This workbook leaves a lot of space for musical exploration and creation, although there’s plenty of written material if you just want to play through it and glean a few new ideas that speak to you. The following table of contents will give you an idea of just how comprehensive this publication is. I’ve put a lot of time and thought into this book and I really believe my work can benefit other musicians. At $11.95, I think you’ll find it a good investment!

In his book, Otto has created a template for what hopefully will be an entire series on the topic of applying different exotic scales to Jazz improvisation. The structure of this book is very well thought out and an ambitious student could easily use the template of the chapters to develop an entire Jazz vocabulary based on exotic scales. If fact, after reading Otto's book I put together an interesting lesson plan for my own students using this same template.

The chapters in this book are as follows:
  1. Modes and Chords
  2. Arpeggiated Voicings
  3. Rhythmic Displacement
  4. ii-7 V7 I Maj
  5. V7 i minor
  6. Melodic Sequence
  7. Random Intervals
  8. Diatonic Cycles
  9. Triad Pairs
  10. Combination
This book is written by someone who has spent years incorporating these ideas into his own musical vocabulary, so everything in it is useful on a very practical level. If you listen to Otto's recordings you can clearly hear him use these harmonic/melodic ideas in his improvisation.

The modes of the melodic major scale can open up new melodic ideas and expand the vocabulary of the modern Jazz musician. This book is a innovative new addition to the world of Jazz theory, there is simply nothing else out there like it. It has given me valuable teaching material for my students as well as giving me something interesting to work on myself. I look forward to seeing future volumes of Matt Otto's Modern Jazz Vocabulary.


New Yorker cartoon

Yusef Lateef interview on WGBO

Here's a nice interview with NEA Jazz Master Yusef Lateef from WGBO's Checkout show. He talks about his musical influences and development, world music, his involvement with Islam, and his current work.

Yusef Lateef interview


John Stowell video lesson- Applying the Melodic Minor Scale

Last night I was looking through stuff on my hard drive and ran across a great video lesson on melodic minor scales by John Stowell that I had never posted. This TV show was produced a few years ago by Darren Littlejohn of Portland Jazz Jams and directed by myself.

In this 24 minute lesson John clearly explains and demonstrates how to apply melodic minor scales to many different types of chords. He gives helpful ways of practicing these different applications as well. Stowell is a master of modern Jazz guitar and it is a shame that more people do not know about him. He has a totally unique approach to improvisation.

This lesson is quite useful for all instrumentalist, not just guitarists.

Melodic Minor lesson with John Stowell
(you may need to download a Quicktime plug-in if you do not have one)

John Stowell solo guitar video- PJJ tv
John Stowell's web site
Bye Bye Blackbird- mp3
Milestones- mp3


Joe Diorio's solo on Autumn Leaves

Joe Diorio is an underrated monster guitarist and was one of the first instructors at the Guitar Institute of Technology. He has recorded ten albums and written several instructional books.

Dan Johnson transcribed this of Joe's on Autumn Leaves.

Without You- mp3
Invitation- mp3
Joe Diorio's MySpace
Meet Joe Diorio @ All About Jazz
YouTube Joe Diorio pentatonic lesson
YouTube Joe Diorio solo guitar concepts


Wes Montgomery's solo- So Do It

So Do It

Thanks to Pere Soto for this transcription


The Jazz Review online-

Founded by Nat Hentoff, Martin Williams, and Hsio Wen Shih in New York in 1958, The Jazz Review was the premier journal of jazz in the United States. Short-lived as it was (1958-1961), it set an enduring standard for criticism.

While all of the material is of high quality, several features are particularly distinctive: the regular reviews of musicians' work by other musicians; Hentoff's regular column "Jazz in Print," which deals with the politics of the music business as well as of the nation; and the incorporation of a wide range of musical styles and approaches to discussing jazz.

With the permission of Nat Hentoff, the entire run of The Jazz Review will appear on Jazz Studies Online in the near future. For now, the first seven issues to appear are offered in digital form.

There are some great articles in these magazines: Sonny Rollins and the Challenge of Thematic Improvisation- by Gunther Schuller, The Negro Church and it's Influence on Modern Jazz- by Mimi Clar, Elvin and Phily Jo Jones- by Bobby Jaspar, My Story by Buddy Tate as Told to Frank Driggs, and much more.

Thanks to Dan Gaynor for this recommendation.

The Jazz Review Online