edit: apologies for wafflage - I'd be in bed except I couldn't sleep!!
QUOTE(TSax @ Oct 30 2007, 09:52 AM)
I'll try and listen to all of these but currently have the world's most annoying broadband connection at home, so it might be a slow process. I've listened to the first few you posted - I thought that Things Are Getting Better sounded very convincing, you seem to be more in touch with the pulse than on the grade 1 recordings you posted a while back.
Thanks - I appreciate any and all help you can give! & glad that one is sounding OK.
If you want to get better at getting the feel of Latin pieces (I bet you know what I'm going to say now!) you need to listen to more Latin.
Any recommendations? I think possibly part of the problem is that I am yet to be truly inspired by most Latin stuff I have heard!!
I DO like Santana, how much they fit into jazz as a genre I don't know - but the question is presently academic as my mum lost the CD.....................
In fact, if you're trying to teach yourself in isolation with just a couple of books and some backing tracks listening to as much as possible becomes even more important - not just idly listening either, but really working out what's going on and trying to use that in your own playing.
Yes, totally - I have a small and eclectic but slowly growing collection of CDs and stuff (Grappelli, Ella, Satchmo, Keith Jarrett, a few others), and do listen to theJazz and the jazz offerings on radio 3 whenever I can.
I was listening to the Horace Silver recording of Song for My Father on the way to work this morning. Both the piano and sax solos are very simple (the piano especially) and very bluesy. Listening to these would really help you to work out what to do with your playing.
It's a piece I know from a long time ago but don't have a recording of at the moment. Unfortunately I just don't have the spare cash to buy lots of jazz CDs, but between itunes and buying cheaper CDs I'd amassing more. I'm not sure I've ever heard a "proper" jazz version of it, (besides the examples on the CD, and most of those I don't find that inspiring...) but I certainly know the tune well.
I haven't listened to your recording of Georgia yet, but there must be 1001 recorded versions of it - I'm sure it would help to listen to some and see how other people have treated it.
Georgia is the only one in the book I feel I know reasonably well... I don't own a recording and so haven't been able to listen to it "properly", but it's been in my "aural landscape" if you will for many years and it's one I've heard sung by many artists.
One of my misgivings about the jazz exams is that it's entirely possible to get a distinction at grade 5 without ever playing with another real, live person - I think that misses the point of jazz.
I'm inclined to agree to an extent, but for me at the moment, the choice is play jazz with CDs and on my own, or don't play jazz. I don't have independent transport, and my health is rubbish. (Even the music groups I belong to, to which I can always get a lift as people are going who drive past my house, I can't always get to - I think I've been to orchestra once or maybe twice this term, and there's been a weekly rehearsal since early September! Joining a jazz group right now would just be giving myself something else to feel guilty about missing
Health and wealth permitting, I'd have regular jazz lessons with Violinia (the jazz workshop Jane and I did with her a while back was absolutely fabulous and inspiring - I learned such a lot). There are so many things that I am aware of that I know a teacher would be able to help with, so heaven knows all the things that I won't be aware of that a teacher would spot a mile off!
As it is, if I limited my jazz to when I can play with others, I'd play very rarely and even then mostly with people for whom I am the more experienced jazzer (not saying a lot!
I jazz play with others as often as I get the chance, but I don't have many opportunities to do so. The nearest jazz groups I know of are 8 miles away... at the moment that might as well be 80 miles, cos I can't get to them.
One of the reasons I'm NOT going straight for grade 5, although I'm reasonably sure I'd pass and even do OK in it, is precisely because at the moment the jazz exams/materials and the assessment are my easiest structure and source for tunes and feedback, and I want to (best I can) lay the groundwork for being a half-decent jazzer, rather than just get the certificate. If this were simply a paper chase I would enter for grade 5 next term! But I think that would be actually selling myself short in terms of what I can learn from the exams.
What I'm trying to do (though with being unwell this term is hasn't happened to the extent I planned
) is to learn as many of the pieces from the books (and from other sources - the AB books are not the only books or CDs I have) as thoroughly as possible. My aim is not to get to grade 5 having learned 15 pieces, but having learned pretty much all of the pieces I own backing tracks to, and some that I don't. And when I say "having learned", my aim for these pieces (which I achieved for large chunks of the G1 book) is to:
be able to play them by heart - head and solo without needing to look at the music;
know the chord progressions as best as I can, although I am not someone who takes naturally to chords
be able to play the head, with suitable embellishments, and do a reasonable solo without the backing track - with and without the music;
be able to "play" the head and do a solo away from the instrument, either singing or in my head;
and ideally to be able to do the latter without necessarily needing the music or the backing track.
It hasn't gone to plan so much this time round but not for lack of motivation, just the imposition of "real life" *wry grin*
I've been quite determined also to always keep experimenting with the improvisations. In my G1 exam, and when I played one of the G2 pieces for a forum concert, I can honestly say I tried new things even in the performance situations, and I'm going to keep doing so... I've been forcing myself NOT to get stuck in a rut and end up learning "improvs" off by heart.
Similarly when it comes to scales, I've not looked at the requirements and just learned those I need for the exams - one of the first things I did was make sure I could play the Dorian mode from any note, and I'm working on Lydian; Mixolydian and the pentatonic scales/blues scale will probably be next on the list!!
I'd LOVE to play regularly in a jazz group - or just with someone more experienced than me who could help me along. At the moment it's not possible. In the meantime I'm certainly NOT doing the exams as an end in themselves - but they certainly help give me a structure to work around, practice improvising in front of someone (far more scaring than doing so in my front room), etc etc. I doubt a "real" jazzer would take me seriously just because I had grade X, but then I wouldn't expect them to!!
But I do hope/think that approaching the materials and exams as I am will at least give me a reasonable basis for (one day, I hope) doing jazz "properly". Any tips on what else I can do in addition to the things I have mentioned (and the ubiquitous "listen to lots of jazz") would be fab, and vastly appreciated. But at the moment I have to do jazz within the limitations of my health and my finances
Erm. Sorry, I think I waffled
I'm a bit shattered and only on here because I couldn't sleep. But yeah... thank you very much for any help and guidance and feedback you're able to give... and I am taking jazz seriously, not just as a means to get more certificates. Just don't have the ability, at present, to do more than I can manage on my own at home.