Thursday, 2 June 2011

Social sciences and Improvisation

 Time to rable on about random stuff! as I have just finished my degree in Sociology, more time will be dedicated to playing,practising,jamming,going to gigs and listening to music I keep discovering (thank God for that!). I always thought serious music, particularly improvisation related examples, have a philosophical side to them and reflect the personality of the player, which in turn makes it great. Then comes the technical aspect...John McLaughlin says notes are a very small, but very important aspect of improvisation once the principle behind it is understood, and his instructional Dvd 'This is the way I do it' is a very useful guide to practising and playing. He is as generous a teacher as he is a player!
 Tickets for the 4th Dimension gig at Ronnie Scott's are selling fast and I'm pleased I got mine for both sets on Monday the 11th of July, the whole experience should be the best birthday present ever.
 Also I'm planning to restart my lessons with Predrag Simovic and that should be both useful and exciting at the same time. Jazz on!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

John McLaughlin at Ronnie Scott's and May updates

 I have just realized the month of May is nearing the end and my exams and work are taking so much time that temporarily the guitar and jazz,apart from listening,are pushed into a background role-TEMPORARILY  is the key word here!
 In the meantime,as my Sociology matters are close to their 6-year long journey (yes,'six' years), I have booked my tickets to see John McLaughlin at Ronnie Scott's on the 11th of July-because I am greedy I will be going to both sets on the night! and the Medeski, Martin & Wood gig at the Barbican, which also features Bill Evans. That is surely something to look forward to, considering I have never seen JML at Ronnie's it's going to be even more special.So already waiting for July!
 Apart from waiting, there is a bit of practicing and working on my web site, which should become available sometimes in June and will include most of my doings in an online version.The jazz jams at the Troy bar have been a welcome addition to the routine and kayaking is as exciting as ever!
 John McLaughlin's instructional 'This is the way I do it' is still an endless source of inspiration and practicing and I am thinking of a another guitar project-this time I want to build an improved version of my custom strat.
 On the Spotify front, I have discovered the Shotgun wedding experience, a great band that combines jazz, hip-hop and funk among others to great effect. Great lyrics, too.
 I'm planning to post some youtube videos of some jams next time, to add a video side to my jazz stories,but that's for next time...

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Kurt Rosenwinkel @ Ronnie Scott's

It's already April, but I've only been to two really special jazz/world music gigs this year-I saw Tomatito in February as part of the London Flamenco festival, which I have written about in this blog, and last Tuesday I got to Ronnie Scott's to see Kurt Rosenwinkel and his quartet. Last time I saw Kurt he played within a trio setting, the improvisations were longer and 'wilder, I suppose because of the extra freedom that a trio setting provides, and things have changed since July 2009 and one of the most amazing things about players like Kurt is that they continuously improve and manage to play music with a sense of personality helped, no doubt, by a powerful message sent from the stage to the listener.
 I have already thought about continuous improvement when I kept going to Mike Stern's gigs, 29 in total (!), and seeing Kurt only reinforced my belief that these players are special because they dedicate themselves to the music they play and the play they play it, mostly originally and generously.
 Eric Reeves on bass provided the anchor for all improvisations on the night, Justin Faulkner's grooves were subtle, yet efficient guidelines and Kurt went through his signature harmonies like a painter carefully choosing colours.
 Ronnie Scott's has been like a jazz temple for me over the last 10 years or so and performances like these remind me of what's really important, in jazz and beyond.
 On the night, 'Brooklyn Sometimes' was the composition that left a strong impression, but overall the concert itself made an ordinary Tuesday night into a special one-thanks Kurt!

Friday, 15 April 2011

RadoslavZ Guitar Lessons: Alternate Picking Part II

RadoslavZ Guitar Lessons: Alternate Picking Part II: "Introduction In the first article, I showed you some easy alternate picking exercises that should help you to learn picking with small mov..."