I’m a superstar!

Oy… so much to update on. Well, i spent a week at stanford and made many new friends… I met a tenor sax player that has significantly changed my life, but i doubt he realizes it yet. it’s ok, i wont tell him… or he’ll know about it if we are friends long enough. or he’ll have to read about it in my book… whatever… i dont care 😛

i had two friends, both named chris take notes for me. i told chris#1 that i wanted everything that Ray says, VERBATIM… he thought that was a bit extreme. When i got back, he handed me my own copy of the notes. How considerate of him!

Both chris’s are quite mature and very musical. I mean, i feel kind of old being at a community college, but i think, in the context of this class, i connect well with these two… Chris #2 said that there wasn’t much talking going on Friday, but that Ray handed out a song…

I asked him..”What song? What song?”… he said, “blind man blind man”… I thought he was parodying me… but the song was really called “blind man blind man.” It’s like if he had said “autumn leaves autumn leaves!”… haha, we both laughed about that.

Here’re Chris notes from 10/12/11

– reviewed interval worksheet

-talked about dim7th vs 6 (enharmonic)…

theory class = dim 7 -> technically correct

real world = 6 -> expediency on the bandstand

-solfege (chromatic)

# -> di ri mi fi si li ti (“ee” sound)

b -> te le se me ra (“ae” or “ay” sound, except ra)

C+F#… do fi

C+Gb… do se

(tension) dissonance -> 2nd or 7th everything else -> consonants

bach had dissonance, but resolved.. modern -> keeps dissonanc



dots on the note, in jazz, should always be on the top of the staff, even if the note points downward

4 markings in jazz – accent everything

  • cap accent – not an accent an articulation… james brown and maceo. ON THE BEAT…bahhhp or dahhht
  • quarter not can be played long or short, marking on every quarter note — the offender
  • side accent – on an “and”.. not as fat… bahp daht..
  • tenuto – long mark..latin word tener… on the beat or on the and … dah and bah
  • stocato – dot… tower of power, brecker brothers.. chachas and rock… dit!

real book parts are all written for trumpet… go up an octave

have stand at the lowest possible situation

stan kenton’s band had them 6-8 inches off the ground…


when we soloed for blind manx2… he had the fancy players play 8th notes.. “dont need double time”… he’d say… I wrote this to my new stanford friend in regards to that class..

i was first up to solo, and we did C7, C#7, D7 and then back down…

I know my scales, and i’m getting better at going up a 4th when i see the dom.

i got called on first to solo, but with those changes, i throw in other notes without thinking it…

Ray Brown stopped the class twice b/c I kept playing E instead of E# for C#7…. but he said “very good” after i was done…

dude, in the context of that class, i’m such a super star!… it feels great.. haha

then i went to talk to the big band guy, my former combo director and i told him “in the context of BEGINNING improv, i’m actually kind of good..”

He said, “you are good… I thought so when you tried out for combos in January!… ”

I was like, “WHAT?… I was a hot mess back then” (i played everything out of tune, i didn’t know how to put on my reed, and i held my horn wrong)…

he’s like, “yea, you are way better now, and you’ve got a lot of potential… but i thought you were good back then too…”

community college is awesome… i guess i just needed some encouragement…

i owe these teachers so much… i’m so grateful…


then i followed up with:

When i solo.. i use my ears, i guess… I often couldn’t even tell you what notes I was playing, b/c i’ve associated sounds with where my fingers are…

I use the melody line and the notes per chord for help when i’m lost.. and was never made to think about what the key was… (until this class, i thought that songs only changed keys when the key signature changed… that new knowledge kind of blew my mind- i just learned it a month ago)…

My approach to soloing doesn’t work very well… it only works if i can really feel the song.. and i’m not distracted… i need more of the mechanical knowledge to keep me in bounds…

Ray Brown told me that i use my ears a little bit, but i should play mechanically for a little while, so i know what i’m doing… He’s right… The other guy said Ray is the best improv teacher in the nation… hyperbolic statements are still meaningful haha… He’s good… i’ve learned so much in just 2 months.


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