i'll start by saying... if you've never done a workshop, or received instruction from a jazz heavyweight... it's worth the experience.. a little intimidating, but give it a try you might like it... :-)

well after a 5-day intensive jazz piano workshop... i am exausted... man we learned so much... teachers were tim richards; blues and standards, nikki yeoh modal tunes, john crawford; latin rhythms...

man the course was so much fun...
a good mix of musical backgrounds.  the majority of students are clasically trained, and working at either teaching or directing music in some way. others are largely self taughted. but all looking to get deeper into jazz and find ways to practice to eventually become competent in the idiom.

latin rhythms was the most fun day with john taking us through many types of latin rhytmic devices, he all of us knocking out different rhythms on different drums/bells/triangle, with him on electric bass and each pianist laying out simple chords.. amazing what happens when all the rhythms come together and we all chanted some harmony singing over them.

nikki yeoh changed my perception of modal tunes totally, i was very regimented in my view... she played so beautifully for us, so melodically, didn't realise modal stuff could actually sound that way.. she's very enthusiastic and supportive.

tim was a massive power house of knowlege... giving us so many hints about learning repertoire, chord voicings, comping techniques, blues ideas, and so much more.... it was wonderful, and nerve racking, getting 'personal' critique at the piano while tim asked me to play for him... wow... what an opportunity eh..?

at the end of the course we were encouraged to record a tune with the resident bassist and drummer.. i chose autumn leaves and was scared out of my skin never having played with professionals before, warts and all... critique welcome

https://soundcloud.com/marvelouss-marvin/the-20premises-20jazz-1 />
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https://soundcloud.com/marvelouss-marvin/the-20premises-20jazz-1 />
attempt number 2..

i forgot to say that this was the second take; the first take started off with the trio part being totally out of time (me being the culprit, the bassist and drummer were brilliant as well as being really compassionate and understanding, they really made me sound authentic)

sorry scot, have no idea how to post links, i've made a mess here...

www.soundcloud.com/marvelouss-marvin/the-20premises-20jazz-1


as someone who's in the beginning stage of learning (couples months in) jazz, i enjoyed your playing a lot. you've motivated me to be more melodically bold in my own improv, and there were some idioms that i thought were really cool too. i think there were moments when you really brought out that swing thang. i liked some harmonies (in between the tune melodies) you used in the beginning intro section, too. did you use the standard ii-v-i chords, or was there reharm going on?

how long have you been playing?
thanks rywls,
to be honest i never thought i was capable of coming up with something like this , with the help of two professionals of course, i'm still surprised when listening back to the recording... basically i was in the hot seat, and never having played with these people before i just had to do the best i could and it's surprising how things come out when you've got no time to 'think' or to look back at any mistakes.   the harmonies in the intro section are a result of a long time of experimenting here and there with chord voicings... sometimes you accidentally hit some wrong notes and it sounds nice, then you take the chord apart and find out how it works and whether it can work in other parts of a tune.  my i think the harmonies came along specifically after i discovered upper structure voicings in mark levine's book, jazz piano. i experimented a lot with the voicings and also my  own discoveries and learned how to use them in tunes... after a while your ears seem to open up, and sounds that were not acceptable 6 months ago or a year ago seem to sound appealing all of a sudden. i experimented a lot by playing a dominant chord, root and 7th, and then trying major and minor triads on all 12 notes of the octave, some sounded great, others sounded horrible, but over time i sort of took a liking to many of them and found my own way to use them on the dominant chord; nothing new really, just a matter of investigating. small things like playing a c-minor 7, but using a b and then resolving it to the bb, for a second it sounds very dissonant, then resolves... you can do this with practically any note... a lot of it is down to taste or hearing what the masters do.  i personally learned loads form barry harris recently, just by transcribing his music, the simple stuff and hearing how he moves notes around within the chord... also keith jarrett taught me alot about suspended chords and how to use a suspended chord before resolving etc etc.... i will say this though... the biggest lesson for me came from the jazz workshop.. when i was asked to run over the tune with one of the instructors, i was struggling to use my voicings 'in tempo'.. in other words you can have all these great voicings that become useless if you can't play them when you're with a band... i took this away from the workshop... really know your tune in it's simplest format before using more complex/dissonant voicings... this is where playing along with your favourite artist helps.. put on a cd of a tune you know and learn to play along with it, then if those once you can keep up with the tune with 2,3,4 note voicings, then gradually move on to more 'personal' ideas, bring them up to speed etc etc.... that way, when you play with others your nice ideas will come out... whenever you have questions about voicings search ljp or ask a question, the guys here will be glad to help... i've learned so much from this site, from questions answered to people pointing you in the right direction for resources, books, albums etc... it's all here and will give you an help you make progress...

good luck rywls
1) oops a few spelling errors in here...... put on a cd of a tune you know and learn to play along with it, ...then if those once you can keep up with the tune....


should read 'then once you can keep up with the tune 'in tempo' with 2,3,4 note voicings, gradually move on to more personal ideas.

2) it's all here and will give you an help you make progress

should read 'it's all here and will help you make progress


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