April 09

Gerry Mulligan Transcription

Here’s a transcription of a quick, one chorus solo from Gerry Mulligan on his tune “Line for Lyons.” The “Lyons” that the title refers to is Jimmy Lyons, who was the founder of the Monterey Jazz Festival. This recording comes from the album “Gerry Mulligan-Paul Desmond Quartet” (Verve), which was one of the many records […]

April 06

Recording Hindemith

As the current coronavirus pandemic has forced us all into isolation, I’ve taken on the challenge of recording both parts of Paul Hindemith’s  Konzertstück für zwei Altsaxophone. I must say that I’m late in coming to Hindemith’s music. To my own detriment, I’ve somewhat consciously avoided his music over the years. Hindemith’s music has always seemed […]

April 05

Getz Variations — Dexter Morrill

Recently I’ve been working on a very interesting piece for tenor saxophone and fixed media by Dexter Morrill called “Getz Variations.” The piece was written for Stan Getz in 1984 and features samples of Stan himself playing in the audio track. The score has very little notated lines for the saxophonist to play, and instead […]

April 02

Goa Variations I

Those who know me personally know that I have a deep affinity for the music of Terry Riley, particularly his early compositions where he’s playing saxophone and/or keyboards. (Reed Streams, Poppy Nogood and the Phantom Band, Shri Camel, Rainbow in Curved Air, Descending Moonshine Dervishes, etc.) Just today I’ve finished the first in a series […]

March 29

Twentieth Century Nationalism in the Music of Janacek, Britten, Revueltas, and Harrison

Musical nationalism took rise in the first half of the twentieth century in many regions of the world. Composers as diverse as Leos Janacek, Benjamin Britten, Silvestre Revueltas, and Lou Harrions sought to write music that was distinctly their own. In Central Europe and England, composers looked to move away from the dominant German idiom, […]

March 11

Lee Konitz Transcription – There Will Never Be Another You

Lee Konitz b. 1927 (Chicago) Alto saxophonist, Lee Konitz, has had a long and distinguished career as a jazz musician and improviser. He has created a very large and diverse record catalogue, though he is most commonly associated with cool and west coast jazz. Konitz was one of the very few saxophonists to be alive […]

March 10

Developments in Realism and Expressionism in the Vocal Music of Mussorgsky and Debussy

Vocal writing at the beginning of the twentieth century saw a shift away from the traditional format of arias and recitatives, with a decreased emphasis on the bel canto style. Though composers found various avenues for their new styles, the overarching trend was toward realism and expressionism. These new styles manifested themselves both musically and […]

March 09

Stan Getz Transcription – Yardbird Suite

Click the link below for a .pdf of my transcription of Stan Getz playing Yardbird Suite live at the Haig Club, Los Angeles in 1953 with Chet Baker. This tune appears on the album “West Coast Live.” Stan Getz Yardbird Suite – Tenor Saxophone – 2020-01-15 1324_1

March 08

Modernization of Jazz and the Kansas City Sound in the 1930’s

In the 1930’s, Kansas City, MO played a significant role in the modernization of jazz. This included the development of riff-style compositions, leading to an increased role for the individual improvisor, the augmentation of small combos to form big bands, and the development of driving swing feel as the predominant idiom. As will be shown, […]

March 07

Serial and Tonal Elements in Richard Rodney Bennett’s Concerto for Stan Getz

As a student of Pierre Boulez and a frequent visitor to the Darmstadt summer courses, it is not surprising that Richard Rodney Bennett’s music contains elements of serialism and other modernist techniques. What is unusual in the Concerto for Stan Getz, is that Bennett’s love of jazz and improvisation leads him to utilize elements of […]