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  • #linkeleaks

    Jazz soloing requires more than “RAW CHOPS”

    When improvising, focusing on linear technique alone yields what I like to describe as “ Notes in Succession”.

    Whereas, utilizing a solid understanding of musical content plus the aforementioned technical prowess, yields what I might describe as “Melody”. The latter is the result of a mind and body experience.( Read more)

    A would be improviser who prefers to merely practice scales and patterns, will certainly achieve the muscular memory of said exercises.

    But,. think about this, when called upon to create a solo they will most likely regurgitate that which they have incessantly practiced. thus yielding notes in succession.

    On the other hand; in order to embody the vocabulary of jazz more thoroughly it’s much better to know each and every note location without the aid of any pattern reference.

    Now we have a real potential to utilize specific pitches, to create specific melodies that relate to the specific chords of any tune.

    Andreas Segovia said, and I certainly agree, “Guitar is the easiest Instrument to play; but the hardest instrument to play well.”

    So strive to play music with heart, mind and body!

  • What Makes an Artist?

    Chatting with Matthew Rotker-Lynn

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    At 22, guitarist Matthew Rotker-Lynn, from Milwaukee, WI, is a rising star on the New York jazz scene. He started playing guitar at the age of 8, inspired by his father’s taste in music and the many recordings he was hearing around the house. As a high school student, he was a member of the Downbeat award winning Jazz Lab combo and was introduced to more challenging material in his studies with UW-Milwaukee professor Don Linke. A multi-instrumentalist, Matthew was the winner of the prestigious Wilson Center International Guitar Competition in 2015, recipient of the Jah Jerry Scholarship, the Chuck Hedges Scholarship, and the Bob Kames Scholarship for Music. He has already played with greats such as Dr. Lonnie Smith, Steve Wilson, Mike LeDonne, Rich Perry, Joe Farnsworth, Rodney Green, Ray Gallon, and Joe Sanders.

  • What Makes an Artist?

    Has the word “jazz” become impotent?

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    Why do otherwise intelligent and talented musicians allow themselves to be used by the “posers” to play a mediocre approximation of what this wonderful music could be.

    Why wouldn’t any capable musician come to a jazz gig ready to play at their highest level instead of being complicit and diluting the art?

    Ultimately isn’t the highest level how you’d want to play, and what the audience would want to hear?

    Why would any “player” compromise themselves and compensate for lesser musicians when they should be expecting everyone on stage to play the highest level? And if they can’t do it simply fire those NPMFs. Lesson learned.

    Is it the money? I don’t think so, especially not if it’s $50 bucks. Is it an ego driven need to be on stage? Maybe. Is it a mendacious concern for the feelings of lesser musicians? I’ve certainly witnessed that. Is it fear of appearing elitist? Is it a lack of confidence in your own ability? I don’t know? I’d actually love to hear your thoughts.

    This issue is obviously not as black and white as my rant would suggest, but this is a real problem in the jazz community.

    Maybe the word jazz has become impotent?

    Maybe we should (as Terence Blanchard proports) call the “real thing” black American art music?

    Have we become satisfied with a bland representation of this amazing Art?

    I sure haven’t!