Hang Up Your Hangups

How many thousands of hours of practice do you think are represented in the serious groove laid down by the master/monster musicians in this video?
International Jazz Day All-Star Global Concert Osaka 2014
“Hang Up Your Hang Ups”
Herbie Hancock – piano
Roy Hargrove – trumpet
Kenny Garrett – saxophone
John Scofield – guitar
Sheila E – percussion
Terri Lyne Carrington – drums

Stealing Like An Artist: Herbie Hancock and Pygmy Musical Improvisation

Musicians steal all the time. Chord progressions can’t be copyrighted, musicians often borrow a progression from a well-known song and put a new melody over the top of the chords. The uber-standard chord progression in the jazz world is “Rhythm Changes,” the chord changes from the Gershwin brothers’ tune “I Got Rhythm,” used in hundreds of songs, including The Flintstones theme.

Herbie Hancock stole a melodic idea for his hit album Headhunters (the super-hit song Watermelon Man–see below) from other master improvisers, improvisers not too many people know about: the Pygmy people (specifically, Mbuti Pygmies of Northeastern Zaire).

Happy Birthday, Jaco

Jaco Pastorius is one of the more influential musicians of the 20th century. If you’re an electric bass player, you know Jaco is the most influential musician of the 20th century.

His sound and musicality changed how the electric bass is played. You can still hear Jaco’s sound, his techniques, and his licks in many different styles of music today, from hip hop samples to hard rock to jazz and pop. Check out his discography, and don’t forget to search for Weather Report, too. The tune below is on one of their best albums, Heavy Weather.

Words of Wisdom from Jazz Musicians: DMEP

While at the festival (I was there to critique groups and give a couple clinics on my investigation into practice), I got the chance to chat with Rob Klevan, long-time education director at the fantabulous Monterey Jazz Festival. He turned me on to a new app and interviews that you HAVE to check out if you’re interested in jazz, or any kind of music practice for that matter. This weekend I got to meet one of the featured players, Sal Cracchiolo, before he went up to play a smoking set with the always funky Tower of Power.

This thing goes deep.