Jazz In Your Ear ~ How to Listen to Jazz and Connect with the Universe Within Like a Pro ~ featuring The Shadow Of Your Smile ~2 Styles Dizzy Gillespie and Kenny G ~ Can U Hear Me Now?

Listening to the Universe within
Listening to the Universe within

When I started listening ( I mean really listening) to jazz music, it was daunting at first.  It was sorta like when I began meditating, I fell asleep! Ouch!  My bad! So this can happen to you when you first listened but even if it doesn’t it could be very enlightening by learning jazz lingo and what to listen for.  I am going to kick off 2014 with a weekly breakdown of the 7 aphorisms of understanding and listening to jazz.  Now that doesn’t have anything to do with the way you impart your style, swagger or look, so don those kicks, put on your favorite shades, grab the chaise and lean in and let the riffs begin.  Here are tips of what to listen for:

∞       How the soloist and the chord playing musician interact. 

∞  Comping (an abbreviation for “accompanying”) is a term used in jazz music to describe chordsrhythms, and counter melodies that keyboard players (piano or organ) or guitar players use to support a jazz musician’s (horn player’s) improvised solo or melody lines.

∞   Call and Response is an interaction between musicians.   The first is the Call phrase is played and the second phrase played is the commentary or Response to the first phrase. It corresponds to the call and response pattern found in a conversation between two people.  It is the basic element of musical form and is the most popular music phrasing in jazz.

∞       Rhythm ~ The backbone and is the most critical component of jazz.  Listen to how the drummer strengthens the bass player. In a Walking bassline the bass and drummer on the ride cymbal are playing the same rhythm.  When the bass player is not playing a walking bassline, the drummer will solo and will play the a dramatically improvised phrase.

∞       Solo Improvisation is where the artist will play without the accompaniment of the drummer. The soloist will sometimes lock on to an idea or phrase and the drummer will mimic the phrase during their improvisational exchange (call and response).

∞       Melody & Timing:   When listening to the solo improvisation keep the song’s melody and rhythm timing in your head to know where the musicians are in the song.  After the musicians have finished playing through the “form” of the song, the drummer will generally play some sort of rhythmic phrase to indicate they are going back to the beginning again of the song. (aka HeadChart).

The 1st track performed by Dizzy Gillespie was nominated for the 1966 Grammy.

There is nothing more beautiful than listening to Kenny G.

Two different artistic expressions and improvisations.  How many of the tips did you hear?

Jazz offers a great listening experience and for folks willing and with a little patience you will emotionally respond to the artist that you are listening to. Now it is a whole different talk show when it comes to going live or going Memorex.  Dizzy was a total performer and somewhat of a comedian when it came to being on stage. I thought I would give you an example …

Uploaded on Nov 21, 2008

Dizzy Gillespie and quintet recorded in 1965 to coincide with the release of the album Dizzy on The French Riviera, with Kenny Barron replacing Lalo Schifrin on piano.

Trumpet – Dizzy Gillespie
Saxaphone/Flute – James Moody
Bass – Christopher White
Piano – Kenny Barron
Drums – Rudy Collins

2 days left to MJF.  If you can’t be there in person, then join me and we will go there in our minds, after all Sun Ra got it…Space Is the Place especially when it’s a head trip…Peace Out!  JBC 😎

Copyright © 2011-14 by Jazzybeatchick. All rights reserved.

This material has been copyrighted,  feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks or added to websites; please do not change the original content and, provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

Part One ~ The Book Proposal for My Memoir: A Song From My Father: A Creative Journey of Race and Legacy ~ featuring Gil Fuller & Monterey Jazz Festival – Things Are Here –Performed by Dizzy Gillespie

I thought it would befitting to tell you that today is my birthday.  Also, last night I had an Aha! Moment when I realized that my website Fifty Shades of Jazz is a composite on canvas of my life….  Importantly it is a composite of the various aspects of my life.  That being said, I feel that I can conceive that there are more than just one book …1- my Breast Cancer journey with my mother (“Saved By Jazz), 2.  Jazz Poetry and Contemporary Visual Arts (“Visual & Acoustic Muse of Jazz), 3.  The one closest to my heart and what I need to write first…Memoir (“A Song From My Father:  A CREATIVE JOURNEY OF RACE AND LEGACY.

The album above would be the companion because it would provide the acoustic substrate for living in the 60’s during the Civil Rights Movement and Countercultural revolution that changed the face and life of America.  I would like to point out that my age is nothing but a number because it my no means does any justice to my challenges and finding meaning in my life or mindfulness improvisations that I learned from my father in the life lessons in jazz.  That jazz creates the same creative inspiration and my instrument and I have to play the utterances that manifest when listening to the sounds that are translated into words.  I would love to know what you are thinking when reading this post because it is the best way to know if I am making the sounds come true in my words.  Besides I love hearing from you…  Thank you for sharing my birthday with me…Peace Out!  JBC

Doodles and sketches for memoir
Doodles and sketches for memoir

Part One

Overview

 

If you were to put  bestsellers  filled  with ingredients  like jazz, culture, life lessons and being a musician, personal transformation and sustainability in MOVING TO HIGHER GROUND:  HOW JAZZ CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE; civil rights riots, insuperable chauvinism, the search for racial identification in America in THE COLOR OF WATER:  A BLACK MAN’S TRIBUTE TO HIS WHITE MOTHER; or have a consciousness raising of living the life you were meant to live as portrayed in DREAMS OF MY FATHER:  A STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE add a dash of cross generational creative spiritual journeys amidst the Civil Rights and Counterculture movements of the 50’s and 60’s  in her father’s life it was a passion and dedication to notes and in her life she had fallen in love with the sound of words and jazz, you would be reading A SONG FROM MY FATHER:  A CREATIVE JOURNEY OF RACE AND LEGACY.

In this lyrical, sentimental, and compelling memoir, the daughter of a Creole father and a white American mother searches for her voice and a sustainable creative meaning to her life as a Multiracial American.  It begins in New York in the 1950s on the Upper Westside where her father’s music career as an accomplished  Jazz composer/arranger and band leader take off and who wrote a song for her when she was three years old that inspires a creative spiritual journey in Los Angeles California in the 1960 decade..

The memoir will be divided into five parts of a song:

Overview

If you were to put  bestsellers  filled  with ingredients  like jazz, culture, life lessons and being a musician, personal transformation and sustainability in MOVING TO HIGHER GROUND:  HOW JAZZ CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE; civil rights riots, insuperable chauvinism, the search for racial identification in America in THE COLOR OF WATER:  A BLACK MAN’S TRIBUTE TO HIS WHITE MOTHER; or have a consciousness raising of living the life you were meant to live as portrayed in DREAMS OF MY FATHER:  A STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE add a dash of cross generational creative spiritual journeys amidst the Civil Rights and Counterculture movements of the 50’s and 60’s  in her father’s life it was a passion and dedication to notes and in her life she had fallen in love with the sound of words and jazz, you would be reading A SONG FROM MY FATHER:  A CREATIVE JOURNEY OF RACE AND LEGACY.

In this lyrical, sentimental, and compelling memoir, the daughter of a Creole father and a white American mother searches for her voice and a sustainable creative meaning to her life as a Multiracial American.  It begins in New York in the 1950s on the Upper Westside where her father’s music career as an accomplished  Jazz composer/arranger and band leader take off and who wrote a song for her when she was three years old that inspires a creative spiritual journey in Los Angeles California in the 1960 decade..

The memoir will be divided into five parts of a song:

~ Part One – Prelude will begin with a grace note of appreciation to my father.  Jazz as an Imitation of American Life will be a narrative of the author’s life  living immersed in 60’s Watts Riots and how the jazz world became her refuge and salvation.  Feature an article entitled THE UNRECOGNIZED TITAN by Leonard Feather, DOWNBEAT Magazine Feburary, 1966

~  Part Two  –  Measures – will lyrically capture how the author’s exposure to jazz rehearsals and interactions with musicians and writers provided a catalyst to living a creative life as a writer no matter what.  It is what one has to do to live with music or will die with noise and chaos.

~ Part Three – Chorus – will chronicle what the author discovered how mindfulness meditation and improvisation are the elements in jazz that musicians  used to make it through the strife and still expressing oneself as a way of coping and dealing with racism and chauvinism and hostility to be present and lean into her life actualizing a sense of serenity, a peace that thrives on understanding and acceptance. with grace

~ Part Four ~ Bridges – • Homecoming  the author was living in San Francisco, when she found out in November of 1989 that both of her parents were sick and I decided to come home to New York.  On her father’s deathbed the author had a chance to talk intimately with her father and tell him how miserable she felt because she was not living the life she felt was meant for her and wanted him to show her how and if he ever thought she had talent to write.  We came to an understanding before he died and I forgave him liberating us to transition opening his heart to die.

~ Part Five CODA – Finding My Way  – the author discovers the Gibson guitar her father kept for her in the basement and when opening it she realized that he kept all of my poems and journals nestled between the guitar and sheet music and a note he wrote ~ To My Daughter ~ I always knew you could write your heart out and I wrote a song for you to help you to discover that you cannot live without exploring and developing her gifts.

 

The memoir has approximately 75,000 words to date. The manuscript will be completed twelve months after receipt of the advance to help defray editing and publishing costs. It will be written under the pseudonym of Jannat Marie.

musical_note_clip_art_12518

 

Copyright 2011-2014  by Jannat Marie/Jazzybeatchick. All rights Reserved.

This material has been copyrighted, feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks or added to websites; please do not change the original content and please provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name or visual artist @ http://jazzybeatchick.com your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

Jazz Mindfulness Improv Conversations ~ Improv on the Brain ~ The Unspoken Language study of Charles Limb by Nick Zagorski

“Unlike during spoken conversation, when processing music, the brain shuts down areas linked to meaning and activates areas linked to syntax and structure. This allows musicians to focus on playing and responding to music within an intuitive framework. “We think that to be creative, you have to have this weird dissociation in your frontal lobe,” says Limb. “One area turns on, and a big area shuts off, so that you’re not inhibited, so that you’re willing to make mistakes, so that you’re not constantly shutting down all these new generative impulses.” Discoveries such as these in musical neuroscience lead to a better understanding of how the brain innovates and can help scientists develop new treatments for neural disorders.”  Music, the Unspoken Language by Trinica Sampson 2/20/2014 for The Utne Reader Blog:  Cure Ignorance

 

My neuroscience training and research on Mindfulness Improv in jazz and as a way of living in the present and facing the challenges that come into our lives i.e., cancer, losing your job, tapping into your inner vision of who you are, I discovered these studies and wanted to share them th you as I write my breast cancer survival story.  These studies are hidden treasures giving us a glimpse of our inner life.  This is an article that explains neuroscience and improvisation by Nick Zagorski. Tout de suite…Peace Out!  JBC 😎

Jazz Improv The Unspoken Language
Jazz Improv The Unspoken Language

Through his studies of the brain “on jazz,” music-loving otolaryngologist Charles Limb aims to unravel the mind’s secrets of creativity.

By Nick Zagorski | Photo by Keith Weller

Watch a video about Charles Limb and his studies.
David Kane had never played keyboard quite like this. Sure, the 53-year-old musician and composer had experienced his share of cramped recording studios and poorly tuned pianos during his 37-year career. But those inconveniences paled in comparison to this session. Kane lay prostrate in an MRI tube, with a miniature electronic keyboard perched on his knees. He relied on a set of mirrors to visualize his fingers on the keys.

“Physically, it wasn’t too uncomfortable,” he jokes today, “but for my creative space, it was horrible.” Kane, though, persevered and played some jazz, in the name of music—and science. For right outside the MRI machine, scientist Charles Limb stared intently at a computer monitor, observing Kane’s brain activity as he played a combination of pre-written and improvised melodies. Limb’s goal? No less than trying to unravel the secrets of human creativity.

Images of a brain scan by Charles Limb
Images of a brain scan by Charles Limb

Three-dimensional surface projection of activations and deactivations associated with improvisation during jazz. Illustration courtesy Charles Limb.

“How do the legends, musicians like John Coltrane, get up on stage and improvise music for an hour or sometimes more?” asks Limb, a professor of otolaryngology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and an adjunct faculty member at Peabody. “How do they produce masterpiece after masterpiece without any preparation?”

Answering those questions appears daunting, as creativity may be the most enigmatic component of the human brain. But with the aid of sensitive imaging equipment, Limb and his collaborator Allen R. Braun at the National Institutes of Health have started gathering some tantalizing clues about the mind’s creative process.

“During improv, the brain deactivates the area involved in self-censoring, while cranking up the region linked with self-expression,” Limb explains. “Essentially, a musician shuts down his inhibitions and lets his inner voice shine through.”

It doesn’t take long to understand the roots of Limb’s ambitious endeavor. If the latest issues of Bass Player, Downbeat, and Electronic Musician spread across his desk don’t give it away, a short conversation about anything music-related certainly will. He is not shy to admit: “I’m a self-professed music addict.”

“This work provides us with another way we can relate musical creativity and improv to students. Maybe someday we can even apply these and future studies to create an environment that is more conducive to improvisation.” — Michael Formanek, Jazz Studies faculty

A talented saxophonist—he directed a jazz band while an undergraduate at Harvard and played at local restaurants during medical school at Yale—Limb is also a composer, studio engineer, music historian, and collector (with an instrument library that includes a Rhodes piano and a Chapman stick). In his rare free time away from his cochlear implant surgeries and family life, Limb shares his passion for music by writing magazine articles and speaking at symposia, on topics ranging from the potential damage of loud music on hearing, to Thomas Edison’s ability to invent a phonograph in spite of his deafness.

Music’s seductive power, according to Limb, is that it embodies the same principles as life itself. “Life and music are both equal parts rational and emotional,” he says. “Fundamentally, music is purely mathematical. Guitar strings, drum heads, even the human voice box, they all generate sound at defined, periodic frequencies; but when you hear all those sounds intertwined in music, it is truly an emotional experience.”

In the halls of Peabody however, Limb focuses on the rational side of music. For the past three years he has been an adjunct professor in the Computer Music Department, a discipline that explores the intersection of music, humans, and machine. Limb offers seminar courses on how researchers use computers to understand the role of the brain in music perception and production.

Limb also uses his Peabody connections to tap music students to join his lab at the Medical Institutions, a lab that also includes Hopkins students from otolaryngology and neuroscience. The mix offers a diverse range of expertise for looking into the neural basis of music.

Limb’s work in the area began in 2003, after he took a fellowship with Braun at the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). Braun’s lab was using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to track how the brain processes language and how disorders like stroke disrupt speech. “That led me to think that we could use this same approach to study people while they were doing musical things,” Limb says.

It turned out that Braun was also a connoisseur of music, especially jazz, and had in fact been mulling a similar approach, so he quickly approved the idea. Their first project tested if musical training might affect the brain’s architecture, a hypothesis that proved to hold true. When both musicians and non-musicians were presented with a series of rhythmic patterns, only the musicians activated a portion of the left side of the brain associated with language comprehension. “Basically, musicians, do indeed ‘hear’ music differently than other individuals,” says Limb. “It’s almost like a second language.”

The pair of jazz-loving scientists then tackled a more ambitious plan. From its long, impromptu riffs to the tradition of “trading fours,” jazz has long been synonymous with improvisation. While other studies had focused on what happens in the brain when a person listens to music, few had looked at brain activity when music is being spontaneously composed. So, they figured, why not try to analyze jazz improvisation?

Admittedly, the logistics were daunting. Limb and Braun needed to figure out how to get a musician to play an instrument containing no magnetic parts while lying inside a cramped MRI tube. They overcame the technical issue with the help of a California engineer who custom designed a miniature, non-magnetic keyboard and a system of mirrors so the player could see the modified keyboard resting on his knees. Through his connections at Peabody and the Baltimore-D.C. jazz community, Limb then found six trained jazz pianists, including Kane, who were willing to serve as volunteers.

The musicians were asked to perform four different exercises while lying in the fMRI machine. First they played the C-major scale. Then they were asked to improvise on the scale. Next, they played an original blues melody (composed by Limb) that they had memorized, with a pre-recorded jazz quartet playing in the background. Finally, they were set free to improvise their own tune with the same recorded quartet.

When it came time to analyze the brain scans, Limb and Braun found strikingly similar patterns during improvisation—whether with the simple C scale or longer riffs with the jazz quartet. The brain turned off areas linked to self-monitoring and inhibition and turned on those that let self-expression flow. In addition, the brain regions involved with all the senses lit up during improvisation, indicating a heightened state of awareness—the performers literally taste, smell, and feel the air around them. Most fascinating about this aspect of the scans was their uncanny similarity to patterns seen during deep REM sleep, creating a tantalizing notion of a connection between improvisation and dreaming.

Of course, these results naturally resonated with trained musicians like Kane and Michael Formanek, professor of Jazz Studies at Peabody and an improviser. “When I start improvising, I definitely feel like I’m ‘going into a zone,’ so to speak, getting to a place where I’m not actively thinking about notes and rhythm but rather just taking in what’s around me,” says Formanek.

“It’s a strange little balance you have to achieve,” adds Kane about this altered state of improv consciousness. “You can’t have full judgment, because if you start thinking your improvisation stinks or is great, you’ll hinder your own creativity.”

Energized by his findings, Limb is eager to use music in future studies as a means for better understanding creativity. “I think our study highlights that you can address your most ambitious questions systematically,” he says. “And in the future there’s no reason we can’t ask other pertinent neurological questions like where musical talent really comes from, and how continued playing improves our performance.”

Limb is not shy about discussing the potential for such studies in his seminar courses. His goal: to excite and invigorate the next generation (of musicians and non-musicians alike) to pursue such questions.

Formanek, who teaches jazz bass and jazz history, agrees that the science behind music could be a useful educational tool for music initiates—like many of the students who come for classes at the Peabody Preparatory. “This work provides us with another way we can relate musical creativity and improv to students and kick-start them into thinking about music, and what kinds of events may trigger certain responses,” he says. “Maybe someday we can even apply these and future studies to create an environment that is more conducive to improvisation.”

But will attempts to quantify musical talent demystify the creative process? Limb doesn’t think so. People in the jazz world have already gravitated to his work and have given quite positive feedback. “Just because you understand how something works does not strip it of its beauty,” he says. “In some ways, knowing how creativity forms, the combination of chemical reactions, makes it even more remarkable.”

Functional imaging of music could have practical applications as well. As a cochlear surgeon, Limb envisions designing a music-based hearing test sensitive enough to detect hearing loss at its earliest stages, or to detect minor auditory defects that standard tests may miss. Such a diagnostic may be especially useful to assess deafness in young children or people recovering from strokes—those who have trouble communicating and thus cannot respond to standard tests.

A music-based diagnostic may even entice musicians, many of whom are surprisingly reluctant to have their hearing assessed, Limb has found. “Musicians often work in environments that are potentially quite damaging to their ears,” and incidences of hearing loss and tinnitus (buzzing in the ears in the absence of sounds) are on the rise. “Yet so few of the musicians I know have formally checked their hearing,” he says. “And one big reason is they don’t want doctors putting any tubes in their ears for fear of damage.”

Ultimately, says Limb, the imaging studies that he and Braun are pursuing can be extended to art forms that emphasize other senses, such as writing or painting, to compare brain activities and see if spontaneity can somehow be generalized. Gaining such knowledge will have broad implications, he notes, since improvisation isn’t limited to the arts; it’s an integral part of daily life.

“People improvise every day in their conversations or actions,” points out filmmaker and Peabody alumnus Michael Lawrence (BM ’70, Guitar), who plans to feature Limb in his upcoming documentary on Johann Sebastian Bach (another renowned musical improviser). “So with this landmark study, Charles has begun to define what it means to be human.”

Reprint by Science writer Nick Zagorski writes from Bethesda, Md. FALL 2008

 

rhythm primer rest

Copyright 2011-2014  by Jannat Marie/Jazzybeatchick. All rights Reserved.

This material has been copyrighted, feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks or added to websites; please do not change the original content and please provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name or visual artist @ http://jazzybeatchick.com your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

 

 

Jazz on Canvas ~ Under the Influence ~ In Pursuit of a Happy Ending

“Perhaps you are unaware of the fact that you are the customized expression of a loving God.  He has wired you through some genetic mechanism we do not yet understand.  You have been endowed with a unique mix of competencies and the drive to use them in pursuit of some outcome of unrivalled personal importance.  Your life has meaning built into it.  Effectively you have an exciting, challenging, achievable destiny if you will, but discover and embrace who you are destined to be.” ~  Arthur F. Miller

 

in-pursuit-of-happiness
in-pursuit-of-happiness

We all like to believe that we are autonomous beings, that our personalities belong to us and we are separate in mind and spirit from behaviors of others and their influence upon us. But in real time we live under the influence of everything and everyone around us. Dad always emphasized and drummed into us to “be your own person don’t follow others mindlessly, your purpose in life is unique to you and your friends may want to play, but follow your heart, it is the best navigator to following your North Star.  And at the time, I really didn’t get what he meant by it.

 

“Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn. They teach you there’s a boundary line to music. But, man, there’s no boundary line to art.” ~ Charlie Parker 

I was raised believing that in order to survive I had to live in disguise. When I was very young, the sanctity of my room is where I had hopes, dreams, values and aspirations.  When I left my room I had to leave them behind like my books and other treasures tucked away on a shelf nestled in the opposite corner of my bedroom.  I believe with all of my heart Dad loved me, but I caved and bartered my own thoughts and feeling when he told me what I was supposed to want.  I sacrificed what I really wanted because Dad tells me that being a doctor is where it’s at.  The early part of my journey amidst the jazz world I would hole up in my room discovering and accepting fully the gifts and talents that God gave me.  I would let go of my family “persona” to free my imagination tapping into my personal sense of purpose and who I really was.  Early mornings I would lie in bed hearing the music climb the stairs, it had a purpose, it had an intent – it was harmonic, it had a rhythm that grabbed my heart and rearrange the beats to prepare me to go to my desk open my curtains and let the burst of the morning gently touch my face.  Jazz was transformative.

I was paralyzed by the feeling of losing my father if I chose to follow my star.  I needed for him to tell me things would be okay.  That he would help me, encourage me, teach me the way things are in the world I was living in.  How did he do it?  Every time I tried to step out of the role he was creating for me, he would resist.  So I would withdraw and try to convince myself that he knows what’s best for me.  I was so conflicted when he would teach me how to sight sing music, take me to his rehearsals and ask what instrument I wanted to learn how to play.  There were definitely rules of conduct and engagement with others.  There were two distinct behaviors, one associated with our home and private life and the one associated with our public life.  I spent most of the time in my room.  There the only rule was to be myself.

Beautiful Pastel Pop of Color Painting
Beautiful Pastel Pop of Color Painting

Our outer selves are in constant flux.  Folks come into our lives and go.  We move from place to place.  We are creating and establishing in every living moment.  When taking a peek at our inner selves it always remains the same.  Our awareness is what changes because we are in touch with our true self.  It was inheriting breast cancer that caused me to embark on this journey.  That was the biggest game changer with respect to finding and identifying how jazz is part of my true nature.  When I think about all of the setbacks or side effects that are related to cancer I play dad’s album or listen to Eric Dolphy’s Out to Lunch or Coltrane or Miles or Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra I am reminded of being in my room laying on my bed as a child.  Now if I am not in balance with my  true self, I stop, crank up the sounds, put on the cool shades and dance around building up the energy to write because I am re-aligned and grateful for the smallest things, like the sun, moon stars, and of course, the life thing.  Some folks say that we were not born with an instruction manual.  Parents are guiding us, but, now I know I am going to set sail to follow my North Star.

Somehow, I made it through the tumultuous 60’s cultural and civil rights revolutions.  I believed that suffered greatly from it, emotionally and physically which made it conducive for Cancer to enter and uproot my life. Worst of all, i lost my rents.  For all intents and purposes, those years and awful experiences could have irreparably broken me.  However, the jazz lessons I learned healed and transformed me guiding me to the other side a better person for it all.  Rather than becoming a broken, bitter and mistrustful person, I found a compassion and tenderness within me I never knew existed.  I found optimism and joy in the little things, the ability to laugh and find humor in just about anything.  And through that, I also discovered the will and ability to start my life over, to go back to school and learn a new vocation helping others find comfort from their own woes.

The secret habits of Jazz living allows us to coexist with folks around us and the situations in which we find ourselves immersed, we have the power to choose a mutually beneficial and filled with compassion and understanding of one another.  The true blessing is that we can take our adversities, learn from them, and transform them to effect a positive outcome not just for ourselves, but for those around us.  So let’s get to it, pack your bags, get your shades on ‘cause we are gonna set sail and discover that jazz is transformative in everyday life.  It’s all about awareness…How about you, do you remember a turning point in your life?  Peace out!  JBC 😎

Japanese translation for meaning

Copyright 2011-2014  by Jannat Marie/Jazzybeatchick. All rights Reserved.

This material has been copyrighted, feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks or added to websites; please do not change the original content and please provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name or visual artist @ http://jazzybeatchick.com your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

 

 

Riffshot in Ur Ear Jazz Goes Back to the Future…

Jazz is an intensified feeling of nonchalance. ~ Françoise Sagan

Jazz debuted as an American form of musical expression at the beginning of the 20thCentury.  Life became expansive, universal, and prolific capturing color, timbre and reflected shades of life experiences through sound. Jazz provided the most influential approach to music for all time.  Jazz applied improvisational self expressions and hot rhythms of life infused with harmonic manipulations through solo and group performances. A breath of freedom  giving birth to contemporary and exciting new soulful sounds that examined and redefined the old and familiar music. Jazz spans the spectrum — from soothing background music to an art form where sounds challenge and require unwavering attention.  It is a beautiful thing to hear deep emotion as conveyed in John Coltrane’s Alabama or Duke Ellington’s Come Sunday.  Louis Armstrong’s Stardust was sheer momentousness.  Give a listen.  Where were you and what comes to mind when you listen, was it at home, in school, or in a Woody Allen movie?  Peace Out!  

Copyright © 2013 by Jazzybeatchick. All rights reserved.

This material has been copyrighted,  feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks or added to websites; please do not change the original content and, provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

RiffShots: Jazz as the Object of My Transformation

 

Kadinsky and the Spiritual in Art
Kadinsky and the Spiritual in Art

“Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn. They teach you there’s a boundary line to music. But, man, there’s no boundary line to art.” ~ Charlie Parker 

I was raised believing that in order to survive I had to live in disguise. When I was very young , the sanctity of my room is where I had hopes, dreams, values and aspirations.  When I left my room I had to leave them behind like my books and other treasures tucked away on a shelf nestled in the opposite corner of my bedroom.  I believe with all of my heart Dad loved me, but I caved and bartered my own thoughts and feeling when he told me what I was supposed to want.  I sacrificed what I really wanted because Dad tells me that being a doctor is where it’s at.  The early part of my journey amidst the jazz world I would hole up in my room discovering and accepting fully the gifts and talents that God gave me.  I would let go of my family “persona” to free my imagination tapping into my personal sense of purpose and who I really was.  Early mornings I would lie in bed hearing the music climb the stairs, it had a purpose, it had an intent – it was harmonic, it had a rhythm that grabbed my heart and rearrange the beats to prepare me to go to my desk open my curtains and let the burst of the morning gently touch my face.  Jazz was transformative.

I was paralyzed by the feeling of losing my father if I chose to follow my star.  I needed for him to tell me things would be okay.  That he would help me, encourage me, teach me the way things are in the world I was living in.  How did he do it?  Every time I tried to step out of the role he was creating for me, he would resist.  So I would withdraw and try to convince myself that he knows what’s best for me.  I was so conflicted when he would teach me how to sight sing music, take me to his rehearsals and ask what instrument I wanted to learn how to play.  There were definitely rules of conduct and engagement with others.  There were two distinct behaviors, one associated with our home and private life and the one associated with our public life.  I spent most of the time in my room.  There the only rule was to be myself.

Our outer selves are in constant flux.  Folks come into our lives and go.  We move from place to place.  We are creating and establishing in every living moment.  When taking a peek at our inner selves it always remains the same.  Our awareness is what changes because we are in touch with our true self.  It was inheriting breast cancer that caused me to embark on this journey.  That was the biggest game changer with respect to finding and identifying how jazz is part of my true nature.  When I think about all of the setbacks or side effects that are related to cancer I play dad’s album or listen to Eric Dolphy’s Out to Lunch or Coltrane or Miles or Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra I am reminded of being in my room laying on my bed as a child.  Now if I am not in balance with my  true self, I stop, crank up the sounds, put on the cool shades and dance around building up the energy to write because I am re-aligned and grateful for the smallest things, like the sun, moon stars, and of course, the life thing.  Some folks say that we were not born with an instruction manual.  Parents are guiding us, but, now I know I am going to set sail to follow my North Star.  So let’s get to it, pack your bags, get your shades on ‘cause we are gonna set sail and discover that jazz is transformative in everyday life.  It’s all about awareness…How about you, do you remember a turning point in your life?  Peace out! .

Copyright © 2013 by Jazzybeatchick. All rights reserved.

This material has been copyrighted,  feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks or added to websites; please do not change the original content and, provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

RiffShot ~ Part III ~ On the Border Between Sound & Music

RIFF Jazz shows us how to find a groove with other people, how to hold on to it, and how to develop it. Sweets Edison, Count Basie’s most original and soulful trumpet player, once told me that if a phrase felt good enough, bands in Kansas City might repeat that same phrase over and over for thirty or forty minutes without stopping. Musicians and dancers fought to see who could get to the deepest groove and, once there, make it last the longest. Repeated phrases like these are called riffs…. Wynton Marsalis, Moving to Higher Ground

The definition of a BREAK in jazz is a moment of great intensity that the musician must maintain the time flow for the entire orchestra or band when performing their solo without rhythm section.  One mistake with maintaining the time flow during your solo improvisation you will mess up the song and the band will want to kill you. Basically everyone has been mentally keeping the timing and rhythm flow since the beginning of the song and the break. Usually breaks are one or two bars long.  Dizzy Gillespie’s break “A Night in Tunisia” was a four-bar long. Now that is considered a long time frame to perform a solo cause he is playing without a safety net – i.e., accompaniment.  But the Masters of Jazz like James Moody, Miles and Dizzy, John Coltrane had the chops  and grace to maintain the timekeeping.  I remember sitting in a rehearsal keeping time in my head.  Dad was smiling and keeping time with his head bobbing and the musicians in the bandstand following along , suddenly Dad motioned toward his head (in jazz this means “HEAD CHART”) the band begins to play the melody on cue.  It was absolutely amazing to witness sheer acoustic poetry in motion.  Check out this video that demonstrates the true meaning and artistry of a BREAK and solo performance.  When I apply Breaks and improvisation elements to my daily life, I find that I am engaged in the synchronicity and spontaneity in my relationships.  When I deal with my doctors with respect to my health, suddenly I am transformed and healed.  Now I approach breast cancer using alternative heath techniques where the cancer is the Break and the “Head Chart” represents when the health professionals jump in and heal on time every time.   You may have to work harder to keep a good attitude, but remember, attitude and faith in God is the key to your wellness. As you keep that positive attitude of faith and expectancy, even in times of adversity, God will deliver you and move you forward into the destiny He has prepared for you!   Take a few and check out this video highlighting Dizzy playing A Night in Tunisia

Hip hop fans should recognize the very beginning of this song as one of the many samples in Gang Starr‘s 1989 debut single “Words I Manifest.” this track is simply amazing. everything from Dizzie’s amazing trumpet playing to the infectious sound of the vibes that are sprinkled throughout the track. Dizzie Gillespie is famous for being one of the founders of Bebop, modern (along with Charlie Parker) and Cuban influenced Jazz. he died in January of 1993 but left his legacy behind. the pictures on this video show his face looking like that of a blowfish. his face looked like this because he never had any formal instruction on playing the trumpet but learned to play it anyways which damaged his face. you may recognize the style of trumpet he is playing; horn pointing upward. this was his signature and he was the very first to do this. he is also considered by many the first ever beat nick. Enjoy!  Erik Boyd

Copyright © 2013 by Jazzybeatchick. All rights reserved.

This material is has been copyrighted,  feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks and added to websites; please do not change the content, provide credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

The Object of a BREAK in Jazz Living

A BREAK in Jazz is an intense moment that the musician must maintain the time flow for the entire orchestra or band.  If you make a mistake and mess up the break not only would the band want to murder you, you have ruined the song because everyone has mentally kept the timing and rhythm flow since the beginning of the song.  Typically breaks are one or two bars long.  Dizzy Gillespie’s “A Night in Tunisia” features a four-bar break. It is a long time frame to perform a solo flight because he is playing without a safety net – accompaniment.  But the Masters of Jazz, i.e. Dizzy, John Coltrane had the chops or innate ability and grace to maintain the timekeeping.  I remember sitting in a rehearsal keeping time in my head.  Dad was smiling and keeping time with his head and the musicians in the bandstand following along , suddenly Dad motioned toward his head (in jazz is HEAD CHART) the band begins to play the melody on cue.  It was absolutely amazing to witness sheer acoustic poetry in motion.  Check out this video that demonstrates the true meaning and artistry of a BREAK.  When I apply these elements to my daily life, I find that I am engaged in the synchronicity and spontaneity of the health care team and me.  Suddenly I am transformed and healed.  I am approaching breast cancer using alternative heath techniques where the cancer is the Break and the Head Chart are the health professionals jump in and heal on time every time.   You may have to work harder to keep a good attitude, but remember, attitude and faith in God is the key to your wellness. As you keep that positive attitude of faith and expectancy, even in times of adversity, God will deliver you and move you forward into the destiny He has prepared for you!   Peace Out!

Hip hop fans should recognize the very beginning of this song as one of the many samples in Gang Starr‘s 1989 debut single “Words I Manifest.” this track is simply amazing. everything from Dizzie’s amazing trumpet playing to the infectious sound of the vibes that are sprinkled throughout the track. Dizzie Gillespie is famous for being one of the founders of Bebop, modern (along with Charlie Parker) and Cuban influenced Jazz. he died in January of 1993 but left his legacy behind. the pictures on this video show his face looking like that of a blowfish. his face looked like this because he never had any formal instruction on playing the trumpet but learned to play it anyways which damaged his face. you may recognize the style of trumpet he is playing; horn pointing upward. this was his signature and he was the very first to do this. he is also considered by many the first ever beat nick. Enjoy!  Erik Boyd

Copyright © 2013 by Jazzybeatchick. All rights reserved.

This material is has been copyrighted,  feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks and added to websites; please do not change the content, provide credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

RiffShot JOHN COLTRANE Alabama

 

I referenced this selection in post Note #180  listening to get a feel of what my world was like in “A Year of Musical Thinking.”  I learned to just listen sometimes to discern the nuance of the sound and the emotions that prevailed in Jazz during the 1960’s.  Peace Out!

 

RiffShot ~ John Coltrane – In A Sentimental Mood

 

 

Dad always played this on the speakers he built giving stereophonic sound emenating  from ceiling to the floor  4 ft in width in our family room.  It sounded spectacular on a warm L.A. Sunday afternoon with a cross breeze of serenity.  Now that’s Jazz!  Peace Out!