[Dixielandjazz] Music Training - Was Hal Galper

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Fri Feb 21 12:58:08 PST 2003

Pat Cooke wrote about music training (polite snip)

"I have heard so many high school and junior college bands who sound
reasonably good (except for intonation) while they are reading their
parts; but the "jazz" solos are just awful."

Yes, I experienced that when getting my chops back 10 years ago. I would
go down to the open mike nights with all the young (17 to 21) kids at
the local "modern jazz" joints in the Philadelphia - Wilmington area.
These kids were monster players, could read the head on anything, but
had mega trouble putting a coherent solo together when they were up.

Music was Bird, Miles Monk Coltrane Clifford Brown stuff from the Real
Book and they were really monster players until solo time. Why?

IMO it was because they were not grounded in the earlier forms of jazz.
Their ears did not hear like yours or mine. And so they might run
scales, or produce a blizzard of notes, but there was no simple tension
and then release form, nor was there and interesting build of 2nd chorus
after first etc.

I haven't seen Galper's book, but I hope it delves into "how to hear". I
used to tell the kids, when asked, to sing through the horn.

I think man of today's musos and fans just do not hear the melody and
harmonic changes like some of us  older folks do. Who's right? Is there
a right?  I don't know but we're sure having fun doing it our way.

Steve Barbone

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