Seamus Blake’s latest album, Superconductor, is a pleasing blend of electric and acoustic music.  This song finds the leader’s saxophone and voice running through effects to set a space-age mood.




Here’s a mellow bossa nova from bassist Walter Booker, off of the Cannonball Adderley record Inside Straight.  It’s technically a live album, though rather than bring recording equipment to a club, an audience was brought into the studio to applaud solos and generally add a different kind of energy and ambiance to the date.  I have been involved in projects like this before, and I find it can help some musicians let go of their anxiety about performing in a sterile studio environment.

For thousands of years music has been a “live” art form, and musicians naturally play with greater enthusiasm and soul when they’re in front of appreciative listeners.  Listening to a record can never match the experience of being present while music is created, so please go see live music whenever you get a chance!


Crazy Rhythm (Oscar Pettiford bassline and solo)

I transcribed this from an old Coleman Hawkins record featuring Oscar Pettiford on bass.  I sometimes show it to students of mine because it’s a nice example of how to compose an effective walking bassline.  Oscar uses a few simple ideas to give motion and color to the harmony, and his timing is impeccable.  The bass solo shows off Oscar’s dexterity and motivic development, as well as presaging the solo style of the next generation of greats like Paul Chambers.  Soon I’ll add a new page to this site that digs deeper into some instructive playing by important bassists, so stay tuned for that.

Crazy Rhythm (OPettiford bassline)Crazy Rhythm (OPettiford bassline) – Score


Here’s a Tadd Dameron tune written over the changes to “Out of Nowhere”, one of only a few of these contrafacts I know (the others being Fats Navarro’s “Nostalgia”, Ornette Coleman’s “Jayne”, and Lennie Tristano’s “317 East 32nd Street”).  Can you think of others based on this chord progression?