This page contains my jazz improvisation recordings from 2006. As you'll hear below, these jazz recordings feature such highlights as cracked notes, poor note choice, unsteady rhythm, and meandering phrases! And that's why recording myself is so important. It's the best way to evaluate my playing and to chart my progress over time. I don't expect that I'll ever become a great jazz trumpet player, but I am anxious to hear how much better I can get with practice. As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions.
DECEMBER 28, 2006
iwasdoingallright - audio clip - Aebersold #40 - "Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise" by Hammerstein & Romberg
This is my final recording of 2006. As you can hear, my range is pretty good throughout. In fact, it didn't take much effort at all to play the A's above the staff. And better yet, I also played 3 or 4 solid C's above the staff during this same recording session --if you've been following along, you know that's quite an accomplishment for me. Unfortunately, those C's were followed by lackluster solos, so I'm saving my C debut for 2007.
OCTOBER 24, 2006
iwasdoingallright - audio clip - C# Dominant 7th... accompanied by my ear trainer!
If you've tried my latest ear trainer, you probably know that I added a rhythm section feature. Currently, the rhythm section feature supports Major7th, Minor7th, Dominant7th, Blues, and Rhythm Changes progressions in any key. It also lets you isolate each part of the rhythm section so you can play with as little or as much accompaniment as you like.
Lately, I've been using the rhythm section feature to work on my less familiar keys, like C# which I'm playing in this clip (C#7 is the trumpet key, it's actually B7 in concert key). When improvising over these less familiar keys, I like to isolate just the bass and hi-hat because it improves my ability to hear what I'm playing.
If you haven't played around with my new ear trainer yet, I encourage you to give it a try!
SEPTEMBER 19, 2006
iwasdoingallright - audio clip - Aebersold #34, "Green Dolphin Street" by Kaper & Washington
This is my second time recording "Green Dolphin Street". The first time I recorded it was just over a year ago. You can listen to that older recording by visiting the 2005 recordings page or by clicking right here: iwasdoingallright - audio clip
I prefer last year's recording due to the simple-song stuff that I threw in. That and the descending run near the end sound more creative to me. But... I must admit that I do prefer how much stronger my upper-range is in this new clip. As I neared the second half of my solo, I felt totally confident that I'd hit those high(er) notes. And, for me, that's really saying something! Of course, it's a relatively new phenomenon so I'm not going to celebrate yet...
UPDATE 9/20/2006 - It's a day later and I just gave my new "Green Dolphin Street" clip another listen. I noticed that I cropped it so close to the beginning of my solo that it's hard to get the feel of things the first time you hear it. Frankly, I was suprised by how bad it sounded the first time through. I listened to it a couple more times and each time it sounded better. Still not great, but definitely less lousy! Unfortunately, I didn't save the original un-cropped track so I can't do anything about it now aside from make excuses ;-)
JULY 23, 2006
iwasdoingallright - audio clip - Aebersold #33, "Speak No Evil" by Wayne Shorter
We're over half-way through the year and this is only my third recording?! I'm really falling behind...
The more I listen to this clip, the less I like it. There are a couple of times where I'm going for an idea and it just doesn't come out right. Those mistakes produce unwanted notes and throw off my rhythm, weakening the overall sound of my solo. But, that's part of the growth process. You need to try things that are outside of your comfort zone. Pushing yourself to play something you've never played before, regardless of the outcome, helps you become a better player. Of course, it would be nice if you don't have to share those goofs with the world.
On the bright side, my upper register is fairly solid in this clip. By upper-register, I'm of course talking about notes just barely above the staff ;-)
MARCH 17, 2006
iwasdoingallright - audio clip - Aebersold #75, "Fifth House" by John Coltrane
This is my new favorite play-a-long track. True to the original Coltrane recording, the A sections start out with a vamp/pedal that provides quite a bit of freedom. You can play the changes, or you can play whatever sounds good to your ears. Then, the bridge swings on through before we get back to the A section groove. About half-way through, the entire tune is played with a swing feel and the pedal is replaced by the actual changes. It all adds up to a play-a-long track with enough energy and variety to remain interesting over several sessions.
This clip has my first instance of triple tonguing in a jazz recording. It's at the 25 second mark (I start on an A in the staff and go up through C E G). I played that run a few times today and got it a lot cleaner prior to this clip. Actually, now that I listen to it, you can barely tell there's any tonguing so I probably shouldn't even mention it. Oh well... better luck next time, I guess.
FEBRUARY 11, 2006
iwasdoingallright - audio clip - Aebersold #12, "I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart" by Duke Ellington
This was my first time improvising to this track. Since I had never played this tune before, and since I didn't have the changes in front of me, I spent the first few choruses figuring things out. During the first chorus, I didn't play at all. Instead, I just listened so I could learn the form and major points of change (if any). During the next chorus or two, I used vocal improvisation to further strengthen my familiarity with the tune. I didn't pick up my horn until I felt reasonably confident in my ability to sing a decent solo. This recording captures the 2nd or 3rd chorus of my trumpet solo.
When learning new tunes, I HIGHLY recommend singing before playing. If you can't sing a decent solo, how do you expect to play one on a tricky instrument?
Update 2/13/06: Whoops, I just realized that I did in fact play this tune before. In fact, I even made a (bad) recording of it last year. Yikes, how quickly the mind goes... Anyway, sing first, play later is still a good idea ;-)