An aspiring jazz trumpet player's blog about jazz improvisation and ear training.

November 14, 2009 Jazz Improvisation 6 Comments

Jazz improvisation recordings, 2009

recordingThis page contains my jazz improvisation recordings from 2009. 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.

All of my jazz improvisation recordings: 2004 - 2005 - 2006 - 2007 - 2008 - 2009 - 2010 - 2011 - 2012 - 2014 - 2015 - 2016 - 2022

NOVEMBER 14, 2009

iwasdoingallright - audio clip Aebersold #15, Cherokee

Eleven months ago, I posted the first recording of me improvising over Cherokee (iwasdoingallright - audio clip). Since that time, I've continued to practice Cherokee once or twice a week, just to keep it in my ears and under my fingers. Regardless of how much I practice, though, it's still a very challenging tune for me at this tempo. I always feel like a runaway train speeding downhill when I attempt these Cherokee solos. It only takes a few tiny pebbles, or in this case a few bad notes, and I jump off the track. This year, at least, it was much harder for me to pick which audio clip to put online since I had about 5 choruses that were probably good enough. That's not to say this clip is actually good (for instance, I don't like the first 8 bars); it's just the most good enough...

By the way, this is my first recording with my new GR 65M mouthpiece. Can you hear any difference? It's probably hard to tell one way or another since the mix between trumpet and backing track varies so much with each of my clips.

AUGUST 18, 2009

iwasdoingallright - audio clip Aebersold #34, Just Friends

When I decided to record "Just Friends" tonight, I thought this would by my second recording with this track. As it turns out, it's actually my third (Here's the first -on flugelhorn- iwasdoingallright - audio clip and here's the second iwasdoingallright - audio clip). My second recording might sound better to most of you, but I prefer this new clip. Unlike the second clip and most of my other recordings, this one was pretty much effortless. No nerves, no tension, no chop problems. Now that's a refreshing change of pace!

It's hard to believe this is only my third recording this year. I guess I could count the bassline clips, but still... I need to get back in the habit of recording myself more often.

MARCH 21, 2009

iwasdoingallright - audio clip Aebersold #11, Watermelon Man - Take 1

Like most of my jazz improvisation recording sessions, I improvised over a few choruses of this track and selected what I thought was my best chorus to share on this site. I liked this recording well enough, but after listening to it a couple of times I felt inspired to try some new ideas. So, about 15 minutes after the above clip was recorded, I picked up my horn and recorded the following:

iwasdoingallright - audio clip Aebersold #11, Watermelon Man - Take 2

The "Take 2" clip actually features two choruses of improvisation, since I couldn't decide which was better. As I think you'll agree, there's more energy in the "Take 2" choruses, both in rhythm and phrasing. This is a direct reaction to my playing in "Take 1" which I thought could have used a little more "oomph"...

You might prefer "Take 1" over "Take 2". Regardless, I think this is a good example of how listening to jazz, even to recordings of our own playing, can help spark new ideas and directions that we can use in future solos.

Comment by Peter

Hi man, I actually really enjoyed both takes, they both had the right mix of 'bluesy' playing and more jazzy interest. Overall I'd say the second take was my favorite, but they're both good, just different.

Keep up the good work!

Comment by Rob

Very good jazz cuts, and enjoyed reading the philosophy, including the stuff about root notes.

This is an extremely useful site which is bound to help jazz players of all types - even us trumpet players.

Comment by Rob

From listening to the two versions of Cherokee I can definitely hear that you have improved in fluency over this tune. In particular you are playing much better over the notoriously tricky bridge.

I don't know whether it is due to the new mouthpiece, but I also think you are also getting a better tone on the newer recording.


Comment by Rick

Thanks for the feedback, Rob. Whenever I play Cherokee, I'm always working to improve the bridge. I've made some progress, but I've also become so fixated with the bridge that it's pretty much all I'm thinking about during the 'A' sections. That's why I don't like the beginning of my solo in the new clip. It lacks focus because I'm already thinking, "I hope I don't mess up the bridge!" I don't fall into this trap as much when I practice Cherokee at slower tempos, but like I said in the post, it's still pretty hard for me to play it up to speed.


Comment by James

Man first I think this website is an EXCELLENT idea. Even if you never got one inch better at trumpet this site is amazing and I'd say worth it. HOWEVER, let me just tell you those Cherokee takes, are night and day....the improvement is drastic! I have a feeling some trumpet player in the future will be sighting this site. And thanks for the love you showed guitar players in ear training section. Sometimes we feel like the poor kid on the block in the jazz world.

Comment by Raun


I have been checking out your website for a couple of month now. Like you, I was away from the horn for about

10 years due to a serious accident I had in which I broke my jaw in 3 places and lost numerous teeth.

Just now starting to get my tone back and have to learn to play with a new embouchure. But your site has provided me with valuable insight, especially the ear training exercises. I was curious as to how much you practice a day. With my day gig and other obligations I am trying to develop a routine. Any thoughts?

Oh, man you sound as good, if not better than a lot of cats I hear. In know way are you a "struggling".

You have improved immensely in a short period of time. Keep it going.


Post a new comment



Your Website (optional)


Security Code: type the numbers you see in the image shown above
Note: Your email address will be used to send you notification if/when your comment is approved for public viewing. Additionally, I will use your email address to contact you if you ask me a direct question. Your email address will not be displayed online, nor will it be used for marketing or any other purpose.