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

August 21, 2011 Jazz Improvisation 10 Comments

Jazz improvisation recordings, 2011

recordingThis page contains my jazz improvisation recordings from 2011. 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

AUGUST 21, 2011

iwasdoingallright - audio clip Aebersold #59, Caravan

For the past few months, I've been playing weekly (and weakly!) with that in-house jam session from a couple of years ago. We've played "Caravan" a few times, and since I haven't totally hated my playing, I thought it would be a good tune to record and share on this site. No, this recording isn't of a group performance. It's just me and an Aerbersold track, and actually, it was quite a bit more challenging than playing with live musicians. With a live group of musicians, I can play a short phrase and leave some space for the rhythm section to respond with a rhythmic hit or a variation on my riff. Obviously, the recording won't respond to my playing, so those same short phrases end up sounding kind of empty and pointless.

After a few takes, I settled on the two choruses that you'll hear in this recording. As you might notice, my chops sound pretty tired. I've been having a lot of problems with chop fatigue lately and I'm not sure what to do about it. I'll also talk more about that in my upcoming anniversary article.

APRIL 25, 2011

iwasdoingallright - audio clip Aebersold #53, Joy Spring

It's been over six months since I shared my last jazz improvisation recording, so here are two full choruses of Clifford Brown's "Joy Spring." I first tried playing "Joy Spring" back when I was in college, but I really struggled to play over the shifting chord progressions. This past weekend I decided to give it another try and was pleasantly surprised to find that I could keep up with the changes and play something that didn't sound entirely tragic. I think that sums up the two choruses that you'll hear in my recording from last night: not entirely tragic.

The first chorus is a bit sparse and somewhat pleasant sounding. In the second chorus I thought I'd channel my inner Clifford Brown and try some faster lines near the end. Unfortunately, it appears that I don't have an inner Clifford Brown. Or if I do, he hasn't practiced in a very long time. The first of the fast phrases is actually pretty good, but by the third and final attempt it's downright comedic as the notes spill out of my horn in a jumbled mess.

Comment by cyril auge

That is an impressive song. I have been listening to you for a while and this song is really spectacular

thank you for the shoz

Comment by Christian

Thanks for your great sense of humor and perserverance!

You've got a nice sound and swing. It's been years since I played jazz trumpet. Thanks for putting this out there!

Comment by Tom

You're swingin' in this. I like the sparseness of the first chorus and the rhythms. It has a very cool, laid back feel that made me wait for you to open it up and risk a bit, which you did. The first two fast runs were good and I wanted more. Okay, agreed on third but you could hear that it was very close. Your ears were working because the note choices worked. Wondering if you've ever tried to analyze a line like that third one. It might help to slow it down in your head then play it slowly, fluidly. I bet it would clean up nicely and become a staple of your vocabulary. You sound great.

Comment by Dave Evans

Hi there,

Ive just come across your blog, as I was thinking of producing one myself, having been practising for only one year now. Your sound is brilliant, and one I aspire to! Its great to come across people within the online community who share a passion for jazz and trumpet playing.

Can I ask which software/hardware you record with and any tips you may have for improv and listening?

Many thanks

Dave Evans

Comment by Rick

Hi Dave,

Thank you for the compliments. You can read more about my recording equipment here: http://www.iwasdoingallright.com/about-me/152/


Comment by raun nelson

You have a great rhythmnic sense a phrasing...dont over analyze yourself or put down your playing!! Music is to be enjoyed.

Comment by Ed Baird

Rick--I really liked those Caravan choruses. And I second what Tom said on Joy spring.

Comment by Felix

You can be a little over analytical. However I tend to be analytical when I listen to all music as well. In my humble opinion Caravan is a lot simpler tune and set of changes than Joy Spring. Caravan is a simple 16 bar A section minor groove in F followed with a simple 8 bar B section of a cycle of 5ths/4ths that returns back to an 8 bar repeat of the A section. You have the right idea about leaving room and playing sparce and with less volume and intensity. Then you build your solo's by increasing your volume and divisions of the pulse. There is forward motion and continuity. You are pushing and propelling your ideas forward in a coherent form with drive. Joy Spring has a tricky line and is even hard to sing, let alone play at a moderate to fast tempo. We can all do better and improve what we are doing but overall your performances on these two tunes were not bad. Dave Liebman insulted me in a jazz workshop back in the 1980's and hurt my feelings about my playing when I was living in Brooklyn and in the Army band. It motivated me.

Ciao, its a really great site you made. i use it for eartraining..and look a lil around on your posts. everytime you wrote about u and your playing -- you talk with a negative "backingtone". You dont have to. You play great! really - dont let the clifford brown out - let your self out - great playing.


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