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

December 24, 2016 Jazz Improvisation 6 Comments

Jazz improvisation recordings, 2016

recordingThis page contains my jazz improvisation recordings from 2016. 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

DECEMBER 24, 2016

My weekly jam session group has been playing "Beautiful Love" lately, so I thought I'd use it for one of my jazz improvisation recordings. I don't have an Aebersold play along track for this, so I ended up using a backing track provided by LearnJazzStandards.com, which you can find here on YouTube.

iwasdoingallright - audio clip Beautiful Love

Although my endurance has actually been pretty good lately, this clip comes at the end of my practice session and I can't quite hold on for the full two choruses. Fade out to the rescue!

JULY 3, 2016

In my daily practice routine, I always try to set aside some time to play along with actual recordings. This gets me out of my comfort zone as I try to blend in, as though I'm another musician in the band. I've been doing this for several years, but as my ability to play by ear has improved, the results are finally worth sharing. Actually, I should let you be the judge of that...

iwasdoingallright - audio clip Airelle Besson - The Painter and the Boxer

In the clip above, I'm improvising along with Paris-based trumpeter, Airelle Besson's, recording of "The Painter and the Boxer," from her recent album, "Radio One." This track popped up in Apple Music, as part of their "A-List: Jazz" playlist. When it came on I thought... "ooh, that sounds interesting," so I picked up my horn and started recording. The clip captures my attempt to improvise while listening to the track for the very first time.

I hadn't heard of Airelle Besson prior to this track, but I've since learned a bit more about her and I've listened to the entire "Radio One" album a couple of times already. If you like what you hear in my recording, you should definitely give her album a listen. As you might imagine, it sounds a lot better without me getting in the way.

iwasdoingallright - audio clip Aebersold #44, Autumn Leaves

Before you listen, I should state that the audio quality of this recording is even worse than usual. I know, I didn't think that was possible either! My guess is that I was standing too close to the microphone. Or maybe I accidentally turned on Garageband's kazoo filter. In any case, try to pretend that I have a warm smoky tone. And while you're at it, you could pretend that I didn't miss those notes at the end of the solo.

I like that I took my time in this solo, without trying to play a bunch of notes, as is sometimes tempting at slower tempos. There is a brief sixteenth-note run, but I cut it short after deciding that it wasn't necessary. Other than that, I think it's ok. I won't have a chance to record for a while, but hopefully I'll be able to post a few more clips before the year is over.

Comment by Roman

I thought Autumn Leaves was really great!

Comment by Rick

Thanks, Roman!

Comment by kevin O'Brien

Love how you have progressed. I been using this software now for since January.

It has helped me so much. So encouraging ti follow your progress as it helps me gauge my own progress as well. You have come a long way since those first recordings. The last track here was very good.

Comment by Rick

Thanks for the feedback, Kevin. I'm glad to hear that you're getting some use out of the ear trainer!

Comment by giuseppe

Hi Rick,

Thanks a lot for this web site and all the informations you are sharing, those are really help my development and are giving me the right drive to keep going with my studies. I have to tell you that the latest records are lovely and your musicality grown up a lot since the previous records, probably your ear now is totally free and you can focus just on the music and this is evident> I would like to hear some new stuff and read some more about you but I see that you stopped doing it, so I'm just asking you Why?

Thanks a lot again

Comment by Rick

Hi Giuseppe,

Thank you for the nice comments. I intended to record in 2017, but due to travel, house remodeling, and moving to NYC, I never got around to it (you can read about all of that in my latest blog post). It will take a few months before I can setup recording equipment at my new home, but hopefully I'll be able to record something later this year.

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