In my previous post, below, on “Cecil Taylor’s Education & Student Writings” (October 13, 2019), I promised to do my best to type out and share the remaining letters from Taylor to his composer friend Robert Ceely (http://www.ceelymusic.com/Biography.htm). The context for these is discussed in my previous post. They are attached below. We are indebted … Continue reading Cecil Taylor’s Letters to Robert Ceely, Part 2 — 1952-3
About twenty years ago, when I was in my fourth year as chair of the jazz studies program at New England Conservatory as NEC celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of its jazz program, NEC staff writer Rob Schmieder uncovered some interesting history in the archives that shed light on, among many other things, Cecil Taylor’s studies … Continue reading Cecil Taylor’s Education & Student Writings
I’ve been looking forward to sharing this informative interview with Bill Evans for a long time. It seems to me that it contains some valuable and possibly unique insights and details about the compositions and recording of Kind of Blue and Evans’s views on and relationship with Miles Davis. The interview by Bill Goldberg with … Continue reading Bill Evans on Miles Davis and Kind of Blue
I promised to follow up my previous two posts on teaching free improvisation with a list of resources for teachers who want to explore this area and are, perhaps, not already deeply involved in the music as players and listeners. I’ve provided some suggestions for introducing free improvisation to ensembles, and for teaching them to … Continue reading Teaching Free Improvisation, Part 3 – Resources
I have a few more thoughts to share about teaching, learning, and doing free improvisation, in anticipation of our Jazz Education Network Conference panel discussion today (Saturday, January 12, 2019, 2:00 PM in Reno — Sierra Room, for anyone who is at the JEN conference). As I mentioned in my previous post, there’s a range … Continue reading Teaching Free Improvisation, Part 2 – Parameters for Exploration
I'd like to start this blog by sharing some ideas about teaching free improvisation to musicians who are new to it. I have one exercise, "Forest Duos," that has proved to be an effective introduction to some of the key elements of group improvisation...