Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Insightful insights at Allen Kanovsky puts on his glasses....

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 5/15/13

The Essentially Ellington competition at JALC not only provided me with some awesome listening moments, it also allowed me to hear many interesting comments from the professionals of the JALC Orchestra. Wynton, himself provided a couple of hours to answer questions from the students in the competition. Questions about JAZZ's progression, inspiration, handling the negativity from others about your career choice, where does talent come from, what made Celia Cruz great and lots more. Mr. Marsalis' answers were insightful and thought provoking. Soul, hard work, willingness to accept change, JAZZ like people can have many faces.

You can recreate but add yourself to the equation while staying true to the concept. Some very interesting comments were made by bassist Ron Carter. Learn how to practice, play as often as possible and "You don't get better by thinking about it." Wynton emphasized the need to "support each other", and that JAZZ "always was and always will be" changing shape and form.

Dave Averbach "Jellyroll Justice" became a disc jockey (WWOZ FM) after a successful career as an attorney. He was volunteering at the radio station when Katrina hit. The station lost many of it radio personalities and so he was dubbed Jellyroll Justice and given a show. He still studies the history of JAZZ and is an interesting guy to speak with. After sharing our philosophical differences about the problems and joys of our existence, it all boiled down to the phrase that's universal amongst JAZZophiles----"It's the music". We agreed on that point and shook hands. I hope I have made a new friend! 

A point of interest. Thelonius Monks' "'Round Midnight" was recorded by Cootie Williams for the "HIT" label 2 months before Thelonius did it. Listening can be a great lesson for aspiring JAZZ trumpeters.     

Al's Disclaimer:
A short note: The reason I write this is because I love music and words. I do not book acts. I do not promote acts. I do not accept invitations to review artists. I go to venues of my own choice. When and where is not influenced by anything other than who I would like to hear that night or day. If I don't like what I hear, I won't write about it. When I like it I let you all know. I never mention a name without asking permission. "Pardon me, Miss. Would you like to dance?"       

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