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Performance and Pedagogy Blog

A blog about the performance and pedagogy of music.

Filtering by Tag: Jazz

Harry Connick Jr: Monday YouTube Fix

Andrew Hitz

Harry Connick Jr. is a genius. This is a famous clip for a reason. He is performing for a live studio audience in France. The crowd is really enjoying it and clapping along.

The problem is they are enthusiastically clapping on 1 and 3 with no end in sight.

But Harry has a plan. He slips a 5/4 bar in at the 0:39 mark so smoothly that no one even notices.


Article: "Creativity and the Brain: What We Can Learn From Jazz Musicians"

Andrew Hitz

Very cool article that touches on the benefits of improvisation:

"When musicians go to an improvisation, the brain switches, Limb said, and the lateral prefrontal lobes responsible for conscious self monitoring became less engaged. 'Musicians were turning off the self-censoring in the brain so they could generate novel ideas without restrictions,' he said."

Cannonball Adderley Sextet: Monday YouTube Fix

Andrew Hitz

Cannonball Adderley is of course one of the greatest jazz saxophonists of all time.  I learned recently that he passed away the day I was born, August 8, 1975.  I wish I could report that he had handed off his ability to swing his tail off!

This clip is a combination of live shows from Switzerland and Germany in 1963.  It is great quality and fantastic playing.  I adore the flow to Cannonball Adderley's lines.

Julian "Cannonball" Adderley (Alto Sax)
Nat Adderley (Cornet)
Yusef Lateef (Tenor Sax, Flute, Oboe)
Joe Zawinul (Piano)
Sam Jones (Bass)
Louis Hayes (Drums)


Gerry Mulligan and Paul Desmond with the Dave Brubeck Trio: Monday YouTube Fix

Andrew Hitz

Every time I stumble onto a clip like this I try to wrap my head around being able to watch things like this, a performance from close to 45 years ago, on my phone while sitting in my pajamas.  The internet sure is a wonderful thing.

Gerry Mulligan is one of my musical heroes.  Not that the rest of the guys in this clip aren't legends, but Gerry has always spoken loudly to me.  The effortless flow to his phrasing.  A tone that seems to sing all on its own.  The first time I heard an album featuring both him and Chet Baker it changed me.  I don't think Paul Desmond or Dave Brubeck need any introduction.

This is live performance is from November 4, 1972 in Berlin.  The full personnel:

Gerry Mulligan - bari sax
Paul Desmond - alto sax
Dave Brubeck - piano
Jack Six - bass
Alan Dawson - drums


Stan Kenton: Monday YouTube Fix

Andrew Hitz

Here is a full concert of the Stan Kenton Orchestra from February 6, 1972 in London.  What an ensemble! Here is the track listing:

00:00 Minor Booze
04:45 Chiapas
11:57 Artistry In Percussion
17:05 MacArthur Park
23:11 Malaga
31:18 Intermission Riff
35:18 Tiare
41:18 The Peanut Vendor
47:56 Artistry In Rhythm

And here is the remarkable lineup of musicians:

Stan Kenton, Mike Vax, Dennis Noday, Jay Saunders, Ray Brown, Joe Marcinkiewicz, Dick Shearer, Mike Jamieson, Fred Carter, Mike Wallace, Phil Herring, Quin Davis, Richard Torres, Kim Frizell, Willie Maiden, Chuck Carter, Ramon Lopez, John Worster, John Von Ohlen

It doesn't get much better than this when it comes to ensemble playing.  Truly remarkable stuff.


"1959 The Year that Changed Jazz": Monday YouTube Fix

Andrew Hitz

The third documentary for Documentary Month here at the Monday YouTube Fix is titled "1959 The Year that Changed Jazz".  It is a fascinating look at that seismic year in jazz history that featured the release of four legendary recordings:

Miles Davis "Kind of Blue"
Dave Brubeck "Time Out"
Charles Mingus "Ah Um"
Ornette Coleman "The Shape of Jazz to Come"

This film is filled with nuggets like the fact that Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue" was recorded in just 7 hours and that all but one of the tracks was the very first take! This is a fantastic documentary on some of the most important music ever recorded.