Tommy LiPuma at the BCMN Conference

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The three-time Grammy award-winning producer of 29 gold or platinum records, and Chairman Emeritus of Verve Music, Tommy LiPuma will be a panelist at this year’s Berklee City Music Network Conference.  For decades LiPuma has been a major creative and innovative musical force and with more than 30 Grammy nominations he is one of the most successful pop and jazz producers ever.

Tommy LiPuma is a record producer, talent scout, and record company executive. A trained musician and saxophonist born and raised in Cleveland, LiPuma started in record promotion and quickly rose to become a celebrated producer and music industry leader. He has served in significant positions at almost every major record company including being the first staff producer at A&M Records and cofounder of Blue Thumb Records in the 1960s; the head of jazz and progressive Music at Warner Bros. through the ‘80s; and the senior vice president of A&R at Elektra and president of GRP and Impulse in the ‘90s. From 1998 to 2005, he was chairman of Verve Music, and chairman emeritus from ’05 through ’11.

He has worked with an incredible array of renowned musicians, including Barbra Streisand, Miles Davis, The Pointer Sisters, Gabor Szabo, João Donato, Hugh Masekela, Willie Nelson, Michael Bublé, Ben Sidran, Bill Evans, Antonio Carlos Jobim, David Sanborn, Earl Klugh, the Jazz Crusaders, Natalie Cole, George Benson, Al Jarreau, Anita Baker, Claudine Longet, Dave Mason, the Yellowjackets, Michael Franks, Diana Krall, Sir Paul McCartney, Randy Newman, The Crusaders, Joe Sample, Randy Crawford, Dr. John, to a few.  Check out more of his discography here.

Don’t miss Tommy LiPuma at this year’s conference.

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Dean’s Set List: So What (Season 2: EP1)

It’s the start of a new Berklee Five-Week Summer Performance Program and there are Berklee City Music Summer Scholars from all over the country attending.  During the Five-Week Program we record students who are featured on the Dean’s Set List.

The Dean’s Set List features students from around the Berklee City Music Network performing in the office of our Dean, Dr. Krystal Banfield.  In order for a student to be selected they must fulfill certain criteria pertaining to their academic standing, Berklee City Music standing, involvement in their community, and musicianship.  It is a musical Dean’s List.

To start off season 2 our first episode features John Michael Bradford  on Trumpet from Tipitina’s Foundation, Yesseh Furaha-Ali on tenor saxophone from The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz & Performing Arts, Ayinde Williams on piano from Richmond Youth Jazz Guild, and Daniel Winshall on bass from City Music Boston performing Miles Davis “So What.”

NOTE: Be sure to watch it in 1080 HD by adjusting the video settings using the gear icon on the bottom right of the video.

More Jazz Quotes

“It’s like a whole orchestra, the piano for me.”—Dave Brubeck

“Music is a verb.”—Ornette Coleman

“I can not play a lie. I have to believe in what I play or it won’t come out.”—Stan Getz

“I start in the middle of a sentence and move both directions at once.”—John Coltrane

“Jazz is not background music. You must concentrate upon it in order to get the most of it. You must absorb most of it. The harmonies within the music can relax, soothe, relax, and uplift the mind when you concentrate upon and absorb it. Jazz music stimulates the minds and uplifts the souls of those who play it was well as of those who listen to immerse themselves in it. As the mind is stimulated and the soul uplifted, this is eventually reflected in the body”—Horace Silver

“Don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there.”—Miles Davis

“Jazz is not a what, it is a how.”—Bill Evans

Duke Ellington

“If it sounds good and feels good, then it IS good!”—Duke Ellington

“You’ve got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.”—Charlie Parker

“Jazz is America’s classical music.”—Billy Taylor

“Jazz is there and gone. It happens. You have to be present for it. That simple.”—Keith Jarrett

“The trouble with most musicians today is that they are copycats. Of course you have to start out playing like someone else. You have a model, or a teacher, and you learn all that he can show you. But then you start playing for yourself. Show them that you’re an individual. And I can count those who are doing that today on the fingers of one hand.”—Lester Young

Sarah Vaughan

“There are notes between notes, you know.”—Sarah Vaughan

 

Jazz Quotes

Here are some quotes from Jazz Masters. Be inspired by their wisdom and music!

“What is music to you? What would you be without music? Music is everything. Nature is music (cicadas in the tropical night). The sea is music, the wind is music. The rain drumming on the roof and the storm raging in the sky are music. Music is the oldest entity. The scope of music is immense and infinite. It is the ‘esperanto’ of the world.”—Duke Ellington

“Jazz to me is a living music. It’s a music that since its beginning has expressed the feelings, the dreams, hopes, of the people.”—Dexter Gordon 

Miles Davis

“I’ll play it and tell you what it is later”—Miles Davis

 “Musically, I love to talk just off the top of my head and that’s what jazz is all about.”—Stan Getz

 “At heart I’ve always been a jazz man.”— James Brown

“If I don’t practice for a day, I know it. If I don’t practice for two days, the critics know it. And if I don’t practice for three days, the public knows it.”—Louis Armstrong

 “I know I’m no glamour girl, and it’s not easy for me to get up in front of a crowd of people. It used to bother me a lot, but now I’ve got it figured out that God gave me this talent to use, so I just stand there and sing.”—Ella Fitzgerald

 “You can’t explain jazz to anyone without losing the experience because it’s feeling, not words.”—Bill Evans

 “I’ve found you’ve got to look back at the old things and see them in new light.” –John Coltrane

Thelonious Monk

“The piano ain’t got no wrong notes.” Thelonious Monk

 “The idea is more important than the style or the contents of the style you’re trying to play in.”—Ornette Coleman

 “One thing I like about jazz is that it emphasized doing things differently from what other people were doing.”—Herbie Hancock

“I always wanted to be a spontaneous composer.”—Charles Mingus

 “That’s the thing about jazz: it’s free flowing it comes from your soul.”—Billy Crystal

 

Jazz Quotes

Here are some quotes from Jazz Masters. Be inspired by their wisdom and music!

“Gray skies are just clouds passing over.”—Duke Ellington

 “One very important thing I learned from (Thelonious) Monk was his complete dedication to music. That was his reason for being alive. Nothing else mattered except music, really.”—Sonny Rollins

“Regardless of what you play the biggest thing is keeping the feel going.” —Wes Montgomery

“Jazz is the language of the emotions.”—Charles Mingus

 “Jazz is the big brother of the blues. If a guy’s playing blues like we play, he’s in high school. When he starts playing jazz it’s like going on to college, to a school of higher learning.”—B. B. King

 “We all have to open our minds, stretch forth, take chances and venture out musically to try and arrive at something new and different.”—Horace Silver

 I think the main thing a musician would like to do is give a picture to the listener of the many wonderful things that he knows of and senses in the universe.”  − John Coltrane

“The only thing better than singing is more singing.”—Ella Fitzgerald

Billie Holiday , Lester Young, Ben Webster, Gerry Mulligan

“When Lester plays, he almost seems to be singing; one can almost hear the words.”—Billie Holiday

“The beauty of jazz is that it is malleable. People address to suit their own personalities.”—Pat Metheny

 “There are four qualities essential to a great jazzman. They are taste, courage, individuality, and irreverence. These are the qualities I want to retain in my music.”—Stan Getz

 “Jazz is music made by and for people who have chosen to feel good in spite of conditions.”—Johnny Griffin

 “Sometime you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself.”—Miles Davis

 

Listen to their music on our playlist!

Jazz Quotes

Here are some quotes from Jazz Masters. Be inspired by their wisdom and music!

“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”—Ella Fitzgerald

“If you don’t make mistakes, you aren’t really trying.”—Coleman Hawkins

Billie Holiday and Coleman Hawkins

“The whole basis of my singing is feeling. Unless I feel something, I can’t sing.”—Billie Holiday

“It’s very difficult for me to dislike an artist. No matter what he’s creating, the fact that he’s experiencing the joy of creation makes me feel like we’re in a brotherhood of some kind… we’re in it together.”—Chick Corea

“Listening is the key to everything good in music.”—Pat Metheny

“Clouds float in the same pattern only once.”—Wayne Shorter

“I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues.”—Duke Ellington

“It’s taken me all my life to learn what not to play.”—Dizzy Gillespie

“Originality’s the thing. You can have tone and technique and a lot of other things but without originality you ain’t really nowhere. Gotta be original.”—Lester Young

“I’m trying to play the truth of what I am. The reason why it’s difficult is because I’m changing all the time.”—Charles Mingus

“Jazz is the type of music that can absorb so many things and still be jazz.”—Sonny Rollins

“Jazz has the power to make men forget their differences and come together… Jazz is the personification of transforming overwhelmingly negative circumstances into freedom, friendship, hope, and dignity.”—Quincy Jones

Miles Davis

“Nothing is out of the question for me. I’m always thinking about creating. My future starts when I wake up in the morning and see the light…Then I’m grateful.”—Miles Davis

“One thing I like about jazz, kid, is that I don’t know what’s going to happen next. Do you?”—Bix Beiderbecke

 

Listen to their music on our playlist!

 

 

Everlasting A Love Supreme

A Love Supreme, John Coltrane’s signature album, was recorded in one session with his quartet on December 9, 1964 at the Van Gelder Studio in New Jersey and released by Impulse! Records in February of the following year.

The intricate piece flourished from a four-note seed of a relatively simple idea based on the words “a love supreme”, that allowed the musicians—tenor saxophonist John Coltrane, pianist McCoy Tyner, drummer Elvin Jones and bassist Jimmy Garrison—to subtly and carefully entwine it into a 33-minute long four-part suite.

The four movements “Acknowledgement,” “Resolution,” “Pursuance” and “Psalms” symbolize the stepping-stones of Coltrane’s spiritual quest and struggle for purity while overcoming drug and alcohol addiction, which resulted in being fired from Miles Davis’ group. As a true jazz alchemist, Coltraine transformed suffering into a hymn, announcing a major thematic trend in his later works.

poem love supreme

In the manuscript, Coltrane writes that the A Love Supreme motif should be “played in all keys together.” In “Acknowledgement,” he indeed repeats the basic theme in all keys culminating with famous chanting of the theme at the end of the movement. Lewis Porter, the author of John Coltrane: His Life and Music (1999) says: “To me, he’s giving you a message here. Now he’s saying it’s everywhere. It’s in all 12 keys. Anywhere you look, you’re going to find this “Love Supreme”.”

Coltrane was entirely involved in every aspect of A Love Supreme: recording the chant, writing the liner notes and composing a devotional poem to accompany the crowning movement “Psalms” where he performs what he calls a “musical recitation of prayer”, “playing” the words on the saxophone instead of speaking them. Some scholars have considered this performance an homage to the sermons of African American preachers.

Even though there are no recorded interviews of him speaking about the concept behind his masterpiece, this exalting piece of music held an evident personal significance for the ingenious saxophonist. In fact, Coltrane gave very few verbal directions even to his band mates. Tyner remembers the unusual, almost magical atmosphere surrounding the session and calls the album a culmination and natural extension of chemistry honed through years of playing together live.

Powerful and vulnerable at the same time, A Love Supreme exudes with the attuned emotional effusions of each member of Coltrane’s quartet, bringing together the hard bop sensibilities of his early career, Miles Davis-inspired modal influences and the free jazz style he later adopted.

The album’s influence has been extensive from John McLaughlin and Carlos Santana guitar version of “Acknowledgement” to vocal versions by Will Downing, José James and Kurt Elling. The suite also forms four tracks on the Branford Marsalis Quartet album titled Footsteps of Our Fathers. Wynton Marsalis followed his brother’s footsteps and recorded the suite in 2003 with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

By December 1965 Coltrane’s monumental achievement was named Downbeat magazine’s Album of the Year, nominated for two Grammy Awards and listed by Rolling Stone as one of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Quite popular for a jazz album, selling about 500,000 copies by 1970, it still remains a doorway to Coltrane’s music to many people who wouldn’t consider themselves jazz fans.

 

outline

As further testimony to the recording’s importance, the manuscript for the album is part of the collection of the Smithsonian Institution along with 25 rare and never before displayed photographs from the A Love Supreme recording session and one of Coltrane’s three principal saxophones that his son Ravi generously donated in March 2014.

“My music is the spiritual expression of what I am — my faith, my knowledge, my being. When you begin to see the possibilities of music, you desire to do something really good for people, to help humanity free itself from its hang-ups…I want to speak to their souls.” ― John Coltrane

Fun Fact: Coltrane’s home in Dix Hills, Long Island, has been considered as the site of inspiration for A Love Supreme. Now, Coltrane’s son Ravi, Carlos Santana and others want to turn this house into a museum and learning center. They are trying to raise the funds to make this dream a reality.

Do You Speak Jazz? Jazz Slang Glossary

AABA– the most common form in pop music. Typical of songs by Gershwin, Cole Porter, Harold Arlen etc.

Axe– an instrument

Back-beat– beats 2 and 4 in 4/4 time, particularly when they are strongly accented.

Bad– good

Bebop– the style of jazz developed by young players in the early 40s, particularly Parker, Gillespie, Kenny Clarke, Charlie Christian and Bud Powell.  Characteristic stressed instrumental ability expressed through rapid, busy, chord-progression-driven improvisations using irregular, syncopated phrasing with many tentions and aliterations. Small groups were favored, ground beat was moved from the bass drum to the ride cymbal and the string bass, and the rhythmic feel was more flowing.

Birdbrain – Charlie Parker imitator.

Block Chords– a style of piano playing, with both hands ‘locked’ together, playing chords in parallel with the melody, usually in fairly close position. Also known as locked hands.

For better understanding, listen to Red Garland at the beginning of the following tune from Miles Davis’ Relaxin’ with the Miles Davis Quintet album

Blow– playing any instrument but mostly associated with horn players.

Boogie Woogie – A early piano blues form that was popularized in Chicago in 1930s. For the most part, boogie-woogie tunes are twelve-bar blues.

Typical boogie woogie bassline:

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 10.12.48 AM

Break– a transitional passage in which a soloist plays unaccompanied.

Bread – a jazzman’s term for money.

Burnin’ – used to describe a particularly emotional or technically excellent playing/soloing (also smokin’).

Cats – folks who play jazz music.

Changes – chord progression; also short for rhythm changes.

Chart– a) any musical score b) a type of score with only the melody line, words (if any) and chord symbols. Key signature and meter are given only once, at the beginning.

Chord tones– the root, third, fifth and seventh of a chord, as opposed to tensions.

Chorus– a complete cycle of a tune, one time through from top to the bottom.

Combo – a performing group of musicians that varies in size from 3 to 10.

Chops– refers to any musician’s level of ability. Originates from the physical changes that occur in a brass player’s mouth and lips.  Term is also used for a musician who had significantly improved his or her playing.

Counting off – giving the tempo and meter by snapping fingers and counting out loud.

Dig – to show appreciation of someone’s playing and musical expression.

Double time feel – a time feel twice as fast, so that written eighth notes now sound like quarter notes, while the chords continue at the same speed as before.

Fake book– a collection of Jazz charts published without paying royalties and not in the public domain.

Front line – the horn players in a band, those who aren’t in the rhythm section.

Gig – musical engagement; paying job.

Half time feel –a time feel half as fast, while the chords go by in the same amount of time.

Harmonic rhythm – the structural organization of chord progressions in time.

Head – the first (and last) chorus of a tune, in which the song or melody is stated without improvisation or with minimal improvisation.

Hip – a term used to describe someone who knows or understands. Originally “hep” until the 40’s or 50’s.

A Hot Plate – a great recording.

Improvisation(improv) – the process of spontaneously creating fresh melodies over the continuously repeating cycle of chord changes of a tune.

In the Pocket – refers to the rhythm section being really locked in.

Jam – to improvise.

Jam Session – musicians playing/jamming by improvising without extensive preparation or predefined arrangements. They are often used in order to develop new material, establish suitable arrangements but primarily as a social gathering and communal practice session.

Jive – a versatile word which can be used as a noun, verb or adjective. Noun—an odd form of speech. Verb—to fool someone. Adjective—phoney or fake.

Jump – to swing.

Licks – pattern or phrase consisted of a short series of notes that is used in solos, melodic lines and comping.

Line-up – the personnel of a band.

Montuno – a term characteristic in Latin music. An indefinitely repeated pattern of 1, 2 or 4 bars in the piano, typically with ingeniously syncopated moving inner voices and a differently syncopated bass line

Open voicing – one in which the chord tones are spread out over a greater range.

Pedal – a bass line that stays mainly on one note (or octaves) under several changes of harmony. Also known as the pedal-point. The most common is the dominant pedal (bass on V).

Progression– a definite series of chords, forming a passage with some harmonic unity or dramatic meaning.

Riff– a relatively simple, usually bluesy and catchy repeated phrase. May be played behind a soloist or as part of a head.

The Real Book – usually refers to any number of popular compilations of lead sheets for jazz tunes, but is generally used to refer to Volume 1 of an underground series of books transcribed and collected by students at Berklee College of Music during the 1970s.

Rusty Gate – someone who can’t play.

Scat – improvising lyrics as nonsense syllables. Said to have originated on the “Hot Five” song “Heebie Jeebies” when Louis Armstrong dropped his sheet with lyrics during a recording session.

Sideman- any member of a band or small group other than the leader.

Sharp -fashionable.

Shed – to practice diligently.

Solo – any one player’s improvisation over one or more choruses of the tune (occasionally, especially in ballads, less than one chorus).

jazz collage

Syncopation  the process of displacing “expected” beats by anticipation or delay of one-half a beat. The natural melodic accent which would usually land on the beat, is thus heard on the off-beat. This adds a flavor of ambiguity as to where the beat is

Top– the beginning point of each chorus, the first beat of the first measure.

Tag – used to end the tune, repeating the last phrase three times.

Take five – a way of telling someone to take a five minute break or lay down.

Trading 4s (or 8s, 2s) – an arranging technique in which musicians consistently alternate brief solos of pre-set length (for trading fours, four bars; musicians may also trade twos, eights, and so forth).  Trading fours usually occurs after each musician has had a chance to play a solo, and often involves alternating four-bar segments with the drummer.

Tune – a single jazz composition or jazz performance, a musical piece.

Turnaround-a faster, more complex series of chords that comes in the last two bars of a blues or the A section of an AABA form.

Vamp – a short, repeated chord progression usually used as the introduction or space for improvisation.

Walking bass – an energetic bass line featuring four even beats per bar, usually serving as the rhythmic foundation for the jazz ensemble.