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Aural fatigue

First of all- I have no medical credentials, I'm just stating my personal thoughts and experiences about hearing. 

Lately I have been traveling a lot- on planes, buses and subway trains.  Until recently I used the time to listen…
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There Will Never Be Another You

It occured to me while looking over the things I want to write about that I haven't really done much jazz yet- mostly popular music.  I do consider myself primarily a jazz musician, and yet I feel strangely like I…

Honky-Tonkin'

Odd time signatures have a kind of a mysterious appeal among musicians.  Recently I saw a band in L.A. do a whole set of jazz standards in 13, and it was just as varied in tempos and feels as a…
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The Gig Trifecta

Several years ago I was part of a masterclass with pianist Kenny Barron. The playing part was over and throughout the class he spoke very little to any of the pianists. Words of encouragement and a few observations, mostly…

Björk - "Isobel"

As I mentioned in an earlier post, "Isobel" was the first song I heard by Björk, which started a lifelong appreciation for her music.

While I'd argue the subtlety of the song is in the layers of…

8-bar blues

Something I often do to introduce students to improvising is play a blues accompaniment and give them small parts of the blues scale so they can start making up little melodies. (Usually in Eb and C where the blues scales…

Developing taste

There's a bar in Ottawa that specializes in Scotch Whisky, The Highlander Pub on Rideau St.

When I'm there, I like to try the scotch of the day, usually something half-price that is normally out of my price range.…
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Full speed ahead

The other day I was at a diner and the busboy came along cleaning the countertops as quickly as he could, knocking over a closed container of salsa. He chuckled to himself, picking it up and wiping even faster to…
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Björk & Analyzing Popular Music

Bjork is one of my favourites. In high school I saw and heard the completely contrasting videos for "Isobel" and "It's Oh So Quiet" and I think I must have been impressed that someone could do such remarkably different things…
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Boud for Thought

Welcome to my online journal!

This has been a long time in the works, I have been collecting ideas for years that inspire me, and I thought writing short posts online would be a great way to work through…