Following my post 1979: The Death Of Progressive Rock & The Jazz/Folk/Acoustic Amalgam, I began to think more about what I’d written. Was I being too hard on the Prog scene by saying it was virtually dead in 1979? Surely there was some life in it yet? But then I thought, what does the sentimental side of me say about this? It said ‘no, you were not’. And my logical side, of course, agreed. Continue reading
So, a while back, I was teaching a bit of compositional theory (as you do) and I asked the students a seemingly outrageous question: “What is the purpose of the harmonic minor scale? Why is there a raised 7th in there?”
But I was not deterred and thought I’d push them even further… “OK, what about the melodic minor scale? A raised 7th AND a raised 6th.”
Silence. Continue reading
I’m going to open a can of worms here…
The big, wormy can of ‘music format choice’.
Yeah, sorry. But it’s something that I think about quite a lot – being a musician and also teaching a music technology class – the issue constantly raises its head, and always creates a big stink. But it’s a big stink that I quite enjoy smelling… Continue reading
The Police have long been my favourite pop band. I first heard them in early 1979 on the radio station Q107, Toronto – playing ‘Roxanne’ live at the El Mocambo. As a 14 year old raised on a musical diet of Kiss and Aerosmith, The Police were revelatory. Of course, they were part of the ‘New Wave’ of UK music, making itself present in Canada and the USA in the late 70s, that included Elvis Costello, The Records, Gary Numan etc. and coincided somewhat with American ‘skinny tie’ bands like Cheap Trick, The Knack and The Cars, whom I loved as well. Continue reading
We’re all Michael Brecker fans here, aren’t we? I mean, what’s not to like?
The man was regarded as one of the greatest saxophonists of his generation, and has a back catalogue of albums, both as leader and sideman, that is largely unchallenged both in its diversity and musical accomplishments. Continue reading
OK, so I admit it, hip-hop passed me by in the late 80s and early 90s. I was much more concerned with contemporary classical music, rock and jazz. I mean, I had De La Soul’s Three Feet High And Rising and have long had Gil-Scott Heron’s Moving Target and Reflections LPs on the player for years, but I’ve never really known my MCs from my DJs, let alone my Run-DMCs from my EPMDs. Continue reading
sideLast weekend, while on holiday in NYC with the fam, I went to see the Willie Jones III Quintet in The Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola at the Lincoln Centre. The Dave Holland Trio (w/ Kevin Eubanks) were at the Village Vanguard downtown on the same evening but they don’t let kids in, at Dizzy’s you can be over 7 years old and they’ll take your money. Continue reading