I’m absolutely thrilled to be back at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama teaching the Jazz Rhythm class alongside Will Glaser (one of London’s favourite young jazz drummers) and British jazz legend Trevor Tomkins. It’s a privilege to work with such esteemed musicians as well as talented and enthusiastic students. There’s little I love more than studying the greats and sharing ideas about practicing and learning. Last year I did some rhythmic analysis of an extract from the Miles Davis Quintet’s recording of Stella by Starlight from the famous 64’ concert. We looked specifically at the rhythm section comping behind George Coleman’s solo, and how they used rhythmic devices to organically develop intricate textures. It’s an example of what I consider to be musical genius in the form of spontaneous composition from Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams. I hope this visual score helps any interested party to hear how much these musicians are listening and immediately reacting to each other, making beautiful choices on how to influence the music. 

Coming up this month 

3rdOctober – Miguel Gorodi Nonet @ SoundCellar, Poole  

10thOctober – Miguel Gorodi Nonet @ Future Inn, Bristol

12thOctober – Miguel Gorodi Nonet @ Jazz at HEART, Leeds

13thOctober – SEED Ensemble @ Marsden Jazz Festival

15thOctober – Miguel Gorodi Nonet @ Hauser & Wirth Recital Hall, Bruton 

19thOctober – Barry Green Sextet @ The Vortex, London

21stOctober – Calum Gourlay Big Band @ Vortex, London

30thOctober – London City Big Band @ The Spice of Life

Things I’ve been checking out

I’ve been waiting with great excitement for the release of Steve Lehman’s new album The People I Loveand I haven’t listened to much else since it’s been out. Lehman is probably my greatest influence as far as contemporary music is concerned, and the fact that his trio (completed by Matt Brewer and Damion Reid) is joined by Craig Taborn meant I was prepared to have my mind blown. There’s a few different contributing composers on this one, but interestingly it still all has that incredibly powerful Lehman aesthetic. I love it! I’ve also been re-reading Lehman’s essays available on his website. Anyone interested in learning about fusing Afrological and contemporary classical music will find this paper fascinating. 

I’ve also recently seen that there’s a new season of a podcast I’ve enjoyed. The Classical Music Pod is hosted by musicians Timmy Fisher and Sam Poppleton, the latter of whom I met last year when he put together and conducted an interesting program of genre crossing music including  Montiverdi, a new contemporary classical piece and Miles Davis’ Birth of the Cool’ (and I very much hope my Baroque trumpet playing didn’t completely ruin the concerts!). It’s a fun listen that includes relevant news, reviews, interviews and some musical analysis (I think Sam does a great job of being insightful whilst keeping it accessible, something for everyone!).

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