“It took me twenty years to become a jazz musician. Ten years to learn how to play and another ten to learn how to not play.”
“Frustration is just a thrill upside-down.”
“Mine’s a Guinness, thanks.”
Welcome. I’ve been playing piano since the age of five, and performing, composing, arranging, teaching and writing for 30 years or so. (Which adds up to 35 years, and I’m older than that – in between I had a “normal” adolescence and I’ve taken time off here and there…) Classical, jazz, Latin, funk, pop, you name it. I’ve also always had a day gig, which has kept me sane and solvent. I can recommend the dual life, for very many reasons.
A series of articles on jazz improvisation, performance, practice and so forth, that I’ve used as teaching materials for many years now – some have been taken up by other teachers as well (I’m told my stuff is quite popular in Malaysia and Hungary…) These are presented totally free (use by all means, just let them know where you got it from and keep the copyright notices), and I’ve decided to post them in blog format to allow for comments and discussion.
Some of these articles will probably be longer than usual (or advisable) for a blog format. There will also be new material as well, as and when. Feel free to suggest ideas for new things or even content or your own. None of the stuff on here is time-sensitive, it’ll just be thrown in as various ideas occur to me (or others). It all stays live, so look down the list and feel free to join in.
Please feel free to comment. Those who know me personally are well aware that I have strong opinions and sometimes a pretty salty way of expressing them. I encourage the same in others. So jump in – agree, disagree, debate, argue and bitch to your hearts’ content, and express yourselves freely – swear if you want (this ain’t no kiddie party) but do it fucking nicely and no abuse, okay?
I usually try to schedule a weekly Letter from Jase for some time on Monday afternoon GMT (that’s about midnight in Moscow, lunchtime on the East Coast or that first heart-starting blast of coffee on the West – and if you’re in Japan… go to bed, it’ll be there in the morning.)
My two books, Pentatonic and Hexatonic Scales in Jazz and A Compendium of Jazz Piano Voicings are available from Amazon. There are rumours of a third book…
PS I don’t do Facebook and I don’t tweet.
Probably to my detriment, but I can’t be doing with it. If I’ve got something to say, I’ll say it, rather than bore you with a picture of my dinner or a cloud formation that looks like Brad Pitt’s left nostril (omg lol). But do feel free to get in touch by other means.