Blog Archives

With One Foot on the Platform…

Well, you’ve got to do something when you’re waiting for a train, right? The piece, incidentally, is Liszt’s El Contrabandista, which makes the Mephisto Waltz look like Für Elise… Bот блестящee представление. Sometimes you get amazing surprises on street pianos (and

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Posted in e) Rants & Ramblings, g) Classically Inclined

Rachmaninov Had Big Hands

Here Igudesman and Joo show how to tackle Rachmaninov’s famous C# minor Prelude if you’re a little digitally ungifted by nature. Rachmaninov was a big guy. He also had Marfan Syndrome, aka hypermobility. He could span an incredible 13th and make

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Posted in e) Rants & Ramblings, g) Classically Inclined

Fostering Talent

It’s a hell of a story. The life of the inimitable Florence Foster Jenkins was begging to be told, and has now hit the big screen in a biopic, starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant. (She was inimitable, because nobody

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Posted in e) Rants & Ramblings, g) Classically Inclined

What the Fugue?

You go back to Bird and I’ll go back to Bach Here’s a piano exercise I find really useful. I’ll run it down first, then tell you why it’s useful and how you can use it as more than just a

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Posted in a) Soloing Scales & Modes, g) Classically Inclined

Note Perfect

Well, there’s no such thing of course, but I needed a snazzy headline for another software review. If you don’t use Sibelius, you are excused and can run and play. If you do, I’d like to tell you about the

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Posted in g) Classically Inclined, j) Sound & Vision

Beethoven’s Dynamic Duo

I was talking to a jazz pianist the other day about technique, in particular dynamic and tonal control. He asked for some exercises and I thought about it for a bit, then suggested he work on the Beethoven E minor

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Posted in e) Rants & Ramblings, g) Classically Inclined

Everyone’s a Critic…

Jazz musicians will possibly know Nicolas Slonimsky for his Thesaurus of Scale Patterns. Famously, Coltrane practised out of it and I come across musicians today who still explore it. Just the other day, I was chatting to a saxophonist about

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Posted in d) The Dark Art of Marketing, g) Classically Inclined, i) Reviews
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Next Gig

We play every month at Toulouse Lautrec in Kennington, South London.

Sat 29 July 9pm, £15 (£9 adv)
JLT with Ed Jones tenor

For London-wide jazz listings see