Odds & Ends
This page is for those extra odds and ends that don't really fit
anywhere else on my website.
Modern Jazz Guitar MP3 backing tracks
Some of my influences
What follows is a list of artists, both musicians and
non-musicians, who have influenced and inspired me as an artist, a musician, and person. This isn't meant
to be a comprehensive list, but can hopefully point someone somewhere
to a new discovery that hopefully can have a positive effect on either
their art, or their life (or, hopefully, both).
my influences are many; just a few include jazz musicians such
as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Django Reinhardt, Charlie
Christian, Lester Young, The Count Basie band, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Max Roach, Sonny Stitt, George Van Eps, Johnny
Smith, Billy Bean, Clint Strong, Sarah Vaughan, Clifford Brown, Chet Baker, Frank Sinatra, Tony
Bennett, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Scott LaFaro, Thelonious Monk, Wes Montgomery, Grant Green, Larry Young, Joe
Pass, Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Gil Evans, Ornette Coleman, Keith Jarrett, Wayne
Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, Jim Hall, Joe Henderson, John
McLaughlin, Pat Martino, John Abercrombie, John Scofield, Ted Greene, Lenny Breau, Phillip DeGruy, Ed Bickert, Mick Goodrick, Joe Diorio, Bill Frisell, Pat Metheny, Michael Brecker, Mick Goodrick, Ralph Towner, Charlie Haden, Paul Motian, Marc Johnson, Dave Holland, Peter Erskine, Ben Monder, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Henry Threadgill, Drew Gress, Jim Black, John Stowell, Jonathan Kreisberg, Ari Hoenig, Gilad Hekselman, Brad Mehldau, David Binney, Dan Weiss, Theo Bleckmann, Adam Rogers, Andrew Hill, Chris Potter, Wayne Krantz, Oz Noy, Peter Bernstein, Lionel Loueke, Miles Okazaki, Nir Felder, Lage Lund, Mark Turner, Donny McCaslin, and many more.
I've also been heavily influenced by other styles of music, including
pop/rock/blues/country/r&b artists like the Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Jimi
Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, Neil Young, Nick Drake, Stevie Wonder, k.d. Lang,
Emmylou Harris, Radiohead, Fleet Foxes, Allan Holdsworth, Eric Johnson, Robben Ford, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins, Albert King, Hank Marvin, Steely Dan, Sting, Queen, Roy Orbison, Rush, The Who, and many others.
Classical guitarists like Segovia, John Williams, Julian Bream, Paul Galbraith, Scott Tennant, and David Russell.
Classical composers like Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Mahler,
Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky, Ives, Copeland, and Berg (plus many others)
have had a big impact on me, as well as film composers Bernard Herrman
and Ennio Morricone.
As much as any music, I feel like my musical development has
been influenced by books I've read(authors like Poe, Lovecraft,
Tolkien, Dostoyevsky, Hemmingway, Thomas Hardy, Gunter Grass, John
Irving, Theodore Sturgeon, Ray Bradbury, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez),
paintings I've seen (Picasso, Bosch, Van Gogh, Monet, Matisse, Frederic
Remmington, George Catlin), poems (Archibald Macleish, e.e.cummings,
William Carlos Williams)comedians like Charlie Chaplin, George Carlin,
Bill Hicks, and films (from filmmakers such as Hitchcock, Fellini,
Sergio Leone, Martin Scorcese, Woody Allen, Roman Polanski, Sam Raimi,
Darren Aronovsky, and many more).
The following are some of the old "News" sections from my home page that might still be worth reading for someone.
News from Summer '07
This summer I bought a few new books that I'm pretty excited about. The
first is Melodic Improvising For Guitar by my friend Bruce Saunders. It
has some great concepts, and addresses a problem common to a lot of
guitar players (and probably other instrumentalists as well), being
able to compose coherent melody lines through a set of chord changes.
Most guitarists (myself included) are guilty at one time or another of
playing one idea over one chord, another idea over the next chord, and
so on. The visual/pattern aspect of our instrument makes it easy to
fall into this trap. In his book, Bruce gives exercises designed to
break out of those habits. I'm going to be using some of the ideas from
the book this fall in my improv class at Miami/Dade. The book is
available from Mel Bay, and I highly recommend it.
I also finally picked up Mick Goodrick's Almanac Of Guitar
Voice Leading, volumes I and II. I consider Mick to be a huge role
model; I have based much of my playing and teaching on the concepts
outlined in his book The Advancing Guitarist. With these newest
volumes, Mick addresses the "complete set" of all possible 3 and 4 note
chords in the context of the major, melodic minor, and harmonic minor
scales, and presents every possible way to move from one chord to the
next using common tone voice leading. When I first saw a copy of the
first volume a few years back, I was pretty befuddled by all the lists
of letters and the different colored pages. But after I read and
absorbed the introduction and played through some of the examples, I
realized what a great and valuable resource this is. I've been working
with just the triad section of book one for the last several weeks, and
have already begun to see a significant impact for the better on my
playing. Anyway, I highly recommend these two volumes, particularly the
first one, and am looking forward to the release of volume III. To any
of my students who are reading this, I'm sure you'll be seeing some of
the material from these books in upcoming lessons.
For anyone who isn't familiar with Mick Goodrick's books
and/or teaching, one of the most fundamental ideas he stresses is the
idea of presenting the student with the nuts and bolts of how things
work in music and on the guitar, and setting it up so that the student
has to figure a lot of the specifics, the "method," his or her self.
You won't find any "licks" in Mick's books, or any quick and easy "no
nonsense" shortcuts. As my teacher Jack Petersen used to say, "music's
hard and tricky." It's a huge undertaking, one that would take several
lifetimes (or maybe more) to explore completely. A lot of the
instructional materials I've seen show you how to do something; "play
this and it'll sound good." That way of doing things does indeed often
produce quick results, but at the expense of creating a firm grounding
with which to build one's music on. What I love about Mick's ideas is
that they tend to concentrate on the big picture more, and each person
who works with them will probably produce different specific results
(and maybe, just maybe, come up with their own musical voice in the
process). I've also found myself many times over the years coming back
to The Advancing Guitarist and rereading sections, and finding things
in them, or new ways of looking at them that I'd never noticed before.
Anyway, if you are merely looking for a shortcut to being able to wow
people with your chops, Mick's books probably aren't for you. If, on
the other hand, you want to approach the undertaking of music and
playing the guitar as a long term adventure, one that's got the
potential of bringing you and your audiences deep spiritual
satisfaction, I can't think of a better place to start than with The
Advancing Guitarist and now the Almanac Of Guitar Voice Leading.
Jazz Guitar Techniques
Jazz Improv Transcription CD
Jazz Improvisation 1
Jazz Guitar Ensemble