Monday, January 24, 2011

My latest article in Keyboard Magazine,etc...

Go ahead, TRY to sound like ME!

I think one of the most difficult things to deal with as a jazz player is this: how do you study the greats and then NOT sound like they do? Why should we transcribe solos never to play them? Well, my advice is to listen to a lot of different players and steal bits and pieces from all of them. Then hopefully all that information will jumble around in your brain and become your own language.

With that in mind, I bring you my latest article for Keyboard Magazine. It's the third in a series of articles with the theme of " Five ways to play like....", well in this case Herbie Hancock. I admit that no one can sound exactly like anyone else. But it's fun to try, and it is part of the learning process. Hancock was one of my early influences;in fact, his playing on the V.S.O.P Live recording was what made me want to switch from trumpet to piano.

Horace Silver
The next article will be about Horace Silver. Silver is an important Hard Bop piano pioneer, and one of the most prolific composers in jazz. You probably know Song For My Father. Anyway, that will probably be out in a few months.

Speaking of Hancock, a few years back I was asked to to a recording for Chesky Records featuring the music of Hancock. Luckily, I was able to get Buster Williams on bass, Lenny White on drums, and Steve Wilson on alto and soprano saxophones. (The CD is perhaps the only available documentation of that band, which was the configuration of Buster Williams' band for many years.)Chesky is an audiophile label, which means they record live to two track using special microphones and such. We recorded in this huge church in Manhattan; the size of the hall added a pretty majestic natural reverb to the music. And we only had a few hours to do the whole CD, which is typical in the jazz world of recording. The recording, in my opinion, was not well promoted, but if you are curious, you can take a gander here at the Chesky website. I think it got some play in Europe, but I've barely seen any mention of it anywhere else.

Just a few items of business: my Rockethub project is still in need of funding  if you are so inclined. Even the smallest donation would help. Take a look if you haven't already.

Also, if you are in the Winnipeg area, I'll be performing this Friday with bassist Steve Kirby and vocalist Rayannah Kroeker at Mcnally Robinson Bookstore in the Grant Park Mall. I've been on a lyric-writing jag as of late, and this will be the first time some of these songs have been presented. And on Saturday, my wife Kerry Politzer and I will be performing at Aqua Books. Kerry is an amazingly gifted pianist and singer/songwriter. Karl Kohut, a Winnipeg based talent, is joining us on bass. Should be a fun weekend.
Kerry Politzer


  1. Forgot to say one thing hopefully to clarify my situation, currently when i try to solo, i would say 80-90% or learnt lines (some i can't even tell what I'm playing because the fingers are going faster than my brain can think on the spot, but my ear tells me it sounds harmonically fit or not) sometimes some cats will say "just keep going and you'll get it" so from an experienced person's point of view, is it true... that if I ckeep repeating the process I'm going through now one day I wake up I'll be able to hear and play and connect these ideas faster and more effortlessly, and another 10 years after that hopefully execute ideas in real time and start to have free have brain power to allocate to think how to play cool rhytmic ideas? Thx again ck~ computer problems fixedcelebrity rumors

  2. pv solar panelsfiber cableThe result…and improvement to my actual playing… well not much. When improvising on the go and I don’t have time to reflect of anything, I end up still going to my familiar few patterns and few licks (and I dont know how these 2-3 main licks became so embedded and the new licks aren't), if I slow down or just sing alone without the guitar, the odd time one of Aaron’s transcribed idea will come up while singing

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