Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Artists' Quarter Review of Koplant No

Joel Vanderheyden and Koplant No (10/28):
Thirty minutes after the last notes of Figment, I found myself across the river in St. Paul, at the Artists Quarter for the local debut of Koplant No, a very young (it seemed) quintet led by native Twin Citian and now Iowa resident Joel Vanderheyden. Joel finished a doctorate in classical saxophone at the University of Iowa in Iowa City and has stayed on, leading Koplant No (he says the name comes from a bumper sticker, “Coal Plants – No!”) and recording his first CD (Complete Life) with the quintet and a few additions including veteran Iowa guitarist Steve Grismore. Koplant No plays all original music, much of it contributed by Vanderheyden, much of it integrating acoustic and electronic elements (and some vocalization) into generally melodic wholes. There’s injections of humor everywhere, particularly in the titles that are somewhat reminiscent of Bad Plus monikers, “Stubby McGhee is Somewhat Less Than Confrontational” being my favorite title. Often the music has an ECM ambience but there’s also that Midwest down-home comfort feel in the midst of the loops and pedals and tonal eccentricities. Koplant No will be on the main stage of the Iowa City Jazz Festival next summer.

Btw...we're a quartet, not a quintet.

BIG thanks to Andrea Canter for the photos and the nice review!

Read the full review HERE.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

John Hollenbeck - Eternal Interlude

Twitter and Facebook don't give me enough space to write about this piece of music. Last spring, prior to the release of this album, I met John Hollenbeck. He came to workshop some of the music that Johnson County Landmark (one of the big bands at the University of Iowa) had played the previous semester. I'm not normally interested in big band music, but Johnson County Landmark has played some of the most interesting big band music that I've ever heard and I was always glad to be a part of it. Anywho, John Hollenbeck is one of my favorite musicians, or composers, or musician-composers...whatever you want to call it. All the Claudia Quintet music is awesome and it has had a huge impact on me, so when Johnson County Landmark had the opportunity to play some of John Hollenbeck's music, I was very excited. I think some of the musicians in the band weren't exactly into it at the time but I loved it. Then again, I'm a huuuge nerd.

I met Hollenbeck the day that he came to do the workshop. He was traveling with Theo Bleckmann at the time. That night, they performed as a duo at the Sanctuary Pub in Iowa City. It was a great show. Theo Bleckmann was fantastic. After the performance, I approached Hollenbeck and sort of tried to explain to him what his music has meant to me. This is something I almost never do. Listening to certain music is a deeply emotional thing for me, so speaking with the musicians who make that music is just...weird. But he was floored that anyone outside of NYC could be that much of a fan. I responded simply by encouraging him to put out more albums, specifically albums with the Claudia Quintet.

I just listened to this album today for the first time. The John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble. The album is called The Eternal Interlude. The title track is definitely one of the more beautiful pieces of music I've heard in a long time. This track comes just shy of 20 minutes, so if you're gonna listen, relax, maybe get some coffee, take it all in. But do it, you won't be disappointed.

Btw...Real Records has plenty of copies of Complete Life by Joel Vanderheyden. :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Free Clinic and all ages show feat Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey and Koplant No - October 21 at the Iowa City Yacht Club

Contact: Lee Burress

Events Advisor


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia hosts free clinic and all ages show

featuring Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey - October 21 at the Iowa City Yacht Club

Iowa City, IA. – The Iota Gamma Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia at the University of Iowa presents a free clinic with the musicians of Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Wednesday, October 21 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Old Capitol Recital Hall on the first floor of the Old Capitol Mall on the University of Iowa campus. The Iowa City Yacht Club will then hold a unique 8:00 p.m. show that is open to all ages. Local talent Koplant No will kick off the evening performance.

Guests are encouraged to arrive early to get the best seats and meet the band before the free clinic at 5:30 p.m. Tickets for the evening show will be available for $10 at the entrance to the Yacht Club, 13 South Linn St, Iowa City. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey (JFJO) is a progressive quartet from Tulsa Oklahoma that brings their jazz approach to the different musical styles of today’s generations to clubs and festivals the world over. They specialize in infusing modern instrumentation and techniques with their jazz background, in order to create a direct relationship between what area music students learn in school and the music they listen to in their everyday lives. Experienced educators, JFJO still continues to take time to connect with and inspire local youth after 15 years of touring. No strangers to the Iowa City music scene, JFJO is a veteran of the main stage of the Iowa City Jazz Festival whose last trip to town in 2008 received an enthusiastic welcome from a full house.

Koplant No is comprised of local alumni of the University of Iowa’s Jazz programs. This forward-thinking ensemble incorporates elements of jazz, electronic music, and progressive rock into their modern sound. Their recent showing at the Iowa City Jazz Festival has garnered international attention for their work on the album: Complete Life.

Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia is a collegiate social fraternity for men with an interest in music. The Fraternity has created over 200 active collegiate chapters and inducted more than 150,000 members since its founding in 1898, making it the largest and oldest secret society in music. The Iota Gamma Chapter at the University of Iowa is an active promoter of music and music education in the Iowa City region, embracing the spirit of Phi Mu Alpha’s purpose statement:

The Object of this Fraternity shall be for the development of the best and truest fraternal spirit; the mutual welfare and brotherhood of musical students; the advancement of music in America and a loyalty to the Alma Mater.”


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009

T-Pain Videos...Sorry, but I love these.

These videos are amazing...they're all similar in style, but they're amazing. Yessir. And I've heard this guy sing without auto-tune, he CAN sing...not like it's my job to defend or anything.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Complete Life

Here's yet another post on Joel's album Complete Life.

“Simplicity and cacophony” is how composer and saxophonist Joel Vanderheyden describes his debut CD, Complete Life. The album combines distinctive original compositions, skillful use of electronic effects, and solid grooves performed by a group of outstanding musicians, all of whom share the leader’s clear artistic vision and creative goal. Joel’s tenor playing throughout Complete Life showcases not only his ability to play technically demanding ideas (check out his solo on Gargoyles), but also to deliver beautiful melodies and elegant, spirited improvisations in the tradition of the great tenor players.

Born in 1980 and raised in the Twin Cities area, Vanderheyden began saxophone study at age 10. After graduating from the University of Minnesota, Morris, he completed a Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies under Chris Vadala at the University of Maryland, subsequently served as Director of Jazz at schools in Chicago and Minnesota, and eventually landed at the University of Iowa, where this project was conceived during his DMA studies in saxophone.

The band began with the assemblage of Vanderheyden on tenor, Rob Baner on drums and SPD-S sampler, Drew Morton on electric and double bass, and Brian Lewis Smith on trumpet and laptop. For almost two years this quartet worked together building repertoire and performing as Koplant No throughout their current home of Iowa City, Iowa. To complete the ensemble, veteran pianist Tim Daugherty was brought in on keyboards, as well as guitarist Steve Grismore (whose resumé includes stints with Carla Bley, Charlie Haden, Jack Walrath, Paul Scea, Billy Higgins and Matt Wilson to name a few), providing a dynamic, fusion-based drive to the group.

Upon first listen, the album immediately makes you feel good. Further auditions will begin to reveal both the simplicity and cacophony of which the leader spoke. The simplicity is evident in the melancholy melodic statements of Complete Life and Simple Elegance and through the solid rhythmic grooves of Pirate Song and Pees and Deetoo. The cacophonous “yang” manifests itself in the swinging harmonic angles of Gargoyles, the electronic samples and effects of The Fall of a Superhero and the intriguing juxtaposition of musical styles throughout Between Heaven and Hell There is a Drawer of Junk.

Each composition on this album is dedicated to a person or event in Vanderheyden’s life, and among these musical narratives, Pees and Deetoo merits particular attention. After beginning with a “feel good” vibe, a leitmotif arises in the form of an electronic sample of Vanderheyden’s young daughter Ella saying “Pees” and “Deetoo,” which is actually her infantile attempt at being polite and saying “Please” and “Thank You.” As the melodic statement shifts from laid back groove to staccato “straight-eighth” disjunction, you can imagine the toddler learning to walk on wobbly legs, teetering on the verge of toppling over. Another notable track with strong ties to the composer is Tanzania Life Project, named for Joel’s grandfather’s non-profit, whose goal is to empower small communities throughout Tanzania by providing resources, training and infrastructure improvements to its residents. The thumb piano motive that introduces the piece is transcribed from a home video of a small group of musicians playing in Tanzania.

Throughout the album each musician is given the opportunity to showcase their improvisational talent and their abilities to tastefully explore the use of electronic effects within their music. Every solo on the album is concise, expressive and to the point. No eight chorus solos here - an approach I wish more young musicians would take. Baner and Smith’s joint solo on The Fall of a Superhero brings together a body of electric and acoustic percussion sounds that cause you to rethink the sonic possibilities of the drums in an instrumental quintet. Immediately following the percussive exchange, Daugherty explodes into a Fender Rhodes solo and manipulates the timbre of the instrument electronically while continuing to present clear musical ideas. Conjuring a bit of Miles, Brian Lewis Smith stretches out on Between Heaven and Hell There is a Drawer of Junk and presents themes, building upon ideas and giving us a wonderfully constructed solo. Grismore’s guitar adds to Pees and Deetoo by solidifying the vibe right out of the gate and delivering a solo with dynamic drive. Enough cannot be said about how well these musicians all work together to create a truly cohesive sound.

Vanderheyden's tenor playing across the album is superb, but a few highlights are worth pointing out. The title track, Complete Life, features Joel throughout, playing over an ever-morphing sound palate of Morton's grounding bass, and the band’s laptop driven effects, SPD-S sampler and keyboard synth sounds. A simple and beautiful saxophone melody is presented and built upon, reaching riveting emotional peaks before being pulled back home, showcasing Vanderheyden's maturity not only on the saxophone but as a true melodist. On Pees and Deetoo Joel lets loose and gives an energizing solo that will keep little Ella grooving well into adulthood, and his brief and terpsichorean solo on Tanzania Life Project will at a minimum get your head bobbing and your toe tapping. Joel Vanderheyden’s respect for the history of the music, his dedication to his craft, and his singular creative fire have coalesced into Complete Life, an album that is sure to open the ears of many new listeners.

– Ryan Maloney, Institute of Jazz Studies - Rutgers University

Buy it here.

Friday, July 3, 2009


Much thanks to Bobby Domsic for the great photos. Check out his website here.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


It's done...we'll have 'em available tomorrow at Jazz Fest or via iTunes/CDBaby.

Drake - "Best I Ever Had"

Drake "Best I Ever Had" from kwest on Vimeo.


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ryan Moats Incident

I can't believe this...I don't even know what to say...SMH

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Before the Music Dies

i saw this posted on facebook. i made the following comments about it:

"thanks for posting this man...somewhat frustrating to watch though. branford marsalis was saying that shit about how no one liked ornette or coltrane for 5 years and that was true, but look at what happened to them and how people ended up embracing their music. that so many artists trying to do new things today never get a chance because they don't fit the "formula" is epic bullshit. i feel like i have to look so hard to find interesting artists to listen to...damn.

i love being a nerd and doing all the research to try and find new artists that i connect with and that are doing new things, but it's hard work and it shouldn't have to be that way. that music that i look so hard to find should COME TO ME! but it doesn't because of what this documentary talks about. what have we really heard since hip hop?"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Slow Jammin' the News

BMW Z4 Coolest Commercial Ever

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey - Make Your Own Remix

It seems a lot of bands are releasing stems these days as part of some "remix contest" or whatever. I might throw these in Logic and mess around with them, or maybe do a Koplant No thing. Either way, it's really cool to listen to each of the tracks individually.

From the JFJO website:

Just download the eight 'stem' tracks that make up Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey's 'Tetherball Triumph,' and get started on creating your own 'Tetherball Triumph' remix! Enter your email below and we'll send you the 'stems' so you can get started. Then get creative and do your thing, chop it up, add some effects, a new beat, whatever you want. When you're all done email your creation in mp3 format to We'll upload all remixes to the player on this page for all to hear. You have until May 1st to submit your mix. JFJO will then vote on their favorite remix. The winning mix will be featured on, myspace, facebook, etc. The creator of the mix will receive 2 copies of the Lil Tae Rides Again vinyl, a copy of the Lil Tae Rides Again CD, a new JFJO tshirt, tickets to the next JFJO show in their city, and more! So what are you waiting for? Enter your email and start remixing now!

Sunday, March 15, 2009


This dude is one bizarre, interesting individual. I can't wait to see this film.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Koplant No...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm getting VERY excited about Koplant No. We played a song that Joel brought in last night. We rehearsed it for an hour or so and then performed it a few hours later. I didn't even bring my trumpet to the gig, I exclusively played my laptop/keyboard controller and I think it came off pretty well. I was, however, very nervous playing a brand new song on an instrument that I've never performed with before (I am a trumpet player, I am NOT a piano player). Below I have posted a recording from our afternoon rehearsal...we actually polished quite a bit of stuff from here but have a listen anyway.

We're going into the studio next month...stay tuned...

Click HERE to listen.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

"Mercury" - Hypnotic Brass Ensemble

Mercury from moriza on Vimeo.

Update: I just received an email from the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble's production assistant. Here is an excerpt:

Recently, you posted on your the tiny trumpet sessions blog about the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. As a fellow fan of the band, I wanted to personally let you know that a feature length documentary about Hypnotic is scheduled for completion later this year. We’ve been shooting for 3 years, following them from their homes in Chicago, to the streets of New York, to stages all over the world. The film also tracks their unique upbringing on the South Side of Chicago.

We are halfway through production and want to keep you updated about the progress of the documentary. Let us know the best way to keep in touch, preferably an e-mail address.

Stay tuned...

Monday, March 2, 2009


<a href="" target="_new" title="Future Vision Montage">Video: Future Vision Montage</a>

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
- Arthur C. Clarke

Friday, February 27, 2009

Tadd Good

Tadd is a good friend of mine whom I met all the way back in like 6th or 7th grade. He's a super talented dude...remember his name, he'll do big things.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Kid Cudi - "Day n' Night"


I can't say enough about Jay Dee. To me, Jay Dee is the definition of real hip hop music. Few artists have the unique ability to not only create something unique and inventive, but also something that really reaches to people's hearts and minds. I remember when I first listened to Common's Like Water for Chocolate. I was immediately hooked on the music...not the rapping, but the music. Read on...

Dilla: A Personal Appreciation

The photo used in the making of this poster was made in 2003 in Detroit at Dilla’s home/studio. I had been commissioned by Stonesthrow to photograph him for the Jaylib record. Coleman and myself were chuffed to tell him about how much love there was for him in the city of Angels. We had met Dilla several times before and he always had the same humble slightly withdrawn demeanor. He wasn’t entirely happy to have his photograph taken but it was understandable as the illness was beginning to wreak havoc on his body. Dilla meant so much to anyone who watched hiphop slowly decline as the 90s wore on. He stood for soul and jazz and musicianship in the music. His beats saved many lives, inspired many and he carried a heavy weight into the early millennium. He continued to elevate the music when many fell to the demands of a mainstream only interested in excess, hyper-commodification and violence.
In 2005 Coleman, Madlib, Dilla and myself went to Brasil. It was a remarkable journey considering how sick Dilla was. He needed to go there we thought, he was the first to sample Brasilian music.
All through his illness Dilla leaned heavily on his mother Maureen Yancey (fondly known to him as Ma Dukes). She was his 24hour nurse, she patiently sat as he programmed beats. She even pushed his wheelchair on a European tour at the end of 05. Her complete commitment to him was inspiring. She too suffers from Lupus, the illness that took him. Early in 09 we received word that Ma Dukes illness had gotten worse. She was struggling away in Detroit and had hit some financial difficulties. I reached out to Shep through Ernesto to see if he would be interested in doing something for her. As always Shepherd got on it with the quickness. The proceeds from this sale will go to her. What you see here is a unique and great collaboration for someone who has brought much joy and love into many lives. Long live Dilla. Ma Dukes we love you.

-Brian Cross (B+)


James Dewitt Yancey (February 7, 1974 – February 10, 2006), better known as J Dilla or Jay Dee, was one of the primary forces behind the revered underground hip-hop movement that emerged in the mid-1990s and continues to have far-reaching impact today. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Dilla was often called “your favorite producer’s favorite producer.” Though he maintained a virtually anonymous profile, his reputation followed him through both the subterranean circles of hip-hop, as well as the mainstream. Producing some of modern hip-hop’s crowning anthems–including Common’s “The Light,” De La Soul’s “Stakes is High,” and the Pharcyde’s “Runnin’”—he also worked with R&B luminaries Janet Jackson and Macy Gray. With his premature death at the age of thirty-two, his musical legacy has garnered him prominence as one of hip-hop’s most gifted scions.
More than a beat-maker, Dilla was a “composer” in the modern-day sense of the term’s progression. From his beginnings with production team the Ummah (with Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest) to his step into the foreground as an emcee with Slum Village, Dilla perfected a style characterized by his steady wobble, which remains unfailingly artful and rich in detail.
Entering the millennium as a core member of the vanguard musical collective Soulquarians with James Poyser and the Roots’ Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson, Dilla co-created some of the decade’s most significant hip-hop and soul releases: Common’s Like Water for Chocolate, D’Angelo’s Voodoo, Erykah Badu’s Mama’s Gun and Talib Kweli’s Quality. Meanwhile, a serendipitous collaboration arose between Dilla and prolific L.A. producer/emcee Madlib in the early 2000s. Between L.A. and Detroit, the duo released Champion Sound as “Jaylib” in 2003. Dilla subsequently moved to L.A.
Around this time, Dilla was diagnosed with lupus. Despite his failing health and having to perform in a wheelchair, he was still able to tour in Europe during late 2005. With his musical spirit still intact, Dilla managed to complete his last album Donuts, while he was hospitalized. It was commercially released on his thirty-second birthday—he passed away three days later from cardiac arrest.

via OBEY.

New Balance x Solebox 1500 - 2009 Pack

The pack consists of a red heel (shown above) and a green heel.

via hypebeast.

These are soooo UGLY!

These. Are very ugly.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Kanye West & Kid Cudi - "Welcome to Heartbreak" Video

KANYE WEST "Welcome To Heartbreak" Directed by Nabil from nabil elderkin on Vimeo.

This is my favorite song off 808s and Hearbreak. I guess the video is still in progress but what they've got so far is amazing...although I'm not sure how this would look on lower definition displays...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Pedestrian Project

There's something about this that I love.

The Pedestrian Project consists of several performers wearing entirely black custom-made costumes modeled after the generic images of men, women, and children seen on public signs. Mimicking the lives of everyday people, the roaming sculptural forms inspire the imaginations of onlookers, who often find themselves mesmerized as these familiar icons assume busy lives of their own. Created by New Yorker Artist/Costume Designer Yvette Helin.

Check it out HERE (via

J Dilla Month - Turn It Up!

Jay Dee is one of the most important musicians of our time. He left way too soon. RIP.

npr interview HERE.

The Simpsons Goes HD

Plus a new intro/main title! The Simpsons will be broadcast in HD for the first time tonight.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Radiohead 2009 Grammy Performance

I would have much rather seen it live...but this is kinda cool. Thom Yorke sounds great at this performance!

Monday, February 9, 2009

This is what Uday had to say about my latest track...

Below is a portion of our Google Chat transcript:

Uday: nice nice .. awesome man
the track is FUCKING AWESOME
6:35 PM I am inspired .. I just opened my logic pro :P


New Track - Untitled...

This one is nowhere near finished and needs a LOT of improvement but I worked on it pretty much all day yesterday and wanted to get it out so that I could try and get some feedback. I don't have a title for it yet. I've provided a few nerdy details about the track below...they aren't really important, the important thing is to just listen! ...and tell me what you think.

Click on the player below to listen or right-click HERE to download.

I decided to take a minimalistic approach to the writing of this one but I didn't want it to sound like minimalist music. It was composed as simply two melody lines, one in the piano and one in the bass. I also put some auto-tuned vocals on this track, but they are disguised a bit and not prevalent until the very end. The more I record my trumpet the more I realize that I really need to get myself a decent microphone. I'm satisfied with the mic I have for live gigs because in that situation the natural, acoustic sound of my trumpet projects enough to balance things out but when I go into the "studio" it's really not working. Anyone have an RE-20 they want to sell to me for cheap???

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Friday, January 30, 2009

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey - New Album "Winterwood" available as a FREE download

Go HERE to download Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey's new album for free:

Thanks to everyone for 15 years of music and Jazz Millions. JFJO loves you! As a token of JFJO's appreciation for all that you have done to make the odyssey possible, JFJO is offering a FREE DOWNLOAD of their New Studio Album, entitled 'Winterwood.'

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


They came today. Limited edition Nike Sportswear Blazer Velcro Lux. These were so hard to find, but I had to have the red.

I also got a nod from Rajeev on these. Check out his blog HERE.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


In response to my last post...I think I need to start studying more Carnatic and Hindustani music. Awhile back I was looking into basic ragas and talas (or cycles) and it really got my interest. But I've been hearing some music recently that I hear as borrowing from that and I'm really connecting with it. Stay tuned...

AR Rahman and M.I.A. "O Saya"

I'm on my way to see Slumdog Millionaire. I've been checking the music out online and I'm getting really excited. This track courtesy of M.I.A. and the "Mozart of Madras" AR Rahman. This collaboration is sick.

The Moment

K.West - SL from J Gavin on Vimeo.

I remember seeing the original video and posting it awhile back but I really like the pairing with "Street Lights" (I think it's one of the best songs on Kanye West's 808s and Heartbreak). If you haven't listened to the album yet you should.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen: Joel Vanderheyden

Joel Vanderheyden is a saxophonist and composer from Minneapolis. Check out his website HERE.


Rajeev Penmatsa runs an awesome blog. Check it out HERE.

First Draft of Ghost Song #2

I've been working on this song for a couple's definitely in the initial "idea" stage but I'm really happy with what I've got so far.

Click on the player below to listen or right-click HERE to download.

Check out the asshole collar on Kanye West

David Binney - Third Occasion

David Binney is a Saxophonist/Composer living in NYC. He released a new album today:

Hello All,

I am excited to announce that my new cd "Third Occasion" is out as of today.
It features Craig Taborn, Scott Colley and Brian Blade along with a brass section of Ambrose Akinmusire, Brad Mason, Corey King and Andy Hunter
You can go to my site and download it now. Along with all of the scores.

The physical cd will take a while to get to the various outlets such as Amazon etc.. But I will have copies with me tomorrow at my 55 Bar gig. So for those of you in NYC that are interested in getting the cd... be the first!

David Binney-Alto Saxophone
Jacob Sacks-Piano
Thomas Morgan-Bass
Dan Weiss-Drums

This Tuesday, Jan 27th,10:15pm-1:30am at the 55 Bar
55 Christopher St. at 7th Ave. NYC

Downloadable cd’s, live gigs, charts, solos and more at:

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Blazers coming...

it took me awhile to find these...should be here this week. yeeaaaahhhhhhh. they hurt my pocket, hard.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Taiwan Hakka Folk Music Performer

Dave Douglas' Thoughts on Freddie Hubbard

Greenleaf Music is an independent music label that has released music by Dave Douglas, Nicole Mitchell, Michael Bates, Kneebody and Donny McCaslin. They run a very interesting and insightful blog and today I stumbled upon an entry written by Dave Douglas on Freddie Hubbard's complete mastery of the trumpet. Shortly after Freddie died I wrote up a quick blog entry but didn't come close to explaining what he really meant to so many trumpet players. Typically I like to stay as far away from nerdy trumpet shit as possible, but the following is very interesting:

Freddie Hubbard was one of the most skilled practitioners of this art. The joy and freedom in his playing came in part from this complete mastery of the instrument. It always sounded effortless. In the high range his control of air was so sublime that his lines sometimes defied the laws of physics and harmony, resolving in odd ways just by dint of his total domination of the instrument. Freddie grabbed the opportunity of those alternate fingerings to pop in and out of chromatic chord and scale ideas. His attack was always precise and his dodging and darting lines flowed like water through a sluiceway.

A lot of people can play the trumpet well. Technical mastery is far from the reason Freddie Hubbard is the most imitated player of the last half-century. It was what he did with that mastery -- the inventiveness of his harmonies and the ingenuity of his rhythmic propulsion. Freddie's impact is so profound that you often don't have to mention him when noting a young player's influences. Freddie is always there. He had a lot to say, and we all soaked it up.

As a young player Freddie listened to Clifford Brown for sure. He also drank deeply at the well of Clifford's inspirations: Fats Navarro, Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Eldridge, and Louis Armstrong, among many others. But trumpeters aren't the only influence for trumpeters. In the same way that Clifford Brown talked about putting Charlie Parker's language on the trumpet, Freddie Hubbard brought the practices of John Coltrane, his occasional practice-mate, directly into the brass world.

Freddie's lines drove the harmony. Freddie toyed with the music, anticipating and delaying resolutions in unexpected ways. But at the end of the day it was the maturity of his improvisations that were the most powerful aspect of his musical expression. Freddie at his best could go nuts with the lines and the harmony, but he would also ease off and play with bluesy simplicity when it more effectively served the moment.

Read the full article HERE.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Rhymefest - "Coolness"

Che Smith, known by the stage name of Rhymefest, is an American hip hop artist from Chicago.

Check out the new track HERE.

Via kanyeuniversecity.