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Playing Changes Part 6: Color Tones

POSTED ON April 30, 2016   |   Post A Comment

The Playing Changes series presents and expands on concepts from my book, The Living Jazz Tradition: A Creative Guide to Improvisation and Harmony published by CMA Press.

Index of Playing Changes articles

Color tones are pitches added to a chord that change the sonority, but not the function.

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Pacheco Photography (more…)

Being Generic Is a Choice

POSTED ON April 23, 2016   |   One Comment

I had the privilege of leading hands-on improvisation workshops for music majors at Seattle Pacific University and Central Washington University earlier this month. This article is based my presentation.

Courtesy of Flickr/lemonjenny

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Playing Changes Part 5: More Diatonic Harmony

POSTED ON April 18, 2016   |   Post A Comment

The Playing Changes series presents and expands on concepts from my book, The Living Jazz Tradition: A Creative Guide to Improvisation and Harmony published by CMA Press.

Index of Playing Changes articles

ii – V7 – I Progression

Diatonic harmony is the foundation of jazz standards through the bebop era. One of the most common chord progressions is jazz is ii–V–I.

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Transcription: Kary’s Trance

POSTED ON April 13, 2016   |   Post A Comment

Lee Konitz’s brilliant composition “Kary’s Trance” is based on the harmony of Jack Lawrences’s  “Play, Fiddle, Play.” I transcribed the arrangement from Warne Marsh and Lee Konitz’s Live At The Club Montmartre Vol. 2 for my album Center Song. This version features disorienting counterpoint on the bridge and a modulation from A minor to Bb minor for the solos. Enjoy the charts.

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Why Artists Embrace Nonlinear Practice

POSTED ON April 08, 2016   |   Post A Comment

If you find creativity mysterious, you may be stuck in linear thinking.

Courtesy of Flickr/PunkToad

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Jazz Pilgrimage to Davenport

POSTED ON April 02, 2016   |   Post A Comment

I’m visiting friends and family in the Midwest this week, and I paid a visit to the childhood home of the great Bix Beiderbecke in Davenport, Iowa.

Bix’s music was magical, and his life was cut tragically short when he drank himself to death at age 28. He is one of my favorite jazz artists, and I half-jokingly say I trace my lineage back to Bix: a white musician growing up outside a major city who learned to play jazz by listening to recordings.

1934 Grand Ave, Davenport, Iowa

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Transcription: Everybody’s Song But My Own

POSTED ON March 27, 2016   |   Post A Comment

Kenny Wheeler’s haunting waltz “Everybody’s Song But My Own” deserves to be a session standard. The propulsive vamp, memorable melody, and impressionistic harmony create a beautifully crafted piece. Most of the charts floating around are riddled with errors, so I’m sharing my chart based on Kenny’s manuscript and his recording from Flutter By, Butterfly:

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Steve Treseler Quartet at Boxley’s and Tula’s

POSTED ON March 24, 2016   |   Post A Comment

My quartet has two performances coming up in Seattle! We’ll be playing original material and pieces by Bill Frisell, Jerry Bergonzi, Kenny Wheeler, George Garzone, Thelonious Monk, Lee Konitz, Steve Swallow, and Jim Knapp. Looking forward to sharing the music and I hope to see you Seattle folks there!

Photo by Daniel Sheehan

Photo by Daniel Sheehan

The band features Dan Kramlich on piano, Carmen Rothwell on bass (3/26), Dean Schmidt on electric bass (4/20), and Steve Korn on Drums

Saturday March 26th
Boxley’s
101 West North Bend Way. North Bend, WA 98045
Sets at 7:30 and 8:45
No Cover! Please support the club and order some food or drinks
All Ages

Wednesday April 20th
Tula’s Restaurant and Jazz Club
2214 2nd Ave (Belltown)
Sets at 7:30 and 9:00
$12
All ages until 10:00 PM

Soundpainting: The Art of Live Composition

POSTED ON March 24, 2016   |   Post A Comment
One of the best vehicles for teaching group improvisation is Soundpainting, a sign language for live composition.

Steve Soundpainting, see video below

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Playing Changes Part 4: Primary Chords

POSTED ON March 17, 2016   |   Post A Comment

The Playing Changes series presents and expands on concepts from my book, The Living Jazz Tradition: A Creative Guide to Improvisation and Harmony published by CMA Press.

Index of Playing Changes articles

Primary Chords

Countless folk, gospel, classical, blues, and country songs are based on primary chords: I, IV, and V.

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Photo credits: Jim Levitt (Main Page) | Daniel Sheehan (Blog)