Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Gary Burton's Jazz Improvisation MOOC Week 4 - Keith Jarrett's Memories of Tomorrow

So, I'm in week 4 of vibraphone player Gary Burton's free online Jazz Improvisation course.  I'm trying to hang in there through all the discussions of chord scales even though, as a melodic-based player and jazz newbie, I'm not even aware of the chords as I'm playing a tune.
Part of this week's assignment was to record yourself playing the melody to Keith Jarrett's "Memories of Tomorrow" and then improvise over the harmony - one chorus of melody and then a chorus of soloing.  I had never heard this tune until yesterday, but it actually has a melody that I can make out and get into.

I spent yesterday listening to the tune and imagining myself recording it tonight.  Kind of poetic that way, since it's called Memories of Tomorrow.  When I got home this evening I cranked out a recording the first chance I got.  This here is the 2nd take.  It may not be all that improvisational but it actually sounds listenable to my ears, unlike my sub-par submissions for the previous week's assignments.

I am definitely learning some theory-oriented approaches from this class and getting a glimpse into the mindset of a jazz improviser - an area where I was completely ignorant beforehand.  Jazz is first and foremost an aural tradition, but gaining an understanding of the technique behind certain strategies of soloing can't hurt.

This is the video I listened to to get an idea of what Memories of Tomorrow sounds like:

It's a good sounding tune!

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