|The Rhythmic Nature of Jazz DVD Series|
THE MASTER CLASS
Jazz Education Breakthrough!
The following is from an article that appeared as a spoof in All About Jazz magazine, based on the idea that Benjamin Franklin, by means of a time machine, came back and wrote the article from his observations of the current jazz scene.
"What young jazz musicians need now, and more than ever before, is jazz apprenticeship with 'elder statesmen,' outside of the context of the four walls of the collegiate corporate empire and its connected political machine. Apprenticeship is a wise and frugal way to learn this great music. Young jazz musicians must seek out wiser and older musicians who will teach them the trade of being a jazz musician as well as the fundamentals of their respective instrument in relation to the tradition, while encouraging individuality in the entire process."
Although it was intended as a spoof, it nevertheless brought some very thought-provoking insights into the open. It can be read in its entirety by going to the following this link:Full Article
There is no question about it, the breakdown of the apprenticeship system that occurred in jazz around the 80s has impacted it in such a way that jazz, as an art form, has virtually lost its audience. This comes in the wake of jazz clubs around the world going under at an alarming rate due to lack of attendance, while so called "jazz festivals" have resorted to booking acts that more or less resemble rock and roll or hip hop music rather than jazz in the traditional sense, and publications like the Wall Street Journal releasing articles proclaiming jazz to be "dead."
There are those of course who will argue "the face of jazz has changed…get used to it!" This, however, fails to take into account the idea that if you are going to replace something, it should be replaced by something that is better. Not as good is unacceptable! As the late Igor Stravinsky once stated, "No new music comes from anything but the tradition." His point being that music moves forward by musicians digesting the "tradition" while allowing the music to evolve on its own to the next level. The false prophet can always be distinguished from
the true prophecy by the fruits produced by their position. The
negative "fruits" outlined in the previous paragraph can be attributed to the argument quoted above stating that "the face of jazz has changed . . . "
Jazz pianist/composer Mike Longo, who was a student of Oscar Peterson and served for many years as Dizzy Gillespie's pianist and musical director, has stated "although we have some great jazz educators and wonderful jazz departments across the country, there is a certain ingredient that, in my estimation, needs to be added to the curriculum." Longo is alluding to the rhythmic concepts espoused by Dizzy Gillespie, and picked up by Longo through his long association with the Master. Longo has been relating these ideas in master classes at different universities to the delight of students and educators who seem awe struck by the revolutionary ideas he has put forth, as well as the manner in which he presents his program.
This led producer Andrew Schoenfeld to hire a film crew to film one of these lectures at a recent appearance at a Connecticut University which has been now been released as the first in a series of four DVDs which teach the concepts of rhythm that Longo learned from Gillespie and may very well prove to be the missing link in jazz education that will eradicate the problems mentioned earlier.
This provocative and enlightening DVD entitled "The Rhythmic Nature of Jazz" is now available to you through Consolidated Artists Productions, Inc. on their website at www.jazzbeat.com.
Upon experiencing the demonstrations presented during this lecture you will become aware of the concepts that produced the pulsating, driving rhythms that fueled the music of jazz greats like Diz, Miles, Bird, Coltrane, Cannonball and others. This will aid you greatly in your ability to preserve this rich tradition and reverse a trend towards an impotent sound that results from a metronomic time conception producing music that, although it is jazz influenced, has more of a classical vibe to it.
Longo points out to you the difference between experiential knowledge and intellectual knowledge, which is precisely what is passed on through the "apprenticeship", alluded to earlier. What you will now have is a marvelous tool for communicating these principles to your students through the techniques outlined in the course. Prior attempts at pedagogy relating to rhythm and timing have been approached through "feelings and imagination", a concept that will be proven to have been innocently false by the material presented in this DVD.
Dizzy Gillespie, when asked what his music was about, replied, "Absolute love for every man woman and child on the planet." This was the vibe in his music and now you can find out what forces were in place to produce this vibe. You actually will learn the physics of producing the "life force" and applying it to produce a most glorious and powerful music.
Pianist extraordinaire Hal Galper, who is on the faculty at the SUNY/Purchase jazz department, appears in a You Tube master class presentation where he points out that the biggest problem facing jazz education today is the inability to teach the concept of syncopation.
He goes on to point out that there is no pedagogy on the subject and mentions that the closest thing to it is a book by Longo entitled "How to Sight Read Jazz and Other Syncopated Type Rhythms." Now, at last, this problem will be solved for you with this provocative set of DVDs that are now highly recommended on the Hal Galper website.
Jazz Education Breakthrough!
You can now help yourself and your students return to the passion-arousing music that turned on jazz fans of the past. By experiencing the sensual gratification produced by the polyrhythmic and polymetric jazz of the great jazz masters such as Bird and Diz, you can pass this experiential knowledge on to your students, protecting them from slipping into much of the lifeless "head" music that has practically eliminated the jazz audience and caused former jazz fans to proclaim that the music they hear in clubs and festivals today often sounds "dead".
Now you and your students will be exposed to and in contact with the very forces that gave jazz its power in the past, allowing you to bring back the life force associated with the art form that America gave to the world, to the people.
Although there has always been a certain amount of corruption associated with the business of jazz, the jazz of the past had a business ethic of selling the music to the general public. This was done through record sales, tickets to concerts, cover charges and the sale of food and beverages in jazz venues. The musicians were paid a wage for providing the music that drew the people to these outlets and entertained them in such a way that brought them back for more. This environment created what became known as the jazz buff or jazz fan.
What this has given way to today is a situation in which jazz education is turning out 6000 new jazz musicians a year and no new listeners or fans. One of the major reasons for this is the absence of the principles alluded to in this provocative DVD. The money being made in "jazz" today is primarily being made from the musicians themselves instead of the public. The various forms this practice has taken is anything from the tuitions paid for turning out students with a bleak (if any) prospect of earning a living from what they have learned, to the various "jazz venues" in New York that have musicians playing for free. There is a prevailing attitude among many club owners there, that these young musicians should be "thankful that they are being provided with a venue to perform their music." Even though every business venture carries with it a certain amount of risk and a certain investment in advertising to promote it, these unscrupulous club owners are demanding that musicians assume the risks, that surely should belong to the club owners. They expect the musicians to spend their own money and efforts to advertise their performances. If the musician is unwilling or unable to do this the risk exists of not drawing people and having the venue withdraw its offer of the "privilege" to play their venue for free, while the owners profit from the door charges and sale of food and beverages. Entrance fees to the various "jazz competitions" is yet another way monies are being made from musicians offering false hopes of a "bright career" that awaits them. Another familiar form of this is the jazz conventions that have musicians paying to play for the "exposure". All of this has resulted from music being made that is not satisfying to the people causing them to want to support an art form that used to give them so much pleasure. The ingredients necessary for restoring this public enthusiasm in jazz are the very principles pointed out in this informational and highly educational DVD.
In these times of musicians clawing to get recognition and acceptance it will be those who stand out from the crowd who will be noticed.
Once you and your students begin reaching the people again with the kind of jazz that touches them on a deep level, your odds for having a successful career as a jazz performer will be greatly increased.
During these times, jazz as a performing art has given way to a "jazz in the classroom" scenario whereby the only avenue for an income related to jazz is the teaching profession where the same information that was initially learned in the classroom is passed on to the next generation. Many of the performance situations these days are played to a handful of people consisting of friends and family with music that may be intellectually stimulating but lacks the energy of jazz that was able to sustain a real fan base in the past.
With the information passed on through this DVD series, the opportunity presents itself for you and your students to move into a healthier existence as performers earning an income that enables one to have a successful family life. Wouldn't you want to be able to sustain this through performing music that reaches people in a way that they will want to spend money once again to hear it?
Hilary Gardner, vocalist currently appearing on Broadway in the Twyla Tharp musical "Come Fly Away" said, "Working with the drum and Mike's approach to rhythm has transformed my singing on both conscious and unconscious levels."
Pianist and singer Anne Meronchic, currently working in the New York City area said, "What Mike's teaching has done for my playing has profoundly affected my time."
Alden Banta, multi-woodwind instrumentalist currently working on Broadway, said, "I came to see Mike and had no idea of what I was about to experience. In my first lesson he pulled out a drum and showed me some things I had never heard of before, and that was the beginning of what I feel like was my musical education."
Trumpeter John LeJoi, recent graduate of the masters program at NYU said, "Mike's rhythmic idea, I believe is one of the most important things that I've learned and has really opened up another whole world in terms of my playing."
Classical violinist and jazz pianist Gail Reeke said, "Mike Longo has developed a very effective way to teach the 'swing' in jazz, which is otherwise so elusive and such a challenge for aspiring artists to master. The exercises work amazingly well!"
World renowned jazz saxophonist Bennie Wallace said, "What Mike brought from working with Dizzy Gillespie is really what makes it jazz and really makes it distinctive and this is the part that is always missing from jazz education."
You will now be in possession of the very information necessary to return things like the jam session into a fun and successful group interaction instead of the competitive and negative environment it has now become amongst young people.
This is something you simply cannot afford to be without! For more insights about what is contained in this powerful and provocative series go to the following You Tube pages.
Why waste time and money on a trip downtown to a music store searching for this product when you can have the potent information provided in this DVD series brought right to your door by the postman?