Author Archives: Mike

Pi Recordings Profile for All About Jazz

I’m well into an All About Jazz profile on the NY jazz label Pi Recordings. Already interviewed executive producers Seth Rosner and Yulun Wang, now I’m started on a series of capsule reviews of artists including Vijay Iyer, Steve Lehman, … Continue reading

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Dreambox Media Record Label Profile

I had the pleasure of speaking with drummer Jim Miller about his local Philadelphia label, Dreambox Media. A major player on the contemporary jazz scene Miller shared his insights and thoughts on jazz, the role of record labels, and how … Continue reading

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Review: Coursera Introduction to Improvisation – Final Thoughts

Having completed the 5-week Introduction to Improvisation course on Coursera, I do have a few thoughts to share for those considering trying the same course. First, though it is marketed as an introductory course, it does assume facility with one’s … Continue reading

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Review: Coursera Introduction to Improvisation

The concluding week of Gary Burton’s Introduction to Improvisation course dealt primarily with thematic development. Throughout the course, Burton emphasized the role of the improviser as a storyteller, considering the solo as a logical narrative. To assist in realizing this … Continue reading

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Review: Coursera Introduction to Improvisation

Week 4 of Gary Burton’s Introduction to Improvisation course introduced three new topics for improvisers. The first is the concept of guide tones. Guide tones are chord tones that are a step or half-step from a chord tone of subsequent … Continue reading

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Review: Coursera Introduction to Improvisation

Sorry for the delay on these reviews, I’ll be posting about Weeks 3, 4, and 5 of Gary Burton’s Introduction to Improvisation class this week. Week 3 deals with the application of scales to harmonies in a vertical manner, i.e., … Continue reading

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Album Review at All About Jazz

My review of the Daniel Bennett Group’s new album, Clockhead Goes to Camp, is now published at All About Jazz. Here’s the link. I think it’s a unique and captivating album, it’s definitely worth checking out.

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Free Guitar Lesson: Freight Train

Here is the tab for the first part of my  lesson on Elizabeth Cotten’s Freight Train. Here is the video, also available on Youtube. The notations for the second and third variations are available to subscribers to my newsletter. These are … Continue reading

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Yo-Yo Ma and the Chicago Civic Orchestra

Here’s a link to a great article in the May 2, 2013 Chicago Tribune, written by Mark Caro. Caro reports on a collaboration between renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Chicago Civic Orchestra. The article describes Yo-Yo Ma’s “challenge” to the … Continue reading

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Chet Atkins’ “Maybelle”

Just uploaded my 2007 performance of the Chet Atkins’ tune “Maybelle,” dedicated to the great Maybelle Carter. The song uses the Chet Atkins fingerstyle techniques, his take on “banjo” rolls for guitar, and Carter-style strumming.

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