Jazz91    See's  37th season
MAY 2008     


In the May edition of the SJW Newsletter, we continue with Joe Gilman's discussion of modes in the second part of this two-part series. Jazz Camp Faculty Director Rob Kohler reminisces about a Workshop with noted trumpeter, flugelhornist and NEA Jazz Master Clark Terry in his "A Lesson Learned" column.

Tickets to the 2008 Stanford Jazz Festival go on sale next week on May 12, and registration continues for Jazz Camp and Jazz Residency; as usual, piano and drums tend to fill up first and are waitlisted, but as of this writing space remains available for all other instruments.

SJW's MySpace page is active and another way to stay connected to the community throughout the year! We encourage you to become our friend, post a comment or send us jazz-related photo, music and video links.

We also wish to acknowledge the passing of saxophonist Hal Stein, who taught at both Stanford University's Music Department as well as at SJW. Originally from the East Coast, Stein relocated to the Bay Area in 1971. An obituary published in the Stanford Daily talks about Hal's life and his relationship to Stanford. Jesse Hamlin of the Chronicle profiled Stein as well. He will be missed!



In This Issue
>> Stanford Jazz Festival Tickets Go On Sale May 12

>> Ask an Artist: Modes Part 2 by Joe Gilman

>> A Lesson Learned at SJW from Clark Terry by Rob Kohler

>> SJW's Education Encounters - Wycliffe Gordon


Stanford Jazz Festival Tickets Go On Sale May 12!

stanford jazz festivalThe 2008 Stanford Jazz Festival season is now officially underway, with tickets going on sale through Stanford Ticket Office and TicketWeb May 12. Complete concert descriptions are now posted on our website in the Events area, with individual pages for each concert by date. New this year, we are linking to music samples whenever possible, and even video when available. Our concert brochure may be downloaded from our website, or, if you are on our mailing list, you will automatically receive a copy in the next two-three weeks (you may sign up here if you are not on our list and would like to be).


Ask an Artist: Modes Part 2 by SJW Faculty Member Joe Gilman
Last month in Part 1, Joe defined what modes are and discussed how they relate to the development of music prior to the advent of jazz. Now, in part 2, we discover the important role that modes have played in the music of some of jazz's most distinctive artists, Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Bill Evans. Read on (if you missed part 1, go to our newsletter archive).

Joe GilmanJoe Gilman is a full-time professor at American River College. He has received Bachelor's degrees in Piano and Jazz studies at Indiana University, a Master's degree in Jazz and the Contemporary Media from the Eastman School of Music, and a Doctoral degree in Education from the University of Sarasota. Joe has performed professionally with Eddie Harris, Bobby Hutcherson, Woody Shaw, Richie Cole, George Duke, Chris Botti and Slide Hampton, and has recorded with Joe Henderson and Jeff Watts. Joe recently won the 2004 Great American Jazz Piano Competition in Jacksonville, Florida and has twice been an International Jazz Ambassador through the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and USIA, traveling to West Africa in 1999 and East and Southern Africa in 2000.


Hopefully, now you have a little background into what modes are and where they come from. Now let's focus on the development of modes in jazz.  Early jazz musicians created their improvisations from variations of melodies. As jazz musicians became more aware of harmony, they started to improvise on the chords of popular tunes, often abandoning the melodies altogether. This was especially apparent with musicians such as pianist Art Tatum and tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins. In the bebop era, knowledge of harmony was essential, and musicians such as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Bud Powell were not only improvising on the chord structures, but also superimposing higher chord tones, altering chord tones, adding passing chords, and substituting chords in their improvisations. If you wanted to hang with the beboppers, you simply needed to know your harmony.
Read the complete article…



A Lesson Learned at SJW From Clark Terry by Rob Kohler,
SJW Jazz Camp Faculty Director

rob KohlerA Montana native, Rob Kohler is a bassist who has performed jazz, classical, and pop music all over the world. His playing, composing, and producing skills have appeared on recordings by groups such as the Jared Burrows Trio, the Olem Alves Band, Three Form, This World, and the Platt/Kohler Trio. He has also toured and performed with such artists as Stefan Karlsson, Alice DiMicele, Madeline Eastman, John Stowell, Danny Gottlieb, Nancy King, Brian Bromberg, and Art Lande. Kohler has also been long active as a private tutor and school music teacher.

The young kid walked up to the front of the room full of anxious musicians and stood in front of the old man sitting in a chair.  “Come on, play me something,” Clark Terry said with a twinkle in his eye. 
       “What should I play?” 
       “I don’t care—whatever you want to play.” The kid put the horn to his lips and began to fluff around on a few memorized licks, his nervousness apparent.  After he started to get his confidence back a little and the tension in the room mellowed out, Mr. Terry demanded abruptly, “Wait a minute. Now play me all the wrong notes you can.”  With a little good-humored nudging and some nervous laughter from the audience, Terry was able to get the eager but confused student to start making some god-awful noises out of tune and out of time.  “Now stop.”  Clark Terry looked around the hushed room.  After an exaggerated pause, he said, “See, the world didn’t come to an end, and you played all those bad notes.”  The room erupted with laughter.  After it subsided, Terry turned to the kid and said, “Now you’re ready to play me something!”  And you know what?  He did.
Read the complete article…



SJW's Education Encounters - Wycliffe Gordon

Wycliffe GordonMembers of Stanford Jazz's Inner Circle joined trombonist Wycliffe Gordon and Matt Clark (piano), John Wiitala (bass) and Akira Tana (drums) Sunday May 4 for an intimate concert and question/answer session, part of our Education Encounter series for supporters of Stanford Jazz Workshop. In addition to showcasing Gordon's mastery of his instrument on classic tunes such as "Stars Fell on Alabama," "It Don't Mean A Thing" and "Up Jumped Spring" (fitting given the gorgeous weather), Wycliffe - who's on the Faculty at Julliard and will be at the Workshop this summer, where he leads SJW's Jazz Mentors program - responded to questions from the audience. Inquiries about topics such as sight reading and developing improvisational skill engendered an impromptu demonstration, as Wycliffe sang over the chord changes of "All the Things You Are" interspersed with commentary.

Over the following two days, Gordon worked with music students at Elmhurst Middle School in Oakland and the Menlo School in Menlo Park as part of SJW's Community Jazz Partnership alliance. Wycliffe will be performing with his sextet at the Stanford Jazz Festival on Wednesday August 6 at Dinkelspiel (and guesting with Dena DeRose on Saturday August 2 at Campbell).

To find out about the becoming a supporter of Stanford Jazz, visit our support page or contact Development Director Jeanne Sweet at 650 736 0324 x 307, "jsweet@stanfordjazz.org".

Photo: Wycliffe Gordon (photo credit, SJW Staff )