Audio takeover - the empty chair

We're kicking off the audio takeover this week with a podcast today - get it on Spotify - on ways into jazz. The theme struck me yesterday when I attended a traditional Irish music session. In the area where marlbank regular commutes to and from …

Published: 5 Sep 2022. Updated: 22 days.

We're kicking off the audio takeover this week with a podcast today - get it on Spotify - on ways into jazz. The theme struck me yesterday when I attended a traditional Irish music session. In the area where marlbank regular commutes to and from there is very little jazz live. Perhaps a couple of times per year. That's it. So what's a way in round here or anywhere where the music is under-represented? You're new to the sounds, what next?

Go to a gig. That means travel

Stay local instead: put on a gig. Find out who the local musicians are and find a venue

Read as much as you can on the subject first. The greatest book on jazz is still to be written

Follow your heroes. For example if you are into Kamasi Washington listen to as much as you can by the saxophonist and move on to his influences or peers

Be open

Realise jazz even for musicians is more than technique. But do not underestimate the fact that jazz can be a hugely virtuosic type of music

Don't forget the basics: jazz was born in New Orleans in a world of slavery and subjugation and is essentially an African American creation that has changed massively over the years as the world has embraced it.

Study the subject at a music college

Transcribe solos

Find people who share your interest and share theirs

Collect records

Know the best exemplars of the music.

Trumpet - Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, Tom Harrell

Saxophone - Kamasi Washington, JD Allen, Courtney Pine, Shabaka Hutchings

Trombone - Ryan Keberle, Steve Davis, Dennis Rollins, Annie Whitehead

Vocals Cassandra Wilson, Eliane Elias, Norma Winstone, Gregory Porter, Kurt Elling

Piano Jason Moran, Vijay Iyer, Django Bates, Ethan Iverson

Bass Ron Carter, Christian McBride, Dave Holland, Reid Anderson

Drums Jack DeJohnette, Terri Lyne Carrington, Nasheet Waits

Final word

The community music making aspect of jazz is parallel to the scene above. Musicians sitting around a table, some newcomers sitting in. The tunes known from the past and then changed in the rendition. The result - creation, community, an audience coming together however small or large. The art of the jam session in jazz is different to the seisun but the priniciples are the same.

Granny Annie's late afternoon traditional music session. Photo: marlbank

Tags: 1 of the 6 latest selected podcasts

Preamble to the audio posts takeover week

Posts next week will be audio-only beyond a few ink spots here and there. The freshly prepared bulletins are to contain news, listings and reviews contained in brief podcasts rather than text posts. It's an experiment to build on the popularity of …

Published: 4 Sep 2022. Updated: 20 days.

Next post

Posts next week will be audio-only beyond a few ink spots here and there. The freshly prepared bulletins are to contain news, listings and reviews contained in brief podcasts rather than text posts. It's an experiment to build on the popularity of the weekly pods with the fervent hope that we can feed in more each day to the mix when regular stories return. Each pod will be brief so dear fireworks lover we won't keep you out of the Pyrotechnist's Arms - none finer a hostelry in the whole of Nunhead - by arsing around and spieling on ad nauseam about alternate takes and other damp squibs.

These upcoming audio slices will run in the afternoon among other times each day to ease into lots of new sounds and jazz directions.

Into the music at the thought of all this exciting rejiggery we love 'In the Afternoon' which has the very soulful singer-guitarist James Hunter (formerly Howlin' Wilf) and the great Brian Kennedy on it. The track was on Van 1990s classic, Mercury nominated, Days Like This. Essex gent James, top - press shot who to us is like a brother from another mother to Sam Cooke given his uncanny doo-wop soaked sound opens for Van tonight in Tanglewood.