Jazz Smugglers Master Workshop

Jazz Smugglers Master Workshop
Click on photo for Jazz Smugglers website

Thursday, 15 August 2013


I listened to Ian Price play tenor and clarinet in the Nigel Thomas trio with Terry Seabrook last week.
He was stunningly brilliant. The whole trio was. They were all listening to each other and picking off ideas from each other. At one stage during Ian's solo, Nigel stopped his walking bass line to breaking the time with long notes on the bass. Terry immediately switched the piano chords to the same pattern. Just a few bars then they went back to their swing patterns. Lovely idea.

I listened to Ian Price backing Sarah Oschlag on her CD a couple of weeks ago. They were all stunningly brilliant. No, I mean it.

I asked Ian first to separate harmony, melody and rhythm in order of importance to him.

"They are equally important to me. When I first heard jazz, it was the rhythm that
attracted me - the swing, and in particular, the walking bass. Jazz harmony is a thing
which requires much study, and the ear becomes accustomed to the (sometimes
complex) sounds over time. Melody is your 'musical diction' - your words, phrases,
sentences, etc. The three things combined are what (hopefully) makes it sound like jazz!"

"I transcribe a lot, mostly aurally, although written transcription does wonders for your

Regarding playing 'outside', I use a number of devices. Sometimes I'll superimpose chord
changes on other changes - like Coltrane's 'Countdown' changes, for example, where the
key centre moves through three different keys, descending in major thirds, over a II-V-I.

Sometimes I'll use fourth patterns or sometimes I'll just use my ear."

He said that for him practise is the thing, listening, copying, selecting the bits of their solos he likes. That is really key. Wasn't it ever thus jazz players?


The workshop will be opening again on Sunday September 8th at 7.00. We can take one extra front line player, possibly. If you would like to try us out you would be welcome that evening, but let me know in advance.

This site is to help the Jazz smugglers workshop group and provide information about the following weeks work. We will be working on widening our range of playing styles as individuals, working together in a band, and practising the more difficult things. You need to be able to read please.

If you have a Facebook account can you LIKE our band page on Facebook please, 
and LIKE our workshop page as well?

In this blog We will produce tips for jazz piano, and jazz guitar together with jazz saxophone. We will cover jazz chords, jazz guitar chords, and we will deal with jazz scales. We will cover jazz songs. This site is all about jazz improvisation. you can sign up directly to this blog site as a FOLLOWER, bottom rh side panel, you'll get all the posts.

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