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  • Ask Damian: More Album Recommendations

    Ask Damian: More Album Recommendations

    Q: I really dug the last column about albums to check out, if you want to get into jazz. I found a ton of great stuff that I actually liked in there! Do you have any more suggestions that extend beyond the jazz genre? A: Thanks! I’m glad that you discovered some new music. That’s... »

  • Bass Players To Know: Joe Osborn

    Bass Players To Know: Joe Osborn

    If you’re familiar with ‘The Wrecking Crew,” the group of session musicians that dominated the LA recording scene in the 1960s and ’70s, you’ve probably heard of Carol Kaye and our latest bassist to feature, Joe Osborn. These players jumped from session to session, providing the sonic backdrop to popular culture and racking up credits... »

  • Album Suggestions for Getting Into Jazz

    Album Suggestions for Getting Into Jazz

    Q: Do you have any suggestions for what albums I might check out if I wanted to get into jazz? I’ve, of course, heard bits and pieces of things before flipping through radio stations, in restaurants, etc., but nothing ever really grabbed me. What should I check out that might ignite the interest? A: Alright,... »

  • When It’s “Go” Time, Make Sure to Hit the Gas!

    When It’s “Go” Time, Make Sure to Hit the Gas!

    As so often happens, I was recently having a conversation with a musician before a gig and we both commented on how that conversation would make a great No Treble column. First a little background: This guy is a great guitarist that I know and play with relatively often. He’s been actively trying to make... »

  • The Lightbulb Moment: Key Change!

    The Lightbulb Moment: Key Change!

    There comes a time in every player’s life when we listen to a song and are able to identify a perfectly executed lift in tonal center. The energy heightens, the chorus takes on a slightly new character, and the band keeps grooving with a new sense of intention. This extraordinary moment can only be one... »

  • Do I Have To Like Jazz To Improve My Playing?

    Do I Have To Like Jazz To Improve My Playing?

    Q: I’ve read some interviews of yours, and you mentioned that when you started studying jazz, you weren’t actually all that into the music, but you came to appreciate it later through study, etc… I’ve been trying to work through standards, exercises through chord changes and bebop/chromatic-type stuff, but I don’t know what I’m trying... »

  • Getting Back to Basics in a Band

    Getting Back to Basics in a Band

    Q: I’d like some advice on a sensitive issue. I find myself working with a band whose musical ambitions seem quite often to outstrip their technical abilities. While it is always a good thing to stretch yourself, I can’t help but feel that a grasp of some the fundamentals might be something worth considering. How... »

  • Bass Players to Know: Bunny Brunel

    Bass Players to Know: Bunny Brunel

    Like any aspiring bass player, I went through a “fusion phase” (otherwise known as college). I spent countless hours infatuated with complicated harmony, the wild and masterful displays of technical ability, and the jammiest of jams. It wasn’t long before I discovered the CAB albums featuring Tony MacAlpine, Dennis Chambers, Brian Auger, and bass player... »

  • Getting Away from Playing the Root on Beat One

    Getting Away from Playing the Root on Beat One

    Q: I play mostly jazz and am a pretty facile walker, but I’ve gotten into the habit of playing lines that almost invariably lead to the root being on the 1 (or the 3 if it’s a 2-chord measure in 4/4, etc.). While I am guessing that some of the folks I play with don’t... »

  • Drinking on the Gig?

    Drinking on the Gig?

    Q: I know that my question is very sensitive because this affects us in different ways and it might raise ideas to others I would like to ask: How does alcohol affect your playing? I do not want to hear that it is not suitable at all to play and drink (or drive) but rather... »