Talking with Steve Herrman, part 2

Here’s the second half of the recent conversation with Steve Herrman.  After talking about the benefits of Nashville’s location, we got off topic discussing our very happening lunch at Jamaica Way – curried goat for Steve and bbq soy for me.  Eventually Steve steered our ship back onto track.   SH: So I started really getting into the R&B scene – you know we would play a lot of festivals and I started hearing about the Muscle Shoals thing and Stax and listening to all that music I hadn’t been all that familiar with before. EC: Is that when you first got in touch with Jim Horn? [the horn section leader for the Kenny Chesney band] SH: Yes actually Delbert brought him out when we …

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Feeling Charged

Despite the fact that today is (likely) Nashville’s coldest day of the year – we won’t hit 30 degrees – I’m feeling charged up about a lot of things happening in our jazz scene. This weekend was a blast.  The quartet had a great show at F Scotts – we played a large mix of new charts, original tunes, and a few standards.  Sometimes there’s a tendency to overlook the “band” aspect in jazz and focus on soloists ability, but that’s nearly impossible when playing with Bruce, Jonathan, and Josh. Prior to the show I had given a lesson to a student alto player.  We had had such a good time that I brought my alto to the gig (as pictured above) and ended up …

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Friday at F Scott’s

Yesterday I saw some posts highlighting a blurb by an “LA Times contributor” talking about the difficulties associated with being a musician. “Singers and Musicians are some of the most driven, courageous people on the face of the earth. They deal with more day-to-day rejection in one year than most people do in a lifetime. Every day, they face the financial challenge of living a freelance lifestyle, the disrespect of people who think they should get real jobs, and their own fear that they’ll never work again.” The quote goes on to provide some inspirational epithets – so inspirational in fact that the same quote can be found from a few weeks prior, but speaking about “Actors” instead of singers and musicians. Bad internet researching …

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Talking with Steve Herrman

If you’re heavily into the Winter Jazz Fest this week, I’d say the chances are good that you’ve never heard of the trumpet player Steve Herrman, even though the chances that you’ve heard his playing are strong, particularly if you’ve ever listened to Kenny Chesney or Delbert McClinton, among others.  Steve is well-known and very highly regarded in Nashville’s music scene as a session trumpet player.  But fear not if “session trumpet player” is an unfamiliar term – it was to me when I first moved here. Earlier this week Steve and I sat down to lunch where we spoke about that very term, as well as the idea that ‘jazz’ is a dirty word (and not just in the BAM sense), and how his …

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Scholarship Opportunity

Being a music teacher in Tennessee has been one of the most rewarding parts of my 4.5 years here.  Beginning with singing in church choir at the age of 5, I had had music teachers work with me privately or in groups on a weekly basis for two decades.  The more I teach, the more I recognize what has stuck with me, not just in terms of information but pedagogy.  I can still hear the voices of my early choir directors Mrs. Rodland and Mrs. Ho-Ho (yes that’s an abbreviation!) teaching how to read note values in a song: “A whole note is – a great big circle.  A half note adds – a great big stem…” As all students do, I had many opinions …

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The White Brothers of Kitty Hawk

Orville and Wilbur Wright were brothers credited with the first successful airplane flight on the coast of North Carolina.  As a child I was always thrilled by flight – my two favorite parts of trips with my parents would be the takeoffs of commercial airliners to and from the destination.  Sadly that’s no longer the case for me on jet planes, but the sensations that I remember from takeoffs are still thrilling.  Luckily I do still experience them, and most typically through music. You’ve no doubt heard trumpeter Matt White – he’s featured prominently on Falling Up – but you likely haven’t had the pleasure of listening to his original material.  Just prior to moving to the coast of South Carolina to begin a trumpet …

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Happy New Year

It’s hard to believe we’re now thirteen years into the ‘future’.  Pretty much every year from here on out sounds like a science-fiction number to me.  Then again, I watched a season 1 episode of The Sopranos the other day from 1999, and that seemed outdated.  Perhaps I’m just an anachronism. Anyways, in 2013 I’ve resolved to be a bit more active on this blog.  As facebook has become a nightmarish tool for those afraid to have a civil discussion on a barstool, I’m trying to disengage from the malicious source altogether.  There’s all sorts of great things happening in Nashville’s jazz scene, and ideally this blog will give me a chance to illuminate them without inundating my “virtual friends.” So to kick things off, …

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