Weekend happenings

It’s an exciting weekend for jazz fans in Nashville.  This Friday April 12th is a sold-out concert of the great Wayne Shorter Quartet with the Nashville Symphony. If you’re late on Wayne tickets, check out the angelic voice of Cassie Peterson at F. Scott’s on Friday night starting at 7pm. Saturday April 13th the Contemporary Jazz Series of NJW features my friend and colleague Chris West. That same Saturday night I’m also leading a quartet at F. Scott’s with Pat Coil, Jonathan Wires, and Chris Brown from 7:30 to 11:30. Finally on Sunday there are two shows by the super-talented NYC pianist and vocalist Champian Fulton at Nine48jazz.  It’s Champian’s debut in Nashville – click these links to buy tickets, although the early show is …

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Talking with Andy Reiss

When I first moved to Nashville, there was a guitarist I kept hearing people in the jazz scene talk about in the most glowing of terms: Andy Reiss.  It was hard to find Andy playing in a ‘typical jazz setting’, although the first time I heard Andy was in an ensemble with George Tidwell at the Nashville Jazz Workshop.  Lots of people were humming about the Western Swing band Andy played in every week at the Station Inn: The Time Jumpers. I didn’t realize then that Western Swing = jazz, so it took my stupid self some time before I got hip to the band, but boy am I glad that I did (their weekly spot is now at 3rd and Lindsley). Last week Andy …

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The Cosmonaut, live

The Nashville Jazz Workshop just posted a performance of The Cosmonaut from the Falling Up CD Release Party last year.  One of my favorite examples of the Quintet’s ensemble playing.

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Talking with Alex Graham

Dr. Alex Graham moved to Nashville in the summer of 2011 to become the Assistant Professor of Saxophone at Belmont University.  Beyond teaching a studio of around 15 commercial and classical saxophone students, Alex also directs a big band and both of the jazz combos. A clip of ‘You Make Me Feel Brand New’ from his CD “Brand New” on Origin Records [audio:http://www.evancobbjazz.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/01-You-Make-Me-Feel-Brand-New-edit.mp3]   Dr. Graham will be the featured guest at this Sunday’s Nashville Jazz Workshop Jam Session.  Last week Alex and I grabbed lunch at Tequila’s and spoke a lot about the jazz scene in Nashville: how it’s viewed, how it’s going, and where it’s headed.  Here are some excerpts from that conversation. EC:  What were your first impressions of the jazz scene …

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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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