On and Off the Grid

Guitarist Dom Minasi weighs on the topics of today.


ON AND OFF THE GRID

Free Jazz Versus Free Improvisation

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Free jazz versus free improvisation. Are they the same? I submit they are not. Let's take a look at what makes up music. I was taught from the very beginning that music is composed of three parts: 1. Melody; 2. Harmony; 3. Rhythm. Now add improvisation to the mix, and call it melody, and we have what is known as jazz. The main components of jazz are the improvisations and the rhythms. Without improvised solos it can't be called jazz. From the earliest days of blues to ragtime to swing to bebop to modern ...

ON AND OFF THE GRID

Practice, Do You? - Part 1-3

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I began studying the guitar when I was seven years old. I hated my teacher and I didn't practice much, but when I changed teachers' and I went to Joe Geneli, I regained a love for the guitar that I first had when I was four years old when I first saw Roy Rogers sing and play. It was with Joe that I began to practice. I found an hour a day was sufficient, but as I got older and the music he gave became harder, I practiced longer. When I was fourteen I switched to Sal Salvador. ...

ON AND OFF THE GRID

Practice, Do You? - Part 2-3

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Continued from Part 1 I began studying the guitar when I was seven years old. I hated my teacher and I didn't practice much, but when I changed teachers' and I went to Joe Geneli, I regained a love for the guitar that I first had when I was four years old when I first saw Roy Rogers sing and play. It was with Joe that I began to practice. I found an hour a day was sufficient, but as I got older and the music he gave became harder, I practiced longer. When I was ...

ON AND OFF THE GRID

Practice, Do You? - Part 3-3

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Continued from Part 2 I began studying the guitar when I was seven years old. I hated my teacher and I didn't practice much, but when I changed teachers' and I went to Joe Geneli, I regained a love for the guitar that I first had when I was four years old when I first saw Roy Rogers sing and play. It was with Joe that I began to practice. I found an hour a day was sufficient, but as I got older and the music he gave became harder, I practiced longer. When I was ...

ON AND OFF THE GRID

A Jazz Musicians' Guide to Living In The Universe

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I've been on Facebook for three years and many of my friends and colleagues have posted quotes from musicians and philosophers. I've decided to start writing my own quotes about what I have learned and experienced through the years. Since I've been a professional musician since 1957 and playing the guitar over 63 years, I have learned a few things. Some the hard way and some just through living. The years have given me some insights, which I would like to share with you, my All About Jazz readers. You don't become a great player by practicing scales ...

ON AND OFF THE GRID

Johnny Smith: The Man, The Legend

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On June 11, 2013, guitarist Johnny Smith passed away. He was 90 years old. Some may have never heard of him, but in the world of jazz guitar he was legend.There will be many articles written about him. Besides the historical content of his accomplishments, I want to write about what he meant to me on a personal level and the thousands of other guitarists throughout the world.I was 14 years old when I started attending John Adams High School in Ozone Park, New York. Adams was a large school and had over five thousand kids ...

ON AND OFF THE GRID

All About Sonny

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I bet you thought I meant Sonny Rollins. When you hear the name Sonny, it's usually synonymous with Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt, Sonny Fortune or even Sonny Sharrock; all of them jazz heroes. But there is a Sonny you probably have never heard of before who is a super hero.Who is he? His name is Sonny LaRosa. He is an 87 year-old retired jazz trumpeter who lives in Florida and has done more for jazz than anyone I know. He goes beyond Miles Davis, Charlie Parker or Sonny Rollins and a whole slew of others--yes, more than all ...



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