On and Off the Grid

Guitarist Dom Minasi weighs on the topics of today.

ON AND OFF THE GRID

Remembering Dominic Duval

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Around 1985, I got a call from a close friend and my drummer at the time, Tony Lupo. Tony and I had been friends and playing together since 1963. At that time, we were both into Be-Bop and as we grew in age, our musical tastes and interest leaned towards outside playing. Of course, we never played that way on gigs, but when we got together that's how we played. In the seventies, my trio consisted of Mitchel May on ...

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 ...

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, ...

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, ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

ON AND OFF THE GRID

Goodbye Borah

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Up until eleven years ago I had never heard of Borah Bergman. Priding myself on being aware of many of the avant players and being a devout fan of pianist Cecil Taylor, I should have known about Borah, but I didn't.Many of my early public performing years were devoted to playing straight-ahead and then to an inside-out approach, and when I thought it was time, I went headfirst into the avant-garde. Although many of my musical friends knew ...

ON AND OFF THE GRID

What Is Jazz Now?

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Back in February, All About Jazz Managing Editor John Kelman asked me to develop a column based on points I made in the comment section of the article BAM or JAZZ: Why It Matters. I still feel the same way, but trumpeter Nicholas Payton's statement that jazz died in 1959 made me think, and I've been thinking about it for seven months. Why 1959? I was 15 years old and going to Birdland on a regular basis. I saw everyone ...

ON AND OFF THE GRID

The Importance of Being Earnest (or What It Takes To Be A Good Teacher)

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Question: Why write an article about being good music teacher?Answer: Because there are too many bad teachers out there!For some unknown reason people who have been playing their instruments for a few years think they can teach, especially when they don't know some of the basics themselves.Through the years, I have had to teach the basics to guitar players who were playing sometimes up to six years. I have had students tell me that ...

ON AND OFF THE GRID

The Grammy Awards: To Be or Not To Be?

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I very rarely watch award shows. I feel like the entertainment industry is constantly patting one another on the back. I don't understand the need to have so many of the same types of award shows. Artisans seem to have an irresistible need to be consistently told how wonderful they are and so very often. Why do I care so much? I care, because as a professional jazz musician, I feel the Grammys don't present or reflect jazz, as it ...


40 Years Of The Festival International De Jazz De Montréal

The Montreal Jazz Festival celebrates its 40th edition this year with some outstanding presentations scheduled at various venues around the city. Running from June 27 to July 6, this year's festival includes both indoor and outdoor events, free and ticketed events, with a program that includes Melody Gardot, Norah Jones, Brad Mehldau, Kendrick Scott, Richard Galliano, Stacy Kent, Joshua Redman, John Pizzarelli, Keyon Harrold, Gilad Hekselman, Roberto Fonseca, Donny McCaslin and more.

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