Playing the trombone has always been a challenge for me, constantly trying to improve what I do. This week has been no different.
I continue to work on my sound, articulation, and flexibility. Every day I do so by playing through various exercises, etudes, and other pieces that lend themselves to improvement in those areas. I have a lot to choose from. I was out looking at all of the music I have, and am amazed at what I have accumulated over the years. But then I began this process over fifty years ago.
I started working on a new tune for my Art of Jazz, “African Flower” by Duke Ellington. This is one that I was aware of for quite some time, but just never looked at closely. I pulled out “In a Sentimental Mood,” also by Duke Ellington, to play on Saturday as I have not played it in a while, and was reminded of “African Flower.”
I may not have “African Flower” fully prepared by Saturday given the demands of the Pit Orchestra rehearsals for the musical I mentioned last week, but I should have it going by the following Saturday. If it is by Duke Ellington, it has to be good, and I know I will be discovering many hidden gems in the chart.
I mentioned pit orchestra rehearsals, those continue this week and over the next two weeks, with evening performances during the week of April 11, 2022. This is always a good experience, as I don’t have opportunities to play in larger ensembles very often. Quite a change from my Art of Jazz at the TASA espresso bar.
I’ve almost completed working on my piece inspired by the Franz Kafka short story “A Country Doctor.” I’ll be pairing it up with a video for YouTube, and uploading it on SoundCloud as well. However, I still have not come up with a title. If you have any ideas, let me know!
Last week I brought my Korg Monologue with me to play along with my trombone last Saturday at TASA espresso bar, but unfortunately ran into some audio problems. But I think I have solved those issues, and will try again on Saturday. I was bummed out, as I was looking forward to working with the synth. But I’ll be able to do so Saturday.
Music I've Been Listening to . . . . . .
This week I just ordered a CD of Ryan Keberle’s new album “Sonhos da Esquina.” Ryan Keberle is a trombone player out of Forestburgh, New York. He happens to be the trombonist that I look to and try to emulate in terms of my sound. If you want to know the “sound” I strive for, have a listen to Ryan Keberle.
This album had it’s genesis in 2017 when Ryan Keberle took time off from his job directing the music program at Hunter College and traveled to Brasil. While in Brasil, he met three musicians, Felipe Silveira (piano), Tiago Alves (bass), and Paulinho Vicente (drums/percussion).
Keberle and this Brasilian trio soon became the quartet now known as Collectiv do Brasil. This album represents the fruits of their coming together.
Interestingly, the liner notes on the Bandcamp page sum up my view of the trombone, and one of the main reasons I play my horn. “Of all the horns in a modern ensemble, the trombone might easily replace the vocalist. This probably has to do with the unique instrument's tone, colour, range, and pitch which enables a trombonist to evoke the human voice, moaning and crying like the very best blues singers.”
Check out “Sonhos da Esquina'' by Ryan Keberle's Collectiv do Brasil on Bandcamp and other streaming services. Here’s the Bandcamp link for your convenience: https://ryankeberle.bandcamp.com/album/sonhos-da-esquina
I will be at TASA espresso and smoothie bar with my Art of Jazz this Saturday, March 26, 2022, which coincidentally is my birthday.
Here’s my upcoming dates over the next several weeks for my Art of Jazz at TASA espresso + smoothie bar.
- TASA - Saturday, March 26, 2022, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
- TASA - Saturday, April 2, 2022, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
- TASA - Saturday, April 9, 2022, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
- TASA - Saturday, April 16, 2022, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
- TASA - Saturday, April 23, 2022, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
- TASA - Saturday, April 30, 2022, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Stop in at TASA if you happen to be local, although I have had a few people come in from a fair distance, including California, Las Vegas, and Flagstaff. If you are local, stop in on a Saturday, and if you have not yet visited TASA, definitely do so, you will enjoy their menu.
If you make it between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on a Saturday you can catch one of my sets. I try to create some nice, relaxing ambience with my jazz standards and ballads.
Oh, and great news! Jade Mallary, owner of TASA, is opening a second location and has asked me to play there as well. Most likely, I will begin alternating Saturdays when she opens the second location.
And watch for my next release on YouTube and SoundCloud, my piece inspired by Kafka’s “A Country Doctor.” That should be out within a week or so if all goes well. Check back for more on that.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the Charles Neuzil Music YouTube Channel, and hit the notification bell so that you are alerted as to future videos as I get them uploaded, such as my latest track, “This Too Shall Pass” inspired by the Kafka short story “A Hunger Artist.” I am expecting that my musical interpretation of Kafka’s short story “A Country Doctor” will be up next in a few weeks.
Keep track of me on Instagram, and keep checking back here in this Newsletter as I keep you up to date with Charles Neuzil Music and the Art of Jazz/Inner Dimensions of Sound. Remember to check in and visit the Charles Neuzil Music/Inner Dimensions of Sound website, charlesneuzilmusic.com. I have links to my Instagram, Facebook Page, Twitter, and YouTube Channel on the landing page. I also have some of my music available for you to listen to on the website, some photos, and some blog posts.
Lend Your Support to Charles Neuzil Music…….
Many of you have generously supported my work in various ways over the years, and continue to do so, and I send a big Thank You! If you are so inclined, you can always send some “love and generosity” at one of the following:
paypal.me/ArtofJazz (if you have a Paypal account)
Thanks so much!