The following post originally appeared in the Charles Neuzil Music / Weekly Update - April 29, 2022 - Issue #45
By Charles Neuzil
This past week I continued working on my technique for my trombone, spent some time on the trumpet, continued working on my third Kafka inspired composition, and spent time learning a new tune to play this Saturday at TASA espresso bar.
This is the third week that I have focused heavily on sound and range on my horn. This has been a combination of exercises involving long tones, lip slurs, working in all registers, (i.e., upper, lower, and middle), and working on larger interval leaps of an octave or more. This has definitely helped my endurance, which is still not where it was before the pandemic. But it is getting there, as last Saturday I played for three and one-half hours with only one fifteen minute break, and even when finished, could have easily played more.
This week I also logged a bit more time on the trumpet. In March I began working with a beginning trumpet student, and that has inspired me to spend more time on that instrument. It has also reminded me how much more compact the trumpet is than the trombone or euphonium!
I’ve continued working on my third track on my Kafka inspired compositions. This piece is based upon the Kafka short story “In the Penal Colony.” I pretty much have the sounds in place that I like, and am now expanding out from the middle and working on the entire piece, focusing this week on the beginning of the composition. So far I have been using the Dune 3 synthesizer, Vital synthesizer, and UJam Solid Drum programs on this one, as well as some samples.
By the way, the first of these tracks I made is now on SoundCloud, see below for the link.
Finally, I will be playing a new tune this week at TASA espresso bar. A few months back, I began working on “Alone Together.” For some reason I set it aside and never finished working on it. This week I pulled it out and began working on it again. I forgot how cool this tune is. This one is also in D minor, one of my favorite keys in which to play. Certain keys tend to lend themselves to my “voice” on the horn, and this is one of them.
This is an interesting tune, and one that dates back to the thirties. I did some research, and although I was not able to find a lot of recordings of this one, apparently over the years a fair number of people have recorded the tune. Even Carly Simon has it on an album from 2005.
“Alone Together” is from a Broadway musical that ran way back in 1932. The musical was “Flying Colors” by Jean Sargent. I guess the tune soon became a hit, first recorded by Leo Reisman and His Orchestra in 1932. It has become a jazz standard.
In any event, if you happen to be at TASA espresso bar on Saturday, May 28, 2022, you will hear my version of “Alone Together” during the third set.
Music I've Been Listening to . . . . . .
I have been listening this week to some of the coolest music out of Japan by Aaron Choulai, a Tokyo based Jazz Pianist, Beat Maker, and Composer. I picked up a digital copy of his album “Raw Denshi” this week, and have been thoroughly enjoying his work.
I found Aaron Choulai while reading an article on Bandcamp about hip hop in Japan. There are some interesting things going on in this music, with a mix of hip hop, jazz, and free jazz. The horn parts on “Raw Denshi” are phenomenal, particularly with the use of trombone and tenor sax, which happens to be my favorite combination. And the rap is a mix of Japanese and English.
Aaron Choulai’s performance on the piano is outstanding. Interestingly, he has played with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and The Australian Art Orchestra. Aaron Choulai’s soloing on the piano is melodic but at the same time very complex. He reminds me a lot of another contemporary jazz pianist that I greatly admire, Ruslan Sirota.
If you have the opportunity, check out the music of Aaron Choulai. You can find his Bandcamp page at: https://aaronchoulai.bandcamp.com/music
This week I am at TASA espresso + smoothie bar with my Art of Jazz on Saturday, April 30, 2022. I begin playing at 11:00 a.m. and play until 2:00 p.m. I do, however, take one or two 10 to 15 minute breaks just to rest the chops.
If you are local, or happen to be in the area, stop by TASA if you have the opportunity. Last week I had some folks come visit me from New Mexico. TASA has a great menu, and if you enjoy coffee beverages, you will be at the right place.
Here’s my upcoming dates over the next few weeks for my Art of Jazz at TASA espresso + smoothie bar.
TASA - Saturday, April 30, 2022, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
****** - Saturday, May 7, 2022 - Out of Town for Work (NAU)
TASA - Saturday, May 14, 2022, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
TASA - Saturday, May 21, 2022, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
TASA - Saturday, May 28, 2022, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
****** - Saturday, June 4, 2022, Vacation!
****** - Saturday, June 11, 2022, Vacation!
TASA - Saturday, June 18, 2022, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Just a heads up, I am out of town (returning home from NAU in Flagstaff) on Saturday May 7, 2022, and will NOT be at TASA that day as I will be getting home too late in the day to do so. But I’ll be back the following week.
As mentioned last week, my most recent composition, “Awakened Dreams,” can be heard on both YouTube and Soundcloud. This composition is based upon Franz Kafka’s short story “A Country Doctor,” and is the second in a series of musical pieces based upon the writings of Kafka.
And my first Kafka inspired music, “This Too Shall Pass,” although already on YouTube, is also now on SoundCloud. You can find it on SoundCloud using this link: https://bit.ly/3KEf8O5
Listen to “Awakened Dreams,” my second Kafka inspired track, on SoundCloud using this link: bit.ly/aw033022
And listen and watch the video of “Awakened Dreams” on the Charles Neuzil YouTube Channel using this link: https://youtu.be/NSP7FgQ_wus
The opening of a second TASA espresso + smoothie bar location in Fort Mohave, Arizona should be sometime in May. I will be taking my Art of Jazz to both locations on alternate Saturdays. Check back for updates and schedules..
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, “Awakened Dreams“ inspired by the Kafka short story “A Country Doctor.”
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, SoundCloud, 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.
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