Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Just happened to discover an excellent jazz guitar site by Leon Henderson, of Oakland California. The site contains tutorials, performances, jam tracks, and more. Very highly recommended. Here is a minor jazz lick in Dm7 video tutorial by Henderson on YouTube:

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Jessica Williams on Lala.com

Lala.com has 46 albums by Jessica Williams, an amazing (and prolific) pianist. Billy's Theme is below. Jessica Williams' web site is here, and it includes her extensive writings. All of her albums are available on eMusic.com.

Selected discography

* 1976 Portal of Antrim — Adelphi
* 1979 Orgonomic Music — Clean Cuts
* 1980 Rivers of Memory — Clean Cuts
* 1982 Update (Jessica Williams album) — Clean Cuts
* 1986 Nothin' But the Truth — BlackHawk
* 1990 And Then, There's This — Timeless
* 1992 Live at Maybeck Recital Hall, Vol. 21 — Concord Jazz
* 1993 Next Step — Hep
* 1993 Arrival — Jazz Focus
* 1994 Momentum — Jazz Focus
* 1994 Song That I Heard — HEP
* 1994 In the Pocket — Hep
* 1994 Encounters — Jazz Focus
* 1995 Inventions — Jazz Focus
* 1995 Joy — Jazz Focus
* 1995 Intuition — Jazz Focus
* 1996 Gratitude — Candid
* 1996 Jessica's Blues — Jazz Focus
* 1996 Victoria Concert — Jazz Focus
* 1997 Higher Standards — Candid
* 1998 Encounters, Vol. 2 — Jazz Focus
* 1998 Joyful Sorrow: A Solo Tribute to Bill Evans — BlackHawk
* 1999 In the Key of Monk — Jazz Focus
* 1999 Ain't Misbehavin' — Candid
* 2000 Jazz in the Afternoon — Candid
* 2000 Blue Fire — Jazz Focus
* 2001 I Let a Song Go out of My Heart — Hep
* 2001 Some Ballads, Some Blues — Jazz Focus
* 2002 This Side Up — MaxJazz
* 2003 All Alone — MaxJazz
* 2004 Live At Yoshi's, Vol. 1 — MaxJazz
* 2004 The Real Deal (Jessica Williams album) — Hep Jazz
* 2005 Live at Yoshi's, Vol. 2 — MaxJazz
* 2006 Billy's Theme: A Tribute to Dr. Billy Taylor — Origin Arts
* 2008 Songs for a New Century — Origin Arts


Lala.com now tops my list of the best online music sites. Reasons:
  • a huge collection (lala claims 6 millions tracks, but I've found a number of albums missing).
  • stream any tune in its entirety once for free; after that one listen, you will be limited to the 30 second tease.
  • Pay 10 cents to purchase the right to stream any of these songs with no limitations on number of times. When you sign up you get 50 free songs for streaming, a $5.00 value
  • Purchase for download any of the songs for an additional 79 cents (89 cents total). The tunes are DRM-free mp3s. Most of the MP3 files are encoded using variable bit rates (VBR), aiming at an average of 256 kilobits per second (kbps)
  • Lala.com will scan the collection on your computer and match them to lala.com's catalog (this "matching" is less than perfect). You can listen to your music collection on lala at no cost. If lala can't match the tune, it will upload your copy. (again, this feature is not perfect).
  • there are some sharing features which I haven't fully explored yet, but I have noticed that several lala users have become "followers" of my collection, which means they are exploring it to discover new music based on what I have listened to.
Lastly, you can embed tunes or albums in a blog, which I'll now do with favorite artists from time-to-time. I assume that you, as a reader, will be able to listen to the tunes once, per the listening restrictions described above, but of course you can go to Lala, become a member, and either add a tune to your online listening collection for 10 cents or download the tune.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Andreas Guitar Universe

Guitar virtuoso Andreas Oberg is starting an on-line guitar school. This is guaranteed to reduce the number of guitarists in the world, but to increase the number of girls and women learning jazz guitar.

Click the image to go to the site.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A full 51 minute lesson by Robert Conti - The More I See You

This is the first time I've seen several full lessons by Conti on the web. In the lesson below -- The More I Love You -- it's funny that Conti can't play the full tune because he didn't get an OK from the copyright owner. I would think that a performance of the full tune would be covered by fair use, but I guess he wants to be conservative. Several other full-length lessons are available from the page that hosts the video linked below.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Martino Unstrung

This movie about Pat Martino's brain disease and recovery has been a long time in the works. Apparently, it was released in late October. This is an extraordinary story that most jazz guitarists are familiar with. I hope the movie is a huge success, and exposes a lot of people to what seems to have been a miracle of brain science.

A link to the trailer on youtube is embedded below. The film has a website here. And, here is a link to an interview with Pat Martino on allaboutjazz.com on the subject of the movie. Unlike many musicians, who tend to be private and reclusive, Pat Martino puts himself right out there.

I'm unsure how this movie will be distributed. The martinostrung.com website mentions a couple of movie festivals (Barcelona and Seattle), but says nothing about broader distribution that I can see.

Monday, November 03, 2008