I’ve been practising 12 bar blues bass lines. Nothing complicated, in fact, quite the opposite. The notes are simple as can be so I can work on my technique and groove and also sing at the same time. For Bb blues, my tune is Blue Monk – slow, groovy and slightly odd, but very satisfying to sing the melody and play the bass line together. It takes me back to my early twenties when, as a classically trained pianist, I was twisting my brain in knots trying to work out jazz .
I walked into my son’s room this evening to see what he was watching on youtube. Turns out it’s this brilliant Swedish trombone player who can tap dance while she plays. I’ll not be surprised if my young man has learned to tap dance by the end of summer just so he can have some rhythm while he toots his horn.
Bach and jazz, I hear you say, what do they have in common? Well, J.S. Bach was the master improviser and innovator when it came to music. Had been around in the 20th century he surely would have been a jazz star, doing all the amazing harmonic and melodic things that make him a genius, but with a swinging beat. French pianist Jacques Loussier took Bach into the modern world in the 1950s – playing jazzed up Bach. It is nothing short of exquisite, not to mention incredibly skilful.