Monthly Archives: February 2021

A history of the ‘Autumn Leaves’ progression (with ‘Paul’s Question’, a tune on the changes of ‘Autumn Leaves’)

Two of the most iconic jazz versions of Autumn Leaves combine the tune’s melody and chord progression with a rhythmic figure idiomatic to jazz sometimes called the ‘Charleston rhythm’.  This title relates the rhythm to the James P. Johnson composition … Continue reading

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Get Your Steps In: stepwise patterns time-traveling through music history, featuring Mozart, Haydn, Ella Fitzgerald and more (Emulate, Assimilate, Innovate part 1)

Trumpeter, composer and educator Clark Terry, who I got to play with briefly in the early 2000s when he visited UVM, often used the phrase ’emulate, assimilate, innovate’ to describe the process by which improvisers develop their melodic language.  In … Continue reading

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