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“Jazz Arranging for Keyboardists”, from Keyboard Magazine April, 2013

We do so much work with computers – we might forget how to write for real instruments. Jazz arranging, while it will never become a lost art, might loose some of the subtleties that the masters have taught us. I’ve been writing for Keyboard Magazine for almost ten years, and I’ve seen it go through many changes, many new formats, writers and editors. The current incarnation with Stephen Fortner as editor is, as Moe Green says, “bigger and swankier than any of the rub joints in Vegas”.  They recently brought back full, notated, lessons covering everything from basic technique to…

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So much for hating music theory. I did just finish a blog post at Professorscosco where I go on and on about linear harmony. Check it out! It’s got some cool graphics, like this: I don’t know (or care) if it’s the correct term, but what I call linear harmony involves forgetting what you know about chord “progression” and instead thinking about broader and less defined tonal movement. Tension and resolution happen (though not necessarily where you expect it)…and perhaps there is never a cadence, a ii-V, or even a tonic key center. Linear motion can imply sharp harmonic movement,…

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Twenty Years in the Vault: Scott Healy – Glenn Alexander Quartet’s Northern Light   For an album that has been stowed away in the vault for over twenty years Scott Healy and Glenn Alexander’s Northern Light  has a taut, modern sound and sensibility. This enjoyable recording was taped by these two talented musicians back in December of 1991, along with the tight and elastic rhythm section of Kermit Driscoll on bass and Jeff Hirshfield on drums. You would be hard pressed to believe it isn’t a current offering. After this quartet disbanded, Alexander went on to some of his own…

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Jazz Weekly “Hudson City Suite” Review

MODERN JAZZ CREATIVITY-Jeff Babko: Crux, Scott Healy Ensemble: Hudson City Suite February 7, 2013 By George W. Harris Here are a pair of releases that reflect a modern attitude towards jazz. Both are lead by pianists/keyboardists, but you wouldn’t know it by listening, as each guy avoids the spotlight, keeping an attitude of team effort throughout their performance of original material. The music has a link to the past but keeps up with the times as well. Jeff Babkouses piano, Fender Rhodes and programming as he teams up with a core of Tim Lefebvre/b and Gene Coye and a rotating…

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