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The Return of the E.S.G.

…as opposed to MSG, MDA, MMA or ESL…

Announcing the THIRD meeting of the newly-reformed Ellington Study Group LA, now officially underwritten (thank you very much!) by the Academy of Scoring Arts.

The first two last fall were very well-attended;  we rebooted a bunch of material from past (pre 2015) classes, added some stuff, and got into it even deeper…Ellington’s “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue”, Gil Evans’ “Blues for Pablo” and “St. Louis Blues”… with more to come, including works by Bob Brookmeyer, George Russell, and of course my main man, Sun Ra.

This class is for pro’s: film composers, legit composers, jazz composers, jazz and classical instrumentalists, rockers, or any interested party with a bit of a background in theory and harmony. While some of these folks (mainly the composers) don’t do “music community” involvement very well, when they get together it’s pretty cool. As it turns out, lots of people know lots about writing, everyone has great ears and a love of music, and I end up learning just as much as the attendees.

More info, including materials from past classes is available at ellingtonstudygroup.com.
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Here’s the agenda for the third meeting on Friday, December 18th, from 10 am to noon at Vitello’s in Studio City.

We’ll visit “Concerto for Cootie”, and revisit “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue” by Ellington, glean some more scoring and comp techniques from a time when the only rule was there are no rules. We’ll move quickly to Gil Evans’ Miles Ahead, and continue our discussion of  “Blues or Pablo”, which will feature a detailed analysis of voicing, composition and orchestration techniques. This piece is a primer in Gil’s techniques–and there are a few choice passages where he moves the music forward through orchestration – this adds a third dimension to the music.

I also want to touch on a few pieces which we’ll listen to without the score…something from “The Individualism of Gil Evans” (by Gil Evans), or perhaps a record I just rediscovered, an early small big band session by Bob Brookmeyer. Or both. Or maybe something from George Russell. Or Sun Ra.

I’m expecting a good turnout like the last two sessions. There will be handouts as well as copies of analog scores to look at, in addition to the projection. See you there! Scott

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