thumbnail of Focus; Talk about Jazz
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
Good morning this is Focus 580 our morning telephone talk show My name is Jack Brighton sitting in for David Inge glad you could listen during this hour focused 580. Let's talk about jazz. We don't do that enough on the show. This community is blessed with a long history of jazz performances and musicianship. And we don't pay enough attention to it. The Center for the Performing Arts is now organizing a season long community engagement project exploring jazz called Jazz threads providing a number of opportunities for listeners musicians children everyone to experience enjoy and learn about jazz. During this hour we'll talk about that and have a dialogue about what jazz is all about. Our guest is one of the hardest working jazz musicians on the New York City scene. Cecil Bridgewater Cecil Bridgewater was born and raised in Champaign Urbana and is a graduate of the University of Illinois. He is in fact a third generation jazz musician from the Bridgewater family around here. He's performed and recorded with the likes of Max Roach Horace Silver Dizzy Gillespie
McCoy Tyner the Count Basie Orchestra the Duke elec. An orchestra and the Thad Jones Mel Lewis orchestra. Not a bad jazz resume. He's also produced recordings for other artists and has CDs of his own compositions and recordings. He's a faculty member of the New School for Social Research and also dedicates time to spreading the gospel of jazz through art reach. And Dr. Billy Taylor's Jazz mobile programs and it's his trumpet playing in the background by the way Cecil Bridgewater will be in Champaign Urbana the week after next for a week of events in the jazz Reds project including a performance with his band at the Crown Center on September 27 will also be giving a series of clinics and master classes in the champagne schools park and college in the University of Illinois. And on September 23rd at noon. Center at the university YMCA. No your university lecture later that evening he'll be part of a jazz jam at champagnes two main lounge Matt lounge starting at 9 o'clock and will have a bit of a jazz jam with Cecil Bridgewater starting right here during this hour of focus
as we talk with Cecil Bridgewater going to play some music and we're going to invite your calls if you have questions or comments on the subject of jazz. You can join is the number around Champaign-Urbana 3 3 3 9 4 5 5. We also have a toll free line anywhere you hear us around the Midwest or anywhere in the U.S. if you're listening on the web 800 to 2 2 9 4 5 5 any time feel free to join our conversation. And meanwhile let's say hello to Cecil Bridgewater who joins us by telephone this morning from New York. Mr. Bridgewater Hello. Oh you. I'm good how are you doing. Glad to be there. Well we're very happy to have you and we're going to have actually I think the first of three weeklong visits you're making to Champagne about a kind of yeah you're going to be the hardest working man in Champaign-Urbana. Yeah I just heard you read off all of those things I'm going to be doing so it does look like I'm going to be busy. Made me tired just listing them all. Well I'm looking forward to it it's an opportunity to to you know share some of the information that I
gathered over the years with a lot of the community and young musicians and you know that's always a joy for me. Right. Well I hope during this hour we can talk about a lot of things and one thing I would like to do that's okay with you is play some music and then talk about it. OK. And one of the things that I want to try to get at is the diversity that exists within jazz. And what maybe you know people don't you know people think of jazz in one way and you know maybe haven't been exposed to a variety of different kinds of ideas or you know well let's talk about how people understand jazz. Some people love jazz right away. Other people sometimes learn to love it and maybe some people never do for whatever reason. Well that I think has to do with exposure for myself my brother and my sister. We got exposed through our parents very early on when I was about 10 years or so. PRISCUS and my father took me to a concert at. Jim
and I remember sitting in what seemed like the rafters and looking down and this band came out and started to play and I got excited about that. And then this trumpet player came out and he started to play and and I I think that's when I decided that's what I wanted to do. I didn't know what they were doing. You know I don't know what the music was called or anything but it was exciting to me and that was something I was interested in and I did my father pick up the trumpet you know around the house and played some and he would let me blow on it a little bit. But when I heard this gentleman come out and play well it turned out it was Louis Armstrong and a couple of years later Dad took me to another concert at home. Then it was a big band and so I got excited all over again and turned out it was a Duke Ellington Orchestra. Yeah. So you know exposure. For us children was a big key because that exposed us to some things that we might not have you know heard ordinarily. And I guess one of the big things that's one of the things that I enjoy being involved with now is
exposing young children I mean I just played something here in New York for preschoolers and to see them get excited about listening to the music and just being involved in it was you know was always a big doing because some of that age than you know from the rest of their lives I can appreciate to whatever degree they want that type of music. I certainly understand what you're saying what my own daughter who when she was 4 heard Louis Armstrong and who you just mentioned. And she was immediately oh wow I really like this. What do you what is this music called and we told her this is jazz and this is jazz and she said I like jazz. Well I think that's a big part of it because sometimes. Later on the good children get involved with with others kids and peer pressure and so forth and oh you know you know I don't like that stuff. Sure. You know whatever it might be it might be music and I'd be in you know anything else.
But I got an early age. They're wide open to whatever you know their fancy. So I think that's a it's an important aspect of it too because sometimes you know later on we get inhibitions about liking and disliking certain things aren't you know. But I guess children are wide open to that so that's why exposure for me was very important early on. Sometimes think jazz can be intimidating for people who think they don't. Maybe they can't understand it. Well yeah and you know not some of the quote unquote phobias that I think people do. It's just music. You know it's like any other kind of music you know. And that's one of the problems that I have with quote unquote categories people put want to put music in certain kinds of categories but the last word and there's music and you know that should appeal to everybody whether it's Indian music or Japanese music or African music or
wherever it comes from. The main thing is that it has somebody emotional. You know you get something emotionally from it. And no matter what kind of music it is so if you feel something about the music then it's probably OK. And so you know then take all the other stigmas away from it as to how difficult it is I mean if that was the case and we wouldn't be able to understand the European composers and you know all the other kinds of quote unquote categories that we've put in music and jazz is no more difficult or no more strange than anything else. Yeah. You mentioned growing up hearing a little Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington you know in Huff hall and maybe people who have been here a long time know this in maybe people passing through go to the University of Illinois maybe not even connected with you know especially those not connect with the music program aren't aware of the Deep Roots
of Music in this in Champaign Urbana Champaign County. Sure. Well. What it's like growing up in the community I found a number of musicians who were living in Champaign for whatever reason and one of course was Jack mag who from Champaign also a great organist who was a bass player before that and he brought a group of musicians to Champagne who were living in Chicago at the time and some of them stayed. One of those gentleman we can go by his stage name Count Damon who's a great drummer and entertainer Tony is a moron sort of phoniness who came to live in Champaign Urbana along with Norman Langford who was also from the area heights. My uncle Pete were all instrumental in being involved in music within the community. And then of course on the campus John Garvey
just on a couple of years before I started that you had started to institute a jazz program of some sort there wasn't part of the school it was you know an adjunct to the school. But he was bringing in people like J.J. Johnson and the Modern Jazz Quartet Eric Dolphy and various people you know to perform at the University and also to perform with the bands that we had there and a number of good musicians who came in you know to the school because they found out it was a good program there. So that helped nurture a lot of musicians from the campus and from you know all around the country. And then right across the street from our house on Washington was a club that was the AMVETS American veterans. And they used to have music on there there on the weekends on Mondays. And so my brother and I used to listen you know to the music coming across
from the from the club. We didn't know necessarily what we were listening to at the time it was just exciting and we enjoyed it. I don't think all the people in the neighborhood necessarily enjoyed it because you know people would come out of the club and be a little noisy up to three o'clock in the morning you know so it wasn't right necessarily the most pleasant thing for some of the other people but for the run and it was exciting and we you know live in the window and listen. We fell asleep so it was you know great experience to get a chance to hear music even though we couldn't obviously couldn't go into a place with selling alcohol anything at that age and we were like kids. We're talking this morning with Cecil Bridgewater he's a jazz musician composer and performer living in New York City from Champaign Urbana and he'll be visiting here for a week in the cleaner jazz thread series engaging in a number of activities. And we have a caller to talk with we're going to continue our conversation with Cecil Bridgewater play some more
music and also welcome recalls. The number again around champion a band of 3 3 3 9 4 5 5 toll free elsewhere. Eight hundred to 2 2 9 4 5 5. Let's talk with a listener in Champaign County on line number one. Good morning. Good morning. I'm sort of peripheral to the jazz scene here on the fans and I'm fairly big enthusiastic and I have to mention that I went to the Chicago Jazz Festival to the Sunday night finale which some people here said was the weakest of the events and it was an amazing show. All four acts including the finale which was the McCoy Tyner big band with 11 horns it was just awesome. And I guess he was there for the inaugural Jazz Festival 25 years ago so there's a long legacy there but that's just sort of an aside and I'm still high on the event think yes I want to ask specifically was about your father's legacy and as I say I'm not plugged in but I think there was some
discussion at the Jazz thread's group and some other groups here that your father has a garage full of old tapes of interviews and maybe performances too. And is anybody taking care of those at the nicest when they're here somebody would you know you know resources and I'll hang up and listen because I got a noisy line here. OK our techs not doing very good. OK thanks for asking. Pete who's a disc jockey for many many years who just passed away back and June was here a number of interview CDs 78 33 and a third you know are on tape and everything interviews and recordings. Used on his show many times and so he. All of that stuff is at the home and his children are trying to decide how they want to you know put that all together I think it should be all archived somewhere and the mother's been instrumental in talking with them about that also.
You know he is he mentioned in interviews with Duke Ellington and a number of other artists that had visited Champaign on occasion. Neither do concerts or you know Duke used to come sometimes but he would play for dances and a portion of the performance would be a concert. But I mean I remember he used to come to the. Oh various places and cities. As I mentioned to Jim but also to play dances sometimes but a lot of that stuff is. Pete's you know his children and try to decide what to do with how to archive all of that stuff. Maybe put it all on CDs and hopefully you know make it available to everybody for research etc.. Your Uncle Pete had a radio show on us for some 20 years. Yeah yeah yeah. Sometimes I would come home and you know interview me on the show and one time I came home and he played a record it was a very first recording I ever made in
Champaign. And I had completely forgotten about it. And he sprung that on me. He used to do things like that. But yeah he had a you had a number of you know he was there for a number of years and built up quite an arc of recordings and interviews and everything. So hopefully we'll get a chance to to build into that at some point and you know have that available to it especially the music school or to the community. You know anybody who's interested in possibly doing research and things like that that would be very worthwhile. Sure yeah. We have another call to talk with listen to them in our conversation. Another champagne listener on line number one. Good morning on focus 580. Good morning. Yes I just wanted to say that I know your mom I work with her and she's one of the most wonderful people I've ever met and she's wonderful for children accessibly She's a very.
I think I do too. Thank you. OK thanks for the call. We said we were going to we set out to play some music and I like to I like to do that and if it's OK with you I'd like to play a cut off a your CD mean what you say a wonderful track called Louisiana strut and is that would that would that be an acceptable choice. That came about from a trip to the universe of my own idea has been made in New Orleans and we were part of the Jazz and Heritage Festival the nine thousand sixty nine I think we went down there. We ended up playing Benny Carter who just passed away. The arrangements behind Sarah. But just the experience of being there and having an opportunity to you know taste the food and sort of taste the city gave me an idea of composition and this is what it turned out to be OK and I believe this
features a lot of the people who are going to be playing with you. Yeah. So Kenny Davis on bass piano my brother on saxophone and the drummer on this one is Billy Hart. But Carl Allen will be the drummer with this on a number of occasions. OK well this is a seven minute track so if it's ok we will play the whole thing but I certainly want to play a good portion of it to get critical a sense of the music. This is Louisiana.
You'll. See.
Wow. Wow. Wow.
Wow. OK that's a track called Louisiana straight off the Cecil bridge waters disc. I mean what you say. And very nice thank you. Yeah it's always a little difficult for me to listen to me. I've always been. Oh I could have done it better this could have been you know your buddy Also it sounds great but of course just right now you play trumpet and flugelhorn. I guess I'm curious as to how you decide what to play on what usually depends on the type of piece. If it's something like maybe a boss or something I'm more apt to play flugel horn. If it's something that needs a little more power than it's probably going to be on trumpet so plentiful. I love playing both of them as you know round kind of fatter sound and it lends itself to certain kinds of tunes for me at least. Yeah so it depends on what you want to sound like right. Yeah yeah we have a caller talk with listen
clued them in a conversation another listener in Urbana next on line number one. Good morning unfocussed 580. I'm so excited you're coming I have so many questions that are going to ask one. But like when you wrote that last tunes that the harmonies in the horns. How do you how do you do that or what extend pretty well what are the intervals and then coming back into little pieces. What about intervals. Like if you were going to play two intervals that would make a listener you know kid or something like me. OK I hear that I hear that just to make it less true what would they be. And if it does and then you know OK that's that's enough thanks. OK thanks. Well you know. Most likely the same question with a bout of flu are depends on what the PC seems to call for cause. Try to envision every piece
being something unto itself or to exemplify a certain thing. Sometimes Ron and I are playing the same notes. Sometimes we're playing in what we call thirds depending on you know the composition and the you know what the intent. What I'm trying to portray and that a lot of what I've learned started champion high school trying to write for. Right. You know for a small group that we had it was Darnell banks was playing saxophone on occasion Maurice McKinley would play drums with us and so we would you know I was trying to learn from listening to other people and deciding on you know what made that sound that way. And over the years of course having been in bands with. People like chorus over a great composer and arranger. I learned a lot from him also from you know being at that Downs mellows orchestra
and just listening and learning and trying things and seeing what works. There's always you know it's always kind of a trial and error. And if it works and you keep it if it doesn't work then you set it aside and see if it works one place one of the interesting things to me about jazz harmonies always been the sort of extension voicings and using a lot of sort of altered voicings Maybe instead of playing the root in the bass playing something completely unexpected perhaps. You know in terms of you know well you know that's part of what the beauty of this music is you know why it attracted me. I mean when I was growing up I studied with a trumpet teacher who was a Jew you know. First of all and I have school Sexton and he was taking me through all the classical literature and so forth. He didn't he didn't he said he didn't know much about jazz and was going to try to teach me that he'd realize I had an interest in it. But he said he was going to teach me how to practice
and so he would give me practice techniques in order to accomplish whatever it was I want to accomplish. And from that I could go on and do whatever I wanted to do. But with jazz there was an immediate opportunity to be a composer and make a contribution to the music and sort of you know having to play Beethoven and Bach and Brahms and so forth and so on just playing there and the notes that were written and interpreted by the conductor. Going to realize that these people were also great improvisers. You know there was a piece there was the place in particular that the composer an opportunity to improvise. So I used to go down a little bit of trouble of the universe of on I asked them why they didn't teach us to improvise in the style of Bach great Beethoven or Brahms or somebody but you know that wasn't part of the curriculum and wasn't part of what was supposed to happen. So jazz was my outlet for doing that was an opportunity to to
change my solo. Every time I played it so that you know that was the exciting part for me that was the opportunity to make a big contribution. And it's carried me through you know ever since. We're well past our midpoint here we're talking with Cecil. Bridgewater jazz musician composer performer living in New York City right now he's from Champaign Urbana will be returning here as part of the Center Jazz thread series actually the first week the first week of three that he'll be doing coming back doing a number of clinics and events talking with people jam sessions and a whole bunch of activities and we're also inviting you to partake in this conversation if you'd like to join us. The number around Champaign-Urbana 3 3 3 9 4 5 5. Toll free elsewhere. 800 to 2 2 9 4 5 5. One of the most astonishing performances I ever saw was a solo piano performance by Billy Taylor. Chicago a
few years ago I was actually at a public radio conference and all the public radio people gather at least those who can afford to every once in a while every year to talk about what we're doing. And this was on the the event is a sort of entertainment thing but also educational because it was an opportunity to interact with Billy Taylor. He played I don't know what it was honestly it was the most astonishing improvisation consisting of a sort of a loose structure that he was improv improvising on and just completely. Just blew everybody's minds and it was just him then. Then he got up and said. OK Does anybody have any questions. Anybody. Their jaws were just still kind of hanging down and nobody said anything and he kind of said OK I'll just keep playing then yeah yeah yeah I mean he has command of many many different styles going back to the stride piano style.
Yeah. You know and right on up through a lot of things he does he has one piece that he plays just completely with the left hand and of course a couple of years ago he had a mild stroke and so that slowed him down a little bit but only temporarily he's back up and running again. That's But you know there's hands on a lot of different kinds of things you know. You mentioned jazz mobile which is a thing that he started here in New York started. Think back in the late middle late 60s I got involved in 70 71 teaching in the workshops and also doing in the summertime to go around to each of the boroughs in New York and do a series of concerts and go and winter months ago into the schools and do some teaching and so forth. But you know that kind of command of the instrument and a knowledge of the music and the history of the music so that you know provides a very
important reference you know a living reference for this music. We have a couple callers waiting let's include in their conversation another urban a listener next on line number one. Good morning. Yeah I was just. One time I was writing an article and you know I was working on a story. This this and that well yeah right and then you'll go get a Ph.D. and nothing will happen. Nothing on them that hasn't been to do with that history. Just listening to you Haskell and then you know whole big pieces of things I didn't know that to just with a bass player before that and all that stuff and all that stuff. I just wonder if and then make your mother met because she's so gracious. But do you have any anger about disseminating the music and then you know people jump up and say how I know this and I know that and and then
the true legacy the true improvising of it the truth. Oh you know the assault that came upon it made is that some of the screenings and some of the lyricism even more beautiful gets sort of down the more you want to whatever. Thanks I'll get off and I don't need to be confrontational but I know you'll make this beautiful thank you. Well. You know the history of this music has always been early on especially had been an oral history. There was a tradition that comes from African traditions where things are passed on orally from one generation to the next. In Africa they have what they call the Grio the storyteller who knew all the information about what went on and in his community and he disseminated that on to you know to the rest of the special the young people coming out so that they would know it was a gentleman a student who's that one of the school's a teacher here in New York who's who knows I think has something like 15 to 20
generations of his family going way back. And I think he's from Nigeria trumpet player. And that's just something he's been taught over the years. A lot of times in today's society you know the tendency is to discard our history as meat and you know it's like. Something that happened in the 90s for kids coming into college. Whatever happened in the 90s is now back in the day for them. They call it back in a day. You know the 90s is not even back in the day for me. This is like yesterday. Right. But a lot of the traditions and and discarded in this country more so than other places I've gone to Europe many years ago the first couple of times I went to Europe people would come up to me with albums that I had been on or they would talk to me about recordings that I had done and different kinds of things because they have maybe much more of a sense of history and Japan is like that.
But you know in the United States from very merrily we're interested in the latest and the newest and fastest and whatever. And we don't really pay that great attention to what we're building on that's one of the things I try to impress on students is that they're standing on the shoulders of all of these great musicians who came before them and for that reason they have to know about these people and they have to study them and they have to understand you know what it is that they went through that is now allowing them to do what it is they do. And if we gloss over that of past that by I think we lose a lot. So just smile. Personal History My father played trumpet although not professionally played while he was in the Navy. Then in high school before that he grew up in the school of Al-Anon as did my uncle pete. Then their father was a professional musician trumpet player. Some at least the third generation he played the circuses all around the country. Three quarters of the year
winter months he was at home he was also in the earthquake in San Francisco 19 0 6 and I've put his name in on the Internet one time when I found out he was one of the lesser known cornet soloists of his time. My mother played piano and saying she still does and with church choir and so for my mother and father also played and her father was a dance band called Max Scott and the foot warmers. Grandpa played saxophone played drums wrote music sang as well and you know so that. A little bit of history that comes down to musicians having grown up in the Champaign-Urbana area I was actually born in what used to be a Mercy Hospital having to go abroad and ended up growing up like about two blocks from there on Washington Street and champagne. So really a product of you know the community and
of course my parents and the exposure that they gave us to the music. My cozen Lendl who lived right next door to my grandmother it an extensive record collection also and he was an audio file so he would play anything I wanted him to play but I could not jump or move around in a room for fear that you know might scratch the records. But he would play just about anything I wanted to go by to visit him. We have a couple of the people waiting to talk with us. Let's go next to Alyssa and champagne on line number two. Good morning on focus 580. Yes. And join the conversation I had a question about counterpoint and Jeff this is really the final thing. The first label and it's a version of Little Girl Blue counterpointed and I wanted to kind of point that having humility going at the same time to something that's common in jazz or in your music and that's something that you. Yeah. Think of this continuously to use you know one of the things about quote unquote
jazz is that it borrows from every everything and everybody and just about people like Duke Ellington wrote compositions many that are not that well-known Liberian sweet and so forth that you know utilize some of the African rhythms and things that he heard yet another suite called the Eurasian suite from travels that he made throughout Asia and Europe. And you know rhythms like one of those all of those things that that have come from other countries are utilized in this music quite a bit as well as sort of classical You know European classical elements of harmony and counterpoint and so forth. So you know it's. Doctors say it's a compositional improvisation is instant composition and many times you know things happen for the first time and sometimes the only time they ever happen in a performance that's why it's always good to hear the music is when you can which is another thing I stress to
students. You know the record is one thing and that's always going to be the same way on a record or a CD. But when you go to hear somebody live it's going to be different each time because they can't reproduce exactly what they did before not the pianist. So Roland Hanna who passed away just a little over a year ago used to do at concerts and I first encountered him with that Johns and playing with him and we did a number of quartet Quintet and things together. I remember once saying the road you know announcing to the audience that Roland was on the you know with the term genius around loosely but I said Roldan is truly a genius because he never repeats and so. So he leaned over to me and said Just because I can't remember. So but he was a very accomplished. You know he would sit and play these rhapsodic long pieces that were totally improvised and some of them sounded like you know Bach
prelude or something and other pieces you know would utilize all kinds of elements. Thanks for the call. We only have about 12 minutes left I want to play some more music and then we have another caller I hope you won't mind. Personal money making them wait. But just you know to sort of spread out the spectrum here I wanted to play something by Miles Davis and then maybe talk about you know the you know we talked about the variety of jazz jazz borrowing from so many from anything. Essentially this is way different. This is something from the Bitches Brew desk a track called Spanish key and this features actually three people playing piano Joe Zawinul Larry Young and Chick Korea. None of you know the disc and Wayne Shorter on soprano sax Lenny White on drums and a whole bunch of really great musicians. So let's let's play a little bit of this cut just to sort of get a sense and then we'll talk some more.
Need. The name. You'll meet. Her.
All right this Miles Davis from The Bitches Brew which certainly was something that hit me pretty hard when it came out. That's a track called Spanish. And you know the thing about that that strikes me is there is a lot. First of all there's a lot going on. The second thing is a will there is the tonic that the bass is kind of just you know vamping on. But there's a lot of tension going on around that tonic and sort of an implication that it's shifting when in fact it rarely did what I think it does. Maybe once or twice but essentially it stays in the same key but there's a lot of stuff going on that's way outside that well actually built. That particular cut anyway is not that much different from what he did about 20 years before that on Luzon and some of the things he did with Bill Evans on piano. Can they name the slip. He did in the late
fifties. This album was kind of different because he was using a lot of electronic instruments just previously to that Columbia. Herbie Hancock played Fender Rhodes and so did Korea with him at that point. But this was more of like a layering sound. It wasn't just one you know one particular sound that he was working from. When he did so in those days it was like a modal scale that he just played from. Actually if you listen closely Miles doesn't play much differently than he did he always did. It's just the surroundings the things that he put around him sometimes that were different. So he was he was very consistent he was also very forward looking. You know he's always looking for different sounds of a thing. Has to put together and different ways of presenting himself and presenting the music in a special light and there were a lot of people who
when this album came out did not like it at all and kind of reviled against it. But Miles was always you know two three steps ahead of everybody else. And what he was trying to accomplish and what he was trying to do. And so that just became part of who he was. One of things about Miles Davis that always struck me as he could he could really say a lot with very few notes. You know he made you know that's one of the things that it's hard to get across to students and to get them to understand just get to the point you know and leave off all of you know all of the verbiage and we don't necessarily need and just get to the point you know get to what it is you want to say and I think that's the mark of a you know a great orator is to be able to do that. It takes a lot of editing on your part. Instant editing because as you're performing you have to edit which is saying what you doing. And you know but again Miles had the
opportunity to perform on going Lee you know with his band as well you know to develop that kind of way of playing when he was with Charlie Parker Troy Parker played a lot didn't have to play as much you know as many notes when he was with John Coltrane it was the same kind of thing. So he developed. I guess maybe the first minimalist in so to speak. But the style and you know that he developed over the years. We have another call to talk with him just about maybe four minutes left so let's include them. They've been waiting patiently and this is a listener in normal on line number four. Good morning. I wanted to talk about what you just mentioned the scale never fully understood plain and could you give a brief explanation planeloads am I correct in assuming that a lot of selling is based on the same. Well it depends I mean like the earlier Louis Armstrong came
along in that period from New Orleans or from wherever in the country they tend to deploy more the arpeggiated kind of playing which means that kind of playing with you know that was coming from the march music that that was influential at that time. And we get into the 40s and the so-called bebop era with Charlie Parker Dizzy Gillespie J.J. Johnson people like that so long as a month they started to play more scale the scale and introduced different kinds of notes. By the time I was kind of introduced the modal concept it was well done Coltrane is a good example John Coltrane had a composition called Giant Steps where you hear the piano and a bass player moving to every combination of sounds
that he was playing on the horn and then once you get introduced to. Modal playing he would have the rhythm section play one foot you know play it like a drone like an Indian drone or something and then he would improvise all of these other things on top of that. So it doesn't just stay in one key for the improviser off and it moves around. But for the rhythm section the piano bass drums sometimes they're you know kind of used in a sort of way to create that that one sound and then the piano player of course is allowed to superimpose other sounds on top of that. But it becomes a situation for an improviser is actually more difficult because you've got to be much more imaginative when you start to perform in that style because it could get
extremely boring if you just playing the same notes over and over and over. Where there's different kinds of music where you hear the chord changes moving a lot. It creates its own variety and and improvise or you know can improvise over that. So it's but but. It all breaks down to storytelling. Being able to tell the story no matter what style you're playing in so that you know it becomes a thing where you get the point across you get to the point you tell the story. Thank you. All right thanks very much for the call. We're at the point where we're going to have to stop. I want to take at least a minute of the time remaining though to mention a couple of events coming up the first of which is well actually not the first of which but perhaps the marquee event is your concert at Krannert center Tryon festival theaters Saturday September 27 7:30 p.m. and you can have your band with you then. Yes. And that should be great. You know looking forward to that.
Yeah and a whole bunch of events and I take it you're going to be talking to a whole lot of people while you're here in town. Well that's what I'd say. And it's interesting because growing up I was extremely extremely shy and I wouldn't talk to anybody you know over the years of become more comfortable with the subject in particular and other subjects that you know got a chance to get into. And by teaching of course you know standing up in front of class and and having already and and actually realize that people are listening. So you know then you become better at it. But it's about storytelling again. You know but the performance level for me I mean even in high school when I was extremely shy I could always get up in front of people and play the trumpet. I would get a little nervous but it was you know as long as I had to type it in my hands it was OK walking down the street to talk to somebody might be more difficult for me at that point. But I've gotten
Talk about Jazz
Producing Organization
WILL Illinois Public Media
Contributing Organization
WILL Illinois Public Media (Urbana, Illinois)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/16-154dn4031p).
Guest: Cecil Bridgewater, jazz musician Host: Jack Brighton
Talk Show
community; MUSIC; MUSIC; Jazz; History
Media type
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Guest: Bridgewater, Cecil
Host: Brighton, Jack
Producer: Brighton, Jack
Producing Organization: WILL Illinois Public Media
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Illinois Public Media (WILL)
Identifier: focus030912a.mp3 (Illinois Public Media)
Format: audio/mpeg
Generation: Copy
Duration: 49:35
Illinois Public Media (WILL)
Identifier: focus030912a.wav (Illinois Public Media)
Format: audio/vnd.wav
Generation: Master
Duration: 49:35
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Focus; Talk about Jazz,” 2003-09-12, WILL Illinois Public Media, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 10, 2019,
MLA: “Focus; Talk about Jazz.” 2003-09-12. WILL Illinois Public Media, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 10, 2019. <>.
APA: Focus; Talk about Jazz. Boston, MA: WILL Illinois Public Media, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from