Jazz School News, Thoughts and Events.

Hearing vs Listening

Posted by David Bloom on Nov 10, 2010 5:45:00 PM

As we walk down the street many sounds come into our reality. We hear buses accelerate, laughing, shouting, fire truck sirens, motorcycles… a whole array of auditory stimulants.  The awareness of these sounds is not a matter of choice but a matter of biology because we hear these sounds whether we like them or not.

Listening, on the other hand, is a matter of choice. If you are talking with someone you have the option of just hearing the sounds while you think your own thoughts or actually listening to what you are hearing. To listen means that you are carefully considering everything that is being said and responding to it.

If you are a musician and you are only hearing what others are playing without listening, the results will be chaotic. The dynamics won't match, some notes will be inappropriately louder or softer than the others, the timing will not be in synch, and other problems will occur. In affect, you will not be playing with others, you will only be playing simultaneously as others play.

The potential for musical or social intimacy becomes possible when you listen to others, and impossible when you don't.  A bad band sounds like they are playing in the same building but not in the same room.

In a great jazz band, everything that is played is listened to deeply in order to assess the inspirational and navigational value. While the sax player is soloing, the drummer, piano player, and bassist have many response options. They may imitate, play against or just play time without any dramatic response. When musicians listen at this deep level they are opening up access to the moment, talking musically with each other as new ideas occur. 

Nothing of value can happen between musicians (or civilians) without listening, a mandatory prerequisite for successful intimate human interaction.
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Topics: jazz courses, chicago jazz, practicing music, jazz school, bloom school

Pat Martino at the Jazz Showcase

Posted by David Bloom on Oct 14, 2010 12:13:00 AM

The legendary jazz guitarist Pat Martino invaded (and I do mean invaded) the Jazz Showcase for three days last weekend. Pat plays hard core jazz - there is no question that he means business. He has always been a messenger of swinging jazz, but unlike many other guitarists he doesn't use a lot of hammerons… he articulated all notes.

To me, he is the cleanest guitarist playing today. Although his playing may be a little predictable to those of us who have heard him before, his unrelenting attack and articulation, beautiful sound and fabulous time are exclusive to him.

This was an experience that confirms the power of jazz when it's played at the highest level. His music comes from a deep respect for the legacy and history of jazz, and like all the greatest players, he has developed his own instantly and delightfully recognizable voice.
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Topics: david bloom, jazz school, bloom school, pat martino

The Best I Can do

Posted by David Bloom on Sep 29, 2010 8:36:00 AM

For years I have heard people say “that’s the best I could do.” It’s a nice notion that someone did the very best that they could do. But was it?

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Topics: jazz, bloom school, the best i could do, potential, i can do better

Next OPEN HOUSE : October 9th, 2:30pm

Posted by Phil Bruni on Sep 26, 2010 7:52:00 PM

The Bloom School of Jazz "Open House" is a great way to learn more about how the school can help you achieve your musical goals. You will have the opportunity to speak with faculty, meet current students, and see first hand what separates the Bloom School of Jazz from all other music schools.

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Topics: jazz programs, bloom school, jazz intro, open house

A new site, a new day for the Bloom School of Jazz!

Posted by Phil Bruni on Sep 9, 2010 10:51:00 AM

Over the past few weeks we have put our heads down and charged ahead with creating a better online experience for those interested in the Bloom School. To mark this unveiling we have also added some new classes that may interest you.

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Topics: jazz courses, chicago jazz, bloom school, jazz intro