Fifty years ago on October 28, 1973, my first band "Focus" played a gig in Hyde Park at the Quadrangle Club. I used to have lunch there with my father where he would point out two or three Nobel Prize laureates (not intimidating at all). This place was a home-away-from-home for some very serious world-class brain power professors (including my dad Benjamin Bloom) from the University of Chicago.Read More
Jazz School News, Thoughts and Events.
The Jazz Institute of Chicago, dedicated to promoting and nurturing jazz in Chicago, has recognized David Bloom with a Jazz Educator of the Year Award for 2017. Also recognized is Dr. Roosevelt Griffin III.
Enjoy an evening of food, music and fun honoring these two educators on April 19, 2017 at The Standard Club. For more information about this event, click here.
Isabelle has been a professional musician for more than 20 years, performing and recording with many great international musicians such as Peter Erskine, Norma Winstone, David Linx, Didier Lockwood, Louis Moutin, Eivind Opsvic in more than 20 countries.
She recorded 6 albums of her own compositions in France, in Germany and in the United States and a DVD. She composed music for theater, film scores, exhibitions, poetry, dance and puppet shows. She has been nominated for the French Victory of Jazz for "Year Revelation" and received an "Outstanding Musicianship"award from the Berklee School of Jazz in Boston.
Chicago Jazz Magazine Bloom School of Jazz Article by Mike Jeffers
Escaping Yourself to Be You (Part 4)
For civilians and musicians alike, I suggest a one week test: turn off the TV and computer games, use the phone only when it's necessary, and spend the rest of the time doing things that make you think, feel, emote, create or anything that shows an active involvement and appreciation of you life. In one year the average person watches about 1200 hours of TV. Think of what could be learned in 1200 hours in one year. One could become competent in an instrument, learn a language, learn a sport, and take courses or whatever. It's staggering. No one has ever felt or developed pride by watching TV.
Escaping Yourself to Be You (Part 1)
We live in a culture where people go to the Caymans, play Nintendo, watch TV, take drugs, booze and engage in a host of other activities in order to escape negative aspects of their life. "Getting away" is a mantra that we hear regularly from fed-up folks, who can't stand their boss, mate, relatives or whatever. When they go on vacation they feel they are being released from prison. Some people who aren't just escaping from external things, but also from bewilderment, alienation, depression and low self-esteem, think that if they change their immediate state of mind or environment they will feel better. Escaping away from something dark and debilitating can never compare with moving towards something positive. In other words, the absence of a negative force is not a positive one; it's neutral.
Jazz musicians need to escape many of the same problems, but also encounter some different ones. They have to escape from the clutches of conformity and self-consciousness, which is mandatory in jazz. It is very easy for jazz players and civilians (non-musicians) to be wooed by the allure, the promise and scale of manipulative media in order to feel like they are more sexy, more powerful, rebellious, and not left outside. But losing or attenuating one's birthright because of the external influence is not part of the jazz personality.
Great jazz players know that all they have is themselves: pure, undiluted and uncorrupted. Doing what everyone else is doing is not an option in their world. They have never made any Faustian agreements about their music and treat their talents with great respect. The average jazz player's main focus is to conform to and imitate what great jazz musicians have played. They think that if they play Coltrane's ideas then maybe they will become hip or famous too. In the jazz community you don't get significant points for merely copying Coltrane's solo. Entry into the pantheon of great jazz is strictly reserved for those who play "who they are," not for those who second-guess what they think the audience wants to hear. The jazz masters all know that individuality can't be mass-produced.
What I realized years later is that all of us need that 16 square feet. It's a place where we are somebody, where what we think is important, not to just us, but to anyone on our turf - a place where we can feel like we can have power to refuse or to allow, where we can call the shots. Anyone, regardless of his or her station in life, must pass through our gate. It’s a world we can call our own.
Many of us have a space somewhere. It might be at home, at work, a health club, the bandstand, the stage, box seats or wherever. All of these locations may help you feel there is somewhere that makes you feel special, noticed, powerful and important.
There is only one location where you can guarantee to find that 16 square feet, and that is in your mind. That territory no one can take away - it's yours alone. It can be as expansive as 1000 miles or as small as a square inch. It's only limited by the depth of our imagination.
Whether it’s a physical 16 square feet or in your mind, it’s how you feel about it that’s important. It’s all up to you.
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.