Monday Music Quote: Vladimir Horowitz

 "Perfection itself is imperfection."
"Played percussively, the piano is a bore. If I go to a concert and someone plays like that I have two choices: go home or go to sleep. The goal is to make the piano sing, sing, sing."
-- Vladimir Horowitz

Horowitz's performing style frequently involved vast dynamic contrasts, with overwhelming double-fortissimos followed by sudden delicate pianissimos. He was able to produce an extraordinary volume of sound from the piano, without producing a harsh tone. Horowitz could also elicit an exceptionally wide range of tonal color from the piano, and his taut, precise attack was noticeable even in his renditions of technically undemanding pieces such as the Chopin Mazurkas. He is also famous for his octave technique; he could play precise passages in octaves extraordinarily fast.  

Did You Know?

Stars and Stripes Forever by John Philip Sousa is the official march of the United States of America. the famous Russian pianist Vladimir Horowitz transcribed (rewrote) the piece for piano to  celebrate when he became a U.S. citizen.

From this Monday's Music Quote, I thought of this song:

"Sing, Sing, Sing"

"Sing, Sing, Sing" is probably the most famous tune associated with Goodman, if not the entire Swing Era. However, it was originally a tune written by
Louis Prima.

You'll find a lead sheet that you can transpose and it's free here 

Did you know Hear and Play offers a dvd course for drummers? If you're interested, visit
Hear and Pay Drums Collection 
"Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." -- Art Blakey
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Monday Music Quote: Oscar Hammerstein

"A bell is no bell 'til you ring it,
A song is no song 'til you sing it,
And love in your heart
Wasn’t put there to stay -
Love isn’t love
'Til you give it away."
~Oscar Hammerstein, Sound of Music, "You Are Sixteen (Reprise)"

All the Things You Are

* You will find a great breakdown of the song at

* Chord structures can be found at

* Free Pdf Lead Sheet Download

* Free Midi$528

(Title: All The Things You Are)
(Music by Jerome Kern)
(Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II)

Fm7  Bbm7     Eb7                       Abmaj7
You are the promised kiss of springtime 
         Dbmaj7                G7            Cmaj7
That makes the lonely winter seem long.
Cm7  Fm7     Bb7                     Ebmaj7 
You are the breathless hush of evening
        Abmaj7             Am7b5      D7
That trembles on the brink of a lovely

   Gmaj7         Am7
   You are the angel glow 
    D7              Gmaj7   
   That lights a star.
    Cmaj7        F#m7b
   The dearest things I know 
    B7                 E         C+
    Are what you are.

Fm7  Bbm7            Eb7           Abmaj7 
One day my happy arms will hold you
    Dbmaj7  Dbm7   Abmaj7           Bdim7  
And someday I'll know that moment divine
        Bbm7                      Eb7      Abmaj7
When All The Things You Are are mine.

Happy Valentine's Day!

"Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." -- Art Blakey
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Esperanza Spalding: I Know You Know (chords)

Esperanza SpaldingCover of Esperanza Spalding

Chords to I Know You Know by Esperanza Spalding

Some say it's a simple blues scale A and D:

The main progression is switching between a plain D and a Bbmaj7+5,
which is just Bb and C added to the D major scale. For improvisation,
this is pretty much just a D mixolydian scale.
Harmony vocals open, and the Wurlitzer enters with the chord D/C ...

| D | % | Bbmaj9+5 | % |

| D | % | Bbmaj9+5 | % |

| D | % | Bbmaj9+5 | % |

| D | % | Bbmaj9+5 | % |

| G#o | Gm11 | C13 | %  A13 |

| D | F#7+9+5 | Bm9 | E13b11 |
| Bbmaj9  D(add9) | F#7+9+5  Bm7+5 | Em7 A11  D | %  A6 :||

(from here it's back from the top, down to the 2. ending,
 which is leading on to the C-part.)

| %  C#�  C9 |

| Bm9  Bbmaj9 | Am11  G#� | Gmaj9  F#7+5 | Em11  A#o |

| Bm9  Bbmaj9 | Am11  G#� | Gmaj9  F#7+5 | Em11 |


| Emaj9/G# | Gm6 | D/F# | Bm7  -/A |

| Emaj9/G# | Gm6 | D/F# | Fmaj7 | Em9 | Bb+5 |

 2x Interlude

 2x Chorus


 Interlude + harmony vocals 

 Hope this helps!
All the best,
"Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." -- Art Blakey
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Virtual Keyboard: New Software Tool

Dear Readers,

I always blog about a music dvd I've just discovered or a piano dvd that works for us musicians.

I recently received this bit of news launching a new virtual keyboard. When I watched the video, what caught my eye was the fact that you could learn new jazz songs, plus adding free midis. Here's the note:
What if a robot could teach you songs?

Sounds crazy but with the power of technology,
there's now a way to turn your computer into a
song-teaching machine... that never sleeps,
never charges by the hour... doesn't get
frustrated... and repeats as much as you want!

My friends over at Hear & Play Music are the ones
behind it and just created a video demonstration


Virtual Keyboard

(I only wish I had this little magic tool when
I was young!)

They call it the "Song Robot!" You simply load
song files into it and it shows you, on demand,
how to play them on a big virtual keyboard.

There's a full video demonstration at:

Song Robot

Here's what it does:

* It can slow down songs, "turtle speed."

* It transposes songs to all 12 keys so you're
  not stuck in ONE key.

* You have the choice of learning with huge, red
  colored notes that light up or a real-looking
  3d version of a piano.

* You can stop, pause, rewind, fast forward.

* You can even load your favorite audio files
  and have it remove vocals so you can practice
  (they can even be slowed down and put in all
  12 keys... real albums!)


Piano Robot

For a limited time, they're making you an
unbeatable deal on the song files... and
throwing the song robot in at no cost!

Once you get your hands on this, you'll see
why so many are excited about it.


Check Out Song Robot

I just might jump on this great deal myself!

All the best,

P.S. Drop me a line regarding chord charts to jazz songs from the 20's, 30's and 40's. Have a favorite?

"Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." -- Art Blakey
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How To Play The Piano Without Music

Art Blakey with the Original Jazz MessengersImage via Wikipedia If you're looking for tips on how to memorize music, then take a look at my latest article:

There was a time when the great pianists would appear on stage without music in front of them. Clara Schumann seems to have been the first to perform from memory, and for this she was considered "insufferable," pretentious, and disrespectful toward the composers who wrote the works she played. Today though, many consider memorization one of the most important aspects of piano playing.

Most books will discuss the how-to of memorizing stress the importance of understanding the intricacies of musical form. When you approach a piece you want to learn, the suggested practice is to break it down into various components, so you can see the exposition of the theme, the introduction of other themes, a development section, key relationships, modulatory passages, and so on. Of course, we can get even more complex about it. With the advent of home computers, it won't be long before every piano student is required to analyze all pitch series permutations and rhythmic stratifications on every page of an assigned piece!

I'm kidding of course. But it is easy to get carried away with theoretical detail, and the dryness of an approach such as this cna betray the initial thrill which brought us to the keyboard in the first place.

In order to memorize a piece, it helps to analyze the music in a tactile, practical sort of way. Here's what I mean. Take a work you wish to memorize. Start with the opening phrase, and learn to play it without the music. Then, pause for a moment, to consider this: If you were a composer, how would you continue? You might, for example, repeat the original idea starting on a different pitch; or turn it upside down; or embellish it. There are, of course, countless possibilities.

Now take a look at what the composer of the piece actually did. Is what comes next very ordinary, or is it surprising? Note these first two phrases. Does the second answer the first? Are they short or long? Are they of equal size? Are there rhythmic ideas which repeat? Is there a natural rise and fall in the shape of the phrases, or do they leap and zigzag?

Let's also consider the physical demands this music is making. Is there a tricky fingering that comes up at a certain point? If so, play it over a few times, to remember the feeling. Are the hands playing together, or alternately? Are they moving in opposite directions? On which notes does the thumb go?

Each time you ask one of these questions, play those first phrases over before answering. Then, close the book.

You are ready to try playing without the book. When you hit your first blank moment (which might pop up right away), open the book and find the spot in the music you couldn't remember. Play through it a few times. At the beginning, you might have to play for a while just to memorize the notes. Later, there will be just a spot here and there that will cause problems. In those cases, you might want to imagine a picture which you can associate with each section of the music. It can be anything at all, like ocean waves for arpeggios, or raindrops for staccato passage. Then, close the book again.

You can repeat this process over and over until you are sure of the music. Then, you'll want to move on to the next part of the work, thinking again about how the composer decided to continue, what the shape is, and what configurations you will find your fingers in.

Each time you hit a blind spot, you should refer to the printed page. If you hit the same blind spot over and over, it's important to "analyze it in the context of the phrases which come before and after (including, for example, how your "ocean" becomes a "storm," and so on). By repeatedly closing the book, you are forced to confront any part of the music which is not completely clear to you. each time you forget, you are actually getting an opportunity to deepen your understanding of the piece!

When the entire work is memorized, it will be necessary to test your ability to play it every so often, because some memorization is only short term- and it is only through constant questioning and evaluating that a deeper kind of learning takes place.

-- From Keyboard Tricks Of The Trade

The advantages to following this routine are many. What have you discovered that works for you?
I've used Jermaine Griggs and Yoke Wong's music resources and lots of practice!

"Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." -- Art Blakey
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