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Sex, Drugs, Alcohol and Jazz

Anyone who has ever studied jazz history probably knows that its unruly cast of characters was often loaded on drugs and alcohol.  Charlie Parker, one of jazz's most iconic heroes, died very young because of...

Top Ten Underrated Jazz Musicians

Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Duke Ellington...these names are synonymous with jazz, and their brilliance shines bright. There are other players-Sonny Rollins, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny,...

The Pros and Cons of Being a Multi-Instrumentalist

I received an email from an LJS subscriber a few weeks ago, which described a fairly common predicament in the music world. This musician was a multi-instrumentalist, and it seemed to be perplexing him...
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Jazz Styles-Early Jazz

We are going to be doing a series of posts coming up highlighting Jazz History through the eyes of Brent Jensen. Brent is a professor of jazz at the College of Southern Idaho and...

What’s the True Meaning Behind Jazz Music?

If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you love jazz. Deep down, many of us know why we love jazz, even if we can’t always put it into words. Though we might be jazz...

How the Jazz Greats Became Great

Often when we think of jazz greats such as Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Louis Armstrong, Sonny Rollins, and a host of others, we think of them as icons of immeasurable talent. In jazz circles...

A Reality Check for Jazz Musicians

There are three types of jazz musicians in the world today: the professionals, the students and the hobbyists. All three are equally important for the survival of each other and the survival of jazz music itself. The Hobbyists: Individuals...

Is Practicing With Play-Alongs Bad?

I've heard it said before that jazz musicians should not practice with play-alongs: "It's not how the music should be played!" "It's not what Bird and Diz and those guys were doing!" "A backing track...

The 3 Most Important Jazz Guitarists of All Time

I get asked time to time, who I think the most important jazz guitarists are. This can be a tough question to answer because jazz guitar has had such a rich history of incredible...
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How Much Should You Spend on Your Instrument?

We are all in different musical situations.  For some, their instrument is a tool to help them make money.  For others, their instrument is a beloved hobby, a leisurely pastime, or a distraction from their normal...

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