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Jazz 101

Bebop sax master Charles McPherson breaks it down for the jazz novice

By Dave Good

Jazz 101

Charles McPherson

Why the long solos?

Jazz is like a verbal language. Some say things in many words. Some say things in fewer words. The emotional message is what comes.

Does jazz provide a foundation to learn other musical genres?

Jazz musicians tend to be better at the craft of music and instrumental facility with the exception of great classical musicians and

composers as a whole.

Why do they call them Young Lions?

It’s a term to describe young, eager, and talented jazz musicians biting at the bit to get in the mix.

What is jazz audience etiquette?

Talk softly, and clap after each soloist and at the end of the composition. [Such applause is unique to jazz.] In jazz, there is a stated theme, a melody. Then, each player solos on the melody. You clap on this person’s personal take on the tune. Then, you clap after the whole song.

Read more: Scat! San Diego Jazz

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