A new series of live performance/practice/chat sessions.  These are happening on Youtube and Google Hangouts on Air on a regular basis.  For now, I am still dialing in the time slot for the live feeds, but eventually I will settle on a schedule for them so you can put them on your calendar.  Here are the latest feeds:

Special Event: Upcoming Jazz Improvisation Workshop on February 15

Please enjoy the blues with my gratitude 🙂

Hello my friends.  You are invited to join me for a special online workshop on jazz improvisation:

How to Practice on a Tune

Level : Intermediate to Advanced

It’s going to be a two-hour private group online workshop, using Google Hangouts, so you’ll need that app, plus a camera and microphone.  (Headphones might also make the experience a bit nicer too.)

The first hour will be a presentation of theory and practice, with a lot of follow-along exercises.  Don’t worry about “getting it right”.  These exercises are all designed to encourage improvisation at your current level, and there will also be a recorded replay of the entire program available for you to study and re-visit what we work on.

Following the first hour will be a 30 minute question and answer session, and finally, 30 minutes of free practice on what we covered.

This event will only be open to 9 participants (10 total on Hangouts including myself) so be sure to reserve your spot now!  We will have to close the registrations 24 hours before the actual event in order to prepare and make sure everyone on the list is up and running on Hangouts and ready to go.

The cost is $20 per person.  This is a great opportunity to get a lot of content for less than the normal one-on-one lesson rates!  I plan for this to be the first of many such workshops and I look forward to meeting with you!

To sign up, click on the Simplybook.me link on my home page.

For help with signing up for this or any other service, click here:


My thanks to all of you for your attention and your great ears!  We live in an amazing time where technology has made it possible to come together like this for the first time!


Which horn/mouthpiece/etc is better?


I admit there are some times when I do talk equipment.  For instance, if a student or colleague is having difficulties and it seems like an equipment change would help, I am all for it!  I am also in favor of experimenting with something new.  Otherwise you might never know that you had a chance to discover a new sound.

Personally, I play a whole lot of equipment.  All five of my trombones get used, and each one has a mouthpiece (or even several) that work well for that horn.

Not to mention that each one of those horns has a separate reason for existing in my life.  They all fit into different specific niches that work for my own particular musical needs.

I’ve even swapped mouthpieces in the middle of tunes on gigs or in the orchestra.

But ultimately, I am not about equipment.  It’s really about you.  You make the music.  The equipment is just an amplifier for you.  Find what resonates.  Resonate it.

My Funny Valentine

I used to kind of hear this one in F (maybe because of J.J.) but I am really liking it in C now.

Coming Back

We all have to deal with setbacks at times, so here’s my most recent one.

After a wonderful session in NYC playing bass trombone with some of the finest players around in a big band setting, I did one more Friday jazz night at Moxie before heading to Brazil.  I sometimes only bring the mouthpiece with me but this time I brought the alto, just to have a little “real” music time each day.  Practicing was a bit sporadic, but the sound where I was staying was wonderful!  Plus I got to play for some of the coolest cats around.

The audience liked it!

On returning to the US I got laid up with a pretty nasty cold and then spent a week in bed.  No practicing, not much deep breathing either.  This was one of those persistent things that stays in the lungs for a while, and my first gig back was much more of a strain than usual.  I made it through, but it sure felt like I had played about double the time we actually did!

So the focus became “how to get the strength and suppleness back?”

The answer?  Back to basics.  Ditching the usual complex improvisation practice I tend to do nowadays and going instead with a diet of long tones and progressive overtone exercises.

Finally things started to clear, and I made a little practice recording as a document of what eventually came out.  Hope you like it!