Tomorrow, Saturday August 18, I'm teaching a free masterclass, 3-6 PM.
70 Willoughby Street (between Lawrence St. and Bridge St.) in downtown Brooklyn. When you are on my block, you will see a Petland store and a fish market. In between them is a doorway that has a purple awning above it that says "Fatou" beauty salon and the street number 70. This is the door to my building. Our studio is #2A. Go up one flight of stairs, and then follow the signs on your left for "The Drawing Room." There are subways everywhere to this easy location, the very closest stop is "Jay St./Metrotech" on the R.
I'll probably talk a bit about preparing for the Vanguard with Ben Street, Tootie Heath, and me next week. But I will also listen to anyone who wants to play. Only three pianists were there last week, so I expect there to be time for everybody tomorrow as well.
(Mainly for pianists, but if you play something else and really want to come by, that's OK, too. Not sure how much non-pianists will play though. I'm new to managing this stuff.)
No RSVP required, just show up.
I'm trying to think of a better word than "Masterclass" for these things. But "Amateur hour" doesn't seem to work, either...
The excellent pianist David Rysphan came by last week, and wrote about it on his blog. I had met David but it had been a few years and in another country. He was a familiar face, though, so after he played a solid version of "I Mean You" I asked him, "Haven't you been here before? Don't you know better than to play Monk in my class?"
I am a hardline conservative when it comes to Monk's music. My standard yowl of pain is, "Would you change the notes to a Mozart sonata? So why do you change the harmony to a Monk song?"
David, bless his heart, was playing G minor in bar five under the melody. I hasten to add, this is also how Kenny Barron and McCoy Tyner and a host of worthy others play it as well! But it's 2012: in my opinion it is time to start treating Monk's texts with fidelity.
In bar five, Monk plays F instead of G minor. After D-flat and D, he "incorrectly" makes the bass go back to the tonic rather than circling around. It's the kind of detail that makes his music sound like Monk, not just some other "jazz."
Of course on solos, even he puts the II/V in there, but still there can be the echo of the "wrong" move.
More DTM diatribe about Monk interpretation here.
Genuinely nice to see you David, wish you could come to the class more often!