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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet
    Pentatonics were around before Eric Clapton! Anyone still listen to Swing? Or even just Pres? I'm talking major pentatonic, with and without the usual chromatic passing notes. Sure there's the half dozen or so patterns we all went crazy for in our youth that is the minor pent "Rock" sound, but when you crossed to over to Jazz I hope you signed on pledging to never, ever, use those licks in a Jazz setting! For me, and plenty of others I'm sure, it's an immediate turn off, especially the bendy licks or the "too much vibrato" thing...

    It took me a long time to get re acquainted with pents after I realised that the 60's horn and piano cats were using them in particular ways. Now I treat them as 5 tone arpeggios and make up my own variations for different chords in different settings. It was a great way to introduce wider intervals with out straight arps as I tend to like heavy chromaticism and needed to break things up. A different pent type for Subdom, one for Dom, one for Alt Dom and one for Maj tonic can go a long way and make you sound like you're hitting every change. The other thing I'll say is that it's easy to sound melodic when you limit your choices to just 5 notes per chord. Just that one extra note (when compared with the normal 4 note arp) makes so much difference! And eliminating 2 notes from the full scale or mode makes it easier to avoid clangers while being easier to pre hear - which will allow you to really "sing" with your lines.

    I have shown this idea to rock guys wanting to improv over jazz type tunes, and their usual instinct is to play those damn lick based lines, so you need to show them ways to replace old habits with new. Not everyone is happy to do that, but at least one guy was, who once shown, was soon playing legit sounding swing era type lines against common standards. Interestingly he also seemed to get the ways to fill in chromatically just by hearing where it worked and where it didn't.

    Now, compare that to how he might have fared trying to learn jazz improv from books, or even a teacher bent on teaching how he/she learned things. I can tell you with certainty that guys like him have no patience and will throw in the towel at the first hurdle. He listens to jazz now and gets the language better. He's listening to more bop and hard bop and tries to find an approximation of that language through this pentatonic "prism". He's onto alt sounds by using dim arps with added notes, or TT subbing dom pents. He's covering all the food groups and doing it organically. Damn it, it took less than a couple of years to sound Jazzy crossing over from straight blues rock. It took me considerably longer!

    So yeah, pents are a great way to crossover, rock guys are used to 2 notes per string and can pre-hear pents way easier than full scales. Even just adding 9ths to arps is a good rule of thumb, and being aware of swapping or adding 6ths and 7ths. Get them to practice over ii V I VI(alt) , and they get to understand how the 4 main food groups work together. Then point them to AL and ATTYA and off they go... I've mentioned this a couple of times in the past, but I really feel that to keep Jazz guitar alive, we need to help the rockers cross over to the real dark side! Without scaring them, but also without holding their hand for too long either ...
    I think it goes two ways. So when I teach blues players who are into Larry Carlton and Robben Ford and so on, when they play more jazz ideas they do it without any juice. It’s like they can only play finger vibrato and bends and so on when it’s the blues scale.

    Drives I MAD!

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I think it goes two ways. So when I teach blues players who are into Larry Carlton and Robben Ford and so on, when they play more jazz ideas they do it without any juice. It’s like they can only play finger vibrato and bends and so on when it’s the blues scale.

    Drives I MAD!
    Well yeah, it goes with the respective styles - you play Blues with a certain "accent" (language metaphor) just as you'd speak Bop with a different accent.

    Kinda like how someone from East London will always sing a blues song with an American accent, instead of his cockney one (although that would be pretty cool - "Woke up this mornin' , when the trouble and strife laid a raspberry tart in me bed... "

  4. #53

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    Yea anything works in most small ensemble setting.... but when sometimes it actually matters is in larger ensemble setting.... Even with just Big Bands.... which are the standard Jazz Large ensemble. So example would be... your soloing over a tune and on your last, or a chorus... there are background lines. (this is not my personal opinion, I've arranged and composed hundreds of large ensemble tunes), any way the choices actually matter. If I'm arranging the background section, I would notate what actual music I'm implying... If I wanted G7 altered or it's sub Db7#11 or if I wanted C#aug7 with a added nat.5th I would simple notate in the changes for the soloist. It's not complicated.

    That is also reflective of BH... most of his playing has been trio. So his choices are whatever he felt at the time. I do have some of his earlier albums, 2 and 3 horn arrangements.... he usually also keep comping pretty straight and would use weak side of harmonic rhythm of tunes to expand.

    Again sorry Wilson... when someone presents an analysis of music... I was just stating the obvious. At least to me.
    I make mistakes all the time....

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    ... If I wanted G7 altered or it's sub Db7#11 or if I wanted C#aug7 with a added nat.5th I would simple notate in the changes for the soloist.....
    Hey Reg, funny you should mention this as I was actually thinking about the question of playing (soloing) nat 5ths against Dom7alt. For example, playing from HW dim that contains both b5 as well as nat 5 (obviously no #5). Further, how would you feel about playing both a b5 and nat5 as part of a line over Dom7alt, but where the nat 5 is accented on the downbeat? Sure, I get how a melody line always dictates things, but if the head is over and we're into the solo and piano plays full dom7alt (incl #5), hows about that rub of the nat 5 against it? Would you give a guy a dirty look for that?

    Always been curious, myself, I'm OK with it (I think) and it worries me that I am! Then again, I've asked other payers and most also seem OK, saying the usual (it's an Alt chord FFS, it can take anything you wanna throw at it!). Of course, I always have the sneaky suspicion that some of these guys don't practice what they preach, and save their secrets for themselves!

  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet
    Hey Reg, funny you should mention this as I was actually thinking about the question of playing (soloing) nat 5ths against Dom7alt. For example, playing from HW dim that contains both b5 as well as nat 5 (obviously no #5). Further, how would you feel about playing both a b5 and nat5 as part of a line over Dom7alt, but where the nat 5 is accented on the downbeat? Sure, I get how a melody line always dictates things, but if the head is over and we're into the solo and piano plays full dom7alt (incl #5), hows about that rub of the nat 5 against it? Would you give a guy a dirty look for that?

    Always been curious, myself, I'm OK with it (I think) and it worries me that I am! Then again, I've asked other payers and most also seem OK, saying the usual (it's an Alt chord FFS, it can take anything you wanna throw at it!). Of course, I always have the sneaky suspicion that some of these guys don't practice what they preach, and save their secrets for themselves!
    I was just watching this video from this charming Italian dude about altered dominant chords:



    His main point is that "altered chord" means two things:

    1. Chords arising from the altered scale (7th mode of melodic minor)
    2. Dominant chords with chromatic alterations, eg 13b9

    The first implies the altered scale, the second, the half-whole diminished scale.

  7. #56

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    Ok so no one ever gives a shit about my two hands/hands together history of jazz. It’s all about the history of the piano... (Actually it’s kind of an Ethan Iverson talking point.)

    but really, that’s why anyone even gives a shit about these distinctions. Because you improvise and chord out of the same pool.

    barry is old school, two hands. So he doesn’t care. You have shells in the left hand and even if the right hand ‘clashes’ it’s no biggy. The right hand plays whatever subs it wants and resolves how it wishes.

    So that era of piano playing is full of stuff like doubled bass lines and false relations between the hands that they reach you not to do at ‘jazz’ school. That’s because buds left hand style represents an evolution of early left hand groove styles like stride and boogie woogie via Art Tatum and Monk.

    (that’s obv a little simplified, and Barry’s harmonic vocab is a lot richer than Bud shell voicings and right hand block chords.)

    Bill Evans brought in hands together inspired by Debussy and Ravel, maybe also the very different (to bop) piano style of Ahmad Jamal who introduced some richer voicings in the early 50s. When you start playing this way, the vertical harmony becomes a lot more important.

    By the time you get to Herbie playing more modal music this stuff matters a lot more. But he’s obviously all over the two hand style, as was Bill.
    Last edited by christianm77; 05-14-2020 at 02:50 PM.

  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet
    Well yeah, it goes with the respective styles - you play Blues with a certain "accent" (language metaphor) just as you'd speak Bop with a different accent.

    Kinda like how someone from East London will always sing a blues song with an American accent, instead of his cockney one (although that would be pretty cool - "Woke up this mornin' , when the trouble and strife laid a raspberry tart in me bed... "
    i think that’s oversimplified. Actual blues players do more than play the blues scale. They play chord tones and changes and chromatics.

  9. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Yea anything works in most small ensemble setting.... but when sometimes it actually matters is in larger ensemble setting.... Even with just Big Bands.... which are the standard Jazz Large ensemble. So example would be... your soloing over a tune and on your last, or a chorus... there are background lines. (this is not my personal opinion, I've arranged and composed hundreds of large ensemble tunes), any way the choices actually matter. If I'm arranging the background section, I would notate what actual music I'm implying... If I wanted G7 altered or it's sub Db7#11 or if I wanted C#aug7 with a added nat.5th I would simple notate in the changes for the soloist. It's not complicated.
    sure, depends on the music... if it’s an orchestral arrangement of iris say, that’s a certain approach to chords. The b9 and b13 in the Bb7 is important.

    Barry basically isn’t about this stuff. TBH in the case of bop generally the vertical stuff is relaxed as you are driving forward into a resolution. If I’m soloing in a straightahead big band I would probably ignore them haha.

    in seriousness it depends on the music. Sometimes that stuff is important, sometimes it isn’t.

    That is also reflective of BH... most of his playing has been trio. So his choices are whatever he felt at the time. I do have some of his earlier albums, 2 and 3 horn arrangements.... he usually also keep comping pretty straight and would use weak side of harmonic rhythm of tunes to expand.

    Again sorry Wilson... when someone presents an analysis of music... I was just stating the obvious. At least to me.
    I make mistakes all the time....
    Hi Reg, I’ve asked you on a few occasions regarding subs in larger ensembles whether you work on your own as a comper or with piano, and if the latter how you fit in with what they are doing.

    I don’t recall you answering ...

  10. #59

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    Prince... as Kid... I didn't start with MM.... I was taught basic Maj/min functional G7b9b13 or Phrygian Dom. from Har. Min. traditional BS.... but was taught to add #9 So G7b9#9b13 (with the nat.5th ) Was like adding a b3 Blue Note. I still like that sound with Nat. Min. as target... Great for Phry Pentatonic licks etc... But obviously the bass player... hell the rhythm section should know the difference.

    The adding of nat 5th to Altered.... yes I would hear and would change my Tonal References. I would and do... just verbally discuss what we're doing...what is the harmonic approach... choices imply results. And yea... many gigs I just go along with who I'm gigging with and cover...

    Big D... yea I still call Altered derived from MM.... When I was at Berklee and gigged with Herb P... we use to sometimes call altered the Pomeroy scale... more of a joke. The Ravel thing is what it is and the Dim. Whole tone name was termed when i was kid playing in hotel jazz bands.... no charts, finger ques etc... late 60's, sax player.

    I have for the last 35 or 40 years thought of G13b9 as Mixob9 from Harm. Maj.. The Dim reference would have both b9 and #9 and a #11

    hey Christian... I work with pianist by either...
    1) someone blankets and the other percussively accents
    2) someone plays changes and the other plays groove chord pattern licks with more of melodic or counter melody feel
    3) generally I know the players... so we use Form and use targets. We shape the harmony and harmonic rhythm and basically play standard parts. keep lead lines clean. We know tunes and most arrangements, or will quickly. And create better rhythm section parts. The goal is to create one part, (the rhythm section) that keeps all the other player feeling what their playing naturally. Almost all older charts are vanilla in almost all aspects.(They need help)
    4) obviously there are times where one of us lays out. I have the comping thing together... and I watch and listen to the rest of band.... make adjustments. Generally I get told to turn up, really. And some tunes are just arranged for piano.... I do sub for pianist all the time... I don't solo much on those nights... after a hour or so... I get fried... It's a lot of work, sight ready and your already soloing with chords the whole gig.

  11. #60

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    Cheers.

    no one seems to have tracked down an example of Ravel using the altered scale? Maybe you have one.

    Rag got a link to a thing but it was all trapezoids.

  12. #61

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    Ravel uses Lydian #5 sounds quite a bit - his Piano trio, Minuet on Haydn's Name, Valses Nobles et Sentimentales, etc. I'm sure you could find an example of Ravel using the Altered Scale too. I can't think of any from the top of my head atm.

  13. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles
    I was just watching this video from this charming Italian dude about altered dominant chords:



    His main point is that "altered chord" means two things:

    1. Chords arising from the altered scale (7th mode of melodic minor)
    2. Dominant chords with chromatic alterations, eg 13b9

    The first implies the altered scale, the second, the half-whole diminished scale.
    Nothing we don't already know, but he does do a good job of relating that info in a simple and clear way. As he points out, no one ever plays a nat 5th in any kind of alt chord, which is why it sounds like I alway get away with any kind of 5th when soloing on top, or any combination of all 3 of these 5ths (b, # and nat)...

  14. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by powersurge
    Ravel uses Lydian #5 sounds quite a bit - his Piano trio, Minuet on Haydn's Name, Valses Nobles et Sentimentales, etc. I'm sure you could find an example of Ravel using the Altered Scale too. I can't think of any from the top of my head atm.
    No one could find one. was kind of interested in tracking down the history of the scale.

    Obviously it’s a bit of a tall order to expect people to go through scores looking for it, but I was surprised I couldn’t find a well known example right away, given his use of Lydian dominant etc, or Debussy’s well known use of the whole tone scale, Stravinsky’s use of whole half etc.

    if you can think of one do let me know!

  15. #64

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    Found one lol:
    at 1:22 last 2 bars. F# altered and the F# pedal even functions as a dominant that moves to a pedal on B.

    Btw, I hear the D# (not part of F# altered) as a lower neighbor to E

  16. #65

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    Nice! Thanks.

    OK so this is clearly the use of the tritone's min-6th diminished scale :-) Which is like the F# altered scale but has that D# in as well.

    Barry would like that example. Howard Rees calls tritone's m-6 dim the 'perfect altered scale' because it covers that 13b9 all you CST boys are getting a bit lathered up about, as well as all the usual altered options. Barry wins again !!!! (:-))

    But seriously, that D# isn't really harmonic I don't think, more like an LNT as you say.

    So, the question I would think of right away, and it might seem a little academic - yes that's an altered dominant, but is Ravel thinking of this as a scale? Hard to know. We hear it that way.... There's absolutely no question in the case of Stravinsky or Debussy's scale. This seems more like a voicing.

    And the voicing/scale connection is very much post 1960's jazz thinking. It's entirely possible Ravel is thinking 'diatonic (apart for the D#) melody harmonised by an F# altered dominant.' Note that he doesn't write A# in the melody line, purely in the harmony.

    The use of the A (#9) in the melody and the full on F#7b5 chord in the left hand does certainly make it sound like that tonality though... this is where analysis and intention are ambiguous... And you might say 'if it quacks like a duck...'

    It is however EXACTLY where I would expect to see an early use of the scale - on VII7 - because it's a very small change to the overall key. So in this case it doesn't really make a huge difference, unlike say V7 where you'd often see altered dominants, but there's more diversity and ambiguity in the types of voice leading to pin 'altered scale' to them.

    I think this is an easy move from the common practice of playing the I minor on IV7, and swing era players and boppers often play that sound with the leading seventh, giving what we think of as lydian dominant. It's a simple matter to apply the same scale on the VII7. That's my origin myth anyway...

    Pretty cool anyway!
    Attached Images Attached Images The gaping hole for learning jazz and guitar as an adult: PENTATONICS-screenshot-2020-05-15-13-52-32-png 
    Last edited by christianm77; 05-15-2020 at 01:08 PM.

  17. #66

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    Yea there are lots of examples of ravel using all the scales and modes... usually in the ornaments and embellishment practice. There are even some note from Ravel about use of Modern Blues etc... He seem to be more interested in the rhythmic aspects... There are tons of Grad school projects that go through music etc...

    Personally it's apples and oranges.... there a difference between using notes as ornamentation as compared to notes as organizational references.

    Some easy examples...

    L' enfant et les sortigeles
    Ma me're L 'Oye
    Concerto in G
    Sonata #2

  18. #67

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    Anyway back to the OP. I think the real power of the pentatonic approach is that you remove the resolving dissonance from your playing. Pentatonic scales contain dissonances like major seconds and minor sevenths, but not tritones, minor seconds and major sevenths. So you can build a type of tonality that brings out the colour of the chords without creating a sense of resolution in the solo lines or voicings. Very modern.

    Also, there's a strong relationship between common quartal-ish chords and pentatonic scales.

    However, it does have the result of basically not creating any real melodic minor tonalities, even if you use these relationships, which is an interesting thing. If we sub melodic minor type chords with their related pentatonics (and there's only one pentatonic for any MM mode, unlike diatonic where there's three) you kind of get rid of the bit that makes it sound melodic minor:

    Em(maj7) --> F#m pentatonic --> no D#!
    Am9b5 --> Dm pentatonic --> No B!
    D7#11 --> Bm pentatonic or D major pentatonic --> no G#!
    G7 alt --> Bbm pentatonic --> this is the only effective one, but then the altered scale is not really a melodic minor mode.

  19. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Yea there are lots of examples of ravel using all the scales and modes... usually in the ornaments and embellishment practice. There are even some note from Ravel about use of Modern Blues etc... He seem to be more interested in the rhythmic aspects... There are tons of Grad school projects that go through music etc...

    Personally it's apples and oranges.... there a difference between using notes as ornamentation as compared to notes as organizational references.
    I think that's the key point...

    But then, this is the stuff I always talk about with analysis vs intention and everyone poo poos it as if it's an obvious distinction to make. It really isn't. I don't think Ravel was using the altered scale in the way a jazz musician would, but it can be understood that way.

    TBH I'm sure if I went through pre war examples of tunes written and being solo'd on with VII7 chords I could come up with a ton of examples of the 'altered scale' - but would they be legit? Does Django invent non functional modal harmony in the middle 8 of Djangology? (And he was a big Ravel and Debussy fan. I love the idea that Bill Evans started that off lol. IT STARTED IN THE 20s.)

  20. #69

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    I'm mainly a classical cat living and studying harmony/counterpoint/composition in Paris so I can actually answer this: no, he definitely did not see it as an altered dominant. Much of the crazier sonorities seen in Ravel's music are a byproduct of carefully placed NHT's that camouflage the real "meat and bones". Checkout pages 132-135 in this book where Ravel himself talks about a passage he wrote in his Valses Nobles et Sentimentales (the pages are free to view)

    Ravel: Man and Musician - Arbie Orenstein - Google Livres

    So yeah, as Reg said, he saw them as embellishments.

  21. #70

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    Thanks, look like great read, I just ordered.I was a Classical kid.... then studied composition in late 60's and early 70's.
    I always dug Ravel orchestrations....

  22. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by powersurge
    I'm mainly a classical cat living and studying harmony/counterpoint/composition in Paris so I can actually answer this: no, he definitely did not see it as an altered dominant. Much of the crazier sonorities seen in Ravel's music are a byproduct of carefully placed NHT's that camouflage the real "meat and bones". Checkout pages 132-135 in this book where Ravel himself talks about a passage he wrote in his Valses Nobles et Sentimentales (the pages are free to view)

    Ravel: Man and Musician - Arbie Orenstein - Google Livres

    So yeah, as Reg said, he saw them as embellishments.
    NHT = non harmonic tone? As in neighbour tones, appoggiaturas etc?

    if you want an interesting perspective on how NHTs became Extensions became Chord Scales, Stella is a great example, since every ‘upper extension’ in it resolves by step to simple chord tones.

  23. #72

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    So now my understanding of this is unRaveling...


  24. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Thanks, look like great read, I just ordered.I was a Classical kid.... then studied composition in late 60's and early 70's.
    I always dug Ravel orchestrations....
    unbelievable orchestrator...

  25. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Thanks, look like great read, I just ordered.I was a Classical kid.... then studied composition in late 60's and early 70's.
    I always dug Ravel orchestrations....
    Sweet, I got my degree in comp and theory in the states but moved here to continue studying with some notable teachers. Ravel is definitely my favorite of the french guys, Faure's a close second.


    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    NHT = non harmonic tone? As in neighbour tones, appoggiaturas etc?

    Yep!

    if you want an interesting perspective on how NHTs became Extensions became Chord Scales, Stella is a great example, since every ‘upper extension’ in it resolves by step to simple chord tones.
    For sure! Ravel also had a lot of what he viewed as "unresolved appoggiaturas", which would probably be more akin to what we would now consider extensions.

  26. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by powersurge
    Sweet, I got my degree in comp and theory in the states but moved here to continue studying with some notable teachers. Ravel is definitely my favorite of the french guys, Faure's a close second.
    love both of them. Faure’s mega

  27. #76

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    [QUOTE=powersurge;1033448]Sweet, I got my degree in comp and theory in the states but moved here to continue studying with some notable teachers. Ravel is definitely my favorite of the french guys, Faure's a close second.

    Cool man, I stayed in states, also did the direct study path for a while, then stayed in LA and Vegas and and did the Film, TV and show BS work for $. I'm definitely a Jazz player... but did compose or at least notated out... lots of Quartets... tried lots of mixed instrumentation, variations... expanded sonata forms. One pretty cool Fantasy.
    Post some compositions... I still love original music etc...
    I did copy and transcription work to pay my way through school...no buttons back then.

  28. #77

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    Awesome! Classical guitar is my primary instrument but I took jazz arranging classes in college and often hung out with the jazzers. I understand how jazz works but never put in the time to connect the BS to the fretboard and make it all reflexive. It's what I'm currently working on

    I'll dig up some recordings and post them tomorrow

  29. #78

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    [QUOTE=Reg;1033483]
    Quote Originally Posted by powersurge
    Sweet, I got my degree in comp and theory in the states but moved here to continue studying with some notable teachers. Ravel is definitely my favorite of the french guys, Faure's a close second.

    Cool man, I stayed in states, also did the direct study path for a while, then stayed in LA and Vegas and and did the Film, TV and show BS work for $. I'm definitely a Jazz player... but did compose or at least notated out... lots of Quartets... tried lots of mixed instrumentation, variations... expanded sonata forms. One pretty cool Fantasy.
    Post some compositions... I still love original music etc...
    I did copy and transcription work to pay my way through school...no buttons back then.
    is all coming out.... :-) anyone curious to hear reg’s quartets?

  30. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    unbelievable orchestrator...
    does anyone here like Ravel
    introduction and allegro for harp flute clarinet and string quartet ?

    absolutely sublime ....