These are the notes I took while listening to a clinc by Kurt Rosenwinkel.
I will add transcriptions and audio later on.
How did Kurt become so proficient at utilizing chord voicing within a solo? It sounds so pianistic. “ I love the fullness a piano can get, especially in a trio-setting, so I tried to see what I could do to get that fullness.....If I felt like it needed some chord I might play a melodic line up on top but then I might feel like it needed support.” In the beginning Kurt tells, melody and chords alternated. Split thinking. Later on he got much better and the two started to blend. That’s what he consciously was working at, technically. When you work on this you will some blind spots not the guitar neck. An exercise he does is to play a tune and put different chord on every beat, much like stride piano. He then plays a wonderful example for several minutes. At times when there is a chords for more than one beat you will have to find inversions and passing chords to keep the line going.
24.28 Phrasing? How do you get that over the barline type of phrasing?
That’s just how I hear things. I don’t practice that kind of thing. I heard myself on recordings and thought and change things I don’t like.
26.00 How can you get successful easily?
Forget about success. Play music and make the best of that. There your attention should be. Do what you love.
28.00 What do you do to learn a new tune?
You play the melody with the chords and see where it takes you. Play it over and over until you get comfortable with it. Then you’ll find different way to play it. Meditative trip. I try to listen to as many recordings of the song I can find for inspiration too. Looking at the lyrics can be helpful too. It can take you into a whole different direction, vibe, that goes with the words.
32.24 Can you talk about your triadic playing? Also about your swing/ phrasing because you are so grounded.
Triads: I do a lot of scale work, up and down the neck. Play melodic patterns. Play chord shapes through the scale. Triads are of course part of that. Closed triads, open triads.
e.g.. Am7 and then you figure out where the triads are. Or D7alt you play Ab and Bb triads and combine them and try to resolve them. Kurt plays ‘Darn that dream’ and the upper triad structures on the chords. It basically comes from scale-work. The diminished scale has 4 triads. Bb symmetrical diminished : Bb7 b9 13 : E triad, Bb triad, G triad, Db triad.
I tried to find how these triads interconnect.
41.19 Harmonic rhythm is a big thing. Chromaticism in jazz is very much about strong beat and weak beat. The Bebop scale is a major scale with a chromatic note to correct the harmonic rhythm. So chromatic notes/passing notes on the weak beats to get the chord tones on the strong beats. Place between the 5th and the 6th. Or the 4th and the 5th.
Also typical melodic turns serve that purpose. This is the same with chords.
49.20 Do you listen to classical music? Does it influence you? Secondly, Free improv?
I love certain things. Huge recourse. I played the Bach Lute suite. Multi -linear stuff like in a fuge. Ravel, Ligetti, Messian, Mahler, Debussy, Shostakovitsch. I hone in on aesthetic quality. It influences me e.g.. the piano concerto’s by Prokofiev. I try to take the mood of a piece and use it in my own writing. ‘Dream of the old’ on my first Verve record was inspired by Prokofiev in the sense that I wanted to make a longer piece that went through different movements and had an orchestral type of feeling to it.
Second question: I sometimes improvise and play on a chord and then another or see what happens. (plays an example)