Blog #1 – Brian Culbertson at Milton Keynes and new smooth jazz lick

Sep 26, 2012

Well first blog of the new site, I’m currently sitting in the back of a van with a band I’m gigging with tonight, so I thought now is as good a time as any to start “blogging”. Going to try to find the time to do these quite regularly, and fit as much interesting material in as I can, weather it be gigs I’m playing, gigs I’ve been to and generally stuff I’m up to that will be of interest to you guys!

So whilst we’re on the gigs I’ve been to, I went to see smooth jazz artist and record producer Brian Culbertson on Wednesday night in Milton Keynes (I love how the top muso’s gig week nights, otherwise if it was a weekend, all the muso’s that wanna go would be gigging!) anyways! What a gig! Otto Williams on Bass guitar, Andy Whitmore on keys, Mark Parnell on drums, Derek Nash on sax, and Brians dad Jim Culbertson on trumpet! After the gig I hung back at the bar and ended up having a quick chat with him, mainly wanting to know what it was like working with Paul Jackson jr ! (who played on a few tracks on his latest album) anyways once the pleasantry’s were out the way (got a picture with him etc) I got on the road home.. and to find a chicken shop!

Right then so Thursday fresh from the Brian Culbertson gig, (well after getting “music work” out the way and things I had to do, learning tracks for people/teaching etc) I set up a logic session and started working on a smooth groove, set it on loop and had a play over the top, just looking for nice melody’s and any solo ideas, one of which I’m going to post a transcription of in this blog!

Right then nothing much else interesting to talk about, I’m away gigging this weekend (like every other weekend!) I’m sure it will be eventful!

Smooth Jazz Lick

Right so heres the “smooth lick” I came across on Thursday! The lick’s loosely based around a stretch position Eb Aeolian, and incorporates an economy picking technique I’ve started to use more and more over the last few years. I think of it as a cross between alternate picking and sweep picking, and it gives jazzy licks like this a real fluid/flowing quality, (think George Benson, Lee Ritenour, Paul Jackson Jr etc!) but by all means experiment with your own picking ideas!

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