ONE SINGLE BLUE ROOM CALENDAR SOURCE
Check out the entire Blue Room Calendar Listings for April and May 2014 at
o Downloadable 2-month Calendar graphic image
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The entire Blue Room calendar is promoted on both, our site and via the All About Jazz network worldwide.
MUSINGS IN Cb: “Time Changes Things”
I had a cursory discussion with a fellow musician on Saturday that centered on the topic of his expressing not having enough time for his instrument like he used to.
This seemed to be effecting his muse.
Time changes things. I believe we are in the same stage of life.
When you reach middle age, life is just plain busy. Yes, even busier than the stage when our children were still living at home.
But, for me this is a good thing. Our family is bigger now, with the addition of children-in-law and grandchildren. Our entire family is now also literally spread across the earth in different locations as well.
By middle age, most of us can usually do a diversity of things, and are able to do most all of them very well. The issue becomes priorities.
My priorities are totally different now than they were thirty years ago as I approached my thirties. At nearly sixty years old, I do not have the remotest desire to hang out in clubs most nights of the week, or make the rounds sitting in on every jam session in the region.
My goals as a performing artist are different. I don’t “need” to be on stage in front of a live audience most every night to be validated as an artist to the level that I did coming up. I am still paying musical dues, but those get-out-and-play type of dues have been paid up for about thirty years. That’s cool.
I have to be more organized with how I use my time. I have to schedule dedicated composing, arranging and practicing days. I no longer have the luxury of just sitting around all day playing to records and such, as I did in my early days. My practice time is more efficient because of this middle age paradigm. That’s cool.
Most middle aged people, like me, have to come to grips with the fact that, no matter how cool you were in your twenties and thirties, you are cooler now because you finally have a clue of what it is all about.
No matter our calling in life, given talents or chosen career path, the most successful people ultimately learn that being a good person is what life is all about. And, the details of what you do, as in my case - music, are learned over the course of a life.
After 40 years of seriously playing the saxophone, I know where all of the notes are now. I practice to keep in shape physically - coordination of mind and body things.
At middle age, I rely less upon the intellect of others when I play music now, because I have developed my own informed musical intellect to draw from.
And, this state is the ultimate goal for the type of musical artist I have desired to be and have worked for several decades to become.
Sometimes you get stuck in a traffic jam in life and your movement forward seems to come to a complete stop, but slower times can be used to reflect and grow.
Time changes things. That is cool.
And, right now, I am the best me there has ever been.
Finished this new composition titled “Firebird” (© 2014 Christopher L. Burnett, BMI) written for the artist, Sintha Anderson.
This work will also be on the new recording.
Completed the orchestrated arrangement, input the music into Finale, and now all that remains is preparing parts for publication.
We go into the studio in June!!!!
The recording will be released on Artists Recording Collective (ARC) label and will be available at all of the major music retailers worldwide!
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Here is an update. Don’t faint. I am actually going into the studio to release my sophomore quartet CD. In 1999 (Time Flies) I released my first commercial recording and have been building the infrastructure to support a second studio recording with my quartet. I am super excited because Terri will be playing some flute lines on a couple of the pieces too. Sweet. It looks like 2014 is finally the year for me to resume recording. Fifteen years later - almost to the month, time flies …
Here is the most recent info about one of the works we will record:
"Firebird" will be recorded in June and will be released worldwide on my upcoming, and yet untitled, recording on the Artists Recording Collective (ARC) label. This is a MIDI mock-up of the orchestration of this work. Introduction. Melody. Alto Saxophone improvisation chorus 1. Alto Saxophone improvisation chorus 2 with backgrounds. More sections to follow … "Firebird" (v5.2) has subtle edits to the music and mixing of the audio file. Thanks for your interest in following my process. After learning the craft of writing and arranging music, my flow is somewhat like transcribing into music what I am hearing in my mind.
If you have gathered anything from this website beyond the obvious, you have likely also gathered that I really love what I do. Like most professional musicians, I am fortunate to have found that my talent matched my passion early in life. Then, the course of my life has allowed me to develop and build a fulfilling career on many levels within the music industry. Never give up. When someone tells you what they think you can’t do positively with your life, just do it anyway. Cb
MUSINGS IN Cb: “A Very Musical 2014 For Chris Burnett …”
This year looks to be a very musical one for me as an artist.
2014 marks a major milestone in my life as my musical artistry is now able to coexist in balance within the parameters and contexts of my life in general at this stage.
As with most any middle-aged-grown-ass-man, the total competence and diversity that comes from having life balance is most essential to any form of artistic progress.
And, this state of being has been a relatively long time in coming.
INTRODUCTION AND GREETINGS
To everything there is a season. So, let me reintroduce myself artistically to those who know me as a musician and introduce myself artistically to those on the scene who may only know me via business - I still love and do my work with the American Jazz Museum and the ARC recording label, respectively and in context.
I have assembled a brand new version of Chris Burnett Quartet - just having commitment from the last of the artists yesterday evening. We will primarily perform my compositions, record them and perform concerts.
Having a “set group” is important to me as a composer and artist exploring my own improvisatory language concepts. I come from an era of “groups” being the model I saw presented in jazz (Miles, Coltrane, Andrew Hill, Joe Henderson, Herbie Hancock, Weather Report, Cannonball, etc) - meaning artistic relationships are developed over a period of time and contribute to the core of the project.
In addition to Chris Burnett Quartet, I am writing music for a chordless trio project featuring Elliot Kuykendall on bass and Julian Goff on drums; and, a guitar quartet featuring Will Matthews. I have a quartet comprised of the youngest generation professional jazz artists (Alyssa Murry on piano, Seth Lee on bass and Julian Goff on drums) too. So, I work with other artists in context and so do the musicians I will be working with in my primary ensemble. But, here are the gentlemen I hope to record and perform lots of creative music with in the coming years …
Chris Burnett Quartet (2014)
Roger Wilder, piano - I met Roger at the Grand Emporium in Kansas City during a break at the “Battle of the Saxes" fundraiser for the Kansas City Jazz Ambassadors organization. I had never met or heard him before, but I really liked how sensitive, supportive and inherently creative he was to each situation.
Roger was part of a rhythm section that included Gerald Spaits on bass and Tommy Ruskin on drums. The battling saxes were all virtuosi: Dr. Todd Wilkinson, Gerald Dunn, Prof. Hal Melia and Prof. Bobby Watson. I introduced myself to Roger at their first break, gave him my card and asked if he would be interested in performing in my quartet. He said, “cool”. Roger has been my pianist of choice since that day in 2001.
Not only does this cat play in a supporting role with most all of the top artist in this region and many from beyond our locale, his own quintet is likely one of the premier groups working in jazz today as well. Check out Roger’s debut (available at iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon, etc).
Jeff Harshbarger, bass - I first heard Jeff performing with the progressive saxophonist/conceptualist, Mark Southerland and was moved by his artistic creativity. Then, I heard him with Bobby Watson, performing hard-bop in the Blue Room and was moved by his artistic creativity. Jeff is in demand, a scene builder, an entrepreneur, etc.
Finally, I had the opportunity to perform with him in various contexts and was certain that Jeff was the bassist of choice for my original work and recordings. He brings a lot to any ensemble and what I like about Jeff’s musicianship in an ensemble that presents through-composed material that includes improvisation as well, is his sympatico with what is happening musically in the moment.
Clarence Smith, drums - I first met Clarence when he was still head of the vaunted jazz program at the Paseo Academy of Arts in Kansas City. I had written an arrangement of an original composition by one of the city’s legends and his band performed it.
We first performed together as members of the youth jazz faculty. It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to perform with Clarence in my own groups did I get a true picture of his range as a percussionist.
Clarence is an artist, educator and scene builder. His experience in the field adds tremendously to his unique artistry. Without a doubt, he is one of the finest percussionists working today.
A DIFFERENT STORYLINE
My history to date in this regard includes: devoting the first 22 years of my professional life to a very active live performance career with military bands (an average of 250 performances each year); then, upon returning home at 45 years old, being very active on the Kansas City live music scene - centered around a regular hit at the Drum Room when it first reopened; and, attending sessions regularly at the Foundation, Blue Room or most anywhere else I could to introduce myself artistically.
A 2007 feature by Jazz Ambassador Magazine and feature in Kansas City Star’s “Jazz Town” column by Joe Klopus objectively validated my efforts to contribute positively to the scene at large and outside of military service bands.
I have paid some dues here in KC and continue to pay dues to this day …
Maintaining one’s balance and keeping things in context are important.
COMPOSER AND RECORDING ARTIST
As an artist who is also a composer, it is important to record. It just turned out that I came back home having already recorded and released my debut commercially. This was done independently and before stores like iTunes existed.
INFRASTRUCTURE AND PLATFORM
I have been attempting to put together projects to record the music I have continued to write over these subsequent 13 years.
At the same time the recording industry rapidly changed during the last years of the 20th Century and the first years of the 21st Century, the Internet became significant to business infrastructure and label platform models.
Therefore, much of my time and energies during this period have been devoted to building relevant new music business systems, supporting my family and contributing to the music scene at large - all are things I enjoy and believe to be as essential to my artistry as playing gigs every night.
Thanks, and welcome to these further musical adventures !
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Chris Burnett is an official Selmer (Paris) Saxophone Artist; Marketing and Communications Manager at American Jazz Museum; Professional Jazz Recording Artist; Composer; Educator; Entrepreneur; and, Businessman based in his native Kansas City metropolitan area. See - http://BurnettPublishing.com
MUSINGS IN Cb: “It’s Solo and Ensemble Time Again”
Every year, since I began teaching woodwinds privately, January seems to be the time of year when most school instrumental music students begin thinking about preparing music to perform at solo and ensemble festivals.
That’s cool and beginning work in January usually affords the minimum 12-week period I like most students to have to properly prepare a solo at this level of experience.
PUTTING IN THE PRACTICE TIME IS VITAL TO SUCCESS
Too many of the students I have taught over the years, generally do not dedicate enough time each week to learning their instruments beyond what is required of them during school band class.
However, school band class is a “survey course” and we all know that you do not become a master of any subject by taking a “survey course” because that is not the purpose of a “survey course”: a course treating briefly the chief topics of a broad field of knowledge (Merriam-Webster definition).
A “survey course” is inherently designed to expose you to material or a subject, in hopes of perhaps motivating interest in further study toward mastery. At least, that is what I have reasoned to be the case to date.
To perform a musical instrument at an artistic level requires that the school band student (whatever the level of musical ability and experience) understands this paradigm. The most successful students come to know that true mastery will always require engaging in additional hours of individual study beyond the school band classroom course curriculum.
And, then a conscious decision must be made in advance to devote the personal practice time toward mastery of the practical factors involved with achieving the applied performance skill set.
DEVELOPMENT IS AN ACCUMULATIVE PROCESS AT BEST
If a student can’t play fluently in all of the common keys, is not rotating out reeds for their classical and jazz mouthpiece set-ups respectively, or is still having pitch problems within the normally written range of the instrument; then, the student is not likely practicing the 2-3 hours a day that it takes to build the physical endurance and applied technical skills needed to perform any woodwind instrument at an artistic level.
There is plenty of high quality and artistic literature that takes into account the various inherent levels of artistry as it develops in each of us as individual musicians. Such graded lists are thoughtfully compiled as a service of convenience and based upon proven experiences.
For any high school-aged alto saxophone student to artistically perform Claude T. Smith's work, "FANTASIA FOR ALTO SAXOPHONE", the above type course of study is the only way to pull it off successfully.
The piece was written for Dale Underwood (listen), who was saxophone soloist for the US Navy Band in Washington DC for 30+ years. The artistry with which Mr. Underwood performs the piece should be noted in the context of his control, tone quality, endurance, and technical facility. His reed works perfectly for the piece and his horn works properly. He has spent years mastering the intonation of the altissimo register of the alto saxophone and plays those notes in tune.
DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY COUNTS IN GYMNASTICS NOT MUSIC
I think it is so cool to work with young musical artists. It is like giving back and sharing my experiences on this journey as a lifelong teaching artist and composer.
I also think it is so cool when young musical artists want to challenge themselves with such masterworks as the Smith piece. However, to choose music over one’s head, just to primarily say you programmed something difficult, is not good either.
Adjudicators do not give higher ratings because you choose a difficult piece of music. They don’t give consolation points just because the piece you choose is difficult. The purpose is to demonstrate what you have mastered and prepared. That is done in lessons and personal practice time, not during a performance.
Standards are the way to develop and improve. I align my syllabi to various ability levels and actually teach parallel to those standards adopted by the Kansas Music Educators Association in 2005.
KEEPING MUSIC THE MAIN THING
It is most always better to choose music that matches one’s ability, particularly when we are speaking of public performance and in the context of high school solo and ensemble festivals.
Classical and through-composed musical styles require such preparation as well because all of the notes are written exactly the way the composer wants the performing artist to bring them to life. The creativity on that level is done for the instrumentalists by the composer.
It is our responsibility as performing artists to be prepared to bring qualified artistry to meet any of the composer’s visionary requirements related to performing the work.
Happy New Year!
I submitted my music to Pandora several years ago.
I received the following notification by email on Monday, January 6, 2014 … sweet!
Hi Chris Burnett - Congratulations! Your CD “Time Flies (Original Master)” has been accepted into Pandora’s Music Genome Project.
**NOTE: Since your music is going to be added to Pandora’s collection, you’ll want to make sure you register with SoundExchange, the entity responsible for collecting and distributing digital performance royalties.
The next step is for you to fill in the Submission Agreement Form and mail us your CD. Please read all of the information on this form carefully before mailing your CD to us. Incorrectly mailed CDs will be donated to the public library. All of the relevant information for you to submit your music or comedy is contained on this form.
SUBMISSION AND INCLUSION PROCESS
We’re excited about your music or comedy, and look forward to hearing it on Pandora. That said, we do have a large volume of music or comedy arriving every day. As a result, it can take a while for accepted submissions to be fully processed. It’s not unusual for three months to elapse between the time a submission is accepted and the moment it is available publicly on Pandora.
In case it helps, here’s a breakdown of the steps on our end that need to be completed before your music or comedy shows up on a Pandora station:
- Your music or comedy is accepted into the Music Genome Project
- Completed Submission Agreement Form with CD arrives at the Pandora office
- Album is loaded into the Music Genome Project system
- Tracks from the album are analyzed by a musicologist
- Analyses are verified by a senior analyst
- Data is transferred to the Pandora system
- Your music or comedy is available on Pandora
We know it’s difficult to wait, and we regret that we can’t give you more regular updates on your submission. If you’re concerned about any aspect of your submission, please wait until at least 8 weeks after your acceptance date to follow up. We’ll be happy to check on the status of your submission then. In the meantime, the best place to search for your music or comedy on Pandora is Pandora Backstage: http://pandora.com/backstage
Now that you’ve read the information above, print out the following Submission Agreement Form and CAREFULLY follow the instructions to mail your CD to us.
Thanks for providing us with a great new addition to our collection. We look forward to introducing your music or comedy to thousands of new fans over the years to come.
Never (ever) give up! … Cb