February 2021 Jazz Music Rob Brethouwer

Confronting the Stereotypes Around Jazz

Is jazz only for certain groups of people? What a ludicrous idea! This month, Rob confronts two silly stereotypes he has come across while living in Western Colorado.

January 2021 Jazz Music Rob Brethouwer

Excruciatingly Basic Jazz Theory

Even if they are not understood completely, the building blocks of a topic are important to have in mind. For some, the building blocks are understood up to a point and then things become fuzzy. For others, the blocks themselves are an enigma. Theory is the building blocks of music.

December 2020 Jazz Music Rob Brethouwer

Why Jazz?

When we are asked why we like the music we listen to, the most obvious answer is, “I love the way it sounds?” This is a fine answer, but one that may not give the music full credit. This answer is part of my answer, “Why Jazz?”, but it is but only one part of a larger answer to a simple question.

Columns Jazz Music November 2020 Rob Brethouwer

Album Exploration #1

For the purposes of this article, I have chosen a big band album called Woody Herman: 1964. As with all recordings discussed on this page, this one is on vinyl and was recorded in New York City on November 20, 22, and 23, 1963. The band is typical of a big band with five saxophones, five trumpets, a clarinet (Woody Herman), three trombones, and a rhythm section featuring the expected piano, bass, and drums.

Jazz Music October 2020 Rob Brethouwer

Walking Through the Doors

For a few moments of imagination, let your mind’s eye take you on a journey to a different time and place. The time is somewhere between 1925 and 1953, and the place is a rainy spring evening in Chicago, New York, London, or Paris.