[JPL] Jamey Aebersold Influences the World of Jazz
Jazz Promo Services
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Mon Oct 15 19:07:18 EDT 2007
On a quiet New Albany street -- near the corner of Aebersold Drive and
Aebersold Court, you can hear the sound of the Aebersold.
That's Jamey Aebersold, of course. The sage of the saxophone, he's been
called. At age 68, Aebersold has become the godfather of Louisville jazz.
For years, fans have heard him play with his quartet at schools and clubs
around the area, spreading the jazz gospel with his alto horn. But he can
also get by on bass.
And he's composed dozens of tunes on the Steinway piano in his basement.
When Aebersold graduated from New Albany High back in 1957, he might have
followed his parents into his grandfather's florist business. After all, he
hadn't impressed his piano teacher.
Jamey Aebersold says, "I took for about five years. And my teacher fired me.
One day I went in for my lesson, gave her the money, sat down and started
playing. And she said 'stop, Jamey.' She got up and I saw her open the desk,
reach into the pigeonhole and get the money out and I said 'oops, I think
this is bad.' She says 'Here, you go on home. You'll never be a musician --
you don't want to practice.'"
But the key was he learned to improvise, and blossomed as a player and
teacher of America's only indigenous music, jazz.
Jamey Aebersold plays jazz, whenever and wherever he can, although he's
never issued a CD under his own name.
His summer jazz camp here at the University of Louisville will go into its
43rd year next year. But what really keeps him busy 24/7 is Aebersold Jazz
Aebersold says, "We buy from publishers all around the world, actually, and
then sell the stuff all around the world -- books, videos, and we publish
about 200 things ourself."
Seven people work out of Aebersold's cluttered, maze-like basement, filling
orders from all over the planet, for books and CD's and videos. His methods
have revolutionized the teaching of jazz by letting people learn to
improvise along with recordings.
Later this month Aebersold will receive a 2007 Indiana Governor's Arts
Award, the first jazz musician ever to do so. It's a tribute to his
musicianship, but also to Aebersold's belief that everyone has a song
He says, "But the main thing I'm interested in -- people all around the
world, playing this type of music, if they want to play it, at home, on the
street, on their jam boxes or wherever, and just have fun playing music."
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