[JPL] Jamey Aebersold Influences the World of Jazz

Jae Sinnett jaejazz at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 15 20:51:32 EDT 2007

Indeed...Abersold's Music Minus One series re-shaped the jazz education performance landscape. Those not familiar with this....lets say you're a drummer. You buy the recording and on the tracks the drums are missing. The point being is for the drummer to play along with the recording. They have them for several instruments. I know I've use them in my study years ago. The closest thing to ...the real thing and I still get my students to use them. The charts in many cases can come with the recording. Practical and visionary. Same with offering the solo transcriptions. His work as a publisher of jazz educational material is unsurpassed in my view.
  Jae Sinnett 

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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 Incorporated."

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 inside.

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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