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This month we have an interview with Pianist/Composer Pat Coil. Pat has written and played for just about everybody and is a resident in Nashville Tennessee.  He has a new CD ( excerpts and info on the CJA page)   Pat also shares his favorite CD's in the CJA Faves section.

Also this month the CJA download (free Mp3 song to download,) is, “Carnival” , a Brazilian Jazz song performed by Jazz pianist Rene Rosnes.  

We also have a great book review on Jazz arrangers, an article, "Jazz Is All About Freedom", and Jazz Midi Files resources.

 Make sure and check it all out!!

                                                 CJA Faves

Each month we ask a CJA participant to list 5 of his favorite Jazz CD’s and share them with everyone. This is provided to give musicians a chance to share with others what they love to listen to and what has influenced them. The links to audio excerpts are to provide readers the location of where you can hear brief excerpts and even purchase ( new or used) these recordings.

 (This months CJA Faves are shared by CJA Artist Pat Coil)

Miles Davis "My Funny Valentine"

 Wayne Shorter "Speak No Evil" 

Thad Jones & Mel Lewis "Live at the Village Vanguard",

Keith Jarrett "Standards"

 Weather Report "Heavy Weather".


                                            Free CJA Download

The featured Mp3 and chart for October is "Carnival", or Manha de Carnival, and was written by Brazilian guitarist Luiz Bonfa . The piano track was performed by Jazz Pianist Renee Rosnes.

It's in the Key of Am and the first chorus is played in solo rubato (out of tempo) style. The bass and drums join in, in a Latin interlude which leads to the second and third choruses. This has a wonderful Samba type feel with many great solo chops as well! It is also one of the many beautiful songs from the Brazilian movie Black Orpheus.

You can  download the piano score  (in Acrobat pdf format and yes you can print it out!). The Mp3 file, Midi file, and sheet music are provided for your enjoyment and for study purposes so do take the time to listen and study this great song!

 Here is the link:

                                     CJA Interview with Pat Coil

1)  When did you start developing a love for Jazz music?

Pat:  Probably around 12 or 13 years old. Somehow I heard a Ramsey Lewis "live'

record and was really mesmerized by how much fun he and the audience were

having. I think it was the "In-Crowd" record. Also, my high school band director

(Jerry Hoover) encouraged me and hired me for my first paying gigs at local

dances. He loved jazz and took me to see the Stan Kenton band a few times which

had a big impact.


2)  Did you study Jazz formally and if so where?

Pat:  After high school I went to North Texas State U. (now NTU) on a tuba

scholarship. This was also a result of Jerry Hoover, who made me play tuba in his

marching band in order to play piano in the jazz band. I was there for 4 years

and studied with Jack Peterson and Rich Mattison, two great teachers and

mentors. I also was able to play with some great players who were in school there

at the time. Lyle Mays was my room mate, and got to play with Marc Johnson, Stev

e Houghton, John Riley and a bunch of excellent players who have gone on to

have great carreers in the business.


3) Who do you consider some of the main influences on your writing and

playing jazz?

Pat:  Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans, Lyle Mays, Joe Zawinul, Oscar Peterson, Miles

Davis,  Pat Metheny & John Scofield (off the top of my head)


4 Do you find opportunities for playing jazz as a Christian Jazz Artist

starting to open up more?

Pat:  I find that jazz artists have about the same opportunities regardless of

thier religious beliefs. As far as working as a "Christian jazz artist", I've

never really categorized myself in that way. I do however, believe that our

creative talents come from God, and that it is up to us to develop those gifts for

the glory of God, and to bring the listener a little closer to the beauty of

God's creation.


5 Tell us something about the other people playing on your new CD " True


Pat:  Craig nelson is the bass player, and is without a doubt one of the best I've

ever had the privilege to play with. His talent covers a lot of styles, and

he can be heard on recordings by many major Christian, country and pop

artists, as well as jazz. Jim White is also one of the best jazz drummers I've ever worked with, and

has also recorded and worked with a wide variety of artists. They both have

the combination of musical skills and spirit that I try to strive for. I've

always tried to play with players whose talent exceeds my own.


6 Are you working on another CD project of your own?

Pat:  I've recently produced and recorded with sax player, Bob Sheppard (Steely

Dan, Joni Mitchell, Lyle Mays etc.), and hope to release it soon. I've always

got ideas and the desire for a number of projects, and hope to do most of them

as time and money allow.


7 Do you find a spiritual connection in playing and writing music? Some

writers consider the creative process to be a gift from the Creator and feel

the spiritual connection very strong while writing music. What are your

thoughts concerning this?

Pat:  Absolutely! There is no other explanation for some of the wonderful music

the world has known. How else can a Mozart be explained? The arts are some of

the best evidence of a loving God. He gave us the talent, and the senses

that can be inspired by beauty.


8)  How do you feel about the new worship music being produced today?

Pat: I really like some of it, and have been fortunate to record a lot of it.

When dealing with worship music that has essentially been derived from the

popular culture, it's a challenge to not let the attitude of the music, and

personalities of the musicians overshadow the intent of the worship experience. My

personal favorites are old hyms, whether traditional or contemporary. I hope

to record a disc of hyms in both a solo jazz piano setting and in a more

contemporary band style.


9 Are you now playing keys for a Church? If so tell us a little about the

style of worship music you are doing there.

Pat: I do play for my church whever I'm in town, and it ranges from traditional

hymns, praise & worship, and jazz arrangements of hymns. We have a diverse

congregation spanning all age groups.


10) Do you ever get an opportunity to play your jazz music in a church

setting? (If so please elaborate)

Pat : Yes, I have done some jazz arrangements of hymns and have brought a band in

to play several times.


11 What is your favorite church hymn and why?

Pat: I think that my favorite is "Be Thou My Vision". It has a beautiful yet

simple melody, and I love old English and Celtic melodies. Obviously I love the



12)  Any plans in the making for a CD of church hymns and worship songs? )

 Pat: Yes!


13) What has been your most challenging project that you have ever worked


Pat: A few years ago I did a live record that was produced by my friend Lyle Mays

called "Schemes & Dreams". The music we wrote was challenging yet very

soulful. It was a wonderful experience to record what was a studio quality live



14)  You have played and produced for many top names in Jazz...what future

goals do you have planned for yourself as a artist and a person?

Pat: Right now I am balancing making a living and having a good family life, so

my artistic goals are sometimes on the back burner. I have the strong desire

to write and make music that matters, so I will always be trying, God willing.

                                            Jazz Midi Files

Jazz Music Sounds Great in MIDI!

You may or may not be aware that there is a great listening and learning resource for Jazz lovers online...Midi Files!

Jazz has been called the only art form invented in America. From its roots in New Orleans and Chicago, jazz grew to influence musical styles around the world. If you are interested in the history of this music, a good place to start is Jazz Roots.

Perhaps more than any other genre, jazz is particularly suited to MIDI. Most sound cards can reproduce percussion, fretless bass, piano, and other instruments typically used in jazz better than, say, orchestral sounds. There are many places on the Web to find good jazz. A complete list can be found in the MIDI Files: Jazz section. If you want to jump right in, the following list should provide all you need for many hours of listening pleasure:

  • The JazzPage is a well-designed site based in Germany and offers videos and photos as well as MIDI files. The MIDIs are mostly top-notch.
  • All That Jazz...And Then Some offers a classic jazz MIDI collection primarily from the 50's through mid-70's. Includes music of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Thelonius Monk.
  • Jazz Files at midiworld offers a collection of unnamed "cool jazz" files, followed by an alphabetical listing of over 100 titles.
  • Devian Homepage of Jazz is a great example of one individual's contribution. This site, maintained by a saxophone player from Indonesia, contains mostly fusion and contemporary music as well as his own compositions. The selection isn't large, but the quality is high.
  • Music, midis, jazz is a simple page with a lot of music on it. Some non-jazz selections are included, also.

Other sites are listed in MIDI Files: Jazz. In addition to these, there are hundreds of pages by individual jazz composers. You can find these by searching for "jazz MIDI." Keep the music playing!


Featured Book: Arranging the Score: Portraits of the Great Arrangers


Here is a book that is a great read for those interested in background Bio's of some of the great Jazz arrangers.

Author: Gene Lees

Publisher: Cassell/Continuum

Year Published: 2000

Format / Pages: Hardcover / 310 pages

Review: Gene Lees deserves a solid round of applause for the excellent work he completed in the writing of ARRANGING THE SCORE: PORTRAITS OF THE GREAT ARRANGERS. There are comments, dialog, analysis of works, and how it came to be with each arranger's background.
Following the interesting foreword by Jeffrey Sultanof, there comes the introduction followed by chapters. Each chapter is a person.

Here are the arrangers, listed by chapter as the appear: 1) Kenny Wheeler, 2) Percy Faith, 3) Robert Farnon, 4) Gil Evans, 5) Gerry Mulligan, 6) Bill Challis, 7) Les Brown, 8) Johnny Mandel, 9) Henry Mancini, 10) Billy May, 11) Mel Powell, 12) Marion Evans, and 13) Roger Kellaway. Each chapter is like reading a compact biographical story of each arranger.

The Gerry Mulligan chapter is full of details about Mulligan that show him as a most complex man. The Henry Mancini chapter reveals this tall, friendly composer/arranger as a man with a keen sense of humor, and when asked by Blake Edwards if he might consider writing a jazz score for the television series, "Peter Gunn," Mancini asked if it was a Western! This private-eye television series became one of the most successful series of its kind in television history, and it had a Mancini jazz score, which was the first jazz score in television history.

The book is crammed-full of information. The section on Roger Kellaway explains his musical relationships, among them, his friendships with the late singer Bobby Darin and Red Mitchell. Other arrangers are given equal in depth treatment by Gene Lees.

A fine reading experience with new material, much of which is previously unknown, ARRANGING THE SCORE is a book which should be in the jazz listener's audience, and a book to have in the local public library for reference. Highly recommended. ( Review By Lee Prosser )



‘Jazz is all About Freedom"

Jazz artist finds challenge mixing musical influences!

He turned out to be a pianist instead of a drummer, but some of the best career advice Miguel Romero ever got came from a jazz legend behind the skins.

An aspiring percussionist as a teenager, Romero regularly attended classes at Harlem's famed Jazz Mobile. One session was taught by the great drummer Max Roach, who asked to hear a sample of the students' work.

"I never even had a drum set, because we lived on the sixth floor, so I couldn't be keeping the neighbors up all night," recalls Romero with a laugh from his Atlanta home. "I only knew one rhythm -- some kind of funky, James Brown thing -- so I played it, and then I kind of apologized, and said that I knew it wasn't jazz.

"And he corrected me, and said, ‘Jazz is all about freedom.' And that's always stayed with me."

In fact, the converted keyboardist has referred to those words often during an eclectic musical career that's seen him study composition in college, detour onto the dance charts and wind up exploring "Cuban Jazz Funk"  on his latest album of the same name.

"I just like to give myself interesting challenges," Romero says. "What if you wrote a song with just major chords (something he tried on "Azul," a song from his debut, "Island Breeze.")? What if you put Cuban jazz together with funk?"

Part of that sense of experimentation, he says, comes from his upbringing. His father, a trumpeter, was a professional musician, as were his uncles, and before his family left Cuba when he was 10, Romero had soaked up plenty of diverse sounds.

"My father's record collection had everything from Miles (Davis) to Stravinsky to (Cuban pianist) Peruchin," remembers Romero. "I've always been interested in fusing elements, and I think that's where it comes from."

Although he started playing bongos and tenor sax, Romero became enamored of the piano at a very early age, fascinated by its look and sound at his father's band rehearsals. After eventually abandoning drumming when his family moved to New York, he didn't have to think hard about a replacement instrument, and would eventually take his studies to Lehman College in the Bronx, where he earned a degree in music composition.

After graduation, Romero began doing session work, like many young musicians. However, his sessions sparked the interest of the late Jesse Stone, Atlantic Records' legendary house arranger and songwriter. That led to a steady stream of work in the dance music field during the '90s, as Romero wrote and produced songs for disco diva Jocelyn Brown, as well as gospel-house singer Michelle Weeks.

But the programmed rhythms and repetition eventually grew tiresome for Romero. "That's why I got out of it," he says. "I've always been -- impatient isn't exactly the right word -- but I always want to see, ‘What else can I do? What other color can I use?' "

Coinciding with this career change was Romero's desire to finally leave New York near the end of 1997. He chose Atlanta, in part because "it kind of reminded me of Cuba, with all the greenery and the low clouds."

Although it's best known as a hip-hop town, Atlanta also turned out to have a surprisingly supportive jazz environment. "I kind of thought of it as a great hub," to Europe and other prime musical sites, admits Romero. But not long after arriving, he'd managed to assemble a five-piece band and secure a residency at a local jazz cafe. "Right away I had a place to play, so I was pretty lucky."

The group, which uses a shifting lineup of players, also helped Romero record his pair of albums. He'd like to do a third back in Cuba, but concedes that the political turmoil over the island makes that unlikely.

However, Romero -- who still has several relatives in Cuba -- says he isn't interested in making any statements about his native country.

"As a musician, I just don't want to get into that," he says. "Judge me for my music, you know? Not for my politics."

Charleston Daily Mail

Thursday June 26, 2003; 11:00 AM


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