Hour 1 - 2
On tour with Shakura S’Aida in Sighisoara, Romania. I’m writing from my hotel room in a medieval citadel in Transylvania. The building next door is a historical site marked as the birthplace of the father of Vlad the Impaler (aka Dracula!). I’ve been eating cabbage rolls, reading the Bram Stoker classic and practicing. Here’s what I worked on yesterday:
- Jammed along with my new record, Suites. I’m playing at the Cameron House (408 Queen West in Toronto) with my Electric Band on Friday March 16th and Saturday March 17th at 10pm.
- John Scofield plays a gorgeous ballad with his trio called “Alfie” on the live album, En Route, with Bill Stewart and Steve Swallow. It’s really beautiful. It sounds like he’s arpeggiating chords with pretty wide interval leaps sometimes. I tried to go after this vibe with a song on my record called “Gold Dust Reprise”. After playing through this piece, I was inspired to check out drop 2 & 4 voicings in more detail. They can be technically challenging because of the string skipping that is involved but they sound really cool, especially when arpeggiated. I worked through major 7, dominant 7, minor 7, minor 7b5 and diminished 7 chords in the key of C. 4 inversions (R537, 375R, 5R73 and 73R5) on 2 sets of strings (6 to 2 and 5 to 1) = 8 voicings.
- I improvised using mostly these note choices through a jazz-blues. It’s a totally different approach from what I’m used to. I think it sounds pretty fresh!