Playing Bebop Enclosures Part 1 - Trombone Tips Episode #13

Playing Bebop Enclosures Part 1 - Trombone Tips Episode #13

Hi all! This week I'm answering a common question that comes up with working with students while I'm on the road. What is that you ask? Well, playing the bebop language. Aside from listening, the most important thing that we can do is get some idiomatic language into out muscle memory. This is part one of hopefully many more to come! Trombonists: Make sure you're thinking about alternate positions! I would recommend just learning this by ear, but if you're dying to get a PDF of this exercise you can download it here: 

http://selz.co/4JAISF5xQ

See ya next week - 

Nick

Dynamic Duos Episode 34 featuring Martin Diller! "Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise"

Dynamic Duos Episode 34 featuring Martin Diller! "Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise"

Today we have the first of what I hope to be many duets featuring some of my friends that happen to be drummers!

When I went out to the West Coast at the beginning of April 2017, this man was the orchestrator of that trip! Martin Diller is an LA based drummer who I met while on tour with Postmodern Jukebox last summer, and then again this past January.

Here's a quick version of the old standard "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise"

Hope you enjoy! And we'll see you next week!

Nick

a quick trombone warmup and two playalongs!

a quick trombone warmup and two playalongs!

Today we have something a bit different to share! Instead of me talking at you, this time we can interact, and play together! I'm releasing three videos at once here (I know, crazy) - One with the exercise explanation and playalong with me, and then two tracks that you can play along with to do your own one minute longtone/flexibility warmup.

Make sure to watch the explanation first, and then go ahead and playalong with either part of the exercise with these playalong tracks!

If you're enjoying using these, please share with a friend 😃

This Can't Be Love ft. Clovis Nicolas | Dynamic Duos Ep. 33

This Can't Be Love ft. Clovis Nicolas | Dynamic Duos Ep. 33

I was glad to feature the great French bassist Clovis Nicolas this week! Here we are playing a great “This Can’t Be Love.” The arrangement is borrowed from a great recording of this tune by Cannonball and Nat Adderley, on the record “Great Love Songs"

Check out Clovis’ projects here: http://www.clovisnicolas.com

Please enjoy and share “This Can’t be Love”! 

See you next week - 

Nick

How to play in the upper register, part 2

How to play in the upper register, part 2

In addition to trying to take the musical approach to building our upper register (as we talked about in the first part of this upper register series: watch it here if you haven’t seen it yet) there are certainly some exercises that we can do to complement that approach.

These exercises should be treated as such, and exercise. A tool to help build up something we are trying to improve. Please remember to be mindful of taking breaks when practicing upper register exercises. It’s very easy to overdue it! As much as you can, think about singing through the upper register, and that it’s just an extension of the stronger parts of your range!

Happy Practicing -

Nick

Solo Series Ep. 2 | Single Petal of a Rose

Solo Series Ep. 2 | Single Petal of a Rose

As you might know, the tune "Single Petal of a Rose" is featured on my latest recording "Hear & Now" and features an arrangement that I'm quite proud of featuring 3 trombones and two bass clarinets plus rhythm section. However, bringing a band like that to every gig would be quite a feat! So back in the fall when I was preparing for this Winter's "Hear & Now" album release tour, I put together this solo arrangement of Single Petal of a Rose that I could play at concerts along the way! The arrangement has taken on a bit more life since it's initial conception when I recorded this back in November 2016, but I hope you'll enjoy hearing this alternate version! 

 

If you're not familiar, Single Petal of a Rose appears in Duke Ellington's "Queen's Suite" - originally written for the Queen of England. It is a solo piano piece of Duke's, but there are also a few great versions of Joe Temperly playing it on Bass Clarinet (this is what really inspired me to think about recording this tune).

 

Enjoy!

Blight of the Fumble Bee (Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan Cover) ft. Lucas Pino | Dynamic Duos Ep 32 - YouTube

 

First, I need to say a HUGE thank you to Lucas Pino for taking the time to experiment with me on this new duet! This Gerry Mulligan tune “Blight of the Fumble Bee” is featured on “Two of a Mind” featuring Gerry alongside Paul Desmond! A killer record. 

 

A few years back Lucas and I did a little tour out to Arizona, and played this tune almost every night! It’s always fun to revisit some material you performed in the past and spruce it up again!

 

It’s a blues in two 6 bar phrases, check it out...

 

See ya back here next week!

 

- Nick

 

Have you connected with Lucas? 

Like his Facebook Page

Visit his Website

Grab his latest Record on iTunes

Los Angeles CD Release Party at Blue Whale 4.10.17

Los Angeles CD Release Party at Blue Whale 4.10.17

HEAR & NOW cd release at blue whale 4.10.17!

We're celebrating "Hear & Now" with a performance at blue whale Los Angeles!

Monday 4.10.17 9PM!

 ft. John Beasley (piano), Danny Janklow (saxophone), Alex Boneham (bass), and Dan Schnelle (drums)

Here's a quick look at what happened last time we came to the blue whale!

won't you join us? 

 

How to play in the upper register; play jazz ballads on trombone!

How to play in the upper register; play jazz ballads on trombone!

How do you play in the upper register? For me, it comes down to being relaxed, having focused air, and thinking about singing. I’m not the type of person to practice slamming high notes out, or doing crazy exercises. I’ve found the most practical way of practicing playing in the upper register is to practice playing songs in the upper register. I advise pushing yourself to a point of fatigue, and taking a BREAK. You can’t push too far or you’ll injure yourself, for sure. PLEASE BE CAREFUL! 

#Dynamic Duos Ep. ft. JJ Johnson's Judy w/ Joe McDonough Ep. 31

#Dynamic Duos Ep. ft. JJ Johnson's Judy w/ Joe McDonough Ep. 31

This week’s video revisits one of my first video posts here on youtube, where I recorded a short version of JJ Johnson’s great composition “Judy

Here however, I’m featuring one of my great friends and fellow trombonists: Joe McDonough! Joe and I were pursuing our Masters degrees at Juilliard at the same time, and both studying with the great Steve Turre. 

For a while, we had a co-led two trombone quintet that celebrated the two trombone tradition started by JJ Johnson and Kai Winding. We recorded a few tracks back in 2013, and I think we just might release some of those very soon… stay tuned!  

How to Practice Jazz, How to practice hard chord changes!

How to Practice Jazz, How to practice hard chord changes!

In this week's video, we're talking about how to practice jazz. My approach is to break it down, just like you would when you're practicing any other musical skill.  

Slow it down, speed it up gradually. Break the music into small/digestible chunks and slowly combine them back together.    

Here I use my tune "Race to the Bottom" to illustrate just how I might practice something hard like this....  

Good luck - and Let me know what you're practicing these days! 

Lullaby for an Old Friend | Hear & Now Live in Studio Ep. 8

Lullaby for an Old Friend | Hear & Now Live in Studio Ep. 8

This week's Wednesday Watch is a throwback to the recording session for the new album "Hear & Now" ! 

I wrote this piece for an old friend of mine who passed away too soon. It's not just about him passing away, but it's a celebration of life. It's a journey through the melancholy, the bittersweet, but ultimately the joy of having great friends.

Please enjoy, and share "Lullaby for an Old Friend" 

Ft. Lucas Pino, Glenn Zaleski, Jimmy Macbride, Dave Baron, Alex Wintz

Check out that killer cup mute at www.facetmutes.com!

See ya next week - Nick

Hear & Now PDF's

Hear & Now PDF's

From time to time I get inquiries about where you can go to find all the charts from the new album "Hear & Now"

Well, they're all right here! 

Dynamic Duos Ep. 30! Ft. Clovis Nicolas!

Dynamic Duos Ep. 30! Ft. Clovis Nicolas!

Since I met this bassist back at Juilliard in 2010, I’ve been a huge fan of his playing and his musicianship! Clovis Nicolas is a fantastic bassist and musician, and has an encyclopedic knowledge of tunes! Not to mention he always swings his butt off! It’s always pleasure to get to play with Clovis!

Here we’re playing a really great Bud Powell composition (which are always a great challenge for us trombonists…) but this one is particular favorite of mine - “Bouncin’ with Bud” 

Check out the slick way that Clovis ends his solo and gets smoothly back into the melody - so good!

In the video I’m using a great Walnut Cup Mute from Facet Mutes! Check them out here: https://www.facetmutes.com/

Please enjoy and share “Bouncing’ with Bud”

Check out what Clovis is up to here:  http://www.clovisnicolas.com/

See you next week - 

 

Nick

 

 

Dynamic Duos Episode 29 ft. Jordan Pettay!

Dynamic Duos Episode 29 ft. Jordan Pettay!

Today I’m featuring the wonderful Alto Saxophonist Jordan Pettay! Jordan and I were classmates at Juilliard, and she’s played on a few of my gigs here and there over the years. When we got together to record this duet, I remembered that I first learned this tune to perform at a Juilliard Jazz camp we taught at together out in Ephraim, UT at Snow College! 

One of the best things about Touring...

One of the best things about Touring...

One of the best things about having to tour the country this month, is getting to reconnect with many people who I've met in other situations, and bringing them all together. Nothing is more special to me than getting to meet up with previous mentors, and ESPECIALLY to be able to connect with mentors musically! 

It's You or No One ft. Seth Weaver | #DynamicDuos Ep. 28

It's You or No One ft. Seth Weaver | #DynamicDuos Ep. 28

This week I’m featuring a great trombonist, who’s currently also based in New York: Seth Weaver. Seth and I first met at the International Trombone Festival the last time it was held at the Eastman School of Music up in Rochester, NY. I was giving a performance that year celebrating the music from my first album, Exposition at that time, and Seth was a finalist in the ITF’s jazz trombone competition that year. 

 

Since then, we’ve played a few gigs together here and there. But most recently, I recorded on a few videos of Seth’s Big Band! In addition to being a great trombonist, Seth is writing some great arrangements, and to top it off - he’s a singer too! Head over to Seth’s YouTube Channel to check out some of what he’s up to, and to watch those big band videos!

 

We’re playing a great standard that I first arranged for Lucas Pino and myself to play on a short tour to Arizona a few years back. If you’re familiar with the tune already, you’ll notice that there’s a little tweak to the form in there for good measure 😉 ! haha.

 

Please enjoy and Share!  “It’s You or No One”

 

See you next week - 

 

Nick

Hear & Now is OUT TODAY!

After many months of planning and preparing - today Friday February, 17th, 2017 marks the launch of my third album as a leader!

Nick Finzer Hear & Now Cover Art

"Hear & Now" on Outside in Music (www.outsideinmusic.com)  featuring many of my favorite musicians to play with in NYC! 

 

About the Record:

Hear & Now offers a bold call to action with Finzer’s sextet featuring Lucas Pino, Alex Wintz, Glenn Zaleski, Dave Baron and Jimmy Macbride

" [Finzer’s] compositions are like stained-glass windows: lovely on the surface, but more impressive for how they imbue what’s behind them with color." — Brian Zimmerman, Downbeat
"Nick Finzer [is] a new voice to the pantheon of upcoming trombone greats in the making." – Wycliffe Gordon

Trombonist/composer Nick Finzer captures the uneasy mood of a turbulent time on his third album, Hear & Now. Though the title – which the album shares with the gifted and expressive sextet that Finzer has led since his debut release in 2013 – suggests an alertness to the present time and place, Finzer’s music also evokes a need and hope for change, a defiant optimism that pits love against the forces of oppression.

 

Nick is on Tour NOW Supporting the New Album! 

Watch the new single: "We, the People"