Viewing entries tagged
Trombone

Dynamic Duos 038 - I Will Wait for You featuring Rubin Kodheli

Dynamic Duos 038 - I Will Wait for You featuring Rubin Kodheli

Today we're navigating slightly away from the usual, and featuring an amazing instrumentalist that plays an instrument not always associated with jazz - Cello. 

 

I first met Rubin when we started playing in a new band with the amazing clarinetist and composer Anat Cohen last year. We had the chance to play at the 2016 Newport Jazz Festival, and record an album that will be coming out sometime in late 2017! 

 

Here we're playing one of my favorite ballads - and it also happens to be by the great film composer Michel Legrand. "I Will Wait for You"

 

Hope you enjoy! Be sure to check out what Rubin is up to, he's doing a lot of creating and exciting stuff!

All the Things You Are - New Arrangement!

Today, I'm sharing my version of the Jerome Kern mainstay "All the Things You Are" - a tune well known by just about every jazz musician! 

The tune is a great example of the creative tunes written by Broadway show composers of that time period. Kern uses some slick (but simple!) harmonic devices to slide between key centers while repeating the melodic material between sections, making it sound new, and familiar at the same time. 

I've taken the tune, and added a spin to it by changing the meter into 5/4 and incorporating a new bass line that shifts the feeling of the original harmonies. 

I think a tune like "All the Things You Are" is a great example of the amazing melodic sense of these composers of the early 20th century. Their melodies can be stretched and reharmonized without losing their essence. To me, this is essential to the development of great melodic writing. 

Here you'll hear the always swinging rhythm section of Dave Baron on Bass, Jimmy Macbride on Drums, and Chris Ziemba on piano. Enjoy!

Nick Finzer - Songs & Stories Quartet - Maria (Leonard Bernstein) from West Side Story

Maria by Leonard Bernstein; arranged by Nick Finzer

In addition to my band Hear&Now Ive been working on a number of other projects, that not only feature my original music, but some arrangements I’ve done of other peoples music. The concept for my latest quartet project - the Songs & Stories quartet - is to reimagine and recreate some iconic pieces from the jazz repertoire as well as music that has a connection to my life. 

The new video that Im sharing today, features one of these pieces that has been influential on my musical development. This video is an arrangement I did of Leonard Bernsteins composition Maria from the musical West Side Story.

Featuring: Chris Ziemba (piano), Dave Baron (bass) and Jimmy Macbride (drums)

This song has stayed with me since the beginning of my musical upbringing. Some of my earliest memories of elementary school music classes I have include watching the movie version of West Side Story. While I was in middle school, my main focus wasnt actually trombone, but singing. When I was in 7th grade I performed “Maria as part of a musical theatre-themed choir concert. At the time, having a solo piece in the midst of this choir concert seemed like a big deal! And my family remembers it as one of the important moments in my musical beginnings. 

When I was brainstorming repertoire for this new project, I wanted to include music that has a strong personal story connection - and this one certainly has that. There have been a few jazz renditions of this tune (notably by Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond), but I think we presented a new take on this beautiful song. If you enjoy the video, I hope youll share it with your communities, and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments section! 

Until next time, 

- Nick

A Letter of Thanks to my Students

A little context: As you may be aware, Since August of 2014 I have been serving as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Jazz Trombone at Florida State University’s College of Music. An opportunity that for me, seemed to come out of nowhere. It came to be as a product of being prepared at the right time. I was in this position for the past two school years leading the school’s second big band, a graduate level improvisation class, teaching private lessons in trombone and composition, and coaching a small ensemble. I did this all while keeping up an active touring schedule, leading my own band, teaching in New York, working as a sideman in the city, and even subbing on the occasional broadway show. Although I’ve decided to continue to focus on my performing career, I’m very glad to have had the opportunity to work with the students at FSU. I think that I learned as much or more teaching them, than they learned from me! I’m proud of the work my ensembles put in every semester, reaching into parts of their musicianship I’m not sure they knew were there. We explored the depth and breadth of the jazz tradition with an ear towards the future, keeping tabs on what is happening on the scene today in addition to being attuned to the history of this music. 

April Free Jazz Arrangement - Freight Trane for Octet

April's Free Jazz Arrangement: Freight Trane by Kenny Burrell

This month's free arrangement is an octet version of guitarist Kenny Burrell's "Freight Trane" from the record he did with John Coltrane. This tune is an Ab "Bird Blues".

The arrangement features the melody, a soli for the ensemble, and solo section with backgrounds.

Scored for 5 horns and Rhythm:
Alto
Tenor
Bari
Trumpet
Trombone
Piano
Bass
Drums

Download the arrangement for free HERE!

I hope you can check it out! Let me know if you decide to use the arrangement - I'd love to hear the performance!

- Nick

Solo Jazz Trombone Videos - Started this week!

Greetings All!

I wanted to take a chance to share with everyone, my latest project! I've started a YouTube video series that will feature some solo trombone arrangements of some of my favorite tunes from jazz composers.

The first one features a composition by the great JJ Johnson, his tune

Judy

.

Judy

 was originally recorded by JJ along with Kai Winding on "The Great Kai and JJ" released on Impulse! in 1961.

The arrangement is pretty simple - and opening melodic statement followed by a few improvised choruses and the melody restated. Hope you enjoy! Please do leave feedback in the comments section of the YouTube video, and subscribe to the channel to see the next video!

See ya next time! Happy Superbowl Sunday!

- Nick

Exposition - Continued...

Hey All!

I'm excited to say that since Exposition's release back on January 22nd, it has been in the top 50 of the JazzWeek charts for the past five consecutive weeks! Mitchell Feldman of MFA has been hard at work spreading the good word about my release, and I'm very glad for the results.

In other news, I recorded an interview with Joe Dimino of Neon Jazz radio in Kansas City two weeks ago! Really enjoyed talking to Joe about Exposition, you can check it out here.

Moving forward I am pleased to have three upcoming dates to celebrate the music from Exposition!

First is next Sunday - March 24 at ShapeShifter Lab at 7PM on a double bill with Lucas Pino and his No Net Nonet. More details HERE.

April 7th will bring my group back to The National for their National Sessions for the first time since the album release show at the beginning of February. We'll play 6-10PM and it is free! (50th and Lexington in Manhattan)

Third is another exciting gig, my first gig at the Bar Next Door in the Village. I'll be performing as part of the Emerging Artist Series on Thursday April 18th - 630PM!

Thanks again for your continued support! Hope to see you at one of the upcoming gigs!

 - Nick

Exposition Released Today!

Nick's Debut Album Exposition is Released Today!

Greetings Friends, Fans, and Family,

Happy New Year! I hope your year is off to a great start. Things are picking up for me here in New York, and today is especially exciting. Today marks the release of my first album as a leader, Exposition. I couldn't be happier with how it turned out, and I hope you all will be too.

The band features some great colleagues that I attended The Juilliard School with:
Lucas Pino - Tenor Saxophone
Alex Wintz - Guitar
Samora Pinderhughes - Piano
Dave Baron - Bass
Jimmy Macbride - Drums

This release marks the culmination of this project which started in April of 2012 with a Kickstarter campaign. Thank you again, to all of the people who backed the project! The success of that Kickstarter campaign really got the ball rolling. Thank you backers! There is a great Video Preview of Exposition by Marie LeClaire on YouTube HERE.


Starting today, you will be able to find Exposition for sale online at CDBaby.comiTunesAmazon, and some limited edition copies for sale through the online store on my website. It will also be available to stream on services like Pandora and Spotify. Please visit my website at www.nickfinzermusic.com for links to these retailers.

I will be celebrating the release of Exposition with two official CD release events. Here in NYC it will be held Sunday, February 10th at The National, and a two part CD Release event in Rochester on Wednesday February 13th. See the listing information below:

NYC Release:

Sunday, February 10th, 2013
The National (50th St and Lexington Ave)
Sets at 7 & 830PM
No Cover Charge or Minimum

Rochester Release:

Part I
Wednesday, February 13th, 2013
Live Radio Broadcast at Jazz 90.1 FM (Online stream available worldwide at www.jazz901.org)
7 - 8PM
Featuring compositions commissioned through Exposition's Kickstarter Campaign. 

Part II
930PM
Lovin' Cup
300 Park Pointe Dr.
Rochester, NY 14623
$5 Cover

I certainly hope you might be able to join us for one of these performances! You can connect to the official facebook event pages by clicking HERE for NYC or HERE for ROCHESTER

New Gigs of Note:
Sunday March 24th at Shapeshifter Lab - Double Bill with Lucas Pino's No Net Nonet
Thursday April 11th at Bar Next Door Emerging Artist Series - with Dave Baron and Jimmy Macbride


Thank you all for taking the time to read this note, and for your continued interest in me and my music! 

Best wishes for a prosperous 2013!

- Nick