New podcast episode now available! It's time to Discover, Learn, and Play Jazz Piano using a Key of A Major Harmonic Workout!
March 29, 2022

Special Guest, Jamey Aebersold, Pt. 1

JazzPianoSkills welcomes jazz legend, Jamey Aebersold. Jamey is a professional saxophonist, entrepreneur, publisher, author, innovator, and educator.


Welcome to JazzPianoSkills, I'm Dr. Bob Lawrence. It’s time to Discover, Learn, and Play jazz piano! Today, you are in for a real treat! I am joined by saxophonist, entrepreneur, author, educator, and jazz legend Jamey Aebersold.

Jamey Aebersold was born July 21, 1939, in New Albany, Indiana. He attended college at Indiana University and graduated in 1962 with a Masters Degree in Saxophone. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music by Indiana University in 1992. He also plays piano, bass, and banjo.

In 1989, the International Association of Jazz Educators inducted Jamey into their Hall of Fame at the San Diego convention. With this award, Jamey Aebersold joins other jazz luminaries such as Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong, and others.

Jamey Aebersold is an internationally-known saxophonist and authority on jazz education and improvisation and has developed a series of Jazz Play-A-Longs (book and cd sets (now numbering almost 130 volumes) as well as various other supplemental aids for the development of improvisational skills. The Aebersold book and recording sets allow a musician the opportunity to practice and improvise with well-known jazz personalities at home as well as in the classroom. The recordings employ some of the best jazz musicians in the world. This concept has been responsible for changing the practice habits of thousands of musicians around the world.

Jamey Aebersold was one of the first to encourage small group classes which concentrate on jazz improvisation, and he is the director of the Summer Jazz Workshops which now have 40+ years on record. Jamey feels that improvisation is something all people can do—and his clinics and lectures concentrate on demonstrating how the creative and spontaneous nature of each person can be brought to light.

These week-long Summer Jazz Workshops are having a profound effect on musical communities around the world. The Workshops have traveled to Australia, New Zealand, Germany, England, Scotland, Denmark, and Canada. Every summer there are at least two week-long Workshops in the U.S. These camps employ many of the finest players/teachers in jazz and are open to any serious jazz student regardless of ability or age.

In 2007, Jamey Aebersold was awarded the Indiana Governor's Arts Award by Mitch Daniels, the Governor of Indiana.

On October 4, 1987, CBS' "Sunday Morning" with Charles Kuralt and Billie Taylor featured Jamey with the Summer Jazz Workshops in an exciting jazz educational segment.

Jamey Aebersold has taught at three colleges and universities in the Louisville, Kentucky area and has made guest appearances in dozens of cities around the world. While conducting a jazz clinic in Brazil he produced a 110-minute DVD/video appropriately titled "Anyone Can Improvise" which has become a best-seller.

Jamey's hobby is listening to jazz, especially new young players. He also enjoys playing basketball (he has hit 50 free throws in a row!) and is very much interested in Metaphysics and spiritual pursuits as they apply to the growth of the individual. In December 2004, the Jazz Midwest Clinic bestowed upon Jamey the "Medal of Honor" in Jazz Education.

In 2014, Jamey Aebersold was awarded The National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Award, the nation's highest honor in jazz. Jamey Aebersold is the recipient of the 2014 A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Award for Jazz Advocacy.

Enjoy!

Warm Regards,
Dr. Bob Lawrence
President, The Dallas School of Music
JazzPianoSkills

AMDG

Transcript

Dr. Bob Lawrence  0:32  
Welcome to jazz piano skills. I'm Dr. Bob Lawrence. It's time to discover, learn, and play jazz piano. I can't even begin to express how excited I am to share with you. Part one of a two-part interview I had with Jamie Ebersol who has without question impacted the world of jazz education more than any other individual ever. I'm talking past, current, and quite possibly future. No one has done more to help 1000s of aspiring jazz musicians from around the world to discover, learn and play jazz. Jamie Ebersol is a professional saxophonist, entrepreneur, publisher, author, educator, and of course, jazz legend. His website jazz books.com contains his innovative and famous play-along collection of well over 100 volumes easily. Plus countless educational books covering improvisation, arranging ear training technique. There are DVDs and videos, fake books, transcriptions, and just about anything, literally anything any aspiring jazz musician needs to help them achieve their goals. Jamie attended Indiana University where he earned a master's degree in saxophone. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of music by Indiana University in 1992. And in 1989, the International Association of jazz educators inducted Jamie into their Hall of Fame. With this award, Jamie joins other jazz luminaries such as Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, and Louie Armstrong. In 2007, Jamie was awarded the Indiana governor's Arts Award by Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana. In 2014, Jamie was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Jazzmaster award, the nation's highest honor in jazz. Jamie Ebersol is the recipient of the 2014 AB Spellman NEA jazz masters award for jazz advocacy, which is bestowed upon an individual who has contributed significantly to the appreciation, knowledge, and advancement of the art form of jazz. I could go on and on, but let's get to my interview with Jamie. You'll enjoy part one today in part two will be released next week. Both audio and video formats are available for this podcast episode. Of course, you can listen to the audio version of this episode through any of the popular podcast directories, I Heart Radio, Spotify, Apple podcast, Google podcast, Amazon, music, Pandora, and so on. Or you can go directly to the jazz piano skills podcast website, which is jazz piano skills podcast.com, where you can also watch the video of the show of the interview as well, which I strongly recommend. Now, it is my great pleasure and honor to welcome to jazz piano skills. Mr. Jamie Ebersole wilted Jamison. I bet you haven't heard that since your mom called you that

Jamey Aebersold  4:11  
I typed last night to somebody somebody called me, Jamie. He said, My parents told me to always call my elders by their real name. I said, Well, you're gonna have to start using Wilson Jamison, April song.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  4:25  
Oh, that's fantastic. Jamie, I am so thrilled that you've agreed to come on jazz piano skills and spend some time with the jazz panel skills listeners. Because you my friend, our legend, I have known you. I have known you my entire life. It seems like from junior high school days high school days. I grew up with you working with all of your materials and play alongs and books. In fact, you're the reason you are the reason I ended up at North Texas State offers in North Texas Because I was using your play alongs with Dan Hurley Oh, yeah. Piano. And I said, Man, I want to go study with Dan. Yeah. And that's how I that's how I ended up at the University of North Texas because of you.

Jamey Aebersold  5:12  
I'll be gone. Yeah, I just, I emailed Dan the other day.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  5:18  
Did you really? Yeah. How's he doing? He I had him on. He was on jazz piano skills a few months back and he seemed to be doing great.

Jamey Aebersold  5:25  
Yeah, I think he's doing all right. I was talking to him to get Jack Peterson. Do you remember him the good part? Oh,

Dr. Bob Lawrence  5:30  
I had many improv classes with Jack. Oh, yeah. Rich Madison. Jack Anderson.

Jamey Aebersold  5:37  
Yeah. Now, you know, let me tell you a quick story about rich Madison. I always thought he was a pretty much of a kind of a swing, Dixie ish player. But then he reached a point in his life where he took my volume three, the 251 progression. And he said he practiced with it every day. There it is. There it is ever. That's great. Oh, that was good. Yep. He practiced with that every day. And I noticed that he would send me like a year later or so some solos that he had played in concerts, and I noticed his his. His improvisation got more bebop ish.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  6:15  
No, it did it. Did it ever move

Jamey Aebersold  6:17  
out of the swing there and more into the Bebop thing. And I thought it was interesting that he used that volume three to help him make that transition. Yeah, rich white guy. He died too early.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  6:28  
Way too, way too early. And I tell you, it was such a treat to be at North Texas at the time when Jack Peterson rich Madison, and DAN HURLEY, Jim Riggs. instalado Ed so bright it man what a you know, it was just a fantastic time. And I consider it an amazing blessing. No question about it. So. So okay, you know what I want you to I want you to go back. You know, I like I said, I grew up with you through your play alongs and through your books. But I want to know, and I know the jazz panel skills listeners want to know about you? The man so Could you could you take a few minutes right now and go back to the beginning your childhood how you got into music. Did you come from a musical family? Did your mom and dad play? Were they jazz musicians? Start at the beginning and tell us about Jamie?

Jamey Aebersold  7:23  
Well, I was about five years old when actually I was probably four. And my older brother was four years older than me. And he got to take piano lessons. And I was upset that I didn't get the piano. take piano lessons. So I think it was a year later. I was five years old and they let me take lessons. And that would be about 19 Wow. 4645 Somewhere in there. And I rode my bike over. It was about a mile away. You wouldn't do that today, of course. And I took for five years my mom made me work practice an hour a day, which got really old after a while and we were doing the scales you know two octaves for I mean, two hands four octaves up and downs of all the keys. And I liked a lot of the tunes that she had me learning sight-reading and so forth. Of course, I learned bass clef and treble clef, which was going to really help me later on, right, but I was about 10 years old, I think. And I went in for a lesson and she, I sat down and started to play and she said Jamie, stop. And she reached in her desk, and got to $2 out and gave it to me. She said, You gone home you'll never be musician. But that was my beginning. Balance. My mom and dad both we never we ate breakfast together and we ate supper together. And we might have eaten lunch together. My dad had a florist which is right next to the house, which was just a block from where I live now in New Albany. And my dad we would need a meal and to my dad had put six or 770 records on the Victrola RCA Victrola and the living room. So I've got to hear all these standards. No doubt. Yeah, not really. I my dad like Dixieland. He played the banjo. And he also okay guitar. My mom played the piano by ear and, and sang. And so they both loved music. And I remember them when I was really young seemed like once a week, they would go to the Madrid ballroom dance place in Louisville. For all of these territory bands were coming through every week, right from bam, you know, and listen to them. And we'd have a babysitter then while they went over and danced. But my family was very musical in that regard. My dad also played the banjo on WHS radio show out of Louisville, Kentucky. I think they recalled the Indiana bandoliers Well, anyhow, after I got fired from playing the piano, I made the natural switch to tenor banjo, and I'll lug my banjo on two buses to Louisville which is just across the Ohio River but it would take me about an hour to get there and in a hurry to get home in a 30-minute lesson so forth. I love my dad's go to play the banjo AppDomain Street in Louisville. This was long before they had malls. So everything was concentrated downtown New Haven. Here's this little 1112 year old kid look in his heavy banjo up the street. You know, I took lessons well actually, I was still playing the banjo when I was 15 or 16 years old. Because I did some US shows USO shows down in Fort Knox, which incidentally, it's entirely possible that I played my bands while one tune I knew, which was the world is waiting for the sunrise. It's entirely possible. I played that at Fort Knox on a Sunday afternoon during one of those years there. And cannonball Natalie and Natalie were in the audience because they were on the same time. And I was there wow, playing a banjo. And then I think when I was 12 years old, I was in the sixth grade. My older brother was four years older and he quit band that actually has the band director of Nami High School fired him because he couldn't make the commencement at the end of the year. But he helped me. So he told me, he told my brother, he said, Well, if you're not here for commencement, don't come to band next year, and I took up the alto sax. And then when I decided to go to college, I bought a clarinet. And I wanted to go to the Manhattan School of Music, but they wrote me back long time later saying they didn't offer the saxophone. So I ended up going to Indiana University. And there they didn't offer this excellent. This was the fall of 1957. So I had to take the Zune oboe, clarinet and flute on a woodwind degree. And I don't think I took the phone that first year. But the second year a fellow named Roger Pemberton came, he played on the Merv Griffin Show, and I think he played Woody Herman. He was from Evansville. And he came for his graduate degree, and you let me study with him. So that was, and then I stayed for five and a half years.

After that, I think I was 20 years old, still going to college. And I got brave enough to call David Baker up in Indianapolis, which was about 40 miles from Indiana University, I took a lesson from him. That's when jazz vows theory via scale, nouns, harmony, and so forth, started to go together, he told me I was playing the wrong scale on I plan, a pure minor, and I shouldn't be playing Dorian. And then we formed a bond that lasted for 15 years, almost, I kept playing the game. So that's kind of that was my musical journey along the way. My education was listening to jazz records and buying records over and over buying a record buying an LP everyday for five bucks. I mean, every week for five bucks and listening to it and wearing it out. That was my education until I got with David Baker.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  12:45  
Wow. Well, you know, that's, that's the old school way. Right? Listening. Listen, listening. Yeah, listening, you know, so I can't go wrong there. So this is fascinating. So how did you get into the education side, because you're, you're an accomplished musician, but at the same time, you also have a passion for education for education. And to be quite honest with you, Jamie, you know, when I think about the pioneers of jazz education, I go back to like John Mohegan, now, Jerry, Jerry Coker, David Baker. And at the top of that list, it's you my friend, because I can't think of anyone who has done more for, for putting jazz materials in the hands of 1000s and 1000s, and 1000s of people around the world that are wanting to learn this art form and study jazz, no one has done more than you. So how did this passion for the education side, in sharing this with others come about?

Jamey Aebersold  13:48  
Well, it's interesting that you would ask because when I was in college, I made this foolish statement to many people. And it was I'll never be an educator. But I had a real I'm serious. I had a reason for that. You had to go to so many student recitals. And a lot of the people that are going to be well, the back of the thing. The word back then was Jamie, it's your education degree to have to fall back on May you remember that? We're all back. Right? Not right professional musician. So but I I heard these people practicing in the rooms next to me who were music educators, and I didn't think they played their clarinet or their trumpets or other trombones very well. And when I would go hear the recitals. They weren't. They weren't up to my smells, so to speak. So I just right not gonna be an educator. But then when I was in my senior year, I think, and I'm thinking about getting married the next year, I believe, and a fella approached me on spring of the year out in the parking lot and said, Jamie, I'm teaching privately 40 miles from here down at Seymour, Indiana on Saturday. And would you I got a I got a job. Teaching in the school so I can't do it right? I'm, I'm quitting, because I'm gonna be busy this summer, and then who knows what the rest of my life is gonna be like, Would you like to do it? So I stood there in that parking lot thinking, Well, you've told everybody you're not gonna teach. But I quickly came to the realization that private teaching wasn't really teaching. So I could go ahead and take the job and give two bucks, I have to hurry up and drive 4080 miles on Saturday and do it. So I've got down there and I found out I was very good. And also found out right away that my ears weren't sharp enough because they could would be playing out of the route bank book on the clarinet or the flute and they'd miss a note. And I wouldn't know what that note is, I'd have to look over the page and say, Okay, now your G sharp T is stuck there not to raise that up, you know, or that's a B flat, you can write Yes. So I right away, I realized, educate myself that my ear training wasn't nearly good enough to do this job properly. So I really centered in on ear ear training. And then one day, and this was a key moment. There was a flute player there, her name was Susan black. And she was the daughter of Dr. Black and Seymour. He was evidently the doctor, and she played her flute really well, there was a piano in the class, practice room. So we finished our lesson early. And I said, let's let's try something. So Miles Davis is so wanted come out. So I said, Let's take these two scales. And let's see what you can do. I didn't use the word jazz. I'm sure I didn't use the word improvisation. I just probably said, just play whatever comes to your mind. And I played the piano, walked up baseline, play the cards and ride him. And she played and as soon as she started to play, my brain says she's playing exactly what she hears in your head. Wow. She's not as her she doesn't listen to records. She doesn't drink coffee. She's not grumpy.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  16:49  
None of the qualifications!

Jamey Aebersold  16:52  
So I asked her to move up a half step from D minor, same thing. Then I probably asked some other people. And by the time I got back to you, that Saturday, my brain was thinking, if you show people the scale as they can play out, if they've been playing, you know, for six months or so and can play and finger they can improvise. So thus, anyone can improvise was born, right? Yes, spot, right. I write her name and address over on my desk. I got it a couple months ago, and I need to take 20 minutes and write her a letter. She's up in DC, I think and thank her. That's amazing. And thank her because had she not done that? Had she floundered I would have content, right thinking that you have to have a big stack of records, you have to have a good instrument you have to hang out, right. But that's totally wrong. So that got me on the education thing. And when I got out of school, I came right back to New Albany here. And rent or an apartment, we were married. And my wife Sarah and I, and I started teaching a half hour lessons after school. And that gradually morphed into some kids that had been in high school, they didn't need to help on the saxophone as much as some of them beginners. So we started doing jazz lessons. That gradually morphed a couple years later, in 65, I was asked to do Ken Morris's national stage band camps, it was a big band camp. So I started him in 65, and traveled to several cities around the country. And there, I was encouraging people after supper to get together with me for our listening class, I'd take records and introduce Bonnie Rollins and Clifford Brown, a mouse. And then we started a little combo. And then that morphed seven years later into combo camps. With a whole lot of people, we'd have a whole bunch of combos, and the rest is kind of history. I know. But that's right, kind of gently walked into what we would call jazz education. And of course, I took with me at a very early stage, a European harmony theory, which I never cared much for theory, the theory to me was it didn't I wanted to play, you know, we had our first camp, a combo camp, I can remember Jerry Coker, DAN HURLEY, maybe David Baker and me. And we decided for the curriculum and someone said, Well, why don't we start out in the morning of theory class, and I remember saying, Oh, I don't think we want a theory class. We start out plan around. Well, they convinced me that some theory was good. Soon as I started that theory class with 30 or 40 Kids, I said theories where That's where it's at, because they're not gonna be able to play if they don't know what you're playing. And I right from playing, right. I don't want them to hear I'm getting lost. I'm playing wrong notes. So I start right another page where they were on the page here your alarm, right, stop, let's stop. Right. And that that was me. I've been that way. Yeah, ever since.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  19:37  
Yeah, you know, that's interesting, Jamie, because I tell students all the time, you know, conceptual understanding drives physical development. I'm always saying that you know, if it's if it's confusing, or cloudy or foggy or fragmented here, then it's going to be confusing, confusing and augmented and fragmented, fragmented here, right? Oh, yeah. So under understanding like the the music theory, the explanation of what understands What's actually happening is of great benefit.

Jamey Aebersold  20:03  
Yes. And you reminded me of something else. And you will know this way back there, when the big band arrangements were written and so forth, the card symbols did not necessarily indicate the scale that the solos supposed to use. The cards were oftentimes written for the guitar or the piano player to voice on their instrument, while the band was really big band arrangement. Okay. And of course, that was long before I started writing out the scales, and darkening in the cart Jones for the songs. Yeah, we want to play you know, but to so that was a precursor to taking this theory that you're talking about and, and trying to eliminate some of the confusion that goes on correct mind.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  20:41  
There you go. That's exactly that's exactly right. So so you know, this education, this education bug bit you and Jamie aber saw as we know it today has was born. But you know, you have an entrepreneurial spirit, as well. There's no question about that. Because what you have built over the years is absolutely remarkable. So let's talk about the innovativeness of your dream of your vision and how it came about. Because, you know, when you think about the play alongs, you know, those books and you got, you got a section for the C instruments, you have a section for the B flat instruments, you have a section for the E flat instruments all contained within one book, you've pulled in these players, you create these play alongs tracks that that people can practice with. I mean, that's very innovative at the time that you were doing that. How did that come about? Well,

Jamey Aebersold  21:36  
let me show you something. When I was in high school, I practice with these

Dr. Bob Lawrence  21:47  
play long, okay. Yeah. Modern rhythm makers record. Player saying, okay, got it. NBC rhythm section, right.

Jamey Aebersold  21:57  
So that gave me an idea. And then I interesting, I may have had one music minus one by Earth Cracow. You know, he,

Dr. Bob Lawrence  22:04  
I remember music, I remember music minus one

Jamey Aebersold  22:06  
minus one MMO. And they had one where there were blues. And Clark, Terry Clark would play a chorus or two with a rhythm section. And then there would be just the rhythm section for two courses. And my brain read. Oh, this is really nice. But I've got all the Clarks records. What we need are just tracks. And that got me started. And we came up with this.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  22:32  
Yes. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Just just that's volume one. Right. Just pay volume one. Yeah.

Jamey Aebersold  22:39  
Vibe down. Yeah. I typed up.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  22:41  
Yeah. But that that that book is phenomenal. That was that's a that's an amazing, amazing resource.

Jamey Aebersold  22:48  
Yes, yes, it is. And you're gradually morphed into? Oh, well, we have numerous editions of volume one. And then finally we like saying Revised Edition. Because, right, so big and change and so forth. And now. It's got two CDs. We've taken the original tempo on those recordings and slowed them down. And then we've taken I'm playing piano on that volume one. Of course, everything I play is pretty much what do you call it? No roots. What's that called rootless voice? rootless voicings it right? Yeah. And then the vine 54, which is very popular. I'm playing on that one too. And we transcribe right? To make it Yeah, they help piano players to plan you know, the route down on the left hand and route ration cards and the right hand to come up with. Yeah, sounds more like jails. Yeah. So that was 1967. When I came out, actually, I think that's, that came about, with me working from 1965 on up to about 90 with the national stage band camps. Because I realized the piano players and the bass players and the horn players a lot. This should be it shouldn't be a big band camp. It should be a combo camp. These kids need theory, then you private instruction, they need to get their eyes off the written page and start seeing it right and improvise. So that was right, that led to volume one and 1967, which was supposed to be the first one first and only one you know. And then a couple years later, we did the volume two blues. And then we finally got up to doing volume three that you held up, Dan, I'd remember DAN HURLEY saying why don't we do a 251 I said Damn. Nobody knows what 251 is. He's like, Well, I think he said something like, Well, if we do it, they'll know I said, Oh, okay, let's do it. And I really revamped I really revise volume three, we've got two CDs with him got extended tracks, got all those licks and things. I play all the stuff on the piano, right? If you sit down and listen to that as a beginner, and if that doesn't help you there weren't trouble at all.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  25:01  
Yeah, right. You know that volume that 251 volume and then I think it was volume 16 getting it all together I think is what you call that. Those two volumes. Jamie changed my entire life.

Jamey Aebersold  25:13  
Okay, no way my volume 16 is turnaround cycles and two, five okay, Turner.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  25:18  
Okay, that one is turnarounds but then what's what is it volume? 12? Which one is getting it all together? That's 2121 Okay. Yeah. 1220 I just had it backwards. So yes, 21 That right there that one that one, the turnarounds and 251 That was like gold. That was like jazz gold

Jamey Aebersold  25:37  
you on? I can tell you were a great student. Because you're picking out the things that I always thought was extremely important. If you want to play a solo, solo, right? solos are made of bits and pieces of scales. Now what's, what's the big deal? Okay, scales. Nobody likes to practice scales. Scales are just scales unless you apply them. And as soon as you play jazz, you'll find you're playing bits and pieces of scales. And as you create one tune, go to the next one. Oops, I don't know that scale. So you need to work on that scale your fingers need to get right but the brains still going it can see right through the tune, right. But it's the lack of application on the instrument. So I was using this one down in Morehead, Kentucky at Morgan State University last Friday. And I put it up on the screen the very first track and I played a little bit. Oh, I played dropped a needle on the track. That's what it was and asked him Is this track one or two or three or four or five? They were supposed to listen to the bass and the chromatic movement or the cycle movement or whatever. And after we talked about that for 10 to 15 minutes, I said, Okay, now now what do you do with this track? And the boy in the front row, so you sold all over? I say exactly right. And I'm going to solo through all 12 keys for Mars apiece. And I dove in and the first phrase I played with be yo doo doo doo me. Babu dato dee da Stop, stop those CD parasites. What is that? Nobody knew. I said that's ology, Porky from Oregon mess. Yeah, I said that came to my mind. I had the facility to do it. I started on the third, C sharp I came right down to the G. Then I went up the art page or to the Knights of my brain said, you've never played that before that from for him pass. And then I played around. And then I went ahead and played through all 12 keys, which took probably two minutes, I'm guessing. And when I found this, I said, that's why I'm here. That was really fun. And I know all my 12 major scales. And that was just one time through. I'm ready to go through it for 50 times now. Because I'm using my MAC ration. I'm being creative. This is fun. And I think yes, I think I don't want across to him. That was very important, which is sales are important. And that's what music has made. Oh,

Dr. Bob Lawrence  27:56  
yeah. You know, Jamie, it was through those volumes. When I was practicing as a young boy, that I came to the realization that melodies music consists of ascending and descending scale and arpeggio motion. Oh, yeah. And so if, if I can learn ascending and descending scale and arpeggio motion, I know the melodies of all these tunes that I want to play. Oh, that's good. So it's a huge revelation when when a student can get to that point where they realize, wow, yeah, music is going up or down. And melodies are using scale and arpeggio motion to do that.

Jamey Aebersold  28:34  
Now, that brings up something else to you're talking about you You did this? See, I didn't do much of what you just did there the thinking part. I was over on the right side of the brain excited about playing, and I just play. Now the thought that I was playing a scale or a chord. I don't know, when I was probably 20 years old when David Baker said, Jamie, what tune Do you would you like to play for your first lesson? I say, Well, I've been working on I'll remember April, we played it, he played the piano accompany me. And then when we got to he said that was fine. But in the fifth major there, that goes to a Dorian minor scale, and you're playing pure minor. Now I was 20 years old. And I've been playing for what 15 years. And I'd never really thought th ough t about what I was playing, or what goes into playing music. He said you need to raise the six note of the scale a half step. I have never thought numbers. And it took me it took me a while. It is a living room to go up my E minor scale and find that the sixth note was C and E wants me to raise a depth to C sharp when I played that scale. I said two things. Why didn't somebody told me this before now? I said right. That's the sound on the Clifford Brown Sonny Rollins record with Max Roach that I've listened to over and over North that's the sound that one note that's it. Yeah. So that got me thinking that thinking was okay.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  30:00  
Yeah, thinking is okay, right. You know, just a side note real quick Jamie you David Baker Jack Peterson you guys really make me angry because you guys like you're you're known as a sax player David Baker is known as a trombone is correct. Yeah. And Jack Jack Peterson guitars. And Jack always used to come in the improv classes and, and I'd be sitting at the piano that all his piano players would be there together and he'd shove us off to the side and sit down and play voicings and show us what he was doing. And then he'd always get up with that little grin. And he looked and he say, he goes, guys, you know, he goes, I always hate it when guitar players play better piano than piano player. And you use you play you play very fine piano, David Baker, you said playing piano, Jack Peterson. So how does how does as an instrumentalist I want you to address that for a second because it's important, I think, right that instrumentals have some some keyboard chops.

Jamey Aebersold  30:58  
Oh, my. That's why. I'll be right back. I don't know if you've seen this or not.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  31:13  
Oh, yeah. Jazz handbook. Yeah, I've

Jamey Aebersold  31:15  
been putting that out. You know, I've printed hundreds of 1000s of these. Right, okay, and they're free. And if anybody watching your show wants them, just email me, Jamie, at jazz books.com. And I'll send you however many you want. But in the back of this book, which it used to be mimeograph, stapled together, and then someone right, you could have these printed on cheap paper for 10 cents. And I sold my AB DIC printer the next day, somebody came and took it out. I said, good. I want no more. You know, and I spoke. But in the back, there's five pages. Yes. voicings for piano. I can see the piano is the key astrometric because you can use your eyes and look at it.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  32:02  
And it's the best chalkboard. It's the best chalkboard that we have. Is it not? Yes. Oh, yeah. It's it right? It's the best musical chalkboard that we have. Yes,

Jamey Aebersold  32:11  
it's the best. Yes. And you don't necessarily need to be able to play it. I can't really play I knew to have the piano. But every time when I'm answering questions, say in a class, someone says Jamie, oh, what's the fourth note of blah, blah, blah, scale? My brain sees the keyboard right up here. Alright, so important college is right here. And I answer all the questions by looking at the keyboard and the intervals and the distance. But this book here has the beginning. And it's an encouragement for hard players to learn something about piano. Okay,

Dr. Bob Lawrence  32:45  
yeah. See it? Yeah. And I teach quite a few. Here at the school I teach quite a few students. instrumentalist improvisation. The very first question I always ask them is, how are your keyboard chops? And, and they kind of, they kind of look at me like, you know, I said, well, we need that we need to fix that. You can get some keyboard chops. Yeah, you need to be I say you just need to be a functional. Just be functional. You don't need to be you know, you don't need to be Oscar Peterson. Just be you got to study enough to be functional. So like what you're saying, the keyboard. That imagery is right there at the forefront of your mind.

Jamey Aebersold  33:17  
Can I Can we take a minute to move this over the keyboard for a second?

Dr. Bob Lawrence  33:21  
Oh, yeah. Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. So we're repositioning the camera here. Jamie is getting it over by the piano here. I mean, how many how many albums Jamey do you have there in your studio?

Jamey Aebersold  33:38  
Oh, I think I have somewhere between 14 and 15,000 LP. CD. It's quite a bit.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  33:47  
Alright. Oh, what a library man. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, we can see.

Jamey Aebersold  33:58  
Is that better? Oh, yeah.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  34:00  
That's, that's great. That's awesome. Yeah.

Jamey Aebersold  34:02  
I always suggest starting with two five D to G nice nice right, to five ones everywhere. Yes. 3579 on the right hand,

Dr. Bob Lawrence  34:32  
right. Right. And you're moving and you're moving around the circle.

Jamey Aebersold  34:36  
Oh, well, a little bit there. Yeah, but I like I like to do two five ones up and down and a half steps there you go. Out there

Dr. Bob Lawrence  34:58  
Nice. Nice. go down on nine different voicings a finger out. This is E. E be nice. This is where a long fingers come in handy guys Dallin whole steps

right. Right. It's beautiful. Different. Yeah, different ways to move those two fives around. Right. Right. And, and, and a lot of people in the beginning you know, I'm always amazed at how many people don't realize that. Believe it or not that two five and what I'm getting at is like two five is circle motion right counter clockwise circle motion.

Jamey Aebersold  36:00  
Now I just lost you. I wonder what I hit. I got an add on here.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  36:04  
Oh, well. Oh, God.

Jamey Aebersold  36:09  
I'm sorry about this

Dr. Bob Lawrence  36:12  
little technical difficulty if you're listening to listening to the audio version right now, but Jamie will be back with the video here. accidentally hit a button. I guess. Video can come on. We'll get that back on. But audio is still live. So I hit

Jamey Aebersold  36:30  
something trying to move the rubber bands. Oh. Yeah. Oh, there we go. There. There we go. Red one does, right. Okay, thanks.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  36:41  
So yeah, so yeah, so for those of that listening, when we're talking about two five ones, we're talking about circle motion counterclockwise circle motion.

Jamey Aebersold  36:50  
Right. So right, as a kid, I practice them up and down and half steps up and down and whole steps to files. That's awesome. up a whole step.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  37:05  
That's really good.

Jamey Aebersold  37:06  
I here's G G minor, go down and a half steps.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  37:15  
Now, how did you how did you how did you? How did you come to that? How did you come to that exercise that somebody show you that Jamie? Or how did you determine the practice that way? I just made it up myself. Okay, so you just said I'm going to I'm going to move in whole steps. I'm going to break in half. I'm gonna play this to five, one progression. Okay,

Jamey Aebersold  37:34  
I realized that once my fingers could feel the notes, and I didn't have to look at the keyboard, then that's the kind of freedom I was looking for. Yeah, right. And, of course, if you're soloing, then you take that. Here's something that I think it's hard for piano players to do, and that is to give up

Dr. Bob Lawrence  37:49  
the root. Oh, big time. Big to give up. Right? In other words, you hit

Jamey Aebersold  37:53  
F A C E. But you hear that as a D minor.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  37:59  
Correct. You can hear

Jamey Aebersold  38:01  
yourself. But as far as a two five sequence goes, you don't want to hear it as yet, isn't it? So you practice Yes. Great. Just a left hand. You solo? Yeah, nice. Yeah, I think playing piano is one of the hardest, hardest things to do. Because your left hands got to accompany your right hand. And then you have to if you're spanned solo piano, then you need to get the roots involved. And if you're a praying people, then you've got to get the chords go on where?

Dr. Bob Lawrence  38:57  
Yeah, where you're playing? Yeah,

Jamey Aebersold  38:59  
where you're not playing the roots. Because you have a bass player, you know, right now you're playing right, four and five and six notes. But you don't want to get in the way of the horn player. So you have to learn how to do that within the first the two or three octaves in the middle of the keyboard. So there's a lot to it to play,

Dr. Bob Lawrence  39:14  
right. There's no doubt about it, right? Yeah, there is a lot.

Jamey Aebersold  39:18  
It's, it's, in a way it's a lot more exciting playing the piano than a single line. Instrument like, right trumpet, trombone, sax clarinet, you got some JIRA. And also, it's good and it's bad. You can run the soloist in the ground but playing too much and too heavy. Off

Dr. Bob Lawrence  39:35  
the piano players have a problem with filling up space. We like to fill up space though.

Jamey Aebersold  39:41  
They want to hear those keys hitting the strings all the time.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  39:47  
Oh my gosh, yeah, I was count based. I heard count basically one time say pay attention to what I don't play. Pay attention to what I don't

Jamey Aebersold  39:55  
pay it. Yeah. Don't play, you know, speaking melodically The bebop scale is extremely extremely, extremely important. And that one note to the scale. Yeah, right. Right. Yeah. And playing. Once a person learns that bebop skill and gets that in their head, and they utilize it, I always feel like they're improvisation moves up about 20 years.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  40:27  
Oh, my goodness, great. The maturity level just goes way up.

Jamey Aebersold  40:32  
It sounds like the jazz that we're used to hearing.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  40:35  
Correct? That's right. So talk a little bit about talk a bit a little bit about the summer camps. Your summer camps are internationally renowned and and participants participated by 1000s and 1000s of students. Talk a little bit about that. And the faculty, the fact the world class faculty that you have at the summer camps,

Jamey Aebersold  40:58  
well, we're not having the camps anymore. This would be the third year that I haven't haven't COVID sort of crushed. Well, right. So versio was afraid to do anything. They're doing their own thing this year. Without

Dr. Bob Lawrence  41:12  
do you think would they come back? Do you think they'll come back?

Jamey Aebersold  41:15  
I don't know if I'll come back or not. Okay, I don't Okay. Yes. Well, we had about a 54 year run when I started out in 65. Working with other people, I didn't own the camper or control it or anything. But I definitely tried to move the camp more to an individual basis where the emphasis was on improvisation and the individual as opposed to reading the notes on the page. And we were asked Aaron about 1970 7172 By having a couple combo camps out in Utah at Brigham Young University. And then the guy that was running the big band camps have trusted me. And we put together the combo camps with David Baker, DAN HURLEY, Jerry Coker, Jack Peterson, you know, people like that. As a matter of fact, I remember the very first combo camp was a week after a big man camp at up in Illinois, I think Champaign University, Illinois. And I remember rich Madison at the end of the big band camp, telling me, Jamie, good luck on your camp this week. And I thought it was so nice that he that there wasn't any competition between big band and combo, you know, and he was welcoming us into this new era of combos. So that's how he got started with that. They've been all around the world. They've been to Germany. Gottman, England, Denmark, New Zealand, Canada, Australia. I think that's enough. But yeah, we've introduced this idea of using scales and cards, in addition to using your imagination and so forth, to 1000s and 1000s of people who I think have taken them and then taught the people in your country about this one art form called Jazz.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  42:53  
Yeah. Well, Jamie, you have to feel enormously satisfied and pleased that I don't know of any jazz me, I have yet to run across any jazz musician, any jazz musician anywhere at any time. That is not familiar with Jamie Ebersol and Jamie Ebersol materials that think if you just think about that for a second, there's not a jazz musician in the world that doesn't know you, and the materials that you've produced and helped students and musicians for for years for decades. I mean, that's got to be, do you stop to think about that once in a while and go, Holy moly. I can't believe the profound impact that I've had on this art form.

Jamey Aebersold  43:35  
I know I've had a tremendous impact, but I don't dwell on it. That's for sure. I wish we had. I wish we had more people now doing that.

Yeah. Well change. I did a jam session about three weeks ago up in Bloomington, Indiana, high school after school. There's 21 people there. About three of them were band directors. And I asked them because I had an overhead projector and screen and I brought some play alongs up to sell the 10 bucks apiece. I asked how many people have any of my play alongs I think two hands went up. And they were probably the band directors. The young kids today. haven't really heard of Jamie ever. So then yeah, no. Well, I don't know what Wow. Okay, well, you

Dr. Bob Lawrence  44:20  
know what, you don't feel bad about that. Because, you know, wasn't too long ago. This was before Ed Shaughnessy died. I was on a plane back from California to Dallas and Ed Shaughnessy was on the plane. And the flight attendant. He was sitting a few rows back we had we had a long conversation as we were waiting to board on the plane and the flight attendant came to me and I said, Hey, you know, you got one of the greatest jazz drummers to ever live on the plane. Oh, and she goes who? And she goes, who's that? And I pointed back to Ed Shaughnessy, and she goes, who is Ed Shaughnessy? And I said, I said Johnny Carson Johnny Carson Show and the flight attendant said, Who? Johnny Carson So, if people aren't remembering Johnny Carson, man, you're in good. Very good company.

Jamey Aebersold  45:07  
Yeah, that's right. times changed. But the main thing I've always said is, let me hear you play. Let me hear you play. And within, you know, four majors, I can tell if what they're playing was coming straight from their hand. Or yeah, right, moving your fingers. And it's about what do you call it? Jibberish. Gibberish. Gibberish is just just not music, and we don't want to hear right away. That's right. That's not the way to play. So I stopped them, you know, I only started Yeah, listen, let me mention was a short story. Many years ago, there was a guy named David Leonhardt. He's still very much alive. And he plays piano he played with John Hendrix for a while. And he also plays with us in person. He was from Louisville. And he came over to my room right next door here. And he was in my combos. And we had a piano, bass drums and probably two or three horns, we had combo. Instead of having individual essence, we had combo several, once a week, just group. And they were playing. And I walk over to David, and he's playing the route down in the left hand on every card as he accompanies the other guys. And I said, David, you don't need to play your routes down there. We got a base pair of Pan nose, and I forgot about it. The very next week. We're playing odd forgotten all about. He's playing the roots up in the right hand, I came over and said, David, you don't need to play the root soccer in the right hand. We have a bass player and he shouts to me, he's a teenager he shot when you told me not to play him down in the bass last week. So from a from a piano perspective, we've gotten I have a route somewhere Jamie and I'm working on this route. Now we laugh about that he's become a professional counselor. As a matter of fact, he spent about a year. Way back here you go. Transcribe Yeah, all of this. I have his handwritten notes up here. And I remember this was 19 8040 years ago, he transcribed it. He handed me the book and he said, Jamie, I don't want to ever hear you ECOMP again. That's, you know, just right now, us laughing is another aspect of playing Jazz. Jazz is fun. We have so many jokes. And you Ouch. Oh my God, you have to learn to laugh at yourself. Why? No doubt. Your instrument is not going to always play what you hear in your head. And it's going to be points where you're ready to take a hammer to that piano. Yeah, right. Just go straight ahead. Don't I don't give up. Don't give up. There's no shortcut. But you're going to get there.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  47:35  
Yeah, I tell students all the time, you're gonna have to embrace the good, bad and ugly cuz it's all exist. Yeah, it's you're right. It comes with a package. It comes with the package. So okay, I'm gonna I'm gonna throw out I want to throw out for our jazz panel skills listeners, I want to throw out some jazz concepts, some jazz skills. And I just want you to talk off the top of your head, give the listeners some do's and don'ts about how to approach this topic. Okay, so I'm gonna just throw number one tune study. Students that are wanting to increase their repertoire, increase their ability to play tunes, what are some recommendations that you can give listeners, the do's and don'ts about approaching how to properly learn tunes?

Jamey Aebersold  48:21  
Well, I think myself and most of the people in my era before the books came out to Jamie provided for us, you know, to get these rallies that way. We listened. And we listened, right. And we listened. And we listened. And we listened. And then finally we went over to our instrument, I would go to my saxophone trying to play that. You know that Mel, just a melody. And you got to do the same thing with a piano. But like I said earlier, the piano you have more to do. Wow, you play that melody in the right hand. You want to play cards in the left hand? You know, right? If you don't, a lot of people that come to my jazz camps came to my camps are leaders, they, when they go home, they don't have anybody to play with. All right, they don't want their instruction, they don't have a class to go to. So their comment was always I keep forgetting these tunes. Well, I go back to where I learned to play, which was I'm still playing these records by Art Blakey and Bill Evans and Herbie Hancock and Sonny Ron, the music is going on all the time. So how can I forget to tune you know, right now, I may forget how to finger it because I haven't played it in a while. But that just takes some practice. So I think for me, getting my man to hear those tunes and think about the intervals that it took to put that two melody together. And then the books that you could get if you're a piano player, that would for instance,

Dr. Bob Lawrence  49:39  
right show you absolutely

Jamey Aebersold  49:41  
the non root voicings just show you a couple of them. I've always said I would rather the man director at high school, if they're playing the they're playing B flat blues and F blues, then please buy this. And then it was probably have the student memorize one chorus of what I played rootless voicings and Play that because that's gonna be better than playing Rupa voice you see, the whole tune was no imagination. So I think to immerse yourself in one song, for instance, to start with, and then learn that melody be able to play it slowly, then maybe work it up to tempo, but don't bite off more than you can chew. And and it's right. It's a it's a long process I feel for the piano player, much more than for trumpet or saxophone. Yeah, three deals you put your notes for and you're right provides on a piano you start to play and nobody's playing that route. And you can't even hear what the note is of the scale your plan. So as the right this is where some I think piano books do come in very handy for a piano player, right? To learn how to get right tunes together, you know, we say right, do you do you know a tune. Now I'm gonna move her piano just for a second okay.

That's not very pianistic. But you can hear the melody. I don't think she likes the harmony that I put in there. So this leads me to something else, which was when I was taking my piano lessons between the age of five and 10. I would hear occasionally. Jamie, you're just messing around. It's that messing around where you find the secrets to what's going on. It's a messing around to have what you're playing on the keyboard family close to plan what so and so play Errol Garner played on the record or your son played on the record? Right? And then later what Herbie Hancock or chick Korea or yeah Gerald's playing. It's a messing around. I think often times, the piano players don't do that they should do.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  52:11  
Yeah, you can't be you can't be afraid to roam around. Can't be afraid you don't. Right. You cannot be wrong.

Jamey Aebersold  52:16  
And but yeah, when you're doing that, you have to be thinking. That's enough matter of art. That passing card was a G minor chord. The next one up is a half step. A flat runner as

Dr. Bob Lawrence  52:27  
well. Yeah, that's Yeah, that's exactly right. Jamie, I tell students all the time that because they asked how to I said if you want to learn how to play tunes, learn how to hear too. Oh, good. Oh, yeah. Right. Learn how to hear tunes. You want to hear these two, five ones, 1625 rounds, three, flat three, two, flat two when you want to hear this motion, right? I had no I had an old jazz piano player. I grew up in Illinois in the Quad Cities and there's an old jet aviator from Decatur. His name was Warren Parrish. And Rich Madison knew him well. And he said to me, I asked him one time, I was a young kid. And I asked him, Warren, how is it that you know so many songs, he said, anybody requests a tune, you can play it any key you can play it. I said, I'm just and he took his little cigar out of his mouth. And he looked at me like Jamie like, I asked him the dumbest question in the world. And he blew the smoke out of his, out his mouth. He said, What are you talking about? And I said, How do you know so many tunes? And he goes, Bob, he goes, they're all the same. So think about that. Yeah, he hearing music so well, that he's hearing all this harmonic movement that exists in all these tunes. Sure. You know, so. So the melody may be different, but he's a two five ones up right now. 251. You know, so, you know, at the time, I thought, I thought at the time because I was only 14 I thought what a kook, the songs are not all the same. He doesn't he's not he he's not. He's a fruitcake. Well, now 4040 years later, and after a lot of teaching. Now I look back and I Marva marvel at how profound that statement was in the depth of which he understood music, right.

Jamey Aebersold  54:05  
And that brings up another thing. jazz education, see that man wasn't thinking jazz education. And if you mentioned that to him, he would probably say, why do we need jazz education? Oh, you have to do it, right. Oh, no.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  54:19  
That's right. That's right. In fact, Jamie, I'll tell you, I went home from college one day, and I went and listened to him play. And I said to him, I said, Warren, I really enjoy your use of the tried tone sub. And he goes, he goes, he said, he goes, What the hell is a tritone sub? And I said, Well, you know, like when you went from the you went from like that D minor to the D flat seven to the C major. And he said, Are you You mean the flat two? And I said, I said yes. And he said, Well, then why the hell didn't you say that?

Jamey Aebersold  54:53  
You know, here's my one last track.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  54:58  
Right? Yep, there. Yep, there you go

Jamey Aebersold  55:03  
see, and a lot of people back then were saying Jamie's given all the information away. Oh, really there, I can remember a very professional gonna say it was John McWhorter. I was at band camp in Storrs, Connecticut, we had gone out with somebody in their car to get an ice cream cone, I'm in the backseat. And I just come out with my first play along records. Of course, it looked like this with Roy B, you know, that looked on the airplane up there and was trying to sell the couple to the students. And he must have understood that my first three tracks were Dorian matters. So he's eating his ice cream, and I'm in the backseat and the guys driving. And John says, I don't consider to be the door of the Dorian minor scale to be an entity and itself. Well, that went right over my head until I got back to the dormitory. And then I realized he didn't like my new approach to jazz improvisation, of telling the student what the scale is. At that time, I didn't even darken in the chord tones. As a matter of fact, there was a scale page and I just put the symbol F minor period F minor seven also know that scale. They didn't know what they went back to the page. But my point in saying this is, I think I was of the opinion early on that if you showed the person a scale that's being sounded that would help them to play the sound, and to possibly make music and improvise and feel good about what they're doing and not give up not give up.

Dr. Bob Lawrence  56:34  
Well, I hope you have found part one of this jazz panel skills podcast interview with special guest jazz legend Jamie Ebersol to be insightful and of course beneficial. One of my mentors and teachers, our friends and used to say to me after every lesson, never forget, the greatest thing about music is the people you meet through it. And the privilege of meeting and spending time with one of my jazz heroes. Jamie Ebersol simply confirms our sentiment 100% Don't forget if you are a jazz panel skills member I will see you online Thursday evening at the jazz panel skills masterclass 8pm, central time to discuss this podcast episode featuring Jamie Ebersol in greater detail, and to answer any questions that you may have about the study of jazz in general. As always, you can reach me by phone through the Dallas School of Music at 972-380-8050 by email Dr. Lawrence, Dr. Lawrence at jazz piano skills.com or by SpeakPipe found throughout the jazz piano skills website. That's it for now. And until next week, enjoy the journey. Enjoy the pearls of wisdom shared by Jamie a bristle and most of all, have fun as you discover, learn and play jazz Piano

Jamey Aebersold Profile Photo

Jamey Aebersold

Saxophonist, Entrepeneur, Author, Educator, Jazz Legend

Welcome to JazzPianoSkills, I'm Dr. Bob Lawrence. It’s time to Discover, Learn, and Play jazz piano! Today, you are in for a real treat! I am joined by saxophonist, entrepreneur, author, educator, and jazz legend Jamey Aebersold.

Wilton Jameson "Jamey" Aebersold (born July 21, 1939) is an American publisher, educator, and jazz saxophonist. His Play-A-Long series of instructional books and CDs, using the chord-scale system, the first of which was released in 1967, is an internationally renowned resource for jazz education. His summer workshops have educated students of all ages since the 1960s.

Jamey Aebersold was born in New Albany, Indiana. When he was fifteen, he played with local bands, then attended Indiana University in Bloomington while leading bands in southern Indiana and Kentucky. During the late 1960s, he taught at Indiana University Southeast and in the 1970s and 1990s at the University of Louisville. He began weeklong summer workshops for students, which have spread throughout the world into countries such as Canada, England, Scotland, Germany, Denmark, New Zealand, and Australia. Aebersold plays saxophone, piano, banjo, and double bass.

Most of the volumes in Aebersold's Play-A-Long series feature a selection of ten to twelve jazz standards, though some focus on scales, standardized chord progressions (like the blues), or original compositions by Aebersold's collaborators. The books contain charts for the tunes in question, transposed as necessary for instruments in C (treble and bass clef), as well as transpositions for B-flat and E-flat instruments. The recordings feature a professional rhythm section (typically piano, bass, and drums, occasionally including guitar) performing an improvised accompaniment (comping) to each song. Melody instruments like saxophone and trumpet are omitted, enabling a jazz student to practice the song's melody and improvise over the chord changes with accompaniment. Piano and bass tracks are panned to opposite channels so that a pianist or bassist can easily omit the recorded piano or bass part by muting the appropriate channel.

Perhaps the most well-known feature of the "Play-A-Long" series is Aebersold's voice, which counts off the tempo for each track on most Aebersold recordings.

Thibeault (2022) documents the development of Aebersold's materials, from his first volume in 1967 and continued development over 50 years, more than 130 volumes, and with sales of over 5 million copies, concluding that Aebersold's materials helped to develop the first widespread shared idea of what a beginning jazz improvisor should be.

For over 50 years, Aebersold has also run summer jazz workshops, historically throughout the US and internationally, and in recent years at the University of Louisville. The week-long event is billed as a place to learn jazz through hands-on experience through an intensive learning environment for musicians of varying ages and levels. The standard curriculum includes master classes, ear-training sessions, jazz theory classes from beginning to advanced, and concerts by faculty.

Aebersold regularly performs and presents clinics at the jazz festival at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky. The festival was renamed the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Festival in 2015 to honor his many years of service to the jazz program at that institution.

Now, it's time to discover, learn, and play with jazz legend Jamey Aebersold.