I guess it was always at the back of my mind. I grew up in a house with a Steinway grand and a ferocious classical-music culture. At 17 I picked up a copy of Jerry Coker’s Improvising Jazz and tried some of those chords at the keyboard. But learning to play, really play, remained unfinished business. It still is.
I live in Brighton on England’s south coast. It’s a human-scale city where I can walk to my local jazz club (The Verdict) in 15 minutes, and to many other music venues in not much longer.
When I moved here from London, after a long, varied and at times interesting working life, jazz piano finally caught up with me. I took courses, went to workshops, bought a keyboard, bought a better keyboard. While I struggled to play better, I discovered my love-hate relationship with jazz theory. I don’t yet know how this blog will develop, but the importance of theory, and its limitations, will almost certainly be a counterpoint running through it.
That’s probably more than enough. I will only add that:
  • Basic musical knowledge is assumed
  • Diagrams, including some new ones, will be featured: sometimes your eyes can explain what your ears enjoy
  • All musical genres are respected
  • Discussion is encouraged
  • Theory is great, but the only truth is the music
So, as Fela Kuti said: let’s start what we have come into this room to do.
Tony Durham