Thursday, October 26, 2006

Blue In You - Score Demo

This tune is evocative of many of the 50's and 60's era Be-Bop and Hard Bop tunes I love. It's pretty fun to play and the chord changes are nice to blow/pluck/hammer over. Download the lead sheets (below) to "Blue In You" and try it out with your own group. The lead sheets are the latest version (revised from the cheesy flash bouncing ball demo), complete with a coda for an ending. Enjoy and let me know if you perform it or want to record it. (That's encouraged!)

Blue In You (Bb Trumpet Part) by Rob Birdwell
Blue In You (Concert Rhythm Section Lead Part) by Rob Birdwell

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Rob Birdwell, Top of the Valley - Musician

Thank you Gazette-Times / Democrat Herald (a Corvallis and Albany, Oregon newspaper) and the voters...whoever you are! I'm honored to play with some truly great musicians in this area. There are numerous fantastic teachers, incredible performers, and sensational musicians in this area...I am sincerely humbled!

Rob Birdwell

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Valery Ponomarev's Big Break

This article should be of interest to fellow musicians, especially when traveling to Paris with your instrument. Here's my take:

Valery Ponomarev, a world class Jazz Trumpet player, attempted to board his Paris to New York flight with his precious 1961 Connstellation Trumpet as a carry on. However, French airport personnel insisted the instrument be stored in a place they call "l'hold," which when translated from the French means, roughly, "the place where all Trumpets get crushed."

Long story short: words were exchanged, wills were tested, passions flared, and Mr. Ponomarev's arm was broken in an apparent scuffle with airport security. The police actually claim Mr. Ponomarev broke his own arm by "rebelling" - interesting.

Mr. Ponomarev allegedly endured 6 hours without treatment, but fortunately survived to play another day - and that's some very good news. Still...

In a country that doesn't even put lane lines in their swimming pools so as not to impede an individual's personal freedom to swim wherever they want to ("Pourquoi avons-nous combattu la revolution ?") this recent airport fiasco in Paris underscores the challenges faced by airline passengers, especially musicians, who are merely seeking assurances that their valuables will be stowed as safely as possible.

"L'hold" may be good enough for luggage and travel bags that can absorb a certain amount of impact, but maybe, just maybe, airlines will consider alternative storage space for les instruments extraordinaire. If these storage spaces exist, then airline personnel must be trained to assure passengers that their instruments will indeed be stowed accordingly. Maybe then there will be fewer crushed instruments and even fewer broken arms.

Rob Birdwell

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Blue In You - new music for Jazz Combo

A few days ago this riff/tune was going through my head and seemed eternal. How could I ever forget it? But then my day got going and at some point I realized the tune was gone! Usually I write enough of my little ditties down so that I can expand on them (or toss them out!), but I got lazy on this one. Flash forward a few days: at 1 am my previously lost tune (or something close enough to it) comes back!! Yippee! I call this one "Blue In You" - it's just a little musical setting; something for the Jazz cats to blow over. Maybe someday I'll expand on the arrangement, but here it is in its simplified forgotten tune, remembered! Feel free to perform it with your own group (encouraged) and keep me posted on any live performances (highly encouraged) as I'm interested, and let me know if you record it on your next CD (also highly encouraged). Here are the links to audio and parts:

Blue in You (MP3 Rendition from Finale Score)

Note: these lead-sheets reflect the newly revised coda/ending section:
Blue In You (Bb Trumpet Part) by Rob Birdwell
Blue In You (Concert Rhythm Section Lead Part) by Rob Birdwell

Birdwell Music Gabcast #3 - Blue In You - small combo version - listen to me gab on my cell phone about my new tune, "Blue in You"

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Trumpetular Jamming

Birdwell Music Gabcast #2 - Trumpetular Jamming

A very brief improvisation with no clear agenda other than hearing how my new copper Jo Ral bubble mute sounds over a celular connection...oh, and of course seeing if I can convey a mere hint of musical meaning through these strange and wonderful technologies...but what do I know...I'm just a caveman trumpet player.

Rob's first Gabcast - XTET Jazz October 12, 2006 at Bombs Away

Birdwell Music Gabcast #1 - Rob's first Gabcast - XTET Jazz October 12, 2006 at Bombs Away

Just testing this feature out - yikes! Do I really sound that dorky?! Must be the cell phone - some of my golden tones get lost in the cellular transfer...wait, yes, I do sound that way normally...oh well. The XTET plays live Jazz in Corvallis: Bombs Away Cafe, Thurs., October 12, 7:30 - 10 PM. Come on out...should be fun!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Rob Says Hello

So I finally give in and get a cell phone (again) with vague plans to do some audio blogging (and we all know how great a trumpet can sound through a cell phone, right folks!?), when audioblogger says they're calling it quits on their service!

Well, thanks to Gabcast, I'm still in the game! So now you can look forward to some insightful audio messages from this one (press to play - I just say "Hello", but with style and grace):