ZiegE 87 – Das ist gestreift. CD Release!

It’s done.

My first self-produced CD is out. I am very happy about this. The whole process was very interesting for me.
We (ZiegE 87) recorded our first album, with the name „Das ist gestreift.“ at the due to building renovation works parting Galerie Adam Ziege. So, I’m happy and unhappy at the same time, because I had such a wonderful time in this truly off-space. I’m very thankful that I got to know Falk Zakrzewski and he showed me this beautiful place and made some amazing music with me. The Neustadt is really loosing one of the last remaining places of the free, artistic, old town spirit this place used to have a lot 10 to 20 years ago. Now it is more Audi R8, shopping, night life and designer bureaus. That’s the wheel of life.
Enough of the pity and a track from „Das ist gestreift.“ (in english: This is striped.) called „Tablette“ (german for pill) and it is one of the nine tracks deriving from a one hour nonstop improvisation by Falk Zakrzewski on electronics and myself on saxophone and effects. Something like a hymn of the new Neustadt. Happy new listening!

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What happens at 11 o’clock?

It’s 1130 on this beautifully cold friday morning. I’m sitting in a small café in Dresden, Neustadt waiting for a clarinet to be repaired, which I borrowed after my first clarinet lesson from my teacher. Eating an warm apple muffin with cane sugar and cinnamon, drinking a delicious coffee and thinking about a conversation that I had yesterday with my girlfriend and the sports teacher of our conservatory about what will happen on the 21.12.2012. As we know now the world we know is still there. But the world is changing, I can feel it in my bones and all around me. More and more people are changing, maybe not knowingly but they do. Many people don’t change, because they just can’t. Their willpower isn’t strong enough to face the reality of being a loving person. „There is a greater plan.“, the sports teacher said. He knows it, because he believes in it and he is one the youngest persons at the age of my father I ever met. Homo 1.0 had faith without knowledge (but with far more ‚knowing‘ than we have today – f.e. Mayas, Ancient Egyptians, Celts or Germani), Homo 2.0 has knowledge without faith (selling weapons for peace keeping). The new one will be the Homo 3.0 having both, faith and knowledge.
But enough of the brainstorming, everyone has to think about it, when the time is right for him. We can make a change, can make the difference, not our politicians or bosses. Don’t wait to change, take the responsibility in your own hands, be the law, everyone can do it. And the time is right, the possibilities are there and the stars are right. Change is easy because better times are in front of us (slighty in sight) and we have the support of the highest, noble-minded and loving personalities in space, time and beyond it. Go for it!

1215: I think I can pick up my clarinet or maybe some Christmas shopping with my girlfriend before. We’ll see…

And what happens at 11 o’clock or on the 21.12.2012? That’s my point about „the stars are right“.
Our sports teacher came up with this:

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Lesson #1: Three Scales

Like I wrote before there are three scales that are worth practicing a lot for developing a bebop language that isn’t based on licks.
These three scales are:

• Dorian Minor
• Melodic Minor
• Ionian

Three scales to cover almost every chord in Bebop an Modern Jazz! For me that’s simply amazing!
From the moment I tried these scales over some chords (II-V-I and modal) I stopped practicing Lokrian, Mixolydian, Phrygian scales or Harmonic Minor or Mixo (#11) or any of those. I’m still sooo thankful for my teacher, because this is it!
Ok, calm down! Enough cheering up myself. I will finish this first lesson with a simple overlook which scale is used over some basic chord. It’s very important what function a chord has in a tune. For example Em7 could be the II in D, the III in C, the VI in G or the IVm in B (more likely a m6 in this situation).
For a better understanding the key is always C:

• Cmaj7: C-ionian
• Em7: C-ionian
• Am7: C-ionian
• Fmaj7(#11): C-ionian
• Dm7: D-dorian
• G7 or G7sus: D-dorian
• G7alt: Ab-melodic
• D7(#11): Am-melodic
• Em7(b5): G-dorian
• Fm6: F-melodic (sometimes dorian)
• Eb7(#11): Bb-melodic
• Db7(#11): Ab-melodic
• A7alt: Bb-melodic

There are a lot more chords that can be related to C, but for the first time it’ll do. One very important thing is that you don’t think of these scales like random notes upon a chord, you have to play the sound of the exact scale, instead of thinking in the chord. For Example, if you’re playing over D7(#11), DON’T think: I’m in D7(#11), so I’m playing DEF#G#AHC#. Especially in dominant chord situations thinking and playing from the root sounds boring and not like Bebop.

THINK: I am in A melodic minor, so I’m playing ABCDEF#G#.

That was the first lesson. In the next one I will cover some exercises to get used to the sounds of the scales.
Leave a comment if you have questions on this matter.