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I got the TA gig this semester for jazz history!


CJ Shearn
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the class I took for fun last semester. It's being taught by a guy named Mike Carbone a teacher I've known since middle school and is a person who really finds my knowledge of tremendous value, so he offered me the TA gig the other day in addition to the 2 TA's that were involved in it last semester. Mike is a great teacher in Johnson City and does a bang up job with their bands and also Binghamton University's jazz band so it should be nice. My professor for the class last semester, David Brackett was almost certainly going to offer me a TA spot if he knew that class was being offered this year but at the time BU's jazz program took a dive due to budget cuts. Later by a stroke of luck it was reinstated and the class is being offered again. The way Mike is teaching it will be cool, he plans on using a lot more audiovisual media compared to Brackett, having more in class performances and local players discussion their roles on their instruments, as well as what myself and the other TA's have in their collections.. I think this will promote more critical listening, a skill Brackett was trying to get the class to develop but didn't work. I was the person who heard the most of what he was getting at when he tried to demonstrate a musical point. I will be offered 2 undergraduate teaching credits to boot!

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sank you. any tips? we will cover everything from New Orleans Jazz to bop, hard bop, modal, free, fusion, and today. of course most of my recordings that could be used in class, are hard bop, fusion, some stuff out now, I will have to buy more stuff if things in the class are played that I dig.

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Be sure to include some M-Base stuff in there. I think it's an important movement that deserves at least a mention (and one musical example).

Also, if there's time, I might include a little electric Ornette too (including one musical example), either from the 70's or 80's. I think it's important for people to understand that Harmolodic music didn't end with Ornette's Atlantic sides in the early 60's. Also, it (electric Harmolodic music) directly influenced M-Base.

I'm also assuming that you'll include at least a touch of electric Miles too. I'm sure you would, but it never hurts to be sure.

Edited by Rooster_Ties
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cool, Rooster. I'll keep that in mind and will discuss it with Mike, Erin and Marcus (the other TA's) whenever we discuss class material. thanks

Would love to see your syllabus when it gets formalized (or even at the draft stage). I have long wondered how I would teach such a class. What I would include, what I wouldn't, etc...

I'm sure we might have some tiny suggestions here and there (about the syllabus), which of course you can use or ignore as you see fit.

(Also, edited my post above to include a suggestion of a touch of electric Miles.)

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well, since I'm the TA and Mike is the teacher it's entirely up to him what's done but I am sure he'll definitely want my input. Since he intends on using GB, Jazztimes, Jazziz as sources of readings, I think that is an excellent and easy to understand way to access historical type essays, historical reconsiderations of artists (e.g. Grant Green being in the top 10 in JT's guitar issue last year) that were undervalued during their time and also the social issues surrounding periods. There needs to be more articles selected like "Reconsidering the Jazz Tradition" by Scott Deveaux which was read last semester in Keeping Time, a nice anthology, but I sold it when classes were over. There needs to be IMO, a focus on articles like the Deveaux because, they shy away from the Marsalis neoclassicism argument, and it shows that styles of fusion, soul jazz, etc are indeed valid. Also since Mike is a Metheny fan, I hope we could touch on a point later on is that his music was different from fusion in the 70's, fusion in the sense of styles mixing but different because of the melodic openess, the time keeping on the ride opposed to backbeats (although you find backbeats on almost every cut of the first PMG album) and that even though some pieces may not be "jazz" in the traditional sense, he draws on the tradition definitely. Also if the class is on Blackboard, a o/l class message board there should be links to this site, jazzcorner and AAJ to show how us passionate fans discuss jazz. I don't think discussions about RVG would interest folks but certainly other types might.

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