A Guitar Christmas, Joe Pass, Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Do you listen to Joe Pass? If yes, pass GO and collect $200. If not you better catch up on some listening!

Listen to how many different ways he treats the melody throughout the piece, true mastery, ENJOY!

Note: The video below was accidentally embedded but a great one as well so I will leave it on here. Wes Montgomery on guitar and Jimmy Smith Keys.

A Guitar Christmas- Al Di Meola, Carol of the Bells

For those of you who don’t know about Al Di Meola,  you are missing out especially if you are a guitar aficionado. Di Meola’s style is a blending of Latin influences with jazz fusion. He is known for blistering solo work and has collaborated with a wide variety of musicians. These partnerships range from rock/metal guitarists Steve Vai and Joe Satriani to fusion jazz master Chick Corea.  From  flamenco giant Paco De Lucia to pop singer songwriter Paul Simon.

Happy holidays, hope you enjoy the guitar inspired Christmas music.

A Jazz Musicians Christmas

“Playing nice and simple for the ol’ folks…

If they heard my b5’s and minor 9’s I’d be headin’ for the unemployment line…”

I heard this song the other day and had to post it. Musicians all have to play gigs at times where the music means more to the consumers than the musicians(beats digging ditches I always say!) This song a jazz musician lets out his hardships about playing Xmas music for the holidays and not being able to throw in his favorite jazz licks.

Pretty funny and maybe a new Xmas tune to many of you.

Enjoy!

Music to Relax – Horace Silver “Lonely Woman”

I love this song! I cant hear it and not relax. It soothes my brain like no other song I can think of.

There are certain recordings that you hear and know the stars were aligned as it was being created and for Horace Silver’s, “Lonely Woman,” it might have been the stars, the planets and the universe all in phase, much like my last Music to Relax post of Miles Davis’, “Blue in Green.”

The song is  mellow in it’s sonicity but has an intensity that breathes life into it’s dulcet  tones.

Silver creates the relaxed mood in Lonely Woman in a handful of ways.

-First, his quartet is downsized to a trio of piano, bass and drums.

-The spacing is so open rhythmically and sonically. Rhythmically, the bass line and drum accents are almost entirely half notes.

-Brushes are used on the drums to lighten the percussive nature.

-The chords Silver uses on the piano accompaniment are mostly open spacings with just the right dissonances mixed in.

-When soloing Silver  uses  pentatonic scales which eliminates chromaticism.

The intensity comes when he does blend chromaticism and dissonances to contrast the vibe of the piece. Then the final bars just lift you up.

You have to think if more people were exposed to this piece the world would be a better place.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this song!!

Enjoy!

Monday Song to Relax – Blue in Green, Miles Davis

If you had a long Monday like me here is a great tune to help you unwind. Miles Davis’ “Blue in Green” Even the title sounds relaxing. The piece is modal with open spacing in the chords. In fact ‘space’ is a great adjective for this piece. The melodies, drums, bass and improv lines all take their time creating a laid back feeling.

If you are unfamiliar make sure you check out the whole album, “Kind of Blue” a true jazz landmark recording!

Relax! Enjoy!

12 NOTES & THE TRUTH!

Our music is based on 12 notes!

That’s it!

No more!

“12 Notes & the Truth!,” this blog,  focuses on everything those 12 little notes offer.

These 12 notes not only make up the music of every band and artist we listen to but make the world go ’round, as well.

“12 Notes & the Truth!,” will cover anything and everything in music that strikes a chord

with myself and hopefully you, as well!.

Guitar music, pop styles, jazz, classical and the social issues attached to them all will be featured in the blog.

Expect a little high brow education,  low brow comedy and anything between that helps convey the world of music

in my head. Of course I will let you know what I am up to from time to time, as well, performances, projects, etc.

You can follow the blog:

from this site or on

Facebook: Mike Slayen Studios

Twitter: @mikeslayen

However you do follow come back early and often to check out “12 Notes & the Truth!” and feel free to comment on the posts.

From one music lover to another I will try to live up to these 12 notes and their truth.