I was recently appointed to the Juilliard Jazz Faculty under the direction the wonderful drummer and educator Carl Allen.It is my biggest educational appointment ever, and as an alumni I am excited, and thrilled!

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Tim in Europe

Tim in Europe

Tim Horner Korea

Tim Horner Korea

With all the blogging I have been doing about concerts and various other subjects I thought perhaps now would be a good time to talk out a friend, and musician who has certainly changed my life. That is Tim Horner. drummer, composer, educator, violist, a spiritual motivator, a gentle loving person, and one of my best friends. Maybe 20 plus years ago I met Tim while I was sitting in on a Joe Locke gig that Tim was playing. Joe invited me up to play a tune at the old Village Gate on Bleecker Street in New York City. I had heard Tim play a few times, but never had played with him. The next time I played with Tim was in 2002, when I started a new band after maybe a five-year lapse in my recording career. I had met Allen Farnham the great jazz pianist, and educator on a Liza Minelli tour, and we decided to get together when we returned to New York to run through some new compositions I had recently written. From that get together I formed a band for the recording “The Motive Series” with the late Michael Brecker as a guest artist. I called Tim, and asked him if he’d like to do it with Allen Farnham, Phil Palombi, and myself. Tim agreed, and that began a relationship that has truly altered my life in a really positive way. The record did well, and I was grateful of course to have Michael Brecker on it as he just burned up the two tunes he played on. Since then with a change in the bass slot to Dean Johnson, the band has made four memorable recordings, and been on five European tours as well as recorded a live DVD. These recordings have launched my solo career to place it has never been. I have been able to really get my name out there better than ever before. I owe it all to that band, but Tim and I have now gone off to co lead a band that is currently on a Russia/Asia tour for 4 weeks. It is the longest tour we have ever done together. Tim and I have become one on the stage. I play to my highest level with him as he encapsulates the essence of what jazz drumming has evolved to today. He has a true knowledge of music in every way. As a fine violist, Tim understands melody, and harmony quite well. Better than any drummer I have ever come across, and I have played with many of the finest in the world. He is ever supportive of the music, and lives the music with each and every note he plays. His groove is super deep, and his technique allows him to capture the feeling of all the greatest jazz drummers who ever lived. Players like Max Roach, Philly Joe Jones, Elvin Jones, Roy Haynes, Tony Williams, and Jack Dejohnette. Tim sounds like all of them, and most of all like himself. Some nights I look over to him in the midst of a performance, and I realize I am playing with one of the world’s greatest musicians. All the master drummers I have just mentioned cannot be mentioned without including Tim Horner. Actually he has something over all of them. He is a fine composer. He has written several songs for this tour that have really proved this to me. His tune “Museum Piece”, that he wrote while looking at a painting in a New York museum for three hours one day, captures everything music is about for me. A gorgeous melody, with deep harmony, and a deeply rooted concept. With an opening statement of the melody with just solo piano with the pedal down, begins this composition setting a mood, which is truly mesmerizing for me as a player. Every night I close my eyes as if in a chant, and reach deep in my heart for a heart wrenching performance of this piece. Then I state the melody as the rhythm section follows me into the highest level of spirituality in music I have ever reached. Then trading complete choruses nightly with Jim Ridl on piano raises my spirit every performance. We step the ladder with each chorus increasing in intensity as Tim builds and builds the feeling underneath us as we reach for uncharted territory nightly. This piece is simply why I live to play this music. I see god every time we perform it. Tim and I have stuck together with the music for 7-8 years now, and it has changed my life for the better. Of course with all this closeness in the music Tim Horner and I have become the closest of friends, and colleagues. The world should know Tim Horner is one of the finest all around musicians in the world. Bravo Tim, and thanks for the music. I will love you forever for the positive effect you have had on my life!

Check Tim’s web site for more biographical information! www.timhornermusic.com

Tim in Europe

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An educator

An educator

Tim Horner Korea

Tim Horner Korea

Lena Horne

Lena Horne

I am truly sorry to hear of the passing of Lena Horne. She was a true legend in jazz singing. I am blessed to have had a chance to rehearse in her home with her and Rodney Jones, and to have played vibes on one of her recordings for Blue Note Records, with Bruce Lundvall executive producer, and Rodney Jones producer. She lived to 92 which in itself is a blessing, but she will still be greatly missed.

Paul Meyers Band

Great night Friday night at Trumpets Jazz Club with the Paul Meyers Band featuring Vanderlei Pereira,  Helio Alves, and Leo Traversa. Normally Donny McCaslin plays with this band. I subbed for him. I really enjoyed Paul’s music. He is a fine writer. His tunes have emotion, spirit, and a clever use of harmony to convey his own distinctive sound. Helio Alves is a brilliant improvisor, and Leo Traversa has a gorgeous sound on this really beautiful 5 string electric bass he played. Vanderlei Pereira having been born in Rio has really a different way of playing jazz. Paul has a lot of Brazilian flavored music and of course this is right up Vanderle’s alley. He has a key instinct for the music as he makes all hits and  and section changes by instinct. It is amazing. Does not sound too difficult make all the hits and  deal with the form of the music. For most it is not. You just follow the chart and give to the music, but Vanderlei’s chart is his ears as he is blind.  I was so blown away by him. Not because he is blind, but from his playing. A great player. All great players!! And great music. In addition Trumpets has improved their musical venue by extending the stage a bit to make more room for the music. The sound and light additions have really helped. It is a much better venue to play because of these improvements.

I just got the news that my 4tet with Tim Horner will kick off the Rhythm Road/US State Department Southeast Asia tour with 2 concerts in the US. We will play at the National Geographic Society in Washington DC on April 22nd at 6pm and at Dizzy’s Coca Cola Jazz Club in NYC on April 24th at 12:30pm. Then we will be off to Southeast Asia. Concerts and workshops everyday for 5 or 6 weeks. Can’t wait. #rhythmroad

Promo video

Last week my usual rhythm section of Allen Farnham, Dean Johnson, and Tim Horner got together for a gig at Trumpets Jazz Club in Montclair N.J. The crowd was great, I sold about 8-10 CD’s and everything just went well. How amazing it feels to play with this group as we come back together and the music is magical, with great purpose. Nothing to be said, just hit the music. I have 3 or 4 new tunes that the band addressed in addition to the maybe 40 other originals this band performs. Anyway I just get up there and call tunes like I was calling standards, but they are mostly original tunes. It’s a great feeling to have that confidence with your musicians. It is a setting that makes me most comfortable in this music. For me the dream is to play the music a lot and get better and better at it. This band allows me just that opportunity. The comfort zone of a regular group is a really special feeling, as many times on the road alone I experience the opposite extreme. That is me picking up a rhythm section I hardly know for a gig somewhere across the globe, with one quick rehearsal/sound check and then a concert with some of my originals and standard arrangements. I often must avoid playing certain originals, as they require more attention of which there is none, as a quick sound check does not do much for digging deeply into the music. However there is another way to look at it. If the players you are hiring are true masters of the language and the music, although they are new to your music, they can bring their individual craft, spontaneity, and personality into the situation. I can give you a perfect example of that. Last year I played a concert in California while on a west coast tour at Occidental College in Pasadena. Well the rhythm section I called was John Cambell, Tony Dumas, and Joe Labarbera. WELL! These guys swung my music into paradise, their way and it was incredible. John Cambell spent years with Clark Terry (flat out a bebop master), I met him on a Mel Torme gig at Carnegie hall years ago. Tony Dumas played with Freddie Hubbard, and I can see why. Joe Labarbera, needs no introduction as he was with Bill Evans for many years and has made a mark with his crisp, loose, identifiable style of drumming. It was an honor to play with that rhythm section. They sounded so seasoned. Anyway the music was incredible and I would play and or record anytime with those guys, but of course the originals did not have the life experience they have with the aforementioned quartet of Farnham, Johnson, and Horner. Six years together has made the music do something different. Something unified. I can’t tell if it is the personalities, playing ability, time on the road together, or a combination of all these things, but there is something special about the longevity of this band. Things get pretty intense onstage and the music goes different places every time we play.

Later in the week we played a quick set at The Zinc Bar. The money was not as good, but the music was even better! Looser and looser. Can’t wait until the next gig with the Quartet. Also The Quintet DVD of the band with Joe Magnarelli will be up for sale on my site and globally in a few weeks. I am quite excited about that. Check my site for my schedule.

Dr. Ed Joffe, Joel Weiskopf , Pete McGuiness, Roseanna Vitro, Joe Magnarelli, Tim Horner, Andy Eulau Bobby Malach, Mark Sherman, Allen Farnham. and Paul Meyers. On December 14th I took the red eye from San Jose California to New York City just in time to go home for 1 hour, and go out to New Jersey City University where I have been teaching for the last 3 years. I felt it was very important to basically go with no sleep for 24 hours, to make it to the final semester juries for all the jazz students at NJCU. Of course 5 of the students are mine, but the rest study with the professors above. Our fearless leader Ed Joffe has built a tremendous jazz department, as he has surrounded himself with an incredible faculty of professors, who all put their individual hearts into this program. I am sure anyone of these teachers would have done the same thing I did to honor their commitment to the program. Personally I love to give to these students everything I have, with my 30-35 years of professional experience, Juilliard education, and vast touring experience. I know Ed Joffe has done the same with his countless years of dedication to the program, and as a Juilliard graduate as well feels very strong about this program, as when both Ed and I attended Juilliard, there was no jazz program. Now of course they have a thriving jazz program, but NJCU is right there with all the top programs in the New York area offering great private instruction, combos, big band, and many jazz masters coming to do master classes and performances with the NJCU big band. I highly recommend this program for all aspiring jazz students. You get a great jazz education at NJCU!! Bravo Dr. Ed Joffe!!