~ jacmuse bio ~

~ acknowledgements ~

~ everything had a melody

~ and nearly everything had a hook ~

~

'about the author's academic training and the helping hands that created this work'

Mornin' Audrey,

Bio for Joe Craig.
Raised up in the metropolitan NYC area,
Joe's early love of math and basic numbers
later at school transformed into a fascination for music theory. Developing into a jazz guitarist from the blues and rock and roll, Joe became fascinated by the music of John Coltrane and his harmonic developments often described as 'sheets of sound' and Giant Steps harmony.
This provided the basis for Joe's current music theory 'e' book project, a detailed study of the evolutions of pitches and harmonies that create our Americana musics. Joe leads a weekly jazz trio gig, plays bass in a newly reforming reggae group and was recently bassist, arranger and production supervisor for a Chicago styled roadhouse blues band that performs the AK road circuit. Joe's is currently in the early stages for his next writing project; a historical look at the writing of the King James bible and its influence today.

Dr. Miller
Dr. Guibory
Dr.Frank
Dr. Cancelosi
Dr LaMarianna
Dr. Hayden
Dr. Stuart

In a nutshell. Jac Muse had four full academic years of formal music school at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh beginning in 1978. Towards conclusion of this time a new life of adventure outside the music classroom became the new classroom for learning.

Fortuneately during the daily academic rigors of university conducted by seven faculty phd's and department chair Herman Matlock, Muse got bit by the music theory bug, the history bug and the jazz bug. So he got the fever bad, has had it ever since too.

Dr. Miller
Dr. Guibory
Dr.Frank
Dr. Cancelosi
Dr LaMarianna
Dr. Hayden
Dr. Stuart

The nut in the shell. So blessed I was early on in getting to hang with true American jazz artists who knew every knook and cranny of their theory. So I got a solid basis to begin. I also heard second hand accounts of performances about the legends who I got to hear by their recordings. I then auditioned for this band named 'Moments Notice', and ended up getting the gig.

Dr. Miller
Dr. Guibory
Dr.Frank
Dr. Cancelosi
Dr LaMarianna
Dr. Hayden
Dr. Stuart

Those in the know will now know. So blessed I was early on in getting to hang with true American jazz artists who knew every knook and cranny of their theory. So I got a solid basis to begin. I also heard second hand accounts of performances about the legends who I got to hear by their recordings. I then auditioned for this band named 'Moments Notice', and ended up getting the gig.

Dr. Miller
Dr. Guibory
Dr.Frank
Dr. Cancelosi
Dr LaMarianna
Dr. Hayden
Dr. Stuart

Dr. James B. Miller. How lucky we were to know and study with Dr. Miller. From rescoring Bach keyboards works for his symphonic band to weekly jazz improv class, Doc had the 'radar' as he put it, to hear it all and the skills to write it out, rehearse and present all types of music. Becoming self taught on guitar after catching Charlie Christian with Benny Goodman, many of the essential guitar ideas included in this work I learned directly from Dr. Miller, for his name appears often during discussions. Doc's ability to get the music to swing as a solo simply amazed me then and started me on my own similar quest. The time and rhythm concepts and basic chops to make it happen I learned from Doc.

Swing. For what it is worth, I learned how to get my rhythms to swing from Dr. Miller. When I first got into jazz music school, I gravitated towards the sounds of big band music and in particular The Count Basie Orchestra. Luckily their guitar player Freddie Greene was a rhythm woodchopper machine superlegend from the wayback start point of American rhythm guitar; the steady acoustic guitar woodchopping of four beats to the bar.

Audio file of chopping wood.

During one full spring semester Dr. Miller took over directing the PSUC Jazz Big Band from Herm Matlock. Working up the concert programs, Doc put more than a few Count Basie arrangements in and some of these are true burners; they scoot right along with bright, fast and exciting tempos that swing very hard.

Well, bright tempos and four chord chops to the bar make for a rather physical exercise in 'chopping wood.' Throw in the oftentimes dozen or so chords of a jazz arrangement, a couple of key centers and a half dozen voicings or so to bring it all to fruitition, and it adds up to quite a juggling challenge. Luckily in simply attempting to meet this challenge, I played what seemed like a gazillion measures of 'choppin wood rhythm guitar.'

Man it drove me crazy, and Doc too probably. In my struggle to be disciplined to play this part, Doc would repeatedly say; 'well ya know ol' boy you're the heartbeat that helps all these fancy horn lines to swing.' Gradually I by rote mastered my parts and could now also listen to what the rest of the band was doing. Wasn't too long after that I realized I was the metronome in this dynamic. Towards the end of the semester I for some reason started to play the chords, mostly just Two / Five ideas, matching up with the rhythms the horns were playing. Doc would stop the band and look over at me and say; 'ya know ol' boy, you need to be chomping chords not comping, leave that work to the piano.

Audio file of chomp / comp chords.

By the end of semester rehearsals, I was starting to struggle to stay right with the chopping wood time, I was literally aching to swing, the pull was just that strong. Doc ended up throwing me 16 bars to 'go wild' with my new found swing rhythms with chords at the end of the last concert. Luckily around this time I auditioned for a jazz quintet and got the piano part as a guitar player :)

Count Basie

Freddie Greene

chopping wood

chomping

comping

by rote

metronome

Dr. Yenoin Guibory. An Eastern European child prodigy who taught us history, innovative beyond compare in performance and teaching methods, Dr. Guibory created in me a historical vision of music that become visual portraits of each era. We learned to associate musical sounds with historical eras, which prompted a personal to search to know the theories of the who, what, when, where and why of it all.

Dr. Frank. Dr. Allen Frank taught us to vocalize the emotional words to song through musical pitch. Being fairly tone deaf during these university years, Dr. Frank patiently revealed colortones of chords through his piano voicings as he backed voice class. Included in these colortones is the idea of the existence of a #15, two full octaves plus a half step above a root pitch. All things #15 included here were sparked off by Dr. Frank.

Dr. Cancelosi. Dr. Robert Cancelosi was a concert cellist whom had a fascination with the collection of chorales of J.S. Bach.

taught us to vocalize the emotional words to song through musical pitch. Being fairly tone deaf during these university years, Dr. Frank patiently revealed colortones of chords through his piano voicings as he backed voice class. Included in these colortones is the idea of the existence of a #15, two full octaves plus a half step above a root pitch. All things #15 included here were sparked off by Dr. Frank.

I'm always thinking about creating. My future starts when I wake up every morning ... Every day I find something creative to do with my life.

Miles Davis
#1
2
#2 / b3
3
4
#4
b5
5
#5
b6
6
b7
7
8
9
#9
-10th
10th
11
#11
12
b13
13
b14
14

15

#15

Footnotes:

(1)Mauleon-Santana, Rebeca. 101Montunos, p. iv. USA Sher Music Co.,Ca. 1999

(1) Isacoff, Stuart. Temperament ... The Idea That Solved Music's Greatest Riddle, p. 40-42. USA Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 2001

(2)Aebersold, Jamey and Slone, Ken. The Charlie Parker Omnibook. New York: Atlantic Music Corp., 1978.

( start here :)it doesn't change if it doesn't change God

"Things won't change if things don't change."