Mentorship and oral tradition are essential parts of jazz’s lasting vitality.

I recently had the pleasure of hearing Jazz Is Dead at the Newport Jazz Festival. Led by bassist Ali Shaheed Muhammed (A Tribe Called Quest) and composer/producer Adrian Younge, the band was formed to draw inspiration from such greats as Gary Bartz, Henry Franklin, Doug Carn, Roy Ayers, Jean Carne, Lonnie Liston Smith, and others in creating new compositions and fresh arrangements of their work. The irony behind the name and ethos of this band, though, is that jazz is certainly not dead!

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Photo by Nick Suttle

A mini masterclass in effortless swing, futuristic fusion, and dirty blues.



  • Develop a deeper understanding of phrasing.
  • Dig deep into the Lydian dominant scale.
  • Learn to navigate tricky harmonic passages.
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John Scofield is an absolute titan of jazz guitar. He’s had an illustrious solo career spanning over four decades and he’s shared the stage with the most important musicians of our time. In this lesson we’ll look at his brilliant single-line approach that endears him to jazz audiences around the globe.
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Whether Barney Kessel intervened to get his guitar into Bruce Forman’s hands is a matter of one’s belief in the supernatural, but it certainly seems as if it was meant to be.

Photo by Patrick Tregenza

As a protégé of the jazz legend, Forman spent a lot of time with his mentor’s Gibson ES-350. He’s now the owner of that instrument and is paying tribute on a fun and fantastically swinging album.

“Does an instrument really contain or possess a part of the person’s soul who plays it?” ponders guitarist Bruce Forman. “Probably not … I don’t believe in that shit.”

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