Jazz: a distinctively American musical view and perspective

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I encounter so many individuals with a narrow view of what jazz is.

As a longtime jazz performer 6 nights a week, I have a broad concept of jazz.
For me, jazz is an approach, a way to view, hear, interpret, and appreciate all music.
I can listen to Bach, Jimi Hendrix or Stevie Ray Vaughn, Aretha Franklin, movie scores of Jerry Goldsmith, Bartok, Lutoslawski… you see where I’m going with this?
It’s a way to appreciate good music as a creator, a participant, and audience.

I study contemporary orchestral scores to find the moments most striking to me.
They invariably have an aural feature that stands out, affecting more my right brain conceptual and spatial side more directly than a theoretical working out of a concept.
This is the jazz side of me working.

My interpretation of various musics relies on my developed “6th” sense of the purely musical and the aural performance. I listen to almost everything interpreting it with an appreciation of the timbral qualities, the harmonic melodic and rhythmic components, and its ability to grow and develop.

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About Hank

Welcome to the blog on the website of Hank Hehmsoth. Here you'll find many and varied writings of Hank Hehmsoth, from opinions, to articles and videos from related topics, and last but not least, his music. Hank frequently gives readings and talks in the Austin/San Marcos area as well as the rest of the country. If you are a creative composer or music professor and are interested in Hank teaching a master class on improvisation, composition, and related topics, such as jazz piano and harmony, at your college or university, contact him directly.
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