Jimmy & Jamie Promoting The Use Of 7ths
Updated: Jan 26
As I write this, it is the 100th anniversary of Jimmy’s birth! I was aware of Jimmy through his book “The Art of Two Line Improvisation” which I’d hunted for years while it was out of print. I met him years later at the Jazz Bakery and introduced myself to him as a huge fan. He told me, “Oh I know all about you!” This was Jimmy’s patented move of deflecting any praise and turning it right back at you. It was his sincerity that made it so effective. Eventually we got to know each other very well while we were both teaching at the Musician’s Institute. I feel very fortunate to have gotten to know him and considered him a mentor and close friend. As remarkable as his playing was (and it was truly remarkable - a very rare sort of uniqueness), it was his ability to make people feel genuinely special and appreciated that was his greatest gift.
We would often combine our open counselings (one of MI’s coolest feature is giving a teacher an open time slot where anyone can come hang out and learn together) and this tune was written together at one of these. Jimmy had a chord progression he was messing around with and I superimposed this line on top of it using what sounded like Wyble-isms to me. Later, me and Steve Cotter performed this piece at a guitar-star studded tribute to Jimmy at the Pasadena Jazz Institute.