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The Ellington Study Group is led by composer and pianist Scott Healy, and is open to all music professionals.
The group is for professional composers, arrangers and performers from the Los Angeles area, and will feature hands-on study of classic scores and recordings—not just of Ellington's, but of many influential jazz composers and bandleaders from Bennie Moten and Gil Evans to Sun Ra and Ornette Coleman.
Many thanks to the Academy of Scoring Arts for helping to make these events possible!
Classes are held at Vitello's E-Spot Lounge in Studio City, CA, from 10am - noon. The $12 fee includes breakfast and unlimited coffee.
Classes, Past and Future
- 11/11/16 – Thad, Duke, and some College ChordsOn Friday we will dive back into large ensemble voicing, first by revisiting “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue” by Duke Ellington. Duke’s work in the mid 1930’s predicted and influenced the “modern” big band arrangers. Then…it’s Thad, Thad and […]
- 9/23/2016 – More Gil, more ThadAt the September 23rd meeting we will start off by taking a quick listen to “Maids of Cadiz” by Gil Evans and Miles Davis. We’ll talk about some of the broad strokes: form, pace, and how Gil shapes this evocative and powerful piece. Then we’ll dive back into large ensemble voicing technique, […]
- 6/24/16 – Clear and Transparent Voicing Technique (that still grooves!)On the 24th we’ll delve in to Ellington’s “Such Sweet Thunder”. This piece is a great example of the use of riffs, space, harmony, layering, groove, and economical jazz writing. There’s so much to say, I bet it takes an hour at least. Then we will begin a detailed study of large ensemble […]
- 3/25/16: From “Ko-Ko” to KCOn March 25th we will start an in-depth analysis of the iconic “Ko-Ko” by Duke Ellington, using as a reference an excellent transcription by David Berger. This is another great Ellington piece from 1940 that looks both to the past and to the future, with great soloists, and […]
- Agenda for 12/18/15: Cootie, Gil and Russell..Listening to the classic “Concerto for Cootie” I’m hearing so many cool devices and trademark Duke sounds. I think we’re going to delve into that a little – maybe look at a few things from “Dimenuendo and Crescendo in Blue”, maybe not…I have a feeling […]
- October Surprise: “St. Louis Blues” at 10/23 ClassI was looking around for scores on the interwebs and happened upon artistshare.com, which among other great artists, features the recent Gil Evans project of composer and arranger Ryan Truesdale. At the August class we listened to Gil’s “St. Louis Blues” from Old Wine, New […]
- August 6th, 2015 ESG at Vitello’s: Duke, Gil and More.A great turnout to the reboot of the ESG! On August 6th we had about 45 composers, arrangers and other interested parties really getting into “Dim and Cresc in Blue” by Ellington. We also checked out Gil Evans’ “St. Louis Blues” from his recording Old Wine, New […]
Works Studied (including pre-2015 classes)
- Protected: Class Materials – 9/23/16, 11/11/16There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.
- Ellington Live Concert – 1958Just had to post this. What the hell was in the water in 1958–Miles, Ornette, Bill Evans, rock n roll, folk, etc…wow.
- “Concerto for Cootie”This iconic piece from 1940 features Cootie Williams on trumpet, and has some of the hippest stuff Ellington ever wrote. We took apart a great transcription by David Baker (can’t publish musical examples due to copyright law.)
- Gil Evans: “St. Louis Blues”Composer Ryan Truesdell did a fantastic transcription of this classic Gil chart, which features Cannonball Adderley on alto. This is some hip st*t–great changes, voicings, groove, just the right space for the soloist. Gil is the master of […]
- Blues for PabloWe talked about Gil Evans’ iconic “Blues for Pablo” which, among other things, has some great examples of gestural orchestration, or orchestration that is purposeful, and perhaps even melodic. I used some of the same materials […]