Rhythm is the engine and in many ways primary focus of jazz improvisation. All the rhythms played in a jazz quartet setting fit together like an elaborate puzzle when things are working well. By focusing on the rhythmical aspect of improvising one can develop a real sense of evolution and structure in soloing that enables the rest of the band to better play with you, and the listening audience to hear where you are going and what you are getting at. In this lesson I site several things to focus on and work towards having to do with rhythm and the systematic approach to using rhythm in improvising solos.
A versatile soloist influenced by Michael Brecker on tenor, Bob Mintzer gained experience playing with Deodato, Tito Puente (1974), Buddy Rich, Hubert Laws, and the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra (1977). In addition to leading his own bands starting in 1978, Mintzer worked with Jaco Pastorius, Mike Mainieri, Louie Bellson, Bob Moses, and the American Saxophone Quartet. He has guested with several philharmonic orchestras and led a fine big band in New York since the mid-'80s. Mintzer, a member of the Yellowjackets since 1991 (where his bass clarinet in particular adds a great deal of color to the group), recorded regularly for DMP for a decade before moving to TVT for 1998's Quality Time. Homage to Count Basie followed in fall 2000. Live at MCG, which featured vocalist Kurt Elling, and Old School New Lessons, both of which were benefit albums for the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild in Pittsburgh, PA, appeared in 2004 and 2006, respectively.