I am very passionate about jazz and one of the reasons I enrolled on the BA Jazz course was to give myself additional grounding to teach jazz at Universities and schools on a freelance basis. I am now very keen to explore the possibility of teaching students pursuing jazz.
Since 2010 I have had a number of students that I teach music to on a ‘one-to-one’ basis. They include secondary school and some sixth-formers that attend the Evelyn Grace academy in Brixton.
I also give some students saxophone lessons who are preparing for auditions to go to university to study jazz at degree level. My preparatory syllabus includes teaching them various standards, the 12 bar Blues, intervals, with some harmony and theory training on the piano.
A lot of the concepts I teach are not available in books but have been shown and passed down to me from a lineage of jazz musicians over a number of decades and these include, Cedar Walton, Donald Byrd, Bobby Watson, Antoine Roney,Brian Lynch, Antonio Caccia, Jerry Bergonzi, Rick Margitza ,Kenny Garrett, Ravi Coltrane and Ralph Moore.
The Jazz musicians mentioned above have shown and personally given me their concepts and formulas of their approach to jazz. Each one of them has given me a piece of the jazz jigsaw with regards to how to go through tunes, chord tones, 2-5-1 approaches in major and minor keys, diminished scales , whole tone scales, augmented, pentatonic what to do on blues, rhythm changes and the art and approach to a jazz solo (e.g. the launch, places of tension, the interaction with the rhythm section and ‘building a story’)
The most important thing these great jazz musicians taught me was how and where to play these concepts in the tunes so that one can understand the tradition of the jazz language that all of them say were passed down to them from other great jazz musicians before them.
I feel honoured that these great musicians heard something in my sound and my ideas and they took time out to show me some of these great jazz formulas and their concepts.
I have already given lessons to students on the various saxophones and other instruments who asked for my help on the BA Jazz course and on the Music and Media course and this resulted in a marked improvement to their improvisation, sound, and harmonic approach.
I would like to give my students the opportunity (like me) to gain ‘gems of jazz’ directly from world renowned jazz musicians who themselves obtained valuable information from their peers and mentors that they then passed on. My idea is to arrange jazz masterclasses, with visiting jazz musicians from America and Europe and in doing so help to build Middlesex’s reputation as ‘the’ place in the UK to study jazz.
Here’s what Jerry Bergonzi has to say about David Angol;
Dave Angol and I have become good friends over the years. We have shared musical ideas and we have played together in London at the Vortex. He has his own sound with echoes of many of my favourite players. Give him a listen. Jerry Bergonzi