John Elliott’s Thought about jazz blog

Young and Foolish

I’ve been trying to memorise this song, because Bill Evan’s made it sound so fantastic. But I found that I could not get my head round it. So, I made a written analysis to distinguish what matters from what is mere decoration and it really helped. This is what this blog is about. If you […]

Opening of my arrangement of Happy Birthday for woodwind choir.

Coming to an arrangement

A friend of mine recently commissioned me to write an arrangement of Happy Birthday. It could use any instruments that he plays and he would be playing all the parts in a multi-track recording. The result was to be a present for his friend and therefore had to complete in two weeks. This article is […]

‘Harmony with LEGO Bricks’ available once more

I am delighted to announce that the classic book, Harmony with LEGO Bricks (Conrad Cork), is available for purchase once more. This book first appeared in 1985 and is now available for the first time as a PDF e-book. Packed with over 300 pages of guidance. It is no exageration to say that this book […]

Unusual voicings by ‘borrowing’ in the 6/dim scale

A few years ago, I was on my way out after playing a trio gig in Edinburgh’s Jazz Bar, when I was stopped by a member of the audience. “What was that chord you were playing in Satin Doll? It sounded great, I’ve never heard it before.” This is not an everyday experience for me. […]


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