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Jam Tracks in E Minor

80 minutes of background music for improvising and jamming in the key of E Minor. 21 tracks in different styles that can be used for practice or performance.

Official Release date: December 8, 2009

Ordering information: This CD is available now!

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Reviews: on the Reviews Page.

©2009 Manifest Spirit Records, 21 tracks, MSR-NT04.


Track Samples

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Track Notes

I am ever grateful to the incredible musicians who contributed to these tracks ...

1. First Flight. An improvisation by Peter Dubner in the studio, that we were fortunate to record. It's an example of a descending scale ostinato (repeating pattern) that is so supportive of NAF solos. The piano solo in the middle (from 2:00 to 2:40) is a change from the repeating pattern, and provides an interesting change-up that makes it a complete song (rather than a jam-groove). Work with how to support the piano solo on the NAF during this section.

2. South. An upbeat guitar groove that I hit on and fell in love with. It's a great track to practice with for “playing over chord changes”. It switches back and forth between a minor mode and a major mode. The end is rather sudden, so you have to listen for it coming.

3. Golden Dawn. A solo piano improvisation by Michael DeMaria in the studio. This was done shortly before his album Siyotanka won the Native Heart category at the 2009 NAMMY Awards.

4. World Groove Gnawa. A groove track I put together in the style of Moroccan Gnawa music. Heavy on the bass and percussion, with a 2-chord vamp that is straightforward to follow.

5. Slow Descent. The piano track from an improvisation done by Peter Dubner during a recording session with Eugene Carr and David Rudge. We recorded Gene's cello and David's violin on separate track, so I was able to pull out the piano as a solo. It's a complete song composition, so following the structure and feel of this track makes for a complete song/performance.

Jim Oshinsky6. Walking on E Street. Put on your shades and step into a smoky bar with your Em flute and go wild. People have been asking for some jazz-style grooves for a while on the NAFTracks series, so here it is!

Vera and I headed down to Jim Oshinsky's Jim's home in Baldwin, NY, and he laid down this jazz bass-groove over a steady trap-set rhythm.

7. Pathfinders. My approach to a "movie theme" style track. This track was originally done as a demo for an independent movie. Ron Kravitz added the djembe that starts at 1:23 to ground the track more in a rhythmic feel. Lyndall Sargent suggested the name of this track.

8. Walk on Water. In June 2009 Roth Herrlinger joined us for the Zion Canyon Native Flute School. In addition to his fantastic flute playing, I found out on the last day of the school what an incredible pianist he is. This track is from his CD Translucent and works great with an Em flute. I am very grateful to be able to include on this CD.

9. Irish Spring. This groove track by Lynn Miller and Eric Miller on guitars and Alfred Goodrich on cello works beautifully with an E Minor Native Flute. You'll need to work with and support Alfred's cello solo from 1:38 to 2:20.

Here's an overdub of this background track by Randy Motz, titled Grand Canyon Winds, track 11 from his CD Canyon Whispers (available on Amazon and CD-Baby):

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10. Serenade. A sweeping, majestic track by composer Richard Brooner.

Here is an overdub to the Serenade track played by Richard Brooner:

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11. Truth Speaks. A track by Peter Dubner, playing on a synthesizer that was generating a 12-string guitar sound.

12. Simplicity. I stumbled on this simple chord progression on the piano and got hooked on it. This happened an hour before a scheduled on-line concert, so I raced around the studio to record and mix it as a backing track that was used in the concert ... just-in-time backing tracks!

Here is an overdub to the Simplicity track played by Rick Aeschliman:

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13. Emerald Isle. Be enveloped in the mist on the shores of the Celtic Sea, in this first of two tracks written and played by Jacqueline Bhuyan, with arrangement, orchestration, and mixing by her son David Bhyuan. Check out her new piano CD Reflections on Life's Journey, done with cellist David Darling.

14. Bluest Moon. James Cook developed this gorgeous background track with an easy chord progression on the guitar. I love playing long tones over this track.

15. Solitude. Jim Parker was messing around on the guitar and flute when we were out in Solitude, Utah, and I realized it was the ideal backing track. I recorded it on a Zoom H4 and added percussion later back in the studio.

16. Earth. A backing-track version of Lynn Miller's Earth track from her Mystic Song CD. I added huacas and jingle bells for ambience.

17. Hush. The second track by Jacqueline Bhuyan, done in a very open and spacious style. The chord progression is complex, but it is all played with notes in the E minor scale, so it allows for almost any note at any time on the NAF.

18. Hearts Assemble. This improvisation was done played by Peter Dubner on piano, Eugene Carr on cello, and David Rudge on violin. I'm also in the background on a Low D Irish Whistle (trying to play at the same time as being recording engineer). This is the backing-track version of this recording. This became a track on Gene's improvisation CD “Made from Jam”.

19. 47 Blue. A live recording by Richard Brooner on piano, playing his own composition.

20. Reverence. A second ostinato (repeating pattern) guitar jam track by James Cook. This is a good track to practice and play the “Arabian” scale over the background music. The Arabian scale is also called the Byzantine Scale, the Double Harmonic Scale, or the Hungarian Gypsy Persian Scale.

21. The Huron Carol. This is a traditional melody of the Huron Indians, transcribed into Western music notation (and thus preserved) by a French missionary. Gary Cope arranged this backing track for an E minor Native Flute and allowed us to include it on this CD. Here is Gary's arranged lead sheet for The Huron Carol in PDF format, if you would like to play the original melody. Of course, you could just improvise to the backing track as well.

Here is an overdub to the Huron Carol track track that I played on an E Minor flute by Barry Higgins:

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