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Alaadeen: The Rest of the Story

SOURCE: Published:
Ahmad Alaadeen The Rest of the Story
Ahmad S. Alaadeen
Spiral Bound Manual; 53 pages
ISBN: 6-38087-01012-6
Fandeen Publising
2009

User-Friendly Jazz Improvisation
Methods to Finding Yourself as a Soloist

“...Alaadeen is a wise elder in this music we call jazz and young musicians would do well to devour the practical wisdom he lays down in The Rest of the Story." --Willard Jenkins, Journalist / Broadcaster / Producer

“(The Rest of the Story) is very specific but still leaves room for the user to discover for themselves, their own paths to self expression using the information provided." --Bobby Watson, Professor of Jazz Studies, University of Missouri - Kansas City

“You can't miss (The Rest of the Story) as an added teaching or learning tool." --Tom Alexios, Director of Education Outreach Programs for the Duke Ellington Family

Kansas City, MO -- Do you have the desire to swing and make it your own thing? If you are a jazz educator or soloist, then you should consider what Kansas City jazz master Ahmad Alaadeen has to say in the release of his first jazz improvisation and history manual.

Primarily known by his surname, Alaadeen, “The Rest of the Story" is presented in a simplified manner with easy to understand terms. Alaadeen's methods help guide intermediate to advanced artists in finding themselves as soloists, while laying down a foundation to the art of improvisation. Written by a traditional musician, Alaadeen offers a performer's perspective rather than that of a theorist who may not play on a regular basis.

What's unique about Alaadeen's jazz method manual and approach, is that he encourages creativity and individuality in playing. “When I was coming up if you took a solo and sounded like anyone else, you would be booted off the stage," said Alaadeen. Written in old school script, one aim of the manual is to encourage music soloists to play with originality from their instincts and gut.

While the manual is not a step-by-step guide, it does contain lesson plans for jazz educators and soloists. Also included are stories and photos from Alaadeen's life experience that are a part of our oral tradition. This experience contains musical values, knowledge and lesson, suprising stories of struggle and great perseverance that should not be lost.

Music educators and soloists benefit from the manual in a couple of ways:

  1. Learn a basic knowledge of what came beforehand and build upon it
  2. Use of ability to hear and analyze
  3. Focus on technique, then harmony skills
  4. Learn to listen. In order to be a good player, a musician must first be a good listener. One example of this is learning to hear the distance between notes.

Perhaps Alaadeen's most important contribution in the manual are his commentaries and written language. Alaadeen believes soloists must understand them in order to get through the music. “This is significant because it becomes easier if they listen to the language," Alaadeen said.

One of Alaadeen's favorite sections in the manual is the discovery section. “It opens up your mind. I think the students should discover themselves. For example, take a chord or group of notes, then expand on it," replied the master saxophonist, educator and composer.

Alaadeen and his manual The Rest of the Story play a small role in growing jazz. Together they clear up some things that may have been missing in jazz instruction. “I am contributing to future generations in a way that keeps the music going," he replied. “The end result is always performance. Passing jazz on to future performers is what education is all about," Alaadeen said.

About Alaadeen
Alaadeen has been formally recognized as both, a performing artist of the highest caliber, and as an important contributor to his community in many momentous ways. A very significant educator, teaching jazz in both the school system and privately for 35 years, Alaadeen has been compiling his teaching methods since the 70s. He was approached by the Missouri Folk Arts Program to apply for a grant to share his methods in a manual. This jazz master has made a strong international impression not only as a performer and educator, but also as a recording artist on his own 'ASR label. Alaadeen is the recipient of a dozen major awards and has participated in six media documentaries. He has performed with major industry icons such as Jay McShann, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Kenton, Lester Bowie, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington Orchestra, The Count Basie Orchestra, The Tonight Show Band and countless others.

The Rest of the Story is published by Fandeen Publishing Company and is available for purchase at Alaadeen.com. For large orders from educational institutions, please contact Victoria “Fanny" Dunfee for a pricing at fanny@alaadeen.com or (913) 831-4396.

Excerpt about Miles Davis from Alaadeen’s Manual:

“I would later tour with Miles. My college was the streets. I was learning improvisation on the bandstand. One time on the band stand they were playing a tune that I didn’t know. I was trying to learn the tune while Miles was taking his solo, I was fingering the keys. Evidently, I was making too much noise, so Miles turned around and told me to stop it. But I knew that my solo was coming next so I kept on trying to learn the tune. This time Miles turned around, he didn’t say any thing, just punched me in the jaw. Later in 1968, after Coltrane died, I was told that Miles was looking for me, but I wasn’t interested because I was a member of the Nation of Islam.” - Alaadeen


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