New book talks about jazz music and its connection to physics

Physicist and jazz lover, Stephon Alexander, recently released a new book that linked physics – particularly the area of cosmology – and jazz music. When I heard about it, I thought this was rather far-fetched. Don’t get me wrong. I am a big jazz lover, but somehow the concept of physics and music seemed too distant for me. Reading his interview though, I must say I was intrigued by the concept.


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Alexander proposed that jazz music, with its high improvisation, is similar to the string theory of physics. This theory suggests that the universe is made from a series of strings that resonate with different vibrations and scales. The specific wave in which a string makes composes matter into what we know today. Alexander believes that in modern times, the string theory has evolved into a more improvisational system. By this, he means that forces in the universe regularly improvise scales, changing wavelengths; although these changes are repetitive and cyclical. These events could be big bangs or big crunches. Physicists consider these events as predictable, yet each event is unique because of specific factors. This is similar to the how jazz enthusiasts say no two performances are the same – even if they are played by the same artist. The song itself is the same, but there are variations every time.


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I have yet to read the book, and to be honest, I am not sure I fully explained the relationship quite well. I do find this topic to be interesting and will take a further look at this.

Hi! I am Christopher Keehner, a big jazz lover. I am always interested to hear the latest news about jazz and how it relates to other fields. Learn new things with me by following me on Twitter.


Songs The Soul: Remembering The ‘Unforgettable’ Music Of Natalie Cole

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With a soft, nimble voice and a musical style that spans from jazz and pop to R&B and soul, Natalie Cole’s legacy in music is somewhat akin to the title of her best-selling record, “Unforgettable.”

In her decades-long career, Natalie followed the footsteps of her famous father, jazz icon Nat King Cole, producing songs that were not only certified hits, but also those that continuously inspire generations of music listeners. The following singles are three of Natalie’s greatest hits:

This Will Be. Featured in numerous films, “This Will Be” was Natalie’s debut single and one of her biggest hits. The song earned Natalie her first two Grammy’s for best new artist and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, a category that had previously been dominated by Aretha Franklin.

Inseparable. Sampled and performed by different artists over the years, “Inseparable” defines Natalie’s affinity with R&B and soul music. This is one the songs that cemented her gold- and platinum-laced career.

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Our Love. Following a string of hits, Natalie released “Our Love” in 1977 from her album, “Thankful.” The song has become one of her most familiar songs selling over one million copies worldwide.

More than her platinum records, Natalie will be remembered for carving out a career of great and unforgettable music.

Let’s talk music. Follow me, Christopher J. Keehner, on Twitter for more musical discussions.

The Big Piano Switch: Taking the Leap from Classical to Jazz

Jazz and classical genres have very different focus and traditions. No one style is easier than the other. While classical music is all about theory, jazz is about the integration of a lot of elements. If you are a classical musician, should you take the leap and give jazz a chance? Here’s what you should know if you’re about to make the big jump from classical to jazz piano playing.

Classical music is strict—playing a piece should be according to how the composer designed it to be. Defiance from the music piece should be avoided at all cost, as it might turn out to be an injustice from the original composition. Jazz is more free-form because it is oral in nature. A lot of stylistic jazz elements cannot be written out on paper.


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Jazz involves a lot of ear training. While classical piano players are trained to read notes while anticipating sounds (from an orchestra, maybe), jazz piano players play it as they sing it. Improvising is key, and jazz musicians build their own arrangements on-the-spot. Jazz does a lot of chord extensions.

Learning jazz is like learning a new language. These vocabularies are far from what classical music mentors and teachers have introduced to us. Read more about licks are and know the names for common patterns.

Playing jazz brings you to a world full of creative possibilities. Christopher J. Keehner here. Follow me on Twitter to know more about jazz music.

The jazz gods of the 21st century

Jazz was a popular form of music that swept the people in the early 1920s who danced to swing and attended lavish events where bands played as they enjoyed the night of their lives. Times went by, and jazz kept on pushing forward and today, it remains one of the most influential and soulful music genres. Throughout the years, it flourished and brought numerous influences to people. And to whom do we owe the pleasure of such glorious gift? The musicians of course!


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Musicians helped propel jazz, and by doing so, received adulation from the public. Whether they were the biggest names in the music scene or the folks who regularly played at the club, these jazz gods proved that music can be as soulful and beautiful as a child’s innocence.

But who exactly are these “jazz gods” who left a glorious legacy? And to what do we owe the pleasure of being gifted with their beautiful compositions? We have the likes of Ray Charles, a legendary pianist and songwriter who rose to fame despite his visual handicap, Nina Simone, who not only sang and played the piano but also became a civil rights activist, and Louis Armstrong, who by far was the most influential jazz musician of all time, who donned the trumpet and wrote many songs that were well-loved since they were first heard in the ‘20s and remained to be so up to today.

You’re probably wondering why they were referred to as jazz gods, right? It is because their talents remain unmatched up to this day. Jazz provided a way for people to express their soul, despair, and happiness all at the same time, and these jazz gods have perfected it to a point that their music has become immortal.

Music fills our soul and brings color to our life. I am Christopher J. Keehner, jazz enthusiast, educating people about the glory days of music. Follow me on Twitter for more good reads on music.