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Peter Ecklund: Bio

Career Highlights

Played traditional jazz (Dixieland) in Connecticut starting late '60s. Studied classical music—played trumpet with New Haven Symphony.

David Bromberg Band—1973-1980, 5 albums, annual tours to present.

Toured with Gregg Allman 1974—album "Gregg Allman Live."

1970s—Recorded with Bonnie Raitt, Paul Butterfield, Gloria Gaynor.


1980s—Toured and recorded with Leon Redbone, recorded with Bob Dylan.

1987-1995—1st trumpet with Vince Giordano's Nighthawks (1920s style big band), 2 albums. 

1986-2001—Played with Marty Grosz (1930s swing), 4 albums.

1986-2000—Many jazz festivals, jazz parties in US, Europe, and Far East. Concerts with Dick Hyman at 92nd St. Y, NYC. 4 traditional jazz solo albums, 2 for Arbors Jazz, one each for Jazzology and Stomp Off.

2001—Duet album with Louis Mazetier (piano) won the Fats Waller Prize (Jazz Institute of France). Available at


1990s—Played with Peter Gordon's Love of Life Orchestra and Lenny Pickett Ensemble (contemporary music).

Recorded with Woody Allen. Played on score of 3 Allen movies in 1990s.

1995-present—Jay Ungar/Molly Mason Band (Americana), album on Angel.

1996-present—Instructor—Swing Improvisation at Ashokan (music camp for adults). 

1997-present—Lindy Hop Heaven (swing dance music), 2 albums.

1998-2000—Howard Fishman Quartet, 2 albums.


2001-04—Produced 3 jazz albums for Jump Start Records (York, PA).

2003-2008—Copyist for Saturday Night Live (NBC).

2003—Copyist and orchestrator for album "Geoff Muldaur's Private Astronomy"—music of Bix Beiderbecke. 

2003—Arranger and copyist for Beiderbecke centennial album on Arbors Jazz.

2004-2009—Played with Doveman, indie rock band let by pianist/singer Thomas Bartlett.

2005—Arranged/produced/recorded album with Scott "Lucky" Foster, "Potted Palm Orchestra"—1930s hotel orchestra with mostly Midi instruments.

2006—Arranged/produced/recorded album for Music Minus One, "The Further Adventures of Bix Beiderbecke."

2009—For Music Minus One--"Back to Basie, Back to Basics."

2009—Formed Blue Suitcase Trio. CD to be released 2010.


Publications: "Louis Armstrong—Great Trumpet Solos" (1995, Charles Colin, NY), Bix Beiderbecke—Great Trumpet Solos" (1998, Colin). Articles on jazz in Historic Brass Association Journal, 2000 and 2002. 

Peter Ecklund started a career in education, then became a full-time musician in the '70s and played with Gregg Allman, Maria Muldaur, Leon Redbone and Paul Butterfield. He was in David Bromberg's band for many years and has recorded as a sideman for hundreds of albums and film scores. He played with Vince Giordano's Nighthawks in the 1980s, and '90s and also with the Orphan Newsboys (led by Marty Grosz). Peter's solo albums for Arbors Jazz are "Strings Attached" and "Gigs." He is the author of two books of transcribed jazz solos by Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke and two play-along books/CDs of swinging jazz for Music Minus One. His Blue Suitcase Trio mixes traditional jazz with other American music.



<a href="">Notes About Notes 10-13</a><a href="">Notes About Notes 10-13</a><a href="">Notes About Notes 10-13</a><a href="">Notes About Notes 10-13</a><a href="">Notes About Notes 10-13</a><a href="">Notes About Notes 10-13</a>


Notes about Notes


 It must be about 50 years since Oliver Nelson's "Patterns for Saxophone" was first published.Nelson's book was and still is recognized as one of the best instruction books for an intervallic approach to improvisation. This means that a note is selected and given meaning by the note preceding it according to a preconceived pattern of up to down a specified number of semitones. (Or scale tones in a diatonic context) For example:


C E Eb C C# F E C# DF#F D Chromatic example. Up 4 semitones, down one semitone, down 3 semitones, up one semitone. Repeat until the starting note of the pattern has covered all 12 tones. 



C E D C D F E D E G F E Diatonic exam;pe, key of C . Up 2 scale notes, down 1, down 1, up 1. Play in all keys.



As far as the music it generate, notice how a long chromatic pattern can resemble 12 tone music. If you created a pattern of 12 intervals and made sure that there were no repeated notes, you'd have a tone row with an adjustable starting note. 


I've never liked the music that comes out of this approach. Rather than its place in a pattern, I'd rather think of a note as a tone that gets its attributes and meaning  from the following:


The scale tone of the note in the scale of the composition-- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


The place of the note in the chord that is being sounded at the moment --sus2 9th 3rd 4th 5th 6th 13th 7th, etc. (9th and 13th are used in place of 2nd and 6th when there is already a 7th in the chord) 


The scale tone of the key of the composition at the point the note is sounded, if the composition changes key (Body and Soul)


The interval up or down to the preceding and following notes in the melody or improvisation.


The note's place in whatever rhythm is being played at the moment.



While blowing a solo, a horn player can change a perceived chord with a single well-placed note.


An F7 chord can be turned into an Faug7 with a loud C#.


Any normal fifth played in this chord (a C) tends to slip into the background as it is swallowed into the root note F and its second overtone (C).


A loud C# (or B natural)  grabs your attention and turns F7 into Faug7 or F7 flat 5, even if there's already a normal 5th in the chord.


Try it, but not on "I May Be Wrong".