This newsletter is about my music and performance and the 19 CDS I created.

Greg Henry Waters

These 86 songs I recorded are a reflection on my popular or jazz music life in New York City and how I developed as a musical artist. (23 years in New York City, 6 in Toronto and 2 1/2 in Chicago. New York of course had the biggest impact on my career were Toronto and Chicago were just an introduction to music.  The best musicians were in NYC, Chicago and Toronto in this order.

 This also includes the scope of my music performance which is five main woodwind instruments, (Clarinet, Flute, Saxophones, Soprano, Alto and Tenor) jazz, classical, Latin, traditional forms, new forms of music, compositions in all these styles.  It is a total sum of my music career.  I have tried to place all this information on these 19 CDS and also make it easier for you to choose two or three so you can have the scope of my musical and creative performance. I am not a Kenny G nor do I want to be. I want to be a GREG HENRY WATERS which I am even though my reviewers are always asking me to be more commercial.  I think there is a lot of commercial music here and maybe even too much.  I believe music is an art form and is not a road to become rich like most musicians or pop musicians and companies are trying to do. My friend was telling me how Kenny G has a 26 million dollar house in Washington State.  I say who cares he is alive and I am alive, what is the difference?   It is about life not money. So few people respect the art of music that it makes me sick to my stomach and when I do listen to some popular music it does make me physically sick. Just like cigarette smoke kills so does music.  I have to change the channel to protect my being from these negative thoughts.   What I am so surprised about now that I am a mature man and musician as to the level of ignorance in my profession and how little educated most musicians are when in comes to the art of music.

I hope you will read my notes here to get some idea at the history of these 86 songs and how they relate to my life and music.  The song form which was started in the Dance Suites of J.S. Bach and how this music has developed and changed in the last 5 hundred years. The past is always with us and is in our lives no matter how we try to be free. 

Here in China the local people have a very difficult time in cutting out their traditions and joining the modern world.  I have been living in China now for one and 1/2 years and I have not had a real job although I have had a few offers, but just like Acapulco, Mexico.  I could not get a working permit after trying for months and months, 9 to be exact.  However, I have met some Chinese Business Women who still think that cheating their employee or customer is an honor and not a crime. Read a book by Lin Yutang, My Country and My People, for more details on this culture. I think if China develops at this rate maybe the educated people can change.  I see more change in the women here than the men.  They are the modern and advanced people in China the men it seems are holding on to their power and traditions.  The booking agent said that I should go back to the States.  Maybe I should! My  personal life does effect the music is my point.  We have to rise above our personal condition to make and create musical art or any other kind of art. I hope I have done that here.  I certainly did try hard enough.

Anyway, I would like this musical journey to bring to an understanding of the development of western jazz music from the 1950's to the present. We live in the world economy now not in isolated countries. In Mexico, I experienced much this same attitude as I have here except it was the musicians union, Acapulco; will the world ever be for all people like Martin Luther King said? If Mexico and China still have their way of life I hardly think so, but who am I to judge the world I cannot really just talk about my experiences and share them with the reader.

Help support my musical activities by buying some cds!

Music Educational Information about these CDS

These songs were composed in NYC by me for the Acapulco Jazz Festival.  It is an anthology of songs in the mainstream jazz tradition started in the 30's and 40's and continues on to this day. 

All Originals: composed by Greg Henry Waters Blues, Tenor Saxophone,  Ballad, Flute Waltz, Clarinet Mainstream,  Tenor Saxophone Up Tempo, Soprano Saxophone   Bossa, Clarinet and Tenor Saxophone Latin Salsa, Tenor Saxophone Latin, Modern Soprano Saxophone  and Up Tempo Tenor Saxophone

The first song is a Blues, 12 bar feel, the second song is a ballad (16 bars), the 3rd song is a traditional jazz waltz which I personally like so much, it is said that the waltz is the closes rhythm to the humans condition. So that the waltz should be the style that is heard more than the 4/4 rhythm but this is of course not true the 4/4 rhythm is the strongest or the most rhythmic pattern used. 

The student of music should get to know these different song forms and their relation to the one another because if you perform traditional songs you will come across these patterns in your studies and in your performances. The 4th song is a moderate tempo tune right next to and up tempo tune.  You see, the relationship between the two tempos is a force in jazz music.  The up tempo song in the early days was a way of testing the musician ability to perform at different levels.  The up tempo proves a performers ability to reach a high standard of performance just like the race driver or the runner works out to win a race and goes as fast as they can.  In music we have these types of conditions so a performer has to have this ability to perform at many different tempos and accented rhythms.  

All Originals: Blues, Ballad, Waltz, Mainstream, Up Tempo, Bossa, Latin Salsa, Latin, Modern and Up Tempo

Now we come to the Latin part (Bossa) of jazz that played such a big role in NYC when the Latin's move there. The mambo was the bases for everything when it comes to Latin Music.  But we start out with a Bossa Nova which is the rhythm that came from Brazil and they have a special way of accenting the pattern and the bass pattern and feel is so important to get it right.  This song is very long and the harmony is very complex due to the fact I wanted to make this Bossa Nova very difficult but at the same time sound very simple.  Bartok had this ability to compose very complicated music and rhythm and have it sound very simple.  His piece Contrast written for Benny Goodman had this complexity where the music was so difficult to perform but it was so mono sounding.  The number of measures in this song is very long too (64) so the musician has to take a long time to finish one completion.  This song is 12 minutes long which is very long for a cds song.

The next two songs are traditional Latin styles, Salsa and Cha Cha.  This is where the percussionist sets a rhythm pattern and repeats it and the bass and piano has a certain pattern to play over and over again.  It is this repetition that adds to the closeness of the song and the feeling of the song.  The problem for me with modern pop music is that the patterns have gotten so simple it is almost stupid or if not just plan stupid. But if one adds an interesting harmonic pattern which I have done in these songs it becomes quite interesting and original.  This is what makes these songs interesting is the harmonic pattern of the harmony and the chord sequence.

The last two songs had to do with the modern harmony in jazz and classical music which started in the early 20th century.  12 tone music and modal music which all seemed to take off during the first part of the 21st century.  The Modern song is based on a 12 tone roll and the second song is a modal song.  So I put these two harmonic patterns close to one another.  You must look in a music dictionary to get the definition of these two types of harmony.

So too conclude I have placed all the musical standards and rhythms of the 20th century in these 10 songs.  I hope you can learn to hear the difference and learn to appreciate the styles of this music.

 All Originals: Blues, Ballad, Waltz, Mainstream, Up Tempo, Bossa, Latin Salsa, Latin, Modern and Up Tempo

 2. Greg Henry Waters Originals, 11 Songs, 56 Minutes

This set of songs covers the period of 1968 to 2004.  (From my days in Toronto, New York and now Shenzhen China) It covers the fusion area of music which started with the Blood Sweat and Tears Band (1965) when musicians were trying to get the attention of the public once again.  Pop music, Rock'n Roll, had taken over instrumental music during this period.  The instrumental musician had no real voice in the pop market even to this day for the most part except for a few people.  For the most part we are background musicians for movies, symphonies, dinner music, etc... The record companies lost interest in musician around the Bob Dylan area. He was the hot singer of that time.

Shopping in Shenzhen  Shopping in Shenzhen, (clarinet) was composed for my friend Frog who was a musician here in Shenzhen and had the ability to play some jazz.  Of course he was into Rock'n roll and other forms of pop music and he liked the fusion music.  So I composed these three songs for him here in Shenzhen.  I believe these songs catches the flavor of rock and Latin rhythms with modern jazz harmony and melody which is in an instrumental style and not a vocal style of music.

If you listen to Bach's Masses you will hear vocal and instrumental music on an equal playing level.  But ever since that period, musicians and composers have been writing different melodies for instrumental musicians and vocal musicians.  However, Bach did treat the vocal art and instrumental art as one which to me puts him on the highest level of music for my taste.

Cool Outside Cool Outside Waltz, (Clarinet) was a traditional jazz waltz style created by some of the leading jazz artists of the 60's.  I was just trying to put my version of this song form in my 32 jazz songs book which I created to have a song written by myself that would include all the song forms in jazz at that time of music history. (8, 8, bridge, 8, four bar tag form is the form of this song)

Diago Part VI, Clarinet and Tenor Saxophone, Is the Bossa Nova style I talked about in the Diago Rivera Jazz Suite who is the famous Mexican Painter from the 20th century.

 Suite for Paul Part 1,  My friend Paul Litrenta, (Trumpet) who passed away in 2004 at the age of 62.  He was on the for front of the music revolution in the 60's because he performed with all the great fusion bands, Tito Puente, Blood Sweat and Tears, Maynard Ferguson, and Diana Ross to name a few.  He was a lover of big bands and swing bands music.  You can read his tribute here. This suite of songs is a suite of music I believe was Paul's biggest influence in music. Big Bands, Be-bop trumpet style, Harry James, and other trumpet players playing this style of music.

This first song is a mellow soft and gentle song which Paul was for the most part except maybe when he was playing lead trumpet.

This song is in the tradition of jazz from the sixties.  Please read Paul's page for more information about him and this music I composed here in Shenzhen, China for his memory.

Swinging Down China Lane, and China Jazz, is an attempt to reach the Chinese Public with Jazz. This song is based on a folk melody and using tradition modern jazz harmony in the background.  It is really that simple. (Using the traditional 16 and 32 bar song form) (Using western jazz harmony and rhythms to create the effect.)  When I perform these songs I always ask the native Chinese people if they know this song and they all say yes.

Diago Part IV, The 4th song is a moderate tempo tune featuring the main stream jazz tradition of the 1960.s 

Diago Part  III, the 3rd song is a traditional jazz waltz which I personally like so much, it is said that the waltz is the closes rhythm to the humans condition. So that the waltz should be the style that is heard more than the 4/4 rhythm but this is of course not true the 4/4 rhythm is the strongest or the most rhythmic pattern used. 

Blues for Today, This is a tune I composed in and about 1968 in Toronto following and attempt to find my own blues style in jazz. (12 bar song form with the basic chord progression of I IV V I)

Area Code 416 Swing. Is a sixteen bar song form up tempo tune for easy learning and good improvisation style. This is a tune also from my 32 original jazz song book.  This book was an attempt to perform original songs and having the musicians easily read the music and learn.  While in Toronto I learned that most performing musicians did not have the depth of experience or knowledge really to perform new music.  So I had to compose music that they could easily relate too.  During this period I learned the limitations of being able to be creative.  To this day I am still not able to be completely free to compose music because I always have to consider the performer for if the music is too difficult or too strange they will complain and will not want to perform it.

 Aerguli Latin, This song is based on a Chinese folk song which I arranged and tried to make it a serious attempt at mixing, jazz, Latin rhythm and the melodic style of Chinese music all in one song or performance. In these songs I always improvise like in the jazz tradition dating back to the early 1920's in the States.  Composed in Shenzhen, China 2004

 Shopping in Shenzhen, Cool Outside Waltz, Diago Part VI, Suite for Paul Part 1, Swinging Down China Lane, Diago Part IV, Diago Part  III, China Jazz, Blues for Today, Aerguli Latin, Area Code 416 Swing.

3.  Latin Dance Set,  10 Songs, 57 Minutes  Do you want to Dance?

Mambo 1. A dance of Latin American origin, resembling the rumba became popular in Cuba.

                       Slow Mambo, Double Mambo and Fast Mambo

                  2. The syncopated (is the up beat) music for this dance in 4/4 time.

                   3. Tito-Mambo Salsa style. Featuring Salsa-style piano, b, g & perc.  Add brass at b. t=115

Rumba 1.  A complex rhythmical dance that originated in Cuba. 2. A modern ballroom adaptation of this dance.

This Rumba style features the basic Latin Rumba rhythm featuring brushes and Congas. With P,B,G,D(brushes and Congas). Strings @b. T =90-140. Uses brushes -

Samba, 1. A Brazilian ballroom dance of African origin. 2. Music in 4/4 time for performing this dance.

The Samba was first danced in Brazil by the natives at street carnivals.  Later, it was adopted byh dance orchestras and today it is one of the most popular native Brazilian dances.  Like Cuban music, it is written in 2/4 tempo but, in order to simplity reading it will be written here in alla breve. 4/4

                 2.  In the style of Dave Grusin, Lee Ritenour. It features electric piano, fretless bass and Latin drums with a backbeat. It works with tunes where you'd like an upbeat driving Samba feel.(100-150)

Cha Cha 1. A rhythmic ballroom dance that originated in Latin America, mainly Mexico.

                    2. This Cha Cha retains the basic rhythm and adds a push bass pattern thru-out. With El. Piano, Frt. Bass, Ac. Guitar, Drums & Strings (at 'b').

Bossa Nova which is a song style which came from Brazil very soft and sweet music with the bass and the drummer playing a rhythm that was very different but simple and soft.  The popular song, Girl from Ipanema, brought this music to the USA with the guitar being the main harmonic instrument rather than the people.  It was a small group music too not a band style of music.

Trio Bossa - Nylon Guitar ala C Byrd, b & brushes. Guitar Uses 'intelligent' voicing using typical Bossa syncopation.

 Do you want to Dance?  All these songs use the same basic beat with different accents and tempos in each song.  For example a Rumba is very slow like a Ballad in Western Music.  But they may have a double time feel in there or a Samba is very fast compared to a Rumba.  And is in a two feel rather than in a 4/4 feel of the rhythm.  The bass player also plays a different rhythm with different voicing in the chords and rhythm according to the style of each piano player. The mambo is an exciting piece using some of the rhythms from the Rumba but at a different tempo and different style chord progressions.

Cha Cha chords are II V II V I I and when they play a Montuno (two bar phrase which is repeated and repeated) for solos it is in a double time feel but the quarter note stays the same. A Mambo may just have one chord in it and is very free harmonically. Plus different instruments play different parts of the song, rhythm section, brass section, saxophone, solo flute and piccolo.  Look for books in the music store about Latin rhythms and harmony.  I believe to be an very interesting part of music history.  I got a chance to experience this part of music in New York City with Tito Prente and the many club dates I played with different types of musicians and groups.

Amazing Grace, Nearness of You, I've Grown a Custom to Your Face, Masquerade, As Time Goes By, Amore, April in Paris, Brazil, All of You, and Am I Blue

Sorry this is such a long newsletter.  If you made it this far that is great!

The rest of the comments are on the internet here.

Greg Henry Waters

Remember to send me e-mail if this is too much for you so you can cancel it.

A local record store will be selling my cds in the near future.  Shenzhen, China