Happy Birthday Jimmy Raney 2016

the-masterHey Folks,

In this year’s homage to my father, jazz master Jimmy Raney (1927-1995) I address a few issues at once.

First, “Happy Birthday Dad!”(I am now waving up to him)

Second, The Jimmy Raney book. (I am now looking down at the floor, sheepishly)

So, those of you that know me, waited patiently as I hinted and hinted on this book and it never came to pass.


Nope. It ain’t going to happen, still (Groans from the audience…real or perceived)


In prior years I released sections for free. I did this in part as as a form of penance and part as a way to motivate myself not to let all my cats out of the bag for free. Unless you consider free cats not to be bargain. In which case, screw you, Jimmy Raney was a cat-lover. If you love Jimmy Raney, you’ll take his cats.

And by the way, big shout out and hug to guitarist and friend Mel Deal who in a wonderful act of kindness many years ago took in all of Jimmy’s cats to his home in Nashville when Dad had his life altering stroke in 1993.

So, I decided I would slice off another chapter from the back end. Chapter 10. This is probably the most personal contribution on the treatise as it contains original solos in the style of Jimmy Raney written by me. It definitely qualifies as a teaser because it references sections unreleased sections. (Boos from the audience… real or perceived)

A couple of preemptive comments in relation to the chapter. One of the quandaries of the Jimmy Raney’s approach is he is not a “lick player”. If you are a lick player, you are the kind of player that consciously says, “Let me play this because I know its a cool idea.” Well maybe that’s heavy-handed. But you get the idea. So how can you actually play like someone or learn from someone who is very subtle and come up with something that is near or approaching the same level. Because after all, why am I trying if there’s no hope? And if this were easy, wouldn’t everybody do it? I leave that to the rest of you to ponder (Discuss… audience, real or perceived)

So when I say “licks” in the chapter it’s kind of misnomer. Think of it like syntax in the coding or linguistic sense. You need these hunks of stuff to communicate and to communicate you have to transmit something that is recognizable from some prior experience set. But the motivation and the spontaneity behind the moment of creation is key. I respond with things that I know personally to me in a way that is spontaneous. You may have heard it before but not quite in this way. A “related but different” development scheme (Another big theme in the book. Yet another teaser) And if I’m really inspired I may create something that I haven’t even heard from myself. Perhaps it’s something I heard somewhere some time in a different context or perhaps different genre and it just popped out.

So, drum roll, here it is. (I ab-SOLVE you. F Murray Abraham famous role, perceived)

pdf icon“Jimmy Raney Book Chapter 10”

I welcome any comments. Again the book is/was a rough draft but then again it ain’t notepad with little scribbles in the margin either.

Once again thanks for checking in to my blog, and take your cats and enjoy.
Or cat in this case. A small but nonetheless significant cat from the bag.



Post Navigator Sponsor Easy Post Navigation