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You’ve probably heard all the buzz about the release of the Practice Notebooks of Michael Brecker.

This episode dives deep into the publishing of those notebooks and more!

Dr. David Demsey is the Coordinator of Jazz Studies at William Paterson University in New Jersey.

He completed his Doctoral Studies at the Eastman School of Music, and has degrees from Juilliard School of Music and the University of Maine.

Demsey was a contributing editor to the Saxophone Journal.

He is also the Curator of the William Paterson Living Jazz Archives, containing archives of Clark Terry, Thad Jones, James William and Michael Brecker.

David, along with Musical Editor, Larry Dunlap, and Publisher, Chuck Sher, were all instrumental in bringing these notebooks to the public.

We talked a great deal about the process of editing & releasing the notebooks, and for those of you who want a sneak peek inside, the video for this episode is a must-watch!

In fact, here’s what we covered in this episode:

  • How David met Michael Brecker
  • Brecker’s 1st ALBUM & CONCERT as a leader
  • How the damage to his vocal cords led him to pursue the EWI
  • Tone tips from Joe Allard
  • How the William Paterson University Archives started
  • The origin of publishing the notebooks
  • Looking back to Michael’s early years; sharing old pictures from the Archives
  • What got his band disqualified at a Jazz Festival
  • Brecker’s definition of playing outside
  • A tip from Brecker on how to get a good sense of time
  • A look into the recently published Practice Notebooks
  • How to approach the patterns in this book
  • What Michael said to David about transcribing his solos
  • A look inside the archives

Here’s the Video:



William Paterson University Archives:

Michael Brecker Archive:

David Dempsey’s Bio:


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