With 47 years of experience on the acoustic guitar, Rolly has been a National Fingerpicking Champion and a Philadelphia Music Award nominee. He has performed at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, the Tasmanian Folk Festival, and tons of places in between. He hosted the Guitar Wizards radio show which ran on public radio in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Maine for several years, introducing listeners to guitarists and techniques usually searched out only by total guitar maniacs. He has served as a sideman for Magpie, Winnie Winston, Saul Broudy, Jack McGann, Priscilla Herdman, Jay Ansill, and many others, and has performed extensively with National Flatpicking Champion Mark Cosgrove, and, until her tragic death, with the late fiddler and singer extraordinaire Freyda Epstein. For the past decade, Rolly has been a popular teacher and performer at a number of guitar camps, appearing at Steve Kaufman's Acoustic Kamps (Maryville TN), the Swannanoa Gathering (Asheville NC), Summer Acoustic Music Week in New Hampshire, the convention of the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society in Nashville TN, and others. His Youtube videos (instructional and performance) have garnered well over 100,000 hits.
This lesson focuses on developing a comprehensive understanding of a single tune, "Back Home In Indiana", as a model for learning and understanding jazz
standards in general.
94 minutes - Level 2/3 - Tab/Music material is on the DVD as PDF files
Review: Owning a Jazz Standard comes with its share of responsibilities, all of which Rolly Brown walks you through with the natural ease of a Joe Pass solo. But before you go all Grant Green on the strings, know this: Getting there entails more than improvisation (certainly one of the many how-to components taught here). Groundwork must first get established. Chords, chord progressions and bass lines must be dynamically intermingled. Strategies for their sophisticated motion and texturing need be tailored. Then those soloing lessons (also given here) can be acted upon. Serving as the model for all this abracadabra is "(Back Home Again in) Indiana," a workhorse piece so enticing that cats as deep as Lester Young, Charlie Parker (most often disguising it as "Donna Lee"), Art Tatum and Chet Atkins all just had to own it too. And for the acid funksters out there: Yeah—even Jimmy Smith and "Groove" Holmes bit on this one. So you're in the "in" crowd. That goes for plectrum swingers and fingerstyle sculptors, since Brown's got you both covered—just one of the myriad personal choices he covers. Ultimately, though, the overarching goal of these 94 crash-course minutes goes far beyond deputizing you as an "Indiana" expert, as a one-trick jazz pony—with one definitely impressive trick, nonetheless. But to transfer the skill set and, just as vitally, the mindset on how to approach songs, apply technique, and independently feed that oh-so-cool inner Django. Or Wes. - Dennis Rozanski/Blues Rag