Necessary GaGa Mentor, Masterclass comes to American Idol

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CLEVELAND – How do you feel about getting a little psycho? 

Summary of this nasty, insatiable spectacle that continues to define and transcend into the timeless:

  • Give them a little Edith Piaf. Fabulous. If you have not watched Inception’s Marion Cotillard joie de vivre; visceral interpretation of La Vie en Rose, you’re probably not reading this to begin with…
  • There’s nothing wrong with Ginger Rogers.
  • Elvis was moving his hips.
  • Little known fact: GaGa’s mentor used to tie her wrists together during scales, arpeggios, runs, warmups etc .

I remember my tutor, Howard Spindler at the Eastman School of Music and alumni of Oberlin College (another school I originally auditioned with), used to make me cut my nails if I came to sessions unprepared. It was like nails (pun intended) on a chalkboard for him:

Click. Click. Slide. C-LICK.

Not conducive to flying fingers. Other tactics Spindler would use with me was putting a ruler or piece of paper in front of the sheet music when I began to rely too heavily on the notes and not the story, the pathos/ethos/logos of Bartók, Chopin, Rachmaninoff (damn his gargantuan hands!), Mozart, Beethoven, Shostakovich or Schumann’s Stories for Children.

But perhaps my favorite of his methods: literally slapping my wrists from underneath if I began to push them downward (which leads to carpal tunnel), as if I’d touched boiling, lava-hot magma: Reflex. Get your wrists (or in little monster’s case: Paws) up!!!!


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Cottone’s Just Remember Tearing up the Jazz Charts

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ASTORIA, NY – Summer might be over, but Mike’s debut album’s still blowin’ up the Big Apple and beyond.

My personal favorite’s the title track, Just Remember. If you haven’t tuned in or picked his album up, you kind of should. Save the Miley and Ke$ha slop for the tabloids and spread some real je ne sais quoi this holiday season.

And if you’re in the area, stop by Bar Basque Restaurant or Black Duck and marinate over martinis, Manhattans and the finest company on the jazz scene — Mike’s a regular on the weekends.

Mike Cottone trumpet jazz New York City BlueNote Bar Basque

Yessuh

Tune in, pass it on and hit me up if you have any questions — or better yet, tell me what you think of the album in the comment section…always great to connect with other artists and musicians.

As the King said, with the Love…

RELATED LINKS

Mike Cottone –

Jacob Oheme – Grace Note: Jazz Trumpet Player Mike Cottone

Ottawa Review – Roaring Jazz 20-Somethings: Mike Cottone

From Juilliard to BlueNote: Mike Cottone to Debut Album August 3rd