Look To The Sky

Hey Improvisers!

Look to the sky, indeed. Besides being the title of the new Journey Through The Real Book video, “Look To The Sky” is a great motto for our development as pianists.

Rather than keeping our heads in the clouds, so to speak, we’ll improve fastest and have emotionally healthy musical lives if we look “upwards” while making sure our feet are planted firmly on the ground.

In practical terms, this means that yes, you can acknowledge that you don’t yet know the challenging chord progression to the new song you’re working on. At the same time, you’ll benefit immensely by realizing how much innate musicality you possess. In fact, this innate musicality is the very thing that will help you learn that challenging chord progression!

“Look To The Sky” is a wonderful bossa nova by the Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim, who also composed the more famous “The Girl From Ipanema.” While making this video, I discovered that “Look To The Sky” may have been inspired by the Miles Davis composition “Four.” It has a similar melodic motif and chord structure. This isn’t as far-fetched as it may seem. When I was Gerry Mulligan’s assistant, in 1988, Jobim told Mulligan how much the “cool jazz” musicians of the 1950s inspired the bossa nova composers. Then, of course, bossa nova inspired jazz, so it came “full circle.”

This is a great tune:

Look To The Sky: Journey Through The Real Book #217

Enjoy the journey, and “”Let the music flow!”


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