The Practicing Improviser by Carol Morgan

Carol Morgan is a dear friend and trumpet player who is originally from Houston, but now makes a living as a professional player in New York. I often use her as an example in the lessons of someone who has pursued her music as an art while continuing to stay true to who she is. Carol is doing what so many trumpet players can only dream of doing.

And now, we have the opportunity to peek into the mind of this artist to see how Carol thinks. Her new book, The Practicing Improvisor, gives us a fresh perspective on improvisation based on her life experiences. The book is fun, but also very serious about our art.

A Special Honor

It was a pleasant surprise to read Carol’s book and find that she mentions me in it. I won’t ruin it for you by telling you what she said. Buy the book to find out. But I do want to acknowledge what an honor it is to be recognized this way.

Carol’s Writing Style

While reading The Practicing Improvisor, I kept thinking to myself, “this sounds just like the way she speaks!” It’s true. Carol strikes me as being everyone’s friend. She cares so much for everyone she knows and, in my opinion, this is a big part of what makes her so successful as a jazz musician. And that same friendliness and compassion comes out in the text of her book.

The book reads as an engaging narrative. Not only do you get to know her and discover her innermost trumpet thoughts along the way, but you also get to know some of the people who have made a difference in her career, and in her life.

But don’t misunderstand what I’m saying, the information you are looking for on how to improvise is all there. What I’m saying is that she presents that information in a way that has some personality attached to it.

And you know what…… that’s so very, very important with the jazz stuff. You may be able to say the same thing with other types of music, but I think it is paramount in jazz. With jazz improvisation, you miss the ENTIRE POINT when you take the personality out of the music. In my opinion, the most inspiring music of our time is jazz performed by personalities that remain true to who they are. That should be the goal for each and every one of us who call ourselves jazz musicians.

So yes, I like that about Carol’s book. The Practicing Improvisor stays true to Carol’s personality and presents a wonderful opportunity for you to take your first steps in that same direction.

Buy Carol’s Book and Listen to Her Music

I encourage everyone who reads this to buy Carol’s book and listen to her music. What she is doing is not easy. It gets increasingly more difficult to make a living as a pro in our society, the way it’s changing. I invite you to go to her website at where you can learn more about her, buy her products and preview her music. You will be glad you did.