Monday, May 9, 2016

Tim Price Blogging For D'Addario Woodwinds- Give me 5. . With tenor saxophone master Doug Lawrence.

It has been my contention that the most valuable viewpoints come from those who do. Thus, it’s logical to assume that any artist who is surviving in this field, and doing it with success, is doing something right. The energies we all put into our craft; The years of apprenticeship and the intense commitment to the horn, and the pure love of playing it are paramount to the art form. This section of my D'Addario Woodwinds Blogs by Tim Price, to all intents and purposes is a sort of portable omnibus of sax / woodwind creations. Musically, verbally and spiritually. The music these players create and talk about is a privilege to be a part of. The music always has an infinite history and fertility, inexhaustible vitality, and at the same time, a seductive power of temptation - which inspires all of us who play – and offers the open-ended invitation to create as much as we can. The results, the waiting, the practicing at all hours, the talking of the music and constant study gives the music a breath of spirit, endless in motion and evolution. This weeks blog features a player whom I respect highly- Doug Lawrence...One of today's tenor voices and a inspiration to all who hear his creativity. I'll tell you what I love about Doug's playing...EVERYTHING. This guy has the roots, the story to tell and is a master musician. Check him out- he's one of the real ones. When he feel it! Listen carefully dear reader to this Basie tenor legend- his words come from time put into the music and time on the bandstand.

1- How have the last few years of your life affected your current music?

1. The past few years have been some of the happiest of my life because of the birth of my daughter. Johnny Williams told me when I have a kid it would make me play better, and he was right. It's hard to describe, but it is definitely true.

  2. How did you choose to play the saxophone, and what players influenced you early on?

2. I started out as a classical clarinet player at a very young age. My father played all the reed instruments and had saxophones hidden under his bed. He told me never to touch them. (He wanted me to just play classical so I could try to get in a major orchestra and get all he benefits etc). I was home sick in 7th grade for several weeks with bronchitis. One day my mother went to the grocery store and I put an album on the stereo my dad had. "Coltrane Plays For Lovers"... I couldn't believe how great it sounded! Then I put on another record my father had "Stan Getz at the Royal Roost"..I was hooked. I went under the bed and got his tenor out (5-digit Mark VI with a Link mouthpiece Stan Getz had given my dad) and started playing. My mom came home from the grocery store and thought it was my dad playing in the back room. She almost jumped out of her skin when she walked back and saw me playing. Needless to say, I was in big trouble when my dad got home, but later that night he got the horn out and said "let's hear it". He just shook his head when I started playing and my mom started crying. A few months later he got me a Martin alto and a Conn 10M.

3. At this point in life - What inspires you musically?

3. I am still inspired everyday to play because I think I am getting better. I love to play the horn more than ever now. That is the great thing about music. You never stop learning. My father played up until the day he died. My mom told me he sounded great that day! The other thing that really inspires me is listening to who I call my Guru's almost daily. They are - Paul Gonsalves, Gene Ammons, Dex, Wardell, Prez, Ben, Stitt, Hawk and guys like Lucky Thompson, Billy Mitchell, Tina Brooks, Fathead, Zoot, Getz, Trane, Eddie Harris, Newk. I love a melodic approach to playing. And I love a distinctive tone. I listen everyday for years and years to the same tunes sometimes and I always hear something new. It's inspiring!

4. Your choice of notes is really inspiring- talk about how you arrive at this kind of destination as an artist. What are you thinking about in terms of your solos, and agenda.

DOUG - 4. When I am improvising I almost never think about the chord changes. I use my ear and I try to "sing" through the horn. I was taught the "old school" way of playing, and that is to use my ears and learn as many standards as possible. When everything is working right, I'm not thinking at all when I play. It's all just happening! Or if I am thinking at all, I might be thinking about a beautiful woman in the front row or something like that. LOL!!! Cats that really know me know this about me. I was doing a Christmas tune tenor feature ballad at Walt Disney Hall a few years ago and the arrangement wasn't really happening if you know what I mean. But I had to do the feature. So as I was walking out to the mic at the performance, Dennis Mackrel who was the MD and has known me for 30 years says to me - "play this one for your daughter"....that's all it took. We brought the house down, even with a sad arrangement. For me, music and improvisation can mean more from the heart than from the head.

5. Talk about some projects coming up in your future, ideas and agendas. Also thank you for doing this Doug- it's a total pleasure. I'm a fan and always will be!

5. I have a few things on the horizon that I am excited about. I have a 3 horn band (tenor, trumpet, bari) with Hammond B3, guitar and drums (band members - Bruce Harris, Lauren Sevian, Ray Macchiarola, Bobby Floyd and Dave Gibson). We have a few tunes in the can so far and hopefully we can record the remainder of the album this summer in NYC. I'm hoping to have a winter 2016 release. The other thing I'm really excited about is a new "Doug Lawrence Signature" tenor mouthpiece currently in development. My friend Bob Sheppard has a model out and it has been very successful. The same company who puts his out has approached me to put my model out too. Eric Falcon is the designer and Macsax is the company. Hopefully mine will be as successful as Shep's!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- For the love of Sal! Sal Nistico workshop.

Sal Nistico....Was not only a dear friend but a inspiration to me and a teacher. I met him in the early1970's after he left Woody Herman's band- and was living in our musicians apartments on Hemenway St called " HOLMES HALL"....In Boston, right down the street from Berklee where I was also a student. Sal used to cook for us, we'd session all day, listen to music and talk about life and everything under the sun. I was only 20, just turned 20 too, and Sal was one of my hero's. I met him at " Lennies On The Turnpike"...he was playing with piano genius Jaki Byard in a quartet. That should of been a record. He had a photographic memory, he used to sing parts from the Don Ellis big band book, that he was in when he was in Los Angeles! He also knew so much from a practical point of view. I loved what Sal stood for as an artist- and how he played. During the lessons, he would show me lines, or ideas and not have me write them out, they had to be internalized! He was a great teacher that way, you really worked when you studied with him. I included two lines here- that were some of my favorites from Sal, that are great to apply. Simple progressions- But keeping them in a tempo and swinging is the goal.

NEXT.....Is to understand...these are NOT sight reading. These are harmonic study's that build note choice and swing feel. Shed them starting at 60= a quarter note. Your goal is to get them burning! Anywhere above 120 is perfect. Internalize these...don't just look at them and add them to a hard drive of information you'll forget. Get into them, and go to you tube and LISTEN to everything you can find of Sal Nistico's. There's a lot there, and also on Ebay & Amazon- get into this creative genius playing. He was one of the real ones on the tenor saxophone, and a great friend to me. The last lesson I had with him was in the 1980's before he moved to Europe, and stayed there. It was in Philly, and I set a weekend up with Sal and Don Patterson the organist at a Philly club called the " Kings Rook". Sal made dinner the last day of the gig, we were practicing together, and I was taking a lesson. After the day ended, I went to pay him for the lesson, and he told me.." This one's on the house"...and keep doing what I'm doing and working hard. To get those words from a guy like Sal was beyond anything, it was real. I think about him, his playing and what he stood for as a musician a lot.I hope these exercises and info get a lot of you interested in Sal. Thank you and I hope this is of assistance to all.
~ Till next week~ Tim Price for D'Addario Woodwinds. 2016.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- Pete Yellin; July 18, 1941, April 13, 2016

 Peter "Pete" Michael Yellin; July 18, 1941, NYC - d. April 13, 2016, was an American jazz saxophonist, woodwind doubler, studio musician and educator. He lived most of his life in New York had moved to the San Francisco Bay area, he had lived there since 2006.

Yellin is the son of a former NBC studio pianist, and he learned his first musical lessons from his father. He began playing in the late 1950s after hearing the alto saxophonist Art Pepper. He turned down an athletic scholarship at the University of Denver and came back home to New York to study at Juilliard under Joseph Allard (saxophone), Augustine Duques (clarinet) and Harold Bennett (flute). After graduation from Juilliard he started to work in the New York area. He went on to earn a Master's degree in saxophone at Brooklyn College.

He founded the jazz program at  Long Island University in 1984, he was coordinator for the studio there until the end of the 1990s.


In the Spring of 2011, Pete had a major stroke that left him paralyzed on one side and unable to speak due to aphasia. He passed on April 13, 2016 due to complications from the 2011 stroke.

Discography as leader

  • Dance of Allegra (Mainstream Records], 1973)
  • It's the Right Thing (Mainstream, 1973)
  • European Connection: Live! (Jazz4Ever, 1995)
  • It's You or No One (Mons Records, 1996)
  • Mellow Soul (Metropolitan Records, 1999)[4]
  • How Long Has This Been Going On? (Jazzed Media, 2009)

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- Truth and reality in a nutshell. With a splash of Dolphy.

It seems self-evident that music plays more than just an aesthetic role in contemporary society. Its social, political and economical functions have been the subject of much research. The ways in which music engages with ethics are more relevant than ever, and require sustained attention. Social media is not a gig or experience that bears anything other than what it is! When the computer is turned off- reality should start for any musician worth their salt.  INTERESTING-music and ethics, begins from the idea that music is not only a vehicle to transport ethical ideas, ideas that can also be articulated verbally or discursively.
Music can teach us to listen carefully and without prejudice. It can also teach us to cooperate and interact with others outside preconceived goals and benefits. It can offer insights into expressions of selfhood, as a key player in the construction of subjectivity. However, on the other hand, music also plays an important role in the disciplining and controlling of human beings. In that sense, music has ‘unethical’ sides as well. 9times out of 10...a person with an attitude of a hustler or
" enlightened savior" runs a short course in the long term.
Absurdities abound in these people and take a second to realize...who is jiving whom!
THE TERM...Intellectual shucking and jiving describes it all. Only thing as a player, that can change YOU as a player is to work, study, and keep working and studying your art. Stay positive and when you can, remember your knowledge is the tool most vital. NEXT- Is your ear. Instead of buying a thousand dollar mouthpiece- Why not but a thousand dollars worth of recordings of great players and listen. Get an AMAZON ECHO TOO....All I say to my ECHO is ALEXA Eric Dolphy and I've got hours od Eric Dolphy to hear in my home. Like BACH or MONK.
BEING POSITIVE...Put the pedal down and keep stepping!!!
How do you think and feel about the past, the present and the future? Do you tend to see the good side and the opportunities or do you tend to focus on the problems and things that might go wrong? How realistic are you being? All of this matters for how happy and satisfied we are with our lives. People who are optimistic tend to be happier, healthier and cope better when times are tough. So there are a lot of advantages to looking at the world through a positive lens and focusing on the things that are good. However, it's possible to be unrealistically optimistic which isn't a good thing. And it's certainly not helpful to put a positive spin on everything or pretend that things are fine if they're clearly not
Whether we are naturally an optimist or more of a pessimist, it's impossible to know what the future holds.  . We can become more conscious of our own patterns of thought and learn skills to help us be more flexible in our outlook.

Dolphy's improvisations---on each instrument--are bursting with creative, far-reaching ideas, expressive wails, and some of the most long term beautiful ideas you'll ever hear! There's no excuse- that will improve your SOUND hearing Eric.
TILL NEXT TIME.....Keep moving forward and....Listen to Eric Dolphy and have fun.
~~ TIM PRICE....Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- The pantheon of great jazz masters- and like minds. Trane & Slominsky.

We are losing the work ethic, and dedication of study- experimentation these days. Entry into the pantheon of great jazz used to be strictly reserved for those who play "who they are," not for those who second-guess what they think the audience or their friends on social media want to hear. The jazz masters all know that individuality can't be mass-produced. ART ! Slominsky and Coltrane still stand tall these days to those who care, and know what they are hearing.Coltrane’s 1961 Impressions album, recorded at the Village Vanguard in New York City,and the Coltrane record " Ole" took my teenage mind out in the 60's. Songs like “India” and “Impressions” propelled me into an out-of-body experience.I listened to the song " Ole" as a teenager in a different mindset than probably most would once I started to understand Trane could never get to that place in time, without being a strong blues player or a serious student of the music. I knew this from hanging around the older musicians I worked with as a teenager in clubs, and listening to the radio from Philly.

I had this great music and immagery around me. What exactly was happening? Why did Trane’s music have this effect on me? I think the answer lies in his approach to improvising. When he switched from chordal to modal music, he was embracing an old world music paradigm that often induces altered states of consciousness.Modal music takes you on a voyage, and certain scales affect people in powerful ways.It is often used in sacramental rituals in traditional world cultures.

Coltrane had read Russian music lexicographer Nicolas Slonimsky’s exhaustive Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns. It contained not only classic Western modes like diatonic, chromatic, lydian, phrygian and other well-established musical elements, but also modes from various world music genres: Indian scales, North African and African styles, Middle Eastern modes, and more. Coltrane studied these patterns and modes and used them in much of his exploratory music from 1961-1967, the year of his death. He also studied Indian modes and scales with Ravi Shankar.( He named his son Ravi as well, who is also one of my very favorite players )
Yusef Lateef also explored traditional world music in a similar fashion and used these idioms in his music. For both musicians, modal improvisation allowed them to reach a deeper spiritual plane than standard chord progressions would, the latter which Coltrane had thoroughly covered in the 1950s on albums like Giant Steps and his work with Miles Davis for the Prestige sides.
Many cultures outside of Europe see music as elixir, not just entertainment or even art . Music forms a part of daily life, devotion, spirit and ritual, not just in clubs or concert halls. This is where the modal model comes in.

Coltrane was a seeker who wanted to go deeper in his music. And that is why he is revered not only as musician but also as a musical healer as well. He was a true musical sufi who transcended many musical boundaries, and his music prefigured what we enjoy now in world music. And hearing that 1961 album, Impressions and Ole, changed my life and musical journey.

But let me say boldly that the Nicolas Slonimsky book is something still yet to be fully paid attention to in depth. Of course we all know Frank Zappa gave strong props to Nicolas Slonimsky. But if you really study the book in the right way-slowly doors open. I've been into it since buying it in 1970 from the Bumblebee book Store on Hemenway St in Boston. I have sinse bought another hard cover copy as well, as a travel copy. My teacher the late Charlie Banacos and I got deep into the book- and not only did I start to find some great harmonic parts of Coltrane solos, but also key center shifting or the whole-tone pattern of two augmented triads
that appears in an earlier position in Coltrane’s improvisation on “One Down, One
Up”. Plus other nice ideas as - a sesquitone, or minor third, progression used as melodic vocabulary in a Coltrane improvisation occurs just before the E major, C major, and Ab major implied major thirds cycle from the composition “Brasilia”. There are loads more in " Brasilla" and of course " Saturn" with direct links to Slonimsky.

entry into the pantheon of great jazz is strictly reserved for those who play "who they are," not for those who second-guess what they think the audience wants to hear. The jazz masters all know that individuality can't be mass-produced. of Scales and Melodic Patterns contains over two hundred
patterns based on the ditone progression which is the most common link to the interval of the major third. Listen to " Giant Steps". Coltrane used so many
ditone progression patterns out of the Thesaurus in his pursuit of cyclical
material.If you search in the book, Slonimsky labels one particular group of patterns included in the ditone progression portion of the Thesaurus as "Miscellaneous Patterns". These sixteen patterns constructed using dominant seventh chords progressing by the interval of a major third and are further classified by root position, first inversion, second inversion, and third inversion.I was playing them for years, and Charlie Banacos pointed them out to me- and the light went on. It made sense then!
Then there are the, if you will and I hate to use a term free but the word free music with Rashid Ali, where you can hear the cycles going from the book.Those duets recorded with Rashied Ali are mind blowing, "Mars" was done in 1967 and sounds like it was done yesterday and contains a cycle following a perfect fourth inversion then perfect fifth until it is reached again. Once Coltrane finishes one complete cycle of fourths, he immediately starts and completes eight more pitches of another cycle of fourths. Right out of Slonimsky! Not note for note mind you but for sure, the thought intuition. Of course another great example is John Coltrane using the perfect fourth via the principal
interval pattern is as the first motive is the composition "Jupiter", from the Interstellar Space recording again as I mentioned.

NOW- Here on "Jupiter" what has made it such a tour de' force is that Coltrane has his be-bop roots right in place,is a melodically stronger pattern because of the whole and half step approaches to the pitches of the principal interval. Slonimsky typically uses patterns in the Thesaurus that outline triads-but Trane had added that to bop approach notes and took to to the ultimate zenith of it's limit. The first time I head this it was mind blowing because it was like opera. Between two eras at once in a split second! Trane has the minor triads outlined in fourths. By arranging the pattern the way he does, Coltrane is able to melodically and rhythmically
emphasize the movement by the principal interval of the fourth with the Slonimsky ideas. Not copying have you but fuel for the fire! Remember, I bought my book in 1970, it took me decades of study and asking questions and LISTENING to get to these places. I'm not done either.

But the other interesting part is-first of all- they bring you in. It feels so good. There's a rapture in there. An invitation and a very unique desire to return. I don't know how many times I listened to those records, let alone the cut " Ole". Also I should add this, It is true that Slonimsky does not come right out and say how to specifically apply these concepts and phrases. Instead, he leaves little clues (many of which are in the Introduction) to help guide and provide the reader with a few different options of harmonizations and applications. Quite simply, with the "Thesaurus," you get what you put into it. If you spend time analyzing, applying, and considering the things in this book, it will over time become clear as to what it is all really about.This is NOT a quick fix book. One of the great things about this book is it inspires an individualistic approach; you learn to develop your own way of thinking as you work through it. This makes everyone's appplication of the scales just a bit different from the next person. Two people might approach the same pattern in a totally different way, therefore making the applications constantly evolve and change. Also, if you are thinking this book will provide a "quick fix" for your playing, or make you sound like Coltrane, don't bother buying this book either. One should be aquainted with both classical and jazz harmony before working through this book. Besides the contents of the book there are a few other nice things about it. There is an explanation of terms, which is most helpful as the musician learns Slonimsky's terminology. It is also extremely well organized which lends itself well to an individual curriculum. For the musicians that are ready, and are motivated enough to put in the required time and effort, it will be well worth it, and the musical rewards will compensate the price of buying the book many times over. Slonimsky states in the Introduction, "There are 479,001,600 possible combinations of the 12 tones of the chromatic scale. With rhythmic variety added to the unbounded universe of melodic patterns, there is no likelihood that new music will die of interval starvation in the next 1000 years." Good news!

I'm even at a point where I'm feeling ready to do a Slonimsky-Coltrane masterclass in NYC in 2012 in the spring. I got a few interesting line matrix within chords that work, and some examples and definitions. I've used some of it myself even with some open ended bassoon things of mine, it works great if you use the patterns in the next portion of this analysis of interval cycles based on the tritone progression that are classified by Slonimsky as“Symmetric Interpolations”. The tritone progression is the only interval cycle in the Thesaurus that includes this category. This is due to the fact that since the tritone interval divides an octave equally into two parts, an intervallic symmetry can be created ascending and descending the middle of the octave by 96 strategically inserting interpolations. This works amazing, due to the octaves on the bassoon, and you don't have to resolve at all.

Improvising- results could go places like this;

If I really want to go off- I throw on my WHAMMY pedal and add some additional harmony like a 4th down or a 7th up. I wonder what Nicholas might of thought of that? Hmmm????

On a funny note- Once Ernie Watts and I were practicing this book in my home at almost midnight. Ernie got concerned, and said to me, " Does your wife own a fire arm? "....after the laughter stopped,I assured him it was ok. She was sleeping and the room was sound proofed. We still laugh about that. Another story was, I actually met Slonimsky once in Los Angeles. A friend composer /woodwind player knew him, and took me to meet him. He was really a very interesting man. I was at a loss for words.
If you know me, that might behard to believe, but I said to him, Nicolas you look fantastic. As I was really nervous as I never expected to meet this man in my life! He smiled and said " I SHOULD- I'M NOT EVEN 100 !"....He was a brilliant hang.

In any case- this is a path I've been on for decades and also something of great interest. In closing let me also add,entry into the pantheon of great jazz is strictly reserved for those who play "who they are," not for those who second-guess what they think the audience wants to hear. The jazz masters all know that individuality can't be mass-produced. Think about hard...practice hard and be who you are.

~ Tim Price

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- EDDIE LOCKJAW DAVIS

....BUY THIS CD SET...Now. You young saxophonists- this man was one of the most original saxophone players ever. There is just so much to listen to and brilliant intelligence in his playing. These Cookbooks are great, everyone should hear and study them. As well as Eddie Lockjaw Davis playing. There is nothing like it, nothing that swings harder or is more vivid and timeless. you tube and listen to him- and buy this CD set. It's important and a very vital asset to everything you could hear and also play. DO IT - Tim Price

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds - Homage to Stan Getz on his birthday.

Today would of been Stan Getz 89th birthday, Feb 2, 1927.Stan was about creative expression.To me, his main ideas were growth through creativity. He knew that the music would foster that. As well as he knew via experiences then that the music will change and grow to reflect. This mostly involves conceptual growth as opposed to technical growth, although that is necessary also. All of the elements were there in Stan's music. Every note Stan Getz played was unique.Since the goal is the expression of culture, Stan was one of the front runners of this. Another aspect I always loved about his musics was that the same music can be experienced many different ways by different people. EG- The highest form of art! As a teenager, I was grateful to hear Stan Getz when I was in 10th grade. My mother took me to the Lambertville Music Summer Concert Series,to hear Stan about 1966, or so. We drove down from Reading, Pa. This was the very first time I heard Stan live, I had records and had never ever heard him live. My excitement and eagerness was on tilt! Stan had Gary Burton on vibraphone, Steve Swallow on bass and Roy Haynes on drums. From the first note, that was it! It was the middle of the summer,really hot and Stan went places in the music that I never ever forgot in my life.Watching him that close, and hearing him trade 4's with Roy Haynes or hearing the connections with Steve and Gary knocked me out.Stan played tunes like" Early Autumn"," Here's That Rainy Day" along with two strong creative sets that were just what I needed to hear at that age. To this day, I can still see Stan standing there, sweating, in his shorts and sneakers playing at such an infinite level. In addition- what a great quartet he had too., That was a seamless experience, something I never forgot. I still appreciate hearing something that was at that lever musically, and a musician and band that pulled no punches. This was also the bossa-nova period, and he did play the current Jobim tunes he was recording, but also played so profoundly on them.Stan, as you know, was one of the true masters of jazz, affected every corner of the jazz world when he played. The sheer power and beauty of the music breathed new life into jazz and stretched the imaginations of many.He taught me by hearing him live what the alpha state was! Another time, I was on the 2ed floor at Berklee practicing piano, and I went to sit in the hall as the room was getting stuffy. As I sat there, I started to hear two soprano players playing things back and forth. It had my attention, so much so that I moved up the hall and sat closer to Joe Viola's office to hear it better. I figured out real fast that this was no student in there with Joe Viola. But who? so I listened, and as they played it became euphorically beautiful. After a while, the door opened and out walks Stan Getz with a soprano saxophone case! As Stan left, Joe walked over an said to me " how much did you hear"..I told him over an hour or so. He smiled and asked me what I thought. I just said " wow". What could you say!? I was barely 21 and I felt like I dreamed it in a way, so much so that the next day I went and asked Joe what they were playing- Joe said Stan had been working on his soprano playing and wanted a lesson! We just looked at each other and smiled. That might of been 1972 or round that time. In any case...Stan Getz touched this life, music and art form deeply. Thank you Stan Getz! You made this world a more beautiful place by being you. - - Tim Price / D'Addario Woodwinds blog 2-2-2015