Monday, December 26, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- The Cats You Never Heard Of- And the cats you should hear more of.


I'm in that kind of mood today so let's run with it. I just found a great solo of
one my unsung fav's tenor monster- Morris Atchinson. What a great sound- and he is as great as anyone.

"Love Of Mine - Bobby "Blue" Bland

Check these- then read on please ;

Tim Price- The Cats You Never Heard Of

Back in the day...As a teenager I heard a tenor saxophonist ~

~ The tenor players name was- Billy Mitchell! I saw him through a dirty bar room window in my home town in Reading, Pa as a kid. He wa splaying with trombonist Al Grey.That left a huge impression on me as a young player. Every week I'd go stand
outside & look thru the dirty glass window on 7th street ( which is where the railroad is...Eg-Reading Railroad for all you Monopoly fans ) And dig the bands. One time I heard Billy Root with Al Grey.Another time this guy FRANK HAYNES, who was like a Trane -grits type line player with a chitlin' Gene Ammons sound.
Frank later recorded with Lee Morgan & Grant Green.

AS time passed...I started to work on the next street at the C.P Club on
weekends and Sundays. ( C.P means Colored Political ) So I got
to meet some of those sax players while I was still in high school.We'd play a lot of soul music with jazz instrumentals as covers. It gave all of a chance to play but also meet some of these guys at an early age. After all- jazz did not start with " Giant Steps" and " Love Supreme". Years later at Berklee, in my apartment building, there was a guy who lived in my building in Boston Gary Hammond. Came off the road in 1970 to study in Boston..he just left " The Ice Breakers". Hammond later played with Patton and at times still does. Gary is a unsung player and a sweetheart of a guy. I
love his playin'. Hes on some Johnny Hammond Smith records and some Barbara
Donald stuff on Cadence records. I got to mention two guys from Philly who played in that bag-one was the late great Rudy Jones. He never left Philly. He and I used to
play a lot with Don Patterson in late 70's. Another Philly guy who never got
credit was Vance Wilson. Great tenor player. Ask Benny Golson about Rudy Jones
sometime-you'll be good for a half hour talk at least.

I always get concerned about these guys because they were the backbone of tenor playing. Like Bergonzi said " The cats you never heard of". They helped me in many ways...I get concerned because these enviroments like the clubs etc are not around anymore. Even the audiences have changed. And believe me these bands and players were an education unto themselves. I worry that young players will miss the essence of
Fred Jackson , Marvin Cabell, Rudy Rutherford,Rudolph Johnson, Tom Russell, Weasel Parker, Leo Johnson in Newark,Miles Donahue,Sue Terry, Sam Phipps, Arnie Krackowski, Bll Saxton in NYC, Patience Higgins and so many more.With the loss of the record industry and the influx of commercial sales- things have gotten worse.Yes- the " net" is somewhat of a help but the players I'm talking about are of another era. These guys have paid some real dues.Listen for them. AND THERE'S MORE....

~ Till next week step out of your comfort zone and listen to some people that you don't know.

Have a great New Year and see you in 2012. Have a great one!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tim Price Blogging For Rico- Happy Holidays From T.P.- Forward motion thoughts- Wild Turkey cookies & Italian Bouillabaisse Stew


You recognize when you feel good. You know when you feel at your best—at the top of your game. You realize when you enter harmonious relationship with family and friends—maybe even with foes. These are emotional states you experience. They range from negative and protective to joyous and ecstatic. The positive ones include love, peace, freedom, joy, empowerment, generosity, trust, tolerance, faith, patience, safety, honesty, and more.

These are emotional states you experience. They range from negative and protective to joyous and ecstatic. The positive ones include love, peace, freedom, joy, empowerment, generosity, trust, tolerance, faith, patience, safety, honesty, and more.

Of course most of us most of the time want the good feeling emotional states. With music, we have the escape button most do not in society today.Perhaps you think you are not as consciously aware of such states as the next person. Whether or not you are, I believe that you can grow into broader and deeper awareness of these states. Only you can determine if you want greater awareness, or whether you deserve to experience these states, or even when you are ready to explore your potential. I encourage you to choose growth. Look forward, as I say...forward motion. It's the only way to go.

I seem to think it serves as a effective guidance system. Feeling responses signal when you are aligned with your purpose—also when you are not.( Focus,practicing, relating to your lover, wife or concert) When you align with your purpose at any level from the most mundane to the most sacred, you establish integrity with what and who you are from core to skin and beyond. This involves a simple condition that allows more and more persistent experience of emotional well being. It responds to conditioning which best begins with curiosity and flexibility. Natural, effective and free! Then allowing you to free your energy into an open flow. The effort required for this may be minimal. However, it can become very draining while meeting obstacles, residue, & constriction. Clearing these blocks is essential. The results are amazing. Thinking is all you need to do- yo don't need to buy anything, just clear your mind and apply this cornerstone of balance.

OK- Now the holidays are upon us and it is time for T.P.'s holiday Xmas treats. First a Christmas cookie idea.


Makes about 48 balls.....perfect for de-stressing! ha!

2 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (best made with Nabisco Famous wafers -- 1 package -- pulverized in a food processor)

1 1/4 cups pecans

1/2 cup or more of Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon.

1 cup confectioners' sugar, plus additional for rolling

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 tablespoons honey


In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the cookie crumbs and pecans until the nuts are finely ground.
In a separate bowl, stir together the bourbon or rum, 1 cup confectioners' sugar, the cocoa powder, and honey. Add the mixture to the food processor and pulse until just combined. Let the dough rest, uncovered, at room temperature for 4 hours or, lightly covered, overnight. This will dry it out a little.

Use your fingers to roll the dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Roll the balls in confectioners' sugar. Store the balls airtight if you like them moist, or uncovered if you like them to develop a crunchy sugar crust on the outside. Sprinkle with (or roll the balls in) additional confectioners' sugar just before serving.


NEXT- I got this from a friend who runs an Italian shop in my city.Her family makes this every year and I am going to try it.It's an Italian Bouillabaisse Stew, and it is delicious. I had some last year and it is delicious. Great the 2ed day too!

OK- Here it is ;


1/2 cup olive oil
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 leeks, sliced
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 bay leaf (optional)
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 (8 ounce) bottles clam juice
2 3/4 cups dry white wine
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
salt and ground black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 pound red snapper fillets, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 pinch saffron
24 sea scallops
30 small mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1 pound cooked lobster meat, cut into bite-size pieces


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the celery, garlic, leeks, thyme, and bay leaf; cook and stir until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the diced tomatoes, clam juice, white wine, fennel seed, salt and pepper, and parsley. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add the snapper and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Gently mix in the saffron, scallops, and mussels. Cook until the scallops are no longer translucent and the mussels have opened their shells, about five minutes. Add the lobster pieces and cook until heated through, about one minute.
Ladle the bouillabaisse into serving bowls, making sure each portion contains 5 mussels, 2 to 3 sea scallops, fish, and a piece of lobster.

Sounds good and fun too~~ yea !!!!

So- on that note my friends I hope that works for you.Food wise and forward motion wise.

I'll close with one of my favorite quotes by Norman Vincent Peale- " Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."

May peace be everyone's gift at Christmas,and joy and blessing to all of you.


PS- Happy Holidays means whatever you celebrate the very best to you and yours! :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tim Price Blogging For Rico- Expression not impression in jazz.

When I listen to great music, not just jazz but great music I hear expression. Take for example Johnny Hodges. ANYTHING... Hodges played by the way! Expression, deep internalized emotional depth that brought the listener in.Stravinsky, Bach, John Lennon and thousands of others.

No a bunch of flurries of fast notes.No matter what,technique must always serve an expressive idea. If you listen to Coltrane play " Russian Lullaby " there is a great example of what I just talked about. To use another example, Ernie Watts with Charlie Haden.( Charlie Haden Quartet West with string orchestra) as much horn as Ernie can play, you never hear how the chops are in the way of the artist.Great jazz players know that all they have is themselves. Doing what everyone else is doing is not an option.In the jazz community you don't get significant points for chest pounding every solo. Entry into the pantheon of great jazz is strictly reserved for those who play "who they are,".

Internalization through performance is also suggested to get expression together- everything can NOT be gained in the practice room.You need to play and play more than just the cream gigs. Play the small out of the way spots to get your ideas to relax and meet new players. I would workshop my bands at the now defunt " Puppets" a great jazz bar in Brooklyn NY on off peak hours. Mid-day to get players together and to get things going. Often, I'd find a lot out. It was a beautiful place to, Jamie who ran it was a great guy and beautiful drummer. On peak hours I'd bring in bands like my
" T.P.'s Kosmik Incubator" and we'd have a ball.Everything does not happen in the practice room!


That man is Jean-Baptiste Illinois Jacquet (October 31, 1922 – July 22, 2004)

Known as Illinois Jacquet, one of the greatest tenor saxophonists in jazz ever. Also one of THE greatest jazz bassoonists in jazz ever.You job is to search out everything you can find of his on you tube, and on Cd's and on older Count Basie you tube because he is essential to everything that ever happened to the music. Ever! And yes he played Rico reeds and oh yes he studied the music hard from every aspect. he even studied the bassoon in later years in life with a teacher from the NY Phil. Hear Illinois- you'll learn a lot.

Lastly,this is something I'm noticing a lot. Self-consciousness on the bandstand can be heard, and can easily be noticed when the player is looking around the room to see if anyone is watching them while they are playing.Lesson of lessons in the real world- ego nor machismo should override common musical sense.
As a player does this they are taking affirmation inventory as they play; checking out who looks impressed with them, or searching to see who or what other musician is in the room. Hiding vulnerability with this approach should be lost. Discipline, focus, sacrifice and heart are the tools used to respect your own life, focus on those and practice, and enjoy your playing on the set, eat right, and be glad your you. That's all you can hope for.

Till next week- make seasons bright !

~ Tim Price

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- Ole' Nicolas Slonimsky

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.

The Thesaurus 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 off. 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 aditional 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

- I studied with Charlie Banacos from 1984 to December 2009 , the year that he passed. He was a beautiful teacher and a great friend.I really miss this man, he was a remarkable teacher and great friend. He proved to me that education was beyond the ivory tower and beyond a degree,it was also music for music sake as I learned young on the streets as a player.He was a funny vivid brilliant guy who knew the real deal- and was a world class teacher one on one.Actually I remember him briefly at Berklee for a hot minute. Always dug his decorum and energy.
I heard Charlie at the famous Arlington street church concert concert in 1972 with Miles Donahue and Jerry Bergonzi which became known as the famous Arlington street Church Concert.Through Charlie Banacos,Charlie Mariano, Ernie Watts and Bert Wilson I gained much insight into this great book.

Harmonically Charlie Banacos opened many doors for me that helped me open more- this blog is dedicated to Charlie Banacos.Once he gave me advice on some music I had done with electro-bassoon using these Slominsky kinda things and chords. He said, " Look man your cooking Tim but don't play this stuff in the Holiday Inn! "...hahaha. I sure do miss Charlie Banacos. This blog is for him. God Bless You Charlie.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- Tim Price solo transcription by Brian Falkokski

Here's an MP3 from the Tim Price audio page at my web sight. From Long Island NY jam session 'bout 1986 or so. In any case, I felt good that day & the music was fun & loose. ( As it should be!)

Big thanks and kudos to Brian Falkowski for transcribing this solo on " Softly As A Morning Sunrise"- HE DID A GREAT JOB! The transcription is here as well.

I got a real laugh out of his Email telling me he was only 2 when I did this. He said he's off to take it thru 12 keys so I'm excited about that. ( He was 2!!! LOL )

Hope you guys really enjoy it.

For the tech minds out there; I was using a Lawton 10star-bb mouthpiece and Rico brown box #5 reeds. Remember those great reeds??! Enjoy!

Solo is here;

I could of played better/more so I felt good but you always feel like there's things that_SHOULD OF_and could of been better....Though I felt good about where this went.

Hope you enjoy it.

Thanks to Brian Falkowski too....GREAT TRANSCRIPTION.

The attached transcriptions are here, as it was hard to load on this blog.
But I wanted to re-document these,as a source for folks to get to them for study etc.
Brian did a great job, and, it's a solo, even though years ago, I can live with.



~ Tim Price

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- How To Learn A Tune. ( a hands on study on the study aspects of this )

A young saxophone player wrote me from Korea,and was very happy with his results
about my advise on the blog about Big Nick's advise. His question was about the basis of basic tune learning.

So, I decided to do a blog for my friend from Korea- and anyone else who wants to get the insights into some basic tools.

Check it out! It works!!


Learning tunes is more of a challenge for the contemporary jazz student than it was in my student days. The “casual” gigs we played to make money were usually dances, Bar Mitzvahs, weddings, restaurant gigs, strip lounges and the like. Fortunately, the tunes we played on these gigs were the same tunes from the classic American Standard song repertoire we played in jam sessions and jazz gigs. Tunes by Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Jimmie van Heusen, etc.

I used to lug my fakebooks to every gig. The problem was, the band leaders would often call medleys which gave me no time to find the page in the books for a particular tune. Rather than wait for you they’d say “fake it , fake it.” You‘d listen to the bass and guitar player for the changes and the form and after a few choruses you’d have most of it by ear. Any gaps in your knowledge would then be easily filled with a few questions like “What was the change in the third bar of the bridge?”

I began my first semester at Berklee in 1969. I estimate that by early 1971 I knew 250 tunes without the paper. Knowing so many tunes affords one a unique perspective that may be impossible for the contemporary student to acquire.

First ; today’s commercial gigs are generally “Top 40” tunes and not part of the standard jazz musicians repertoire.

Secondly; only after you’ve learned 1,000 tunes do you realize that there are really only about 20 song forms and every tune is a combination of segments of these 20 forms. This overview made it easier to learn (internalize) any new tune. Thirdly; the current proliferation of original music makes this overview more difficult to achieve.

Another way of say this is that new learning which is resonant with our musicianship can be remembered readily (often instantaneously) because it ties into something we already know.”
“Let the melody be your guide” is sage advice for the jazz improvisor but may not be so for learning a tune as usually the melody is the most complex element of a tune and therefore the most difficult to memorize.

1. Learn the key.
2. Learn the meter.
4. Learn the length.
5. Learn the form. (AABA, ABA, etc.)
6. Learn the harmonic form. Where are the I chords, major and minor? Once you have the I chords you know that every I chord is preceded by it's appropriate II-V.
7. Learn the first chord of every section. (AABA) Is it a I, II, or V chord?
8. Since the melody fits the chords, at this point you should have enough info to begin learning the most difficult and complex part of a tune, the melody. It must be learned by rote. No short-cuts. Then test yourself. Can you sing the melody with and then without the chords being played underneath it?

It’s almost impossible to memorize a tune isolated in a practice room. It takes at least three times of playing a tune in a performance context to learn it. Performance gives you even more information to relate to. i.e., the other instrumental parts (bass line, chordal accompaniment, horn melodies, drum beats, etc.). Rhythm sections encounter more memorization difficulties as they usually don’t get the opportunity to learn the melody of a song as the horns are usually playing it.
Every pianist, guitarist, bassist and drummer should know and be able to play the melody of a tune.

The first two times use the paper, the third time, throw the paper away and try to work from what you have in your head. Make mental notes of what you can't remember and work on it later. It's important that you get away from paper as soon as possible.

When you're looking you're not hearing!Confirm you have it memorized. The best time to review a tune is when laying in bed before going to sleep. At a certain point the mind goes into it's "Alpha" state, which is the ideal mental state in which to work on memorization. Go over all the aspects of the tune in the above order, making mental notes of what you can't remember, then work on them next day.

If, you have any more questions ask Tim Price.

Till next week...practice your long tones!!

The picture above the blog- is two of my inspirational friends from the California area.
Ernie Watts and Marty Krystall- these guys can plaay some serious saxophone- check them out. Inspiring human beings too!


Art Pepper Live At Dontes- with Joe Romano

In my opinion- here are two of the greatest players that ever lived.

This CD is so important- get it and learn!

The tunes on it, are things all jazz players play. These versions are
some of the very best versions of the tunes ever. Let's face it, quiet as it's kept Art Pepper was as important as Coltrane or anyone ever. Listen and find out why!'
And Romano...the greatest alto and tenor player. This is one of the best CD's in jazz. Study it- and keep listening to it. It is the real thing.

Tim Price

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- Gifts that I continue to be thankful for.

My friends there is a very thin line, sometimes with a pale shadow attached, between what happens on the bandstand,in the shed,writing your thoghts in your blogs, and in the classroom. All involve the now, listening being in the moment.

Instruments, reeds,paper,laptop, pencil, the mind as messenger for the mind and heart are our tools for being in this life.

Whether it's playing with a cool band,or some friends playing Monk tunes, writing a really good line of poetics,learning some new ideas or tunes, or connecting with and enjoying your students.All are gifts that I continue to be thankful for, and always will be.We now have to believe in our true selves and realize that what we do is a gift!

Every day is Thanksgiving !

Let me also add, to me , communication is most important . So, it there is no direct communication with the audience for which you are playing, there goes your job. Play music for people- and watch the result!

John Coltrane used to talk about imagining his music reaching out and embracing his audiences.Remember before Trane was Trane he was a player who could rock the house on the blues, and play any standard song.
When you speak of touching someone and reaching out- There's Charles Lloyd. His contribution since he hit the scene is a music of huge evocativeness, brilliantly conceived and played. Charles always is always coming up with music of immense power and authority. As great as any jazz master as well- and someone who has the wisdom to move forward as himself.His message is a supreme joy-and just watch the audience react as he plays. Communication!

I hope these words help motivate you to explore your music even more.

Keep the channel open. Thanksgiving.

Enjoy the holiday and the moment.

~ Tim Price

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico-Shifting our energy to higher consciousness. < and a playing tip from Big Nick >

I suggest if you want some freedom and personal forward motion you try this for a week: turn off the TV and computer games, use the phone and text only when necessary, and spend the rest of the time doing things that make you think, feel, create or anything that shows an active involvement and appreciation of you life. It's way off the hook, people are talking on the phone in restaurants instead of enjoying the meal they just ordered. Musicians and students need to get their life in order. I've thought and researched it- in one year the average person watches about 1200 hours of TV. Think of what could be learned in 1200 hours in one year. One could become competent on their instrument, and lots more. It's very staggering, and a form of freedom I enjoy. For musicians, you also will reach a moment of clarity and understand time needs to be allocated to insure mastery. As you start the process of practicing thoughtfully you will be able to gauge how much time it takes to accomplish your goals.When outside diversions and distractions are removed then you get down to the real nitty gritty of your journey. Thus begins a new world, watch what happens. In a week there are 168 hours. Most people work about 40-50 hours and sleep fifty to sixty hours. That leaves over 50 hours of loose time. Think about it- try it you'll like it.

Great jazz players are known for being undiluted and real. Doing what everyone else is doing is not an option. With that in mind- please try this.To many younger jazz player's main focus is to conform to and imitate what great jazz musicians have played. They think that if they play Coltrane's ideas then maybe they will become hip or famous too. Shedding transcriptions is an asset- but use it to assist your quest and a learning tool. That I have no problem with, at all. It's fun too! Great jazz is about those who play who they are, individuality can't be mass-produced.

As people in a creative world, we need to shift our energy to higher consciousness levels.Add something to this beautiful planet earth-Gaia!Inspiration,personal forward motion and positive thoughts.Be YOU....and strive to be you.

OK- Here's one for the musicians;BALLAD FOCUS I CALL IT.

Do this- it works!Play the first two bars of the melody of a ballad 15 times, each phrasing the melody differently, but in a way that is expressive yet still melodic. The rhythm can be changed, the melody can be broken up differently with different length rests,dynamics and shapes within dynamics .OK- do not change the actual pitches; once you change the pitches and the rhythm it is no longer the tune that is was to begin with. VARY THE MELODY.
By doing this- you start to look deep inside melodys to find ways of playing and giving new life to the melody each time you play it.Then you can be more accountable for your creativity and the music also speaks with more coming from the melodic. Playing a two bar phrase versus the whole tune allows you to remember what you did two bars ago, than trying to remember what you did thirty-two bars ago. Try it- it works! This important information I gained from Big Nick- the legendary saxophonist that Coltrane wrote the tune " Big Nick" for. ( See picture and words below! )

ALSO -Check out our RICO friends killin' it at a master class. Two of my favorite players and educators. Unique one of a kind musicians. The drum feel is so beautiful and connected to Frank's improv- a real lesson with deep roots.

Frank Catalano & Rick Drumm @ Master Class

In closing, see the clinic flyer I'm doing with Theo Wanne this Monday and Tuesday in the New York areas. Stop by if you in the hood! Check the details here ;

Have a great week- and understand that to give is much greater than to receive,be the change that Gandhi talked about.

~ Tim Price


I played with Big Nick Nicholas. As you know BIG NICK, is a song John Coltrane
wrote for jazz legend Big Nick Nicholas. With Nick I played some great jazz clubs, clinics and gained advise and inspiration that was NOT in books.He'd call me on the phone- give me words of inspiration and advise.On the breaks in the clubs we'd go in the back and practice together,he hipped me to the "verse"..from " Body and Soul". He was also the guy who Charlie Parker went to when he wanted tune advise for his historic record- " Bird With Strings". We played " Smalls" in NYC, when it first opened and also "Fat Tuesday". He was a deep inspiration to me,to stand aside him on the bandstand was an honor.

Big Nick also had one of the biggest saxophone sounds in jazz-he was instrumental in helping find peace of mind in this music as well. One of the " tips" I gave you above on ballads is right from Big Nick!

George Walker "Big Nick" Nicholas (August 2, 1922, Lansing, Michigan – October 29, 1997, Queens, New York City)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- Anchor Man-Charlie Fowlkes

~ Not enough credit, or attention is being paid to the saxophone section. That being said eg-playing in a section as a member of a team. In my opinion, there is a real loss these days of " sax section playing" and blending as a unit.

In some current blogs, I will try to bring your attention to the section, and a few _GREAT_recorded examples and players so you have a reference. Of course everyone would say Duke Ellington! Hodges, Harry and the boys. Of course! I'll get to that but- this week I want to pass some attention and love to THE ANCHOR MAN. A baritone saxophonist that anchored one of the greatest Basie saxophone sections. Mr. Charlie Fowlkes! Here is a sound man! A full vibrant baritone section sound, great intonation,shading,dynamics, phrasing and consistency.

In his Basie years, I always caught him on a Conn low Bb bari with a metal Berg Larsen. As time passed, it was a low Bb Conn 12M (Mexi-conn ;Nogales) and a Meyer NYUSA 7 mouthpiece.I believe that horn Danny Bank had after Charlie passed. He had such a correct baritone sound to blend in that Basie band. If your looking to hear a "classic" jazz saxophone baritone saxophone sound, this is your man. Younger players I urge you to listen to him- study the Basie recordings and google him, go to and look for the recordings. This is a saxophone lesson in front of you.

Charlie Fowlkes' relationship with Count Basie sets records for sideman stints, lasting more than 25 years.He could be in the Guinness Book Of Records if anyone counted! Fowlkes also showed a sense of loyalty, he also played in Lionel Hampton reed section for four years and spent six years in a combo led by Tiny Bradshaw, also was a member of Arnett Cobb's bands.

Fowlkes also studied alto and tenor saxophone, clarinet and violin before settling on the baritone sax. Influenced by the Duke Ellington baritone sax Harry Carney.He was still with Basie when he died in 1980. He was born in 1916. ( February 16, 1916 - February 9, 1980 )

The period with Lionel Hampton the sax section was loaded with giants. You can find a lot of these re-issues on Metronome classics CD's. Check out the saxophone section with Herbie Fields on clarinet, you can spot a young Johnny Griffin on tenor, Ben Kynard alto, Arnett Cobb, Bobby Plater and Charlie Fowlkes. ( My source here was my man in Blogs Marc Meyers.
The picture was from # from one of Marcs readers, Betty.Thank you Jazz Wax- Also check out Marc's great writing and love of all things jazz. He's very cool- and a must read! )

~ I urge you younger players to study, absorb and check out this kind of saxophone section playing. Especially Charlie. His playing on " Ebentide" on the Basie Roulette records is amazing, melody, solo and the art of being a member of a team.If you can ever find a copy of Frank Wess recording of " I Hear Ya Talking" - get it. It has some of the greatest music on it and was released on Savoy Jazz Records as SJL 1136 in 1984, recorded in 1959. The players are- Frank Wess (flute/tenor sax/alto sax), Thad Jones (trumpet), Curtis Fuller (trombone), Charlie Fowlkes (baritone sax), Hank Jones (piano), Eddie Jones (bass) and Gus Johnson (drums). If you search you can get-
Count Basie & His Orchestra - Complete Roulette Studio Recordings. That is a must as well on all counts saxophone wise.

Also here is a fun link to some insights on Charlie and Mr. Frank Foster and friends relaxing, talking about music.

SO-This is a birds eye view of Charlie Fowlkes! Go listen, and hit
All the answers are on the recordings dear reader. Thanks to my friend Jeffery Powell
for the decades of great information on Charlie. Jeff, is a French Horn player who knows and loves Mr. Fowlkes as much as I do.

Till next week- listen to this man as much as possible.

~ Tim Price


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- 60 years in the Scorpio lane.

60....years in the Scorpio lane.

Today I turn 60, and you know what? I'm glad I'm the era, and foundation as a person that comes from the dues that comes with that age.
As a young man I was taught to respect experience, listen and learn. God knows I did! Otherwise I would not be here writing these blogs for RICO!
I came up in the time period when I'd go to hear Count Basie and couldn't wait to hear Marshall Royal and Lockjaw Davis. Sure they were older men, but that was where the music was. The real essence of time spent at a craft, and hard work. You listened and you learned. The results were there but you had to take the time to find, listen and apply. Same as with my Berklee education, I was with the masters. Guys who were in the field, and earned stripes. I carried that vibe all through my life and guess what? IT WORKED.

So many times, and I note with extreme interest that people feel the need to juggle the numbers in their age. Why? Let your experience and dues paid
lead the way.The years post-Berklee as I say many times here, riding through the South in Motown band buses with acts like Billy Paul, Lloyd Price, Chuck Berry on
through major road big bands, where you were living on the bus for months and months traveling,and major rock bands.Gigs in Boston as a student,when you were EXPECTED to be inside the gig,playing with musicians two times your age,dealing and learning. Experience that could never be bought, on AND OFF the bandstand.Think about it.

As a teen- my years were way different. I was playing high school dances, and later bars by the time I was 16, the thrill and the chase of getting into bars like my friends was kind of old hat after a few dozen working gigs. Going drinking was something different, and meeting women was immediate.You learned fast on both counts- or the dues would haunt you big time.I came to play,to learn and as I found out years later survive.

Rehearsing big bands in local bars where stale beer and tobacco smell was the call of the day. I also did some theater things, but I was working three nights a week and playing shore points in Jersey in the summer or Philly suburbs. The bands paid higher and I needed back up cash for Berklee- as I was dead set on going there. The summer gigs were a ball, most times from 8 to 2. There was more after hours places, that ran from 11 at night to 6 in the morning.You held your schedule, and stayed on track.
The bands always car pooled, or in the summers had comp rooms at shore points. The money was excellent! It sure beat the alternative, I was working with older players, in places where I had to conduct myself, and be responsible to be on the sets on time.
Plus- knowing all the music without a Ipad in front of you, or a real book touch screen for a tune you should of known before you took any gig.It still baffles me how a University level tenor saxophonist can not know the bridge melody to " Body & Soul"! Those kind of things when I was 18 you had to know, There was no excuse.
There was NO coddling, I just could see John LaPorta's face with some things these days.But as I grew ,through my saxophone, I could gain entrance into another world that most never dreamed of. ~ AKA-Making a living with a horn in my hand!

I embrace getting older.I walk proud. I'm getting stronger, more experienced, learning to live our life to the fullest, it's actually a process of continual mental development. Each day is better.

I will always have the sense of freedom I had in my 20's. The older I get, the less I care about what others think of me. Therefore, the older I get, the more I enjoy life.It works that way with the music also.Teaching as well.

I'll leave you with a quote that sums up what I 'm after ;

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.
The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.
Henry Ford

Learning to live stress free and without negative thoughts, is the key to staying positive.The key to staying positive, is living through a lifetime of stressful and negative situations with a positive outlook.
I choose early on to be positive, it works.

BY THE WAY- The picture at the top of the Rico Blog is me when I was 19 at Berklee
At that time, we'd session every Tuesday-Thursday on the 2ed floor. In this great room that Hal Grossman ( Saxophonist Steve's brother )who was Berklee faculty and a great friend made sure I had access to. In other words a key for myself! That room was the best, great piano, sound etc. Many times other Berklee faculty would come by
and join us. Many times Steve Grossman and Junior Cook would come by when in town and
we'd know we had much more work to do! LOL. Understanding that in my late teens was an asset for realizing the sun didn't rise and set when I wanted. I had to work for it- I was never feeling entitled. The music is bigger than all of us anyhow!

ALSO- I WAS PLAYING RICO BROWN BOX #5 REEDS. Great times- great reeds and this was about 1970. I used 5's on Bari too! LaVoz medium hard on alto. Those LaVoz boxes from that era-the black and green box. THE HOLY GRAIL OF ALTO REEDS!

Love what you do, do what you love.

I never had to work a day in my life,because I love what I do! And I say that all the
time- good times or bad.

Till next week- Tim Price

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- Phil Woods Live In NYC at Birdland ( My Man Phil )

~Friday night October 21 was time to catch my man Phil Woods in New York City at Birdland. He was making his New York gig with his world class famous quintet.This band is just the best in the business today, Brian Lynch- trumpet, Bill Goodwin- Drums, Bill Mays-piano- Steve Gilmore-bass. What a beautiful friendship this unit has become too, you can hear the empathy and commitment they play with from note one, on the bandstand.

From the first tune of the first set to the last tune of the second set, I had the overwhelming impression of a lasting rare beauty they made on me. That beauty has not diminished with time either! I've been a fan of this band from day one, with Phil's sidemen like Mike Melillo and Harry Leahey back in the day, and every one of Phil's bands has the Woods thumbprint. The music is bright, fresh, melodic, soul cleansing, soothing, brialliant, beautiful and swinging hard.The jazz I heard Friday in New York City is some of the best jazz of all time. To me, Phil Wood's has it all. The sound, and the technique, true jazz roots, and style behind it, never falters. That style is what it's all about. he's got the moan in the tone, beauty and grace, but it's the style that sais Phil Woods. That's a lesson there, dear Rico Blog readers! His tone is huge and his melodic phrasing is an inspiration but also he can take you to the moon to once you get inside his solos, this guy travels the outer limits. There's times Friday where I just shook my head, because he knows how to start a phrase so damn well, and if you listen to his story well, and take the trip with him, you'll find out what I mean. Phil is one bad hombre', and modern cat, but he always was! Why would he ever change! I love hearing him play the Benny Carter tune, "Souvenir"...Every time he plays it, I hear something new. That's a tune, every serious jazz saxophonist should be playing as well.

Phil's band , always intelligent and inventive, driven by plenty of emotion and sensitivity. They are the greatest instrumentalists, on the scene today.The coherence achieved was extraordinary - never surpassed, and rarely if ever equalled. Brian Lynch knocks me out! Without a doubt, he is one of the greatest trumpet players ever. Bill Goodwin, was born to play the drums. I always find Bill inventive and intense as well as wonderfully melodious and profound. Bill Mays is one of the most most fulfilling pianists in jazz. His comping fuels the band, I loved his voicings and the way he comped! Amazing! I'll be blunt- this is one of the greatest pianists playing today.Unhesitatingly recommended - only great respect and gratitude to Bill Mays. Steve Gilmore is a rock solid player I always enjoyed, his sound is right there decade after decade.Warm, vital and inspiring, uplifting contributions.

Everything this band has recorded I recommend, not just one CD. But everything. Why? Because it's totally distinctive: there is no replacement, and you will not regret owning and playing them frequently. It's history and a saxophone lesson as well, and for those of you, a jazz history lesson is you step far enough in.

SPECIAL NOTE; Frank Wess was in the house digging Phil Woods too! Phil announced his great respects to Frank and noted that when he grows up he wants to be just like Frank Wess. Don't we all Phil, don't we all ! Support from within' the ranks is inspiring, and what it's about. Take note!

What a great night Friday was, and a fantastic inspiration. A great joy to hear Phil, see some friends and get inspired.Mission accomplished.

This is, I feel confident, the kind of music people will still enjoy centuries hence among the best music of the twentieth century.Thank you Phil Woods!

Till next week, Keep listening, keep practicing, support live music always- Tim Price

Pictured below- Is Drummer Bill Goodwin; One of the greatest drummers in jazz and original member of Phil Woods quintet, and a beautiful human being to boot!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- " The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena "..

~ So many times people musically are concerned about harsh reviews that serve no purpose and just thrash the artist. The common sense of communication, respect and review are lost forever in this kind of situation.

The great teacher Charlie Banacos once shared the below quote with me of Theodore Roosevelt which sums it all up nicely.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt take it a step even further...some words from Rico artist Jerry Bergonzi ;

"It's none of your business what other people think of your playing" - Jerry Bergonzi

Here's a helpful hint to gain new dimension ;

Replace the same old videos you watch on youtube with classic jazz recordings.Start listening more to masters and study the real history of what your playing! Youtube can be a great starting point- but keep on searching. Listen to more String Quartets, more Woodwind Quintets, read more about composers. Open a book, listen to Bill Evans, Bartok, read Boulez.Study scores, and get past the same stuff. The world is out there go find it.Live music needs your support! I continue to explore and learn all I can about all music in the quest to develop a voice.The more I know about what’s behind the music the more profound the effect is on my musical psyche. Being a complete musician goes well beyond the notes- much more than that. I’m grateful for the era that I came up in, and the teachers, musicians that made me aware of these values. Balance! I hope my words on this issue, in the process inspire people to do the right thing.Go hear some live music, support the people playing NOW, be part of it.

Till next week be in the moment and make every moment the best it can be.
~ Tim Price

PS- The cat is my Maine Coon Cat Milo..he's 12 weeks old. A beautiful Cameo color.
He's on the case already!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Musician + Entrepreneurship = Career You Want

Hi - I'm Rico Artist and saxophonist Connie Frigo, and I'm flattered to start contributing to Rico's blog page. D'Addario & Co. (parent company to Rico) and the Road of Creativity (my consulting business, ROC for short) are partnering to launch ROC's Inaugural Music Entrepreneurship Retreat from June 3-9, 2012, hosted by the University of South Carolina. If you are a young professional or college-aged musician who desires to gain essential career skills and attitudes for success in today's music world, you need this retreat.

Click here to go to my blog for a free download of my first published article on entrepreneurship for musicians. It first appeared in the Saxophone Journal magazine in early 2011. More to come!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' ForRico Reeds- Peer Or Clone

Tim Price Jazz Workshop- Peer or Clone?

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
e. e. cummings

Monday, October 3, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico Reeds- Happy Birthday Von Freeman- Saxophone Legend.

Happy Birthday Von Freeman!

Von Freeman is a saxophonist and Chicago jazz legend in a town that is known for producing a lot of both.Von Freeman is the namesake of a street Von Freeman Way and the recepient of an honorary doctorate from Northwestern University. That's very cool, and a bright moment in jazz.

Von Freeman is an iconoclastic jazzman, a tenor sax player and a life long fixture on the Chicago jazz Scene. Long regarded as among the top players in the world, he still gigs regularly in a weekly jam session he heads on the south side of town.

Von's style is all his own. Clearly having learned the lessons of Bebop, he chooses instead to play inside changes when he wishes with an outside tone, again when he wishes, playing lines with incredible speed and dexterity.I always loved his taste as to when to use this and when not to.So many other tenor players, play solos that have nothing to do with the song. Not Von, but this is an asset of a master, and he is also a great pianist too.

I consider Von Freeman possibly the most compelling instrumentalist I have experienced,I used to hear him live when I'd travel through Chicago. At a point, I got to talk to him and found him to be a very sweet and open guy. Really a walking history book and fun to talk with. I heard him at the Jazz Showcase on Rush St many times and also at the other spots around town.

That first record he did " Doin' it right now" I still listen to, when I got it, it messed me up because of his great sense of time and harmony. I couldn't stop listening to it! His playing was bold, visceral, and striking. Also one of the hippest versions of " Lost In A Fog" ever. Or let me say one of my favorites! The late John Stubblefield and I used to hang and try to cop Von's articulation, or try to. That Chicago time feel, and the driving attack. I just love it.

There's another Von record, that you got to check out- with our man Frank Catalino on it. It's called " You Talkin' To Me"...and it is amazing. It was the first time I heard Frank, and knew I would be a fan. One of the best records in the Delmark catalog, and damn Frank holds his own with Von. That is a great tenor record!

But- everything Von records you should hear! He's that guy! Check him out, you'll hear something new and fresh always. This man is one of the real ones.

But here's to Mr. Von Freenman on his birthday!
Born on this day in 1923 and one of the assets in jazz and saxophone!

Earle Lavon Freeman Sr. is 89. Happy Birthday Von!! Thank you for all of your inspiration. You've touched all of us deeply sir.

~ Tim Price

Monday, September 26, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico Reeds- The Blues In Jazz, the connection and conviction.

My Blog this week is dedicated to John Coltrane. A positive force in this music, a person who never stopped learning,a player and a benchmark for all.Thank you sir for your life long inspiration and guidance.

Coltrane's playing had the blues in it- just listen to " COLTRANE PLAY'S THE BLUES"...On Atlantic records or "Blue Trane". If you play jazz, and your playing is void of the blues feel, and sound you are lacking in something very basic, and a vital element to this art form.From Louie Armstrong to Ornette, it's heard and felt.

This weeks Rico Blog is highlighting improvistaion using blues and pentatonic ;

In Pentatonic scale use you can use a C Pentatonic scale over these

C maj 7
D7sus 4
Ami 7
F# dom7

A player like "Thin man Watts" is a very strong blues&pentatonic
player. He know's what he's doing.
To take it a step further....

On a D minor7th....chord you can use C pent. over it & its gonna be
funky. On a C maj 7....chord you can also use a D pent and is going to be
singing and funky.

This one by the a fav of Pharoah Sanders on Maj 7th sounds beautiful.

BUT. Also on a C dom 7th chord you can build a pent scale off the SHARP
4th..and it will be hip to. EG~ C7...use F # pent.

Check out this blues lesson I have on Sax On The Web about Thin man
Its a lick from his CD-" Return Of The Thin man".

The tune- " SLOP BUCKET."
IT GOES THRU EVERY KEY OF THE BLUES...within Thin mans rhythmic bag.
You can't beat his-TIME-feel of' being funky.

Thin man played things that you could FEEL.
Thin man was a running buddy of the Adderly brothers...was in school
in Florida with them as a young dude.

More folks NEED to get hip to Noble Thin man his playing
carried a message. He told a story!! That aspect today is becoming a
lost art.

NOT ONLY..could he funk the club down but he was a strong jazz player
as well. As a kid,, I heard a 60s organ band at this club in my home town.
The club was a semi-famous joint called the "Grand Hotel".
It was aside of a railroad station, and had organ groups on
weekends. I played Wednesday nights...and could slide in for free, and under
age on weekends to catch stuff. SO,,one weekend there's this wild band from
NYC there. The sax player was as skinny as a telephone poll !!!
Later I found out it was a guy named -NOBLE THINMAN WATTS.
As I got in the club and stood at the side door....near the band...I
Ya could hear him on 2 blocks down the street...PREACHING TENOR .
I NEVER FORGOT THIS GUYS was like a tattoo on my soul.People for
months in that joint " the Grand Hotel" were still talkin' about the THIN MAN on sax
playing there.

Check out these Sax On The Web lessons of mine for ideas and phrases on the
blues. Each lesson is very different but still deals with some aspect of blues playing via jazz.
Look further down in this one...I have a lick on Birds "Now's The Time" thru 12


This lesson , also has some ear training
via a nice line to play thru the keys by ear.
Then, as usual, a line thru all keys thru some important progressions.
Also , for those interested , start to take
the past lessons and memorize them. Then take
the lines and re-write them for yourself.

Try to use some different intervalic connections
and even the use of rests and rhythm.

Keep in mind- I teach in NYC and Pa. and
do clinics.I'm interested in
ALL aspects of education.I teach all levels
also. Just ask me- I travel worldwide.

I hope this brings some light to your shed time and also let me add,
my feeling is that if you've absorbed a lot of the known vocabulary of the
greats , then you'll naturally gravitate to looking for other things ,
or even begin to hear things of a different nature, that the basis of this is an individual wanting to create something that is personal.Personal isn't always something new and different,but sometimes it is,it's personal.Coltrane ,when he was interviewed in Downbeat in 1961 said something to the effect of : " The artist tries to convey to the listener a sense of all of the things he knows of in the universe ... " Knowledge, there is the factor as far as I'm concerned, you know! Depth and conviction should be your motivation no matter what.Conviction ,,, there's the real prize .

HERE'S A LESSON ALSO- Replace the vapid youtube videos you watch on youtube with classic jazz recordings- why not check out some Coltrane records...such as ;Complete Savoy Sessions John Coltrane, Wilbur Harden. Check THAT out!

Till next week- enjoy the fall weather and see you next week.

~ Tim Price

Monday, September 19, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin For Rico- My man Andy McGhee

~ In this life..respect from a peer that is a friend and an influence and a teacher is worth it's weight. This is my story on Andy McGhee.

Today,I made a beet salad,for dinner and had gone to finish shedding some things I was working on....The phone rang, and my wife spotted caller ID which said- Andy McGhee.
She told Andy I was practicing. After a few laughs, a two hour conversation continued about everything from books of mine he used in his lessons with current students, which I am still totally humbled by, to just things about the life inthis world as a saxophone player.

Years ago in 1969, I had my first lesson with Andy at Berklee. It was a great day, I'll never forgot it! He set me straight. At age 17.I had yet to register for the draft and had no idea of the life long friendship that would develop, as it happened.Ditto Mariano and LaPorta and Viola. Every lesson Andy set the bar, and never let me coast.Andy never let a student become a lamb to a slaughter...he was street smart and educated. Everyone from Cecil Taylor to Percy Marion can attest to his dedication as an educator.

In ensembles, he'd school me and help me on the most hippest of things. He also taught me how NOT to be a player that gave it up. Someone who just played and never got paid. He made sure I knew not to be let any BS happen on any level. And he'd tell you. Andy mentioned me in a Boston Globe article back in 2/15/2002 by Bob Blumenthal, Globe Correspondent, as one of his students that I made all the lessons and he dug.To me that means more than anything.

As time went on...we became great friends. I never realized his birthday was November 3ed and mine was November 1st...When I told him that as we had Thai dinner with my wife years ago when I turned 50 ( It seemed like it was yesterday!!! ) He said to my wife ( who is NOT a musician ) that's because Tim is to busy trying to get to all my licks!! hahaha...Which has some truth!! LOL. Charlie Mariano was a Scorpio too, which all made sense if you know me. And Andy loved Charlie! Who don't ? Charlie is universal love!!

So today,it's just one of those things.He made my day! I used to dig the Woody Herman record with Andy and Sal and Joe Romano. Little did I ever think I'd know them, or play with them. Andy was also in the " hot seat" with Lionel Hampton. That was the hot seat of hot seats. Stand up and burn every night and not stop!! He had everyone's attention. But also he was smart.He raised a family, and had a life. Another lesson !!

The late Makanda Ken McIntryre told me that when Makanda studied with Andy....ANDY WAS THE CAT. Andy was _the guy_ at the after-hours gigs ALL the recording guys like Trane would come to sit in with Andy was- CUTTING EDGE. Plus- Makanda saw some of those sessions because he was from Boston etc...and told me that a young Andy was playing some stuff that made those guys stop and think. I have no trouble thinking twice about that...because Andy is as good as it gets. Think about it- He sat aside of Sal Nistico and Frank Foster in Woody's band.

I learned a LOT from 1969 he got me studying Tranes solo on Oleo.
Andy defined " hip" also in a certain way,he has INNER can feel it.
I can't say enough about him...he is one of my favorite people and musicians.

Andy calls me,and has become a family member. He cares.Ya know I got MORE out of Berklee than my moneys worth due to guys like Andy and Joe Viola,John LaPorta and Charlie Mariano.

He talked today about my Cannonball book- and Lennie Johnson. That took ,e back to 1140 Boylston st. Lenny was the one that told me to transcribe Cannonball to chill out the tenor stuff < eg- get away from all the tenor cliche stuff > in my playing.I mention that in my book- and Nat Adderley knew who Lenny and Andy were in a NY minute.

Andy McGhee has some great books out himself thru Berklee press ; Improvisation for Saxophone and Flute: The Scale/Mode Approach and Modal Strategies for Saxophone.

Jazz...and jazz education is lucky to have someone as REAL as Andy in it's ranks ans also committed to the real thing.

A friend, teacher and world class tenor saxophonist.He's made a difference in my life. Andy McGhee, thank you for being not only real but being the essence of what this music is supposed to be!! I think a trip to Boston for some Thai with Andy is in order!

~ Tim Price

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tim Price Blogging For Rico-Seamus Blake In The house ! Seamus joins Rico Reeds.

Tim Price Blogging For Rico-Seamus Blake In The house ! Seamus joins Rico Reeds.

Pat Metheny described him as "the best tenor player I've heard in a couple of years" (Jazz Times), that John Scofield hired him for his Quiet Band,calling him "extraordinary, a total saxophonist" or that he placed 1st in the Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition in February 2002, all that only attests a part of this very interesting musician's course.A long standing member of the Mingus Big Band -featuring on their recordings on Dreyfuss - and also borrows his sax to some of the most intriguing bands of the modern scene, like Bloom daddies (a funky,alternative grunge jazz. Right up my alley,and something I'm looking to hear live soon.), and last but not least the very jazz Sangha Quartet.He's busy!

My favorite Seamus CD these days seems to be " Live In Italy". Amazing music-and
Seamus is joined here by pianist David Kikoski, bassist Danton Boller & drummer Rodney Green. The entire group is in top form especially David Kikoski who takes many stand out solos from greasy shuffle funk to straight ahead post bop. One particular thing I dig about Seamus is how he utilizes electronic effects on his tenor like wah wah & echo delay but the effects never threaten to overwhelm the natural sound of the horn, rather they enhance the mood and enforce Seamus's ideas. There is a master class in itself. I can't say enough good stuff about what I've heard and the notes and tones that he's creating.And " Darn That Dream" is beautiful! To me that is worth the price of admission.

Last but not least...I've been working on some things to help students in workshops and in lessons. You got to think past your horn.Be prepared, as in knowing the music inside and out. ALSO- don’t judge yourself,get out of your own way.Stay in shape-eat right and don't be _that guy_who's hung over at a rehearsal or tired. Get your rest, this is after all your life and employment.Be responsible-nobody owes you a thing.
But really get out of the way, and let the music happen.

OK- Here's a project for you saxophonists.
Learn to play in 3/4 ! Learn some jazz melody's in 3/4, anything from " Someday My Prince Will Come" to " Up Jumped Spring" and "West Coast Blues".

Some other's I love to play, that require some work are-Monk's "Ugly Beauty", Denny Zeitlin's "I, Thou", Wayne Shorter's "Iris", Richie Bierach's "Nightlake", Sonny Rollins' "Kids Know", Herbie Nichols' "Love, Gloom, Cash, Love".

Years ago I heard Rico artist Mel Martin play " Take The A-Train" in 3/4...I liked it so much that I have been doing it since hearing him at a Sunday brunch in NYC at Sweet Basil. By the way, you should be hip to Mel. He's as great as they come.He knows the history of the music, and loves it. His music has a special quality,and he is a one of a kind saxophone player, his playing is beautiful. When he solos he tells a story, you hear a personal huge sound and he is not a cliche player.I heard him a few years back in NYC play flute on a George Russell tune and I am still thinking about it! Check Mel out- you'll love him madly!

Here's a great Rico video of Mel's I always tell my students to study ;

Mel Martin On Articulation

Till next week...Remember to strive for tone, and enjoy life!

~ Tim Price

“If you look for the imperfections in others, you are sure to find them. But oh, life is so much better looking for the good.” -- Thich Nhat Hanh

Monday, September 5, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico Reeds- Albert Ayler

In 1969 Albert Ayler said, "Music Is the Healing Force of the Universe."

As the fall approaches us, in this beautiful September,that quote rings so true. The healing force. But how many have heard it? How many have taken the time to adjust their lives and realize what Albert was saying back then in 1969? Everyone brings to the table what they have to put on the table, others come to eat, others come to just smell the food.In this lifetime...I'm here for the music. I've seen the results.

To me Ayler's communication of a feeling is so much a part of art's deep value,that knowledge through the emotions.That is what is missing today. It just can't be taught! This essential aspect involving the heart and soul is another level. Almost beyond words! But for Ayler, words were not important because when Albert Ayler played he spoke to you. I heard his voice, and it was a different than the profound texture in his playing.

He was a transcendent master of fusing spirituality with music and a modern spiritual guide to present day music. He takes kind, gentle, hummable melodies and stretches them, he created a beautiful unique sounds that you'll never hear anywhere else.

There is a composition, " For John Coltrane"
(played by alto and strings only)
In which Albert plays only alto sax, with a string section.
It should be on > Albert Ayler in Greenwich Village.
It was done February 26, 1967, The Village Theatre, New York.
The strings are, if memory serves;
Joel Freedman (cello)
William Folwell (bass)
Alan Silva (bass)
That writing was exceptional and proved to me the genius that
Ayler had within him. Michel Sampson was on violin on many Ayler dates and within Silva and Richard Davis, there was a HEAVY string overtone.

I'm still trying to find this recording
La Saga Heroique d'Albert Ayler
( on- Pathe (France) 2C.154-92337 )
I'd LOVE to get that music.
If anyone can get me a copy PLEASE do so. It's a French label.

I don't hear anybody REALLY steppin out like this.

The art form -
Albert addressed that.

His trio work on "Spiritual Unity" is something everyone should have, and listen to as much as possible.It's part of the free jazz canon by now,if you haven't, I can't recommend it enough.I say it's uplifting, the first listen might be shocking but hang in there, you'll never be the same. Ayler was supported and admired by many of his contemporaries, including 'Trane on through present day masters such as Jan Garbarek and thousands of others.

Albert Ayler - Ghosts

albert ayler - new grass - heart love

Search for more Albert Ayler on you tube- and enjoy him.

Remember, "Music Is the Healing Force of the Universe."

Being a complete musician goes well beyond the notes- I learned that from listening to the music of Albert Ayler.

Keep positive and in the zone- Tim Price

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- Jazz Repertoire

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- Jazz Repertoire

Listen to the You Tube video first ;

Tim Price Jazz- Jazz Repertoire

The following tunes are among those most commonly played by jazz musicians. I have made an attempt to categorize them based on how they are usually played. Most of the compositions are by jazz musicians, except for the ones marked "standard".

You should try to become familiar with as many of these tunes as possible. Most of them can be found in the Real Book or in Chuck Sher's books.

All Blues blues, modal
All Of Me standard
All The Things You Are standard
Anthropology rhythm changes, swing
Au Privave blues, swing
Autumn Leaves standard
Beautiful Love standard
Beauty And The Beast rock
Billie's Bounce blues, swing
Black Orpheus Latin
Blue Bossa Latin
Blue In Green ballad, modal
Blue Monk blues, swing
Blue Train blues, swing
Blues For Alice blues, swing
Bluesette 3/4, swing
Body And Soul ballad, standard
C Jam Blues blues, swing
Caravan Latin, swing
Ceora Latin
Cherokee swing
Confirmation swing
Darn That Dream ballad, standard
Desafinado Latin
Dolphin Dance modal, non-tonal
A Foggy Day standard
Footprints 3/4, blues, modal
Freddie Freeloader blues, modal
Freedom Jazz Dance non-tonal
Four swing
Giant Steps swing
The Girl From Ipanema Latin
Goodbye, Pork Pie Hat ballad, swing
Have You Met Miss Jones standard
I Mean You swing
I Remember Clifford ballad, swing
I Thought About You standard
If I Were A Bell standard
Impressions modal
In A Sentimental Mood ballad, swing
In Walked Bud swing
Just Friends standard
Killer Joe swing
Lady Bird swing
Lullaby Of Birdland swing
Mr. P.C. blues, swing
Maiden Voyage modal
Misty ballad, standard
Moment's Notice swing
My Favorite Things 3/4, modal, standard
My Funny Valentine ballad, standard
My Romance standard
Naima ballad, modal
A Night In Tunisia Latin, swing
Nica's Dream Latin, swing
Nostalgia In Times Square swing
Now's The Time blues, swing
Oleo rhythm changes, swing
On Green Dolphin Street Latin, swing, standard
Ornithology swing
Recorda Me Latin
Red Clay rock
Round Midnight ballad, swing
St. Thomas Latin
Satin Doll swing
Scrapple From The Apple swing
The Sidewinder blues, swing
So What modal
Solar swing
Some Day My Prince Will Come 3/4, standard
Song For My Father Latin
Speak No Evil modal, non-tonal
Stella By Starlight standard
Stolen Moments blues, modal
Straight, No Chaser blues, swing
Sugar swing
Summertime standard
Take The "A" Train swing
There Is No Greater Love standard
There Will Never be Another You standard
Up Jumped Spring 3/4, swing
Waltz For Debby 3/4, swing
Wave Latin
Well, You Needn't swing
When I Fall In Love ballad, standard
Yardbird Suite swing

The process of internalizing music is a matter of
slow repetition of very small segments of a piece of music or a
technique of playing the instrument. This repetition ingrains what is
being learned deeply in our subconscious. The goal is to work on
something until it seems to play itself. Once a musician has a repertoire, they can go out and play with many others.At least this is how it has worked for me,and many others through the decades. Being a complete musician goes well beyond the notes.

The first step in practicing something is to understand what areas of
the piece or scale are less familiar to us, what we used to think were
the hard parts. The next step is to spend time visiting and revisiting
those areas until our fingers, ears and breathing become comfortable and
familiar with them. Sound too simplistic? Maybe it is, but it is true.
( example B- Stan Getz playing " Early Autum". )

It may take weeks or months or sometimes years for our
bodies to allow these actions to occur without conscious thought.
One of the most important steps in this process of learning is to not
look at a printed page of music. Play things without looking at the
music You might say, I can't memorize things so easily. Well this is
NOT memorization. This is learning something very deeply. Play a small
portion of a phrase over and over. But while playing it, use your EAR
and LISTEN to the music you're playing. Then try to sing the phrase away
from the instrument. Try to play the phrase starting on different notes.
If this seems overwhelming take another approach.
Sing the first few bars of the song Happy Birthday. Now play the song on
your instrument starting on any note. Now once you figure it out and it
feel comfortable, play it starting on other notes. When this feels
comfortable playing the tune on all twelve notes you can feel confident
you know that tune.
(( example C- listen to Monk play solo
on some basic song ))

Only work with very small segments of music and don't move on
to other areas until that one area is thoroughly learned.
When we ingrain the techniques of playing an instrument and understanding the
rudiments of music so thoroughly we
remove the need for conscious thought to help us execute the music.
( This is the start of the Alpha State. )

At this point one's unique voice can be expressed through the music. Master
means to learn something so thoroughly that one always executes it
correctly - This type of
practicing can seem to take a long time.

Your the time spent internalizing something is shorter than one thinks.
Try to remember the times when you practiced a piece over and over and
there were a few passages that were always difficult which never felt
quite right. You perform the piece and kind of get through those
passages and say , glad that's over. But a month later
you have to play the piece again for a gig or and those same passages are no
If one took the time to properly internalize that music it would not
only always be with you but any of the problems that were conquered
while spending time with the piece would carry over to other pieces that
have similar challenges.
The more material which is learned in this
thorough manner, the easier music in general starts to become. When
enough stuff is gained, most music played will be done with little or
no conscious thought, thus allowing one's voice to happen.
This will happen because there will not be any technical hurdles to
conquer in the music or on the instrument.

When practicing, don't try to conquer an entire work at once. Live with
a small passage until it becomes easy.

If a mistake is made, then go back and spend more time working the passage
slowly until you don't have to think about what you are doing.

Have patience,listen to what you play-find the problem areas and
fix them via slow repetition. Also enjoy the process of practicing
and the sounds you produce.

Jazz is food for the soul and this
includes music made while practicing.

Think about it- it's THAT easy !

Be thankful for another day on the planet.Music and life are a gift!
Put positive energy out there, and be glad you have the ability to play music and enjoy your life.

Till next week- strive for tone-and do something good for someone else- Tim Price

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- Todays student needs substance !

~Improvising means creating music that is spontaneous, of the moment, and uniquely your own. So think of it as the instrument becomes a process of self-discovery, finding out what your music really sounds like. You develop a period of looking within, stripping away the excess and listening for the simple voice that really is our own. It’s there, listen for it. I wish I had arrived at these ideas earlier in life. It would have saved me a lot of unnecessary toil. But like it is sometimes said, you are ready when you are ready. These are very important topics- are YOU ready?

Being able to improvise on I GOT RHYTHM changes appears much more as a puzzle or study that must be negotiated than as an opportunity look within and reach for new sounds you hear. Improvising means creating music that is spontaneous, of the now, and your own. It will not get played if you yourself don’t play it, and try.

You have to focus your practicing for maximum progress towards creating a powerful forward motion as a player. Add personal guidance of a master teacher and artist, and you’re poised to grow as a musician and as a performer. This is the way I learned with master players-educators like Charlie Mariano, Charlie Banacos ( I was lucky to study with Banacos since 1994 till 2010 ) Sal Nistico, Joe Viola, Andy McGhee and John LaPorta.These men were a beautiful category of a jazz pro who both knows what he is doing, and is willing to share. Thank god for them!

Today's student needs substance ! Plus how to focus practicing of improvising on the essential elements,the actual substance of what to play and how to develop it in your personal style, and dealing with practicing of specific vocabulary. It's what I call, what to shed! Then you got to understand jazz is part of culture. Bird, Prez,Basie,Pee Wee Russell, Roland Kirk, Duke, Hawk and all those giants who gave something to culture. What did they have? They had the the building blocks of jazz improvisation. MELODY ! Then guide-tone lines, and melodic Rhythm. Real world building blocks of jazz improvisation.


Also check out the new ... TIM PRICE JAZZ VIDEO...captured/recorded and filmed last Monday by great friend/ former student Nathan Bellott. ENJOY!

Till next week- Put positive energy out there!

~ Tim Price