Monday, January 31, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin'For Rico- NAMM SHOW 2011- Tim Price Unleashed in California

Here are my impressions of NAMM 2011... held this month in Anaheim, Calif. I went out as a endorsing artist for my good friend and one-of-a-kind mouthpiece artist Theo Wanne. We performed two times with the Saxophones Unleashed project. The players and the mood of the gigs fit right in with the perfect California weather and excellent audiences NAAM provided. Let it be said that in this world of manufacturers and endorsements that Theo puts his heart and soul into the music that he loves and also totally backs and loves all of his endorsers. To say Theo is a cool guy is an understatment. THE BEST!

The concerts featured a wide variety of styles. Everyone was given features and everyone was given a chance to play together. It was totally enjoyable. For me, getting a chance to finally play with Keyan Williams, Keith McKelley, Eddie Bacus Jr. with the first class Los Angeles rhythm section was just plain out of sight. Video should be coming and also some in-booth videos of me and Keith playing spontaneously improvised duos in the booth and the Saxophones Unleashed crew playing with some backing tracks. The variety of styles and musical agendas showed the vast artistic dimensions of Theo's mouthpieces within the players' personal styles.
One of the other reasons this NAMM show was so important was it gave me some time to network with my many friends on the West Coast, and demo and talk about the most innovative mouthpieces today by Theo. Meeting the crew of Matt Ambrose and Jim Scimonetti was a great honor- fantastic human beings and musicians.

Some well needed hang time with Rico's own Rob Polan was another highlight. Rico always has the coolest new products for NAMM- and is the real deal in modern tech. on reeds. There is no reed on the market that has the cane quality of a Rico. The new RESERVES are killin', and you owe it to yourself to be checking out the current products. Rob is the cat- and one of the bright spots in todays music business. Oh yeh!

Anybody who knows me knows that I'm a firm believer in networking and sharing within the musical community. Be it jazz, or rock, or even people who are branching off it into some more personal areas where boundary lines have faded. I myself am a fan of faded boundary lines. With that said, one of the first people that was at the booth was my longtime friend and incredible saxophone player Sam Phipps. Sam, as many of you know, is a mainstay on the Los Angeles scene. He was the saxophone in the Oingo Boingo Band for years - if you remember Oingo Boingo you might remember somewhere mid-set a saxophonist playing "Body and Soul" like Coleman Hawkins. That was our man Sam - Sam is also one of the most unsung rock 'n' roll saxophone players on the planet. As Thursday started to develop, the booth got swarmed. Fun was being had. Theo realized the game was on and he and his cool brother Tom became more and more excited as the energy developed. Some of the other people that came to the booth to hang, try mouthpieces, and say hello was Ernie Watts. A long time friend and inspiration, it's always inspiring to hear Ernie and hang. Ernie tried my horn and sounded absolutely incredible on it. Theo measured his Link mouthpiece and we all realized it was larger than Ernie thought it was. Since Ernie plays a mouthpiece that is huge, this was pretty hysterical. At the same time, Marty Krystall had taken residency in the booth and added to the rapport. Marty, as many of you know, is one of the most unique tenor saxophone players in jazz. A longtime Los Angeles studio player specializing in woodwinds, Krystall has the velocity in his improvisations of a Steve Lacy. That's right, he's that good. Krystall also is on hundreds of motion picture soundtracks and part of the historic playing in LA with jazz legend Buell Neidlinger. It was also cool to have Rick Keller show up and knock us all out with his personal sound and soulful playing. Robert Kyle I had never had the honor of meeting before, and we hit it off instantly, I had heard of Robert's playing over the years, and finally was able to converse with him and realized how close we are to so many things we love. Aviva, who many of you know as the purple saxophone playing goddess with The Monkees, came by and shared with me a new CD of hers, which is beautiful. Aviva has that boundary line between just great music and accessibility taken care of. She's funky and has the roots that go all the way back to the masters, but once you hear her, you know who it is for life. A definite asset to Davy Jones' and The Monkees' music. Eddie Baccus Jr. was on hand trying mouthpieces and just enjoying himself like crazy. What a great guy.

Lots of other saxophone players like Ann Patterson, Carol Chakin, John Yoakum, John Reilly,Vinny Golia, Brad Rambur , Jack Prybylski, Benny Maupin, the great Marion Meadows and so many others, that I know I'm forgetting a few.Not to mention friends like Bob Weir, Tom Scott, Dweezil Zappa & family, the beautiful Nancy Huang & cool Jennifer from RDG Woodwinds in LA. It's great to have friends that support. Ya'll rock!!
One of the highlights of the NAMM show for me was meeting people that I had not had the chance to meet before but had conversed with through the years online. These kind of things are important to me because, for those of us in the musical community, we must keep the blood of the brotherhood flowing. That said, Prybliski took a stroll to look at some horns over at the Buffett /Keilwerth booth - my friend Laurie Orr greeted us and it was sure nice to see this snazzy well-dressed New York City woman in California doing what she does best, which is helping people with the great products she represents. Laurie is an asset to this business and a long time NYC friend. As Jack and I were checking out some of the tenor saxes, Jack spotted Tom Politzer. As many of you know, that are Tower of Power fans, Tom has held the hot seat on tenor saxophone for a good many years now and as he's doing it plays his ass off every night. Tom was quick to inform me about something that changed my life that instant. No sax fans, it wasn't a five-digit vintage horn, nor was it anything of the sort. It was a small little bar called REEDGEEK ( This is one of the most profound reed-adjustment tools I've ever had in my life. All I can say is, buy it. It is designed by Mauro Di Gioia and probably one of the greatest investments any single reed player can make in his life. Tom adjusted one of my reeds that had started to swell at the back from the change in climates, with a few single strokes the reed was back to normal and I was a happy camper. Mauro not only is a forward thinker but somebody who is very concerned with what can happen to a reed as it's being played and also balancing it within that life period. The REEDGEEK is something I can't live without now.

Another cool thing was on Saturday night, running into my New York friend tenor titan Tim Armcost and also finally meeting Danielle Mays - a terrific woodwind player and totally hip funny woman. There's so many things that I'll be adding throughout the next few weeks that happened at the NAAM show that I'll share with you. This is just some of the highlights. Some other highlights will be some in depth talks with John Klemmer on this blog. Stay tuned!

On Sunday as the show calmed down and closed out, I was taken to dinner by Los Angeles baritone sax - woodwind studio friend Jennifer Hall. For those of you who are fans of the cartoon show Family Guy and Dancing With the Stars - those are two of Jennifer's studio gigs that have put her on the map recently. She took me for some great Italian food that was some of the best Italian food I've ever had. Mangia Mangia was the experience in Huntington Beach! Trust me, I'm a frequent visitor to Little Italy in New York City, which Jennifer has accompanied me to, when she's on the East Coast, and she couldn't wait to see what I thought of this food. It was incredible. Her mission was accomplished. That event made the journey home, which took me from Orange County, Calif, to Philadelphia on United Airlines all day. Thank god I was smart enough to party all week and make sure that I went to bed by about 5 a.m. and wake up before 10 a.m. for a brisk walk around Disneyland so that the travel time could be spent sleeping and not getting annoyed at the incompetence of air travel these days. That said, the NAAM show was a success and Theo and I and his uber-cool brother Tom are already doing a countdown till next year's show.

I've listed CD's by the guys who recently laid copys of their current recordings. Look for my friend Brad Rambur too- he's got a great one out there! As well as Keyan Williams, Keith McKelley and Jack Prybylski. These guys are the new cream of the crop- and a must for your ears! Find their stuff in Itunes and CD Baby. Beautiful players all!

Also I urge you to listen to these artists listed below and friends new projects- every CD has a destination of it's own- and a beautiful story.

Marty Krystall- " Mojave" ( Gunsmoke)

Ernie Watts- " Four Plus Four"

AVIVA- " Reed MyMind"

Bob Sheppard- " Close Your Eyes"

Ron Dziubla- " Some Strange Blues"

Till next week- keep on truckin'...Tim Price!/photo.php?fbid=491074894772&set=a.75018284772.75917.738199772

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