Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico...Thank you,Phoebe Snow

Thank you, Phoebe. What a magical voice, bless you, sweet boxcar-named Snow maiden. You gave so much to music and to your challenged daughter. Thank you, Phoebe Snow.

In the 70's I was in the Village Vanguard in NYC, to hear Dexter Gordon. Dexter was doing a week there and I went two nights to absorb his greatness, I was alone and sitting
against the wall near the band. At the end of the 2ed set, Dexter played a ballad, " This Time The Dreams On Me". He recited the words before the tune Dexter style, as he played
the opening phrases, I noted the lady next to me, sitting by herself, started to tear up. I could see that the emotion that Dexter setting the tune up, and then playing a phrase
got to her big time. As the set closed, I looked at her and started to talk about the magic the music had. She was a fellow traveler in the music I could tell, very excited to share
her thoughts as well. As the conversation continued, I realized who I was talking to! I was kind of at a loss for words to say to her as I was a huge fan of her music. Before I could think
of anything to say ( and if you know me, it's rare that I get stopped in my tracks wordless! LOL ) she asked me what I played. It was then I realized she knew I was hip to who she was.
I told her that " Harpos Blues" touched me deeply, and the Zoot Sims sax solo was so fitting for the tune. After all- ZOOT SIMS!! You dig! She got excited and was appreciative that I made a point to say that. She was so cool.
What I really noted, even before speaking to her was the she was really into what Dexter was playing, the music was going right into her soul. At first I kinda thought she was Phoebe Snow
but didn't focus on it till I heard her speak. What a sound!

To me the woman was a god send to this life and a role model to all who knew her story!
Let her personal determination and personal sacrifices be an inspiration to all. A reason for being, where being meets doing. And being and doing is about love and life. The Universe works in patterns.Phoebe Snow knew her passions, life purpose and sacred vision of work and did them. She was at one with her inner self and her reason for being. It is obvious that Phoebe
was on a mission as a woman and artist, and fulfilled it with unconditional, compassionate patience and love. God bless you sweet boxcar-named Snow maiden. So inspirational, and real.
Her 1975 hit "Poetry Man reached #5 on Billboard. This selection was on the flip side of Poetry Man and was frequently heard on jukeboxes. The album "Poetry Man" reached number 4 on the Billboard 200 album chart.

A phenomenal talent and presence....she will be sorely missed. RIP.

~ Tim Price

Take a listen to Phoebe & Zoot Sims ;

Harpos Blues by Phoebe Snow

Monday, April 25, 2011


~ Anyone interested in jazz alto saxophone should hear this great voice of the legendary Gene Quill . I always thought the records of Gene Quill like - "Three Bones and A Quill"- or the music on Phil & Quill where they were trading 6's on 'Solar' from the 'Bird Feathers' recording was amazing displays of creative genius. Gene expanded the hard bop style , and has taken the tradition of a big edgy style to a new dimension.

Go listen and study everything he plays , you 'll hear insightful and sparkling lines and phrases that brilliantly illuminates his place as a master jazz player. One note and you know it's him !!

If you play alto saxophone you need to know who this master was.

This man is one of the vital voices of the alto saxophone.

Take a listen here to Gene ;

Gene Quill Quartet - Lover Man

Immediately you will hear one of the most creative players.


Next...listen to Gene Quill here ;

Gene Quill & Dick Sherman Quintet -

Next check out Gene Quill and the innovative Phil Woods. Phil sounds absolutely amazing here and it was Sept. 11,1957 in NYC !

The record before this, "PHIL & QUILL WITH PRESTIGE " sets a benchmark for anyone who ever picks up the alto saxophone! It's timeless music, and two of the most personal alto sounds then and now. I have my vinyl LP's of these back from when I first got then as a teenager.

Phil Woods With Gene Quill - Doxy

In this music of Gene Quill what draws me all these decades is his communication of feeling.

That essential aspect involving the heart and soul in the music.

Find anything you can of Gene Quill playing.

In listening to Gene Quill all these years I have learned this from his style- intuition is your very best friend. Listen and be ready to act on it. The guy played like you set a match to gas. Immediate, solid style and no looking back! The fire was on full tilt and he kept burning. Also the romance he displayed as a ballad player ranks with the best in the world!

Keep a positive attitude. See you next week.

Tim Price

Monday, April 18, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- Music should inspire people to better themselves and the world.

~ The contemporary scene, is rich with individuals who are inventive, thoughtful, and innovative.Such a person is Kristen McKeon. It's been a total pleasure to know Kristen McKeon
Rico Product Specialist.

develops, markets, and engages in music education outreach/artist relations for Rico.
In addition- she is a supreme voice on alto saxophone. Her vision, sound, conception to her musical direction is very inspiring. Listening to this powerful woman play is really something special. One note from her
has the ability to touch the soul with a extraordinary depth of emotion and dramatic range. Her cantabile style,is as identifiable as a human voice.
She is really unique in a way that will benefit the music that she is playing. Her expression, sound and ideas are a must to hear.
In addition to all that, she is an asset to the Rico family as well. As I said...
inventive, thoughtful, and innovative.
That describes what her agenda is.

~Practicing is serious biz to me, this music deserves respect and has to be played with both musical intelligence and passion.The musician draws on multiple sources, personal life experience, events, and culture, and something intangible within the self, whether it be called soul, inspiration or the muse.
A lot of times, on gigs, you don't know what you're doing initially, and then you crystalize it. So when I practice I need a strong focus of what I need to deal on. Clarity is everything !! For one thing, things will go faster, and in this day and age when you play, you have very little time to go over the tunes. And sadly we don't have six nights a week at the club to get the tunes in shape. So practice rears it's head much different for me.There are no free rose gardens in music- it's NOT going to be easy. So when I shed, I deal with the element of focus and what I need to do at this point in my journey.
So my mind set lately is, practicing jazz is really less about achieving the super-virtuosity , but more about achieving the necessary fluency to improvise ideas freely without constraint.

Also- This is where I teach-New School University.This Wednesday April 20th I present a workshop;

New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music Facilities and Equipment Office presents:

Tim Price and Rico Reeds
April 20th
2:30-3:30 pm
5th Floor Performance Space
Free and open to everyone!

We as human beings are very special in that we are linked together through the universal chain of life and events. As artists, creators and teachers we should inspire people to better themselves and the world while serving as a means of perceiving the past, present and future in a positive way. This is my agenda. Hope to see some of you this Wednesday at the New School in NYC.

Till then- thank you for reading this blog.

~ Tim Price

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- Cape May wrap-up, Divine Matrix and let the drones begin.

Cape May was a groove a usual- great festival with a nice weather based weekend.Add the sax workshop I did, and the jams at Carneys and it all adds up to a fantastic festival.

A blog ago, when I spoke about Ernie Watts hangin' at my home and loving my drone machine I had called a RAGINNI- a few people asked me where/etc to get them and lots of other questions. Below is where I got mine in NYC, and a nice you tube of the machine in action. I run an external speaker- to add a tad volume then use a LINE 6 pedal to loop a line to blow over via the drone. It is infinite in how you can use your imagination on this. Using your ear , YOU “MUST” LEARN TO USE YOUR EARS. IF YOU WANT TO PLAY GOOD IMPROVISATION, YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT MUSIC IS BASED ON SOUND, I STRONGLY URGE YOU TO USE YOUR EARS BECAUSE MUSIC IS INSIDE US.

Think about it, true improvising has a completely different dimension to it. That element is “spontaneity”. This means that you are forced to create music right on the spot, without having any time to prepare anything in advance. Obviously, this kind of playing is challenging, both from the mental and physical standpoint. It is more challenging from the mental standpoint because you are forced to come up with cohesive musical ideas right as you are playing, without having any time to analyze which phrases will flow well together.

When I was studying with Charlie Mariano at Berklee we got into Indian scales in imrov, the musical scale is said to have evolved from 3 notes to a scale of 7 primary notes, on the basis of 22 intervals. A scale is divided into 22 intervals, and these are the basis of the musical notes. The 7 notes of the scale are known to musicians as Sa - Re - Ga - Ma - Pa - Dha - Ni - sa, A Saptak is a group of 7 notes, divided by the intervals as follows ...

Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa.... The other 5 notes can change their positions in the interval, leading to different raga'. This works nice when playing more open improvising, and opening up things.

ENJOY! Hope this helps. Here's where I bought my machine;

Ditto- on the book Ernie Watts spoke of.We speak of how the universe works a lot for us as musicians- the why and how. It's all connected and important to try to understand why things are lining up in a cool way.
I'm really enjoying it as a start to understanding more about why and how things connect. Some aspects of where I am at with it are below.

"Discovering the Divine Matrix: The Mystery That Connects All Things,"

I was delighted to be uplifted by his blend of personal story telling and how the latest findings in the quantum science world contribute to his own personal self-realizations. The Divine Matrix is an "educated hypothesis" co-related to his life experience, based on some key scientific experiments and findings from sacred manuscripts, rather than a pure work of science.

Yes - the Divine Matrix includes 20 Keys summarizing the more important concepts of the Divine Matrix and how to consciously create within it. For me, we are One Being; Many Realities, rather than Many Beings; One Reality.

Overall, I found the Divine Matrix a delight and easy to read. I recommend it to those who might be familiar with the general gist of the findings from the Quantum World, and might be wondering, what difference does this really make to our daily lives. For me, it's his personal stories that provide the enrichment.

The phrase I coined is "we are or become what we dwell upon". Never more is this phrase made more apparent than in this book. Enjoy the journey reading it.

Next Wednesday April 20th at the New School University in NYC I am doing a free saxophone workshop. Email me for directions/times etc at We will be delving into quite a lot. Things like reed adjustment using the " Reed Geek", the effects of Don Byas in teaching saxophone, doubling instruments in a creative way and internalization of sound and mind set in a positive manner. It's a mid-day even and free to all.If I have time-I talk-demo work on developing your phrasing. I am often asked about scales used to solo over chord progressions in order to sound more creative and more original. My response is usually to shift focus more on developing your phrasing rather than simply learning new scales. Learning new scales only will produce limited results because THE WAY you play has not really changed. Improving your phrasing deals more with the actual element of HOW to play the notes rather than "what" notes to play. When it comes to phrasing, remember that it is all about the little nuances that can make ALL the difference. You can take 10 great sax improvisers and give them the same lick and chances are they will each make it sound a bit different using the nuances of phrasing when they play it. Learning new scales can make some difference of course, but when it comes to making your style more original and creative, improving your phrasing will make a much greater difference than simply learning 10 new scales. There are many approaches you can take to practicing phrasing. You can begin by developing all the different nuances and using different combinations of them when you play your phrases.

Hit me up for more details.

SO- That's it for now- keep the music going and thank you for reading this blog.

~ Tim Price

Monday, April 4, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- Music is the real teacher!

~ My workshops at Berks Jazz festival were fun. It was nice to hear the growth and expansion of the musicians involved. I've been at this for a few decades to say the least, and it helps expand the horizons of the players in a "hands on" jazz way. A great example is my student Nathan Bellott who is studying at SUNY in NY. He was on this Berks Workshop with me and is really playing great stuff. Another example is Erin Stroup in Lower Bucks Schools. Check out, Jeff Coffin < from DaveMatthews band/ Bela Fleck Band >showing some love, with my former student Erin Stroup via a TV clip on education w/ Jeff Coffin that made it on you tube. out what Jeff Coffin said about me at 1:45-1:46 on you tube. And shows not only those of us who are fighting in the trenches and that a student of mine has... made a difference in a school system! These aspects, enhance what I've said for years that studying music enhances children's ability to perform better at other subjects, improves coordination and boosts self-esteem. They learn to harmonize with others not just on a musical level. Music was part of mainstream education throughout most of history. Through junior high upwards music is just as or even more impo...rtant in the people's continuing education. Music is_THE_ universal language. By doing this students can pursue passions and learn how to share their thoughts with others directly in a healthy and peaceful way. To come up to date, Saturday 4/9 I will present my Cape May Sax Workshop 11 am - 12pm at the Cape May Elementary School and will perform at the Saturday Jam. These Cape May Workshops have been very well attended for over 8 years that I've done them. Stop by please if your at the Cape May Jazz Festival this weekend. Click here; My philosophy about personal musical growth is that musicians should learn how to think, listen and talk about music. Likewise, I pass this on to my students of all ages. IT'S WORKING! If your in 5th grade or a Doctor studying jazz clarinet with me for fun. There's something we all have. It's this criteria: brain, ears, and voice. Naturally, these three are interrelated. If you think about music, then it follows that you can easily talk about it. Listening is the most important part. Without ears, music would not exist. If I had to pick the most valuable musical tool for shaping musical growth, it would be personal taste. Always visualize only favorable and beneficial situations.Music helps with this.Try to use positive words in your inner dialogues or when talking with others. Once a negative thought enters your mind, you have to be aware of it and endeavor to replace it with a constructive one.Persistence will eventually teach your mind to think positively and ignore negative thoughts.It does not matter what your circumstances are at the present moment. Think positively, expect only favorable results and situations, and circumstances will change accordingly. It may take some time for the changes to take place, but eventually they do. A student once asked me if a particular note "worked" in a particular setting; my response was, "only if you like it". Take it a step further Bob Dylan plays thesame C7 chord that Pat Martino does. Same 4 notes, likewise when Sonny Rollins hits a D minor 7th, it's the same chord that Jeff Beck might play or Keith Jarrett. It's how YOU deliver it. Lots of cooks use tomatoes and basil you dig? Same deal.Keeping a open mind can create a path for a student. There's a big difference between Bud Powell and Duke Ellington. But they both have a message. Think about it.Personal musical taste expands infinitely. This allows for musical evolution. Just live it. Go for it. Play it. Write it. Above all, use your own personal, ever growing, musical taste. Hence, music is the real teacher. Share the music and propigate it as much as you can. As always,strive for tone and help your school music programs, in every way you can. TILL NEXT WEEK -Work hard and play harder. HOPE TO SEE SOME OF YOU AT CAPE MAY. ~ Tim Price