Monday, May 30, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- JOHN GROSS ! Innovative master.

JOHN GROSS- Innovative master saxophonist.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN GROSS...Thank you for the decades of inspiration.

An artist is a person who attempts to be in touch with the inner self in order to communicate in an abstract endeavor (i.e. music). An artist’s body of work is autobiographical and, at the same time, a means by which the artist communicates both individual and universal experiences that people will share. Of course there's your craft. So in essence it's a matter of balance mixed with control and freedom. The challenge is to use both aspects at the right moments. So in jazz, the art form itself says you're supposed to individualize it , that's the point . All that's understood, but your goal is not to repeat or to objectify this thing. It's to take it and have it be a living thing that you put your personality on.

I feel that the music speaks absolutely louder than any dogma, any words can speak at all. And in the end, the music is connected.It's about how music ties into the "realms" and everything like that. It's just an understood, it's a given.

In my thinking it is an artist's duty is to try to get in touch with that vibe through his work. It's the work and it's the art that will do. SO.. it's freedom, individual creativity.
It is obviously possible, and one of my hero's in this has always been saxophonist John Gross. I heard John on a Shelly Manne recordings-
  • Shelly Manne and His Men, “Outside”,
  • Shelly Manne and His Men, “Live in London”
  • Shelly Manne, “Mannekind”,

What struck me first about John was the inside-out way he was playing. One big difference though was he was melodic. He knew how to construct a solid melody. From there...anything could happen, and it always did. As I followed his playing, and really wondered why Miles Davis never hired this guy,I realized he had a multi-phonic thing going on. Very deeply controlled and really resonate with the music he was creating.

Aside from Bert Wilson in jazz, and of course Coltrane this was rare. To be done as a part of the inner workings of not only the solo but the tonality. As time passed I got to know John via the " net" and talking to him on the phone.

He's a very interesting guy, and one of my favorite players ever. In a class with anyone great you can mention. He's recorded with so many jazz legends during his Los Angeles period-Gross spent five years (1967–1972) as house band member at Shelly Manne's Hollywood club, “Shelly’s Manne-Hole,” playing opposite such jazz greats as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey, Abby Lincoln,Muddy Waters, Gary Barone, Mike Wofford, and Dave Parlato. He toured Europe with Manne in 1970 playing on “Alive in London” recorded during a fondly remembered residency at Ronnie Scott's club in London.

Gross spent four years (1979–1983) touring worldwide with Toshiko Akiyoshi’s big band, including a gig at Carnegie Hall. The Toshiko Akiyoshi – Lew Tabackin Big Band was known for its wild “tenor battles” between Gross and Toshiko’s husband Lew Tabackin.

Among the countless other musicians Gross has played, toured and/or recorded with are Earl Grant, Oliver Nelson, Don Ellis, Gerald Wilson, Bill Holman, Alan Jones Sextet, Piotr Wojtasik, and Gordon Lee.

He has also performed with Rosemary Clooney, Nancy King, Diana Krall, Freddie Hubbard, Larry Young, Donald Bailey, Drew Gress, Dave Holland, Russ Morgan, Kay Kyser, Lennon Sisters, Roger Williams, Ernie Andrews, Gladys Knight,Stevie Wonder, Brad Turner, Carol King, Belinda Underwood, Glen Moore, Gary Versace, Israel Annoh, Pat Coleman, Alain Jean-Marie, The Hitchens Consort, Larry Koonse,The Belmondo Brothers, and Francois Theberge.

Gross received a preliminary Grammy nomination (best jazz album and best jazz soloist) for his 1990 trio album Three Play with bassist Putter Smith and guitarist Larry Koonse. ( Thank you Wikipedia for the time link- and link to careers within. )

His book- Multiphonics for The Saxophone- A practical guide- should be in the hands and minds of every serious saxophone player. The book is a life work of one of the greatest and most creative players we have in this music.

Over 40 years ago- I picked up a record by Shelly Manne with John Gross on it and from there have been listening to him, and someday I want to take a Multiphonics lessons with him- and also play for a few hours/days with him and Billy Mintz the drummer. His music has touched me deeply- and he is a true artist and I feel it would be of paramount importance to get him playing in NYC a few times a year too. He'd blow peoples minds- and that's a fact! He also has a saxophone SOUND that is very powerful and loaded with evocativeness.

I included some YOU TUBE videos here as well.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN GROSS...Thank you for the decades of inspiration.

With respect- Tim Price

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- Check list for the University bound saxophonist ; you need to know this!

In the course of teaching and getting students ready for many situations, I thought this lesson would open some eyes to some of the elements and instrumental requirements I feel are necessary for a good proficiency level to function in jazz study. Or for that matter, some general strong saxophone skills. The student should have all these aspects together if they want to get into a good music school, or function as a professional, or just make their basic skills as strong as possible. These are elements that everyone should have under their belt at some point. I'll share them with you.

    All major scales
    All minor scales (natural, harmonic, ascending melodic)
    All (2) whole-tone scales
    Pentatonic scales
    Blues scales
    All diminished scales
    Chromatic scales
    Bebop scales (ionian add #5; mixolydian add Maj.7; melodic minor add #5; mixolydian b2 b6 add Maj.7; dorian add Maj.7; locrian add Maj.7)
    All of the above scales in 15 keys (7 sharp keys, 7 flat keys and the key of C)
    All dom 7th, min 7th, maj 7th, half dim 7th, dim 7th (and in versions)
    Dominant 7th arpeggios chromatically
    ii-V progression arpeggiated from the root
    ii-V pattern chromatically
    ii-V pattern moving up in minor thirds
    Flat 5 substitutes in all keys
    Scale fragments (i.e. 1231/1235/1b761/1b765) - play in cycles of 5ths, chromatically, minor 3rds, etc.

Repertoire for performance goals

    Play "basic blues" in all keys (i.e. Bags Groove, Blues In The Closet, Buzzy, Bluebird, Now's The Time, Cool Blues, Straight No Chaser, and other melodies)
    Play "rhythm changes" at least three keys
    Memorize three jazz standards, other than the blues, which are of a complex nature, i.e. "Donna Lee", "Confirmation", etc.
    Be able to play with other musicians, keeping consistent time, keeping track of song form, and interacting.

    Sight reading and Concentration

    Be able to read and perform parts, both classical and jazz idioms with accuracy of tempo, intonation, dynamics and articulation.

    Be able to read melodic lines that emphasize continuous 16th or 8th note passages with varying intervallic movement and swing feeling.


    Be able to perform throughout the entire register of the instrument with full and even sound at any dynamic level.

    If your college bound, via a school jazz program, and play saxophone use this blog as your check list. You should be able to do a lot on here-and also get started on the weak spots ASAP.

    Also- Check my friend- Jeff Coffin showing some love, my former student Erin Stroup sends me a TV clip on education w/ Jeff Coffin that made it on you tube.

    Check 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!!

    Hope this is a help- Tim Price

    PS- Sax Study w/Tim Price...SKYPE/ NYC or PA.

    I provide you with specific projects that will challenge you at your present level without overwhelming you. I will also help you gain the ability to do that.As a working professional who teaches at one of the top jazz schools ( New School University- NYC) , and also does clinics for Rico Reeds, this is what I'm here for. Let me help you. It's that simple- it's that fun.Any level-any style.

    Studios in NYC, Reading, Pa and I teach on SKYPE.

    ( Also let your band teachers know I do workshops/clinics.I travel and will

    be glad to make this work for you & your school )

    Get to me at ;

    THANKS- Tim Price

    Check out my Sax Lessons -NyC-Pa-or SKYPE

    Tim Price- On the Road (Promo)

    Info on SKYPE SAX STUDY W/ Tim


Thursday, May 19, 2011


There are many roads to success in music. This is an art form of the highest degree here!
Artistic integrity is something that many players deal with. Everybody has a different agenda .Clive Stevens is a man of great integrity and amazing vision.

~This music of Clive Stevens is like taking a bath in the river Ganghes, a cleansing of the spirit again..

The spiritual nature of this disc is evident, it is beyond just a new CD it is a divine commitment to the highest creativity. Words escape me on this new CD because Clive has created a Mona Lisa of a artistic statement.Virtually all of the tracks have a strong initial melodic "hook" and a highly satisfying outcome.

Take note that the outcome is not only excellent but comfortable and expected. This music makes you feel good! As Clive states in his words- This is a transformative album that blends future jazz, dance, electronica, downtempo, lounge, and world. dub and spoken word into a new fusion of contemporary global beats and sounds.

I urge everyone on my blog- to buy this CD and not only enjoy it but tell a friend and write into this blog with your views-
this CD is a MUST.

This is truly a collaboration & amazing musical journey brought to you by very blessed talents. Let's hear more Clive.

What a profound and creative human being Clive is- Tim Price



Monday, May 16, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- A DAY IN THE LIFE....

.... Being a complete musician goes well beyond the notes.It involves more than just getting a degree, playing your instrument, and those aspects. More so, it includes, the day to day life of travel, prep before you travel, making sure your ducks are in a row on the daily agenda.Gas for the car, bus ticket, clothes and schedule. Anything short of that in todays environment is a loss on the player-performers game card. Yes, it's past the mouthpieces, or a five digit Selmer and the demo CD that your uncle Ralph paid for. It's called- day to day life. Here is a day in my life- as of May 13th. I thought I'd share this with you all dear readers, hope you enjoy it. I continue to explore and learn all I can in the quest to develop my own musical voice. This is an account of a day in my life, and what’s behind the music via a profound the effect on my musical psyche.As I said, being a complete musician goes well beyond the notes. I’m grateful for that.

May 13th, was the last semester day at New School University, in NYC where I teach. I woke up at 5am, and got my stuff together, coffee,shower, horns, music for the car ride and my material for the teaching day. I hit the highway, I usually bus from Kutztown ,Pa but Friday was so beautiful I had a agenda if the weather stayed ok. I got into NYC in about 2 hours and 20 minutes. I parked the car across the street from the Blue Note club in the "Village". I told the attendant my in and out as far as later I would grab stuff from my car before my gig. They are cool, there and he got the message. ( 40 dollars all day-you can't beat that! ) I was off to my favorite java hang before work- Caffe Reggio NYC – Greenwich Village’s Oldest Coffee House! After a double espresso macchiato and toast I was ready. The Reggio is my favorite, along with the coffee houses in San Fransisco's North Beach scene.Waiting at our marble bistro table for the stuff to arrive it's was fun to absorb all of the details of the small space, with the antique lighting and stained glass, tin roof and antiques, all giving off the vibe that they had been there forever. You can’t buy patina like this. I found out about the Reggio, in the 70's when a beautiful woman, I knew for ever named Marietta, told me about it. Been going there ever since. Ok-So I'm off walking over to 13th street and 6th ave with my tenor on my back in my Bam case. Put in my class time and at 3:00 head uptown to teach a few more students at Michiko on 46th street. The subway was fast on Friday and I was doing great time.

I arrive at Roberto's and find next to my studio an on going TV documentary with Al Jarreau, Kurt Elling and Jon Hendricks. To cool ! My students come and it's 6:30 and I'm ready for dinner. Not just any dinner mind you but my running buddy and good friend Sweet Sue Terry has invited me out to dinner before my " Garage" gig. Sue shows up at Michiko and wants to play with me and my last student that day Avi. Her clarinet was just repaired by everyone's favorite woodwind repair person in NYC.... Kristan Bertrand. After looking at Sue's clarinet and giving her my 2 cent lecture on plastic reeds- I am off to dinner.

Sue and I decide to walk to Ichi Umi on 32ed street and talk. The conversations always with Sweet Sue can be inspiring and earth shaking. We always speak of the unsung friends we share who are-PLAYERS OF THE HIGHEST CALIBER- but not media / household names. EG- Melba Liston and people like Patience Higgins. AKA- Count Gigula!! Patience is the king- he has gigs on the way to gigs!! He gigs in places where gigs don't exist!! Hence my nickname for him- Count Gigula. I love that guys playing- he's like a Lockjaw Davis or Jerome Richardson. Sue and I get to Ichi Umi, and it's jumping. It's a sushi seafood buffet- and I haven't eaten since the Reggio. I am starving- and we proceed. Dinner is amazing and my battery is re-charged thanks to Sweet Sue Terry!

It's 9:00 and I cab over to my car- grab my change of clothes at the garage. Change quick in the mens room- and brush my teeth and refresh. Toss my day clothes in my car- and I'm off to the gig!! I walk over thru the " Village" and quickly decide before the walk-it might be cool to get a cafe from Reggio for the walk. Hey, why not??? haha- So I'm off and to the gig!

Tim Price & Ryan Anselmi Soulful Tenor Madness with Grease has been on the Greenwich Village jazz scene at the " Garage Jazz Club" for over three years with steady once a month bookings. It's a fun gig, great vibe in the club and we play real jazz.
The gig is fantastic as always,check us on GIGMAVEN too.
We've been really fortunate to get great press on the music from the jazz magazines. Check it ;

"Tim Price and Ryan Anselmi Soulful Tenor Madness is emerging as one of the brightest new bands in jazz with a distinctive accent of their own.”
--- Down Beat (2011 )

" The band is one of the strongest today,due to Tim Price's roots and commitment to swinging jazz. Very compelling playing by Tim,Ryan Anselmi and Tom Abbott. Hear them! "
- The Village Voice (2011)

SO- The gig goes great- and it's 2:30 in the morning! What a great time and the special place that this music takes us too. I go to the garage- get my car and a double capp' from Reggio for the highway. It's as I expected-weather is beautiful. I go through the Lincoln Tunnel and it's mine! Three cars at about 3:05...and as I hit the highway on route 78 going aside of Newark New Jersey- there might be 4 or 5 cars on that Rt 78 total- it's great. The vibe and a late night plane going into Newark lighting up the sky. I ride with my sun roof open, at first no music, just drinking coffee and enjoying the silence. The trip goes great and I am truckin' into Pennsylvania in less than an hour! No traffic and as I ride into the last leg in Jersey- The sky is changing from black into a very cool color of purplish-light blue as the sun is on the way. Time for some sounds! I let the CD player hit and get my ears on some Portuguese Fado Singer sounds with Don Byas.

I head 'round Allentown, Pa and get my exit into Reading, Pa- I take scenic route through farm country and the sun is coming up-by this time- it's time for some Bill Withers soul on the CD player ( with my man James Gadson on drums!! ) and I pull into my driveway- at 5:53. Not bad! Not to shabby dear reader.

.....As you read, this might be a long day for some. But it's part of the day in the life. Putting life together- and dealing with it. Days like Friday May 13th happen. It's like two days in one! Right? With the right mind-set and_KNOWING_that you either do what's there and be glad in this place that the world is in- that your GLAD to be working. I sure am- and I'm glad I'm doing things I enjoy.

I'm a lucky guy! As I said before... being a complete musician goes well beyond the notes. I’m grateful for that.

See ya next week- keep it real.

~ Tim Price

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- Claude McLin Tenorman

Here we is a very unsung Chi town tenor player-

I used to live in Chicago at the old Maryland Hotel on Rush St
in 70's when I was playing with Jack McDuff as well as Don Patterson.

There was a sax player who lived in the hotel named Buster..he
was a local guy and knew ALL the spots to jam..hear people and like that.
Sonny Stitt told me first about Claude as I thought his name was
a stage name for Wardell Grey or something. I heard these records
thru Buster..It was a style like a harder Lester Young bag. Kinda like
Wardell Grey...But more edgy and loud.I'm a sucker for
those post-Prez tenor guys..The swing and the hard groove kills me.

SO - also Von Freeman had made me tapes of Claude but since then
they have bit the dust.I love Von to. ( also Frank Lowe in NyC gave me some
info to- )

This is a great player..Check the Charlie Parker record he is on.His
feel and personal tenor statement is a breath of fresh air today.

Claude McLin ... Tenor sax Legend and Unsung Master.

Claude McLin was a tenor saxophonist of the purest Lestorian persuasion.
He was born in 1926, place unknown. He served in the Army from 1944 to
1946, and seems to have moved to Chicago after his discharge. From 1946
through 1951 he led a combo in Chicago bars and nightclubs.

Claude McLin was an established presence in Chicago by the end of 46.

From January to June 47, Claude McLin led the house band at the Pershing
Hotel ballroom. On Sunday January 19, "McKie's Matinee Dances" opened with
Claude McLin & His Orchestra. On February 1, a promo for the Feb. 2 dance
showed McLin in a photo, surrounded by teenaged autograph
seekers. On February 9, "McKie's Booster Ramble" now included the bands
of "McLin, Freeman, Cosby" .

In March , there was a scheduled battle between Claude McLin and Johnny
Griffin. On May 9, Claude had the night off, but as the "McKie Booster
Favorite," he was promised to return on May 16, battling " Gene
Ammons (Billy Eckstine Favorite)." On May 24, the Chicago Defender ran a photo
of him with the caption "Claude McLin's swingsational sax will be featured at
the battle of the saxes being staged at the Pershing Ballroom by McKie
Fitzhugh..." At this point, Fitzhugh was running a tournament "to determine the
most popular sax player in Chicago."

Whether Claude won the finals on June 15, we don't know, but Fitzhugh may have wrapped up his Sunday dances for a while.

Still, with the extensive publicity Fitzhugh had generated, McLin had no
trouble finding work elsewhere. On June 21, 1947, "Claude McLin and his
2 Kings and a Queen" were appearing at Ciro's Lounge . This was located at
820 East 39th Street, not far from the Morocco Hotel and the Macomba Lounge. On
August 14, 1947, "the music of Claude McLin starring Gene Ammons" was
advertised for the Jazz at the Pershing series on August 17: "Both McLin and
Ammons are popular with
patrons of the hall and there is every indication that the hall will be
jammed." Ciro's Lounge ad appeared, as
did another on October 4 On October 25, Claude McLin and his 2
Kings and a Queen were still at Ciro's. On November 2, Claude "McLinn"
was again at the Pershing; the timing of the dances seemed
calculated to draw a High School crowd.

Claude McLin became a frequent visitor at the
Macomba Lounge where Tom Archia led the house band. Tom needed a
replacement when he went out on the road with Hot Lips Page
(November-December 1947), but the Macomba could not have relied on him
during the week, as he was still at Ciro's.
. Most likely, he filled Monday nights and during the late hours sessions.
Unfortunately, none of Claude's tenor "battles" with Tom Archia were
recorded ( neither were his contests with Gene Ammons, Johnny Griffin, Von
Freeman, and other local tenor stars )

On January 3, 1948, the New Savoy Ballroom welcomed Charlie "Yardbird"
Parker and His Orchestra along with Claude McLin and His Combo. McLin's
band settled in for a residency on January 11, and was paired with Duke
Ellington and his Orchestra on January 25. But the New Savoy did not keep its
doors open long.On March 6, Claude was back at Ciro's .

After Tom Archia's last session for the Aristocrat label (early October
1948), Leonard Chess and Evelyn Aron seem to have turned their attention
to Claude McLin. There are no advertisements for McLin from June 48
through early June 49, and he may have been resident at the Macomba
during part of this period . From 49 to 51, he and Gene Ammons were
Aristocrat and then Chess's top tenor saxophonists. Both had
hits in 1950 (Jug with "My Foolish Heart"; Claude with "Mona Lisa"). McLin,
however, quickly faded in 51 (his last session for the label was left in the
can) while Ammons' records continued to sell, as they still do today.

Claude McLin's first recording as a leader was on a rare Aristocrat
release that has been ignored since 49.
- Final note ; one of the best and most available sources to hear this unsung
giant of the tenor sax is on Charlie Parker's .." One Night in Chicago"..on
Savoy Records.This recording is a must.Bird is playing top form and the tenor
playing of Claude is stunning !
( SJL1132)
Without question Claudes tenor on " There's A Small Hotel " is on of the
many highlights on this live Parker recording.


You don't hear a tenor player like this every day.The search is well worth your time.

See ya next week- Tim Price