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