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 http://youtu.be/ShFqZzXI-WU
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