Monday, December 26, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- The Cats You Never Heard Of- And the cats you should hear more of.


I'm in that kind of mood today so let's run with it. I just found a great solo of
one my unsung fav's tenor monster- Morris Atchinson. What a great sound- and he is as great as anyone.

"Love Of Mine - Bobby "Blue" Bland

Check these- then read on please ;

Tim Price- The Cats You Never Heard Of

Back in the day...As a teenager I heard a tenor saxophonist ~

~ The tenor players name was- Billy Mitchell! I saw him through a dirty bar room window in my home town in Reading, Pa as a kid. He wa splaying with trombonist Al Grey.That left a huge impression on me as a young player. Every week I'd go stand
outside & look thru the dirty glass window on 7th street ( which is where the railroad is...Eg-Reading Railroad for all you Monopoly fans ) And dig the bands. One time I heard Billy Root with Al Grey.Another time this guy FRANK HAYNES, who was like a Trane -grits type line player with a chitlin' Gene Ammons sound.
Frank later recorded with Lee Morgan & Grant Green.

AS time passed...I started to work on the next street at the C.P Club on
weekends and Sundays. ( C.P means Colored Political ) So I got
to meet some of those sax players while I was still in high school.We'd play a lot of soul music with jazz instrumentals as covers. It gave all of a chance to play but also meet some of these guys at an early age. After all- jazz did not start with " Giant Steps" and " Love Supreme". Years later at Berklee, in my apartment building, there was a guy who lived in my building in Boston Gary Hammond. Came off the road in 1970 to study in Boston..he just left " The Ice Breakers". Hammond later played with Patton and at times still does. Gary is a unsung player and a sweetheart of a guy. I
love his playin'. Hes on some Johnny Hammond Smith records and some Barbara
Donald stuff on Cadence records. I got to mention two guys from Philly who played in that bag-one was the late great Rudy Jones. He never left Philly. He and I used to
play a lot with Don Patterson in late 70's. Another Philly guy who never got
credit was Vance Wilson. Great tenor player. Ask Benny Golson about Rudy Jones
sometime-you'll be good for a half hour talk at least.

I always get concerned about these guys because they were the backbone of tenor playing. Like Bergonzi said " The cats you never heard of". They helped me in many ways...I get concerned because these enviroments like the clubs etc are not around anymore. Even the audiences have changed. And believe me these bands and players were an education unto themselves. I worry that young players will miss the essence of
Fred Jackson , Marvin Cabell, Rudy Rutherford,Rudolph Johnson, Tom Russell, Weasel Parker, Leo Johnson in Newark,Miles Donahue,Sue Terry, Sam Phipps, Arnie Krackowski, Bll Saxton in NYC, Patience Higgins and so many more.With the loss of the record industry and the influx of commercial sales- things have gotten worse.Yes- the " net" is somewhat of a help but the players I'm talking about are of another era. These guys have paid some real dues.Listen for them. AND THERE'S MORE....

~ Till next week step out of your comfort zone and listen to some people that you don't know.

Have a great New Year and see you in 2012. Have a great one!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tim Price Blogging For Rico- Happy Holidays From T.P.- Forward motion thoughts- Wild Turkey cookies & Italian Bouillabaisse Stew


You recognize when you feel good. You know when you feel at your best—at the top of your game. You realize when you enter harmonious relationship with family and friends—maybe even with foes. These are emotional states you experience. They range from negative and protective to joyous and ecstatic. The positive ones include love, peace, freedom, joy, empowerment, generosity, trust, tolerance, faith, patience, safety, honesty, and more.

These are emotional states you experience. They range from negative and protective to joyous and ecstatic. The positive ones include love, peace, freedom, joy, empowerment, generosity, trust, tolerance, faith, patience, safety, honesty, and more.

Of course most of us most of the time want the good feeling emotional states. With music, we have the escape button most do not in society today.Perhaps you think you are not as consciously aware of such states as the next person. Whether or not you are, I believe that you can grow into broader and deeper awareness of these states. Only you can determine if you want greater awareness, or whether you deserve to experience these states, or even when you are ready to explore your potential. I encourage you to choose growth. Look forward, as I say...forward motion. It's the only way to go.

I seem to think it serves as a effective guidance system. Feeling responses signal when you are aligned with your purpose—also when you are not.( Focus,practicing, relating to your lover, wife or concert) When you align with your purpose at any level from the most mundane to the most sacred, you establish integrity with what and who you are from core to skin and beyond. This involves a simple condition that allows more and more persistent experience of emotional well being. It responds to conditioning which best begins with curiosity and flexibility. Natural, effective and free! Then allowing you to free your energy into an open flow. The effort required for this may be minimal. However, it can become very draining while meeting obstacles, residue, & constriction. Clearing these blocks is essential. The results are amazing. Thinking is all you need to do- yo don't need to buy anything, just clear your mind and apply this cornerstone of balance.

OK- Now the holidays are upon us and it is time for T.P.'s holiday Xmas treats. First a Christmas cookie idea.


Makes about 48 balls.....perfect for de-stressing! ha!

2 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (best made with Nabisco Famous wafers -- 1 package -- pulverized in a food processor)

1 1/4 cups pecans

1/2 cup or more of Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon.

1 cup confectioners' sugar, plus additional for rolling

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 tablespoons honey


In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the cookie crumbs and pecans until the nuts are finely ground.
In a separate bowl, stir together the bourbon or rum, 1 cup confectioners' sugar, the cocoa powder, and honey. Add the mixture to the food processor and pulse until just combined. Let the dough rest, uncovered, at room temperature for 4 hours or, lightly covered, overnight. This will dry it out a little.

Use your fingers to roll the dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Roll the balls in confectioners' sugar. Store the balls airtight if you like them moist, or uncovered if you like them to develop a crunchy sugar crust on the outside. Sprinkle with (or roll the balls in) additional confectioners' sugar just before serving.


NEXT- I got this from a friend who runs an Italian shop in my city.Her family makes this every year and I am going to try it.It's an Italian Bouillabaisse Stew, and it is delicious. I had some last year and it is delicious. Great the 2ed day too!

OK- Here it is ;


1/2 cup olive oil
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 leeks, sliced
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 bay leaf (optional)
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 (8 ounce) bottles clam juice
2 3/4 cups dry white wine
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
salt and ground black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 pound red snapper fillets, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 pinch saffron
24 sea scallops
30 small mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1 pound cooked lobster meat, cut into bite-size pieces


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the celery, garlic, leeks, thyme, and bay leaf; cook and stir until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the diced tomatoes, clam juice, white wine, fennel seed, salt and pepper, and parsley. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add the snapper and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Gently mix in the saffron, scallops, and mussels. Cook until the scallops are no longer translucent and the mussels have opened their shells, about five minutes. Add the lobster pieces and cook until heated through, about one minute.
Ladle the bouillabaisse into serving bowls, making sure each portion contains 5 mussels, 2 to 3 sea scallops, fish, and a piece of lobster.

Sounds good and fun too~~ yea !!!!

So- on that note my friends I hope that works for you.Food wise and forward motion wise.

I'll close with one of my favorite quotes by Norman Vincent Peale- " Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."

May peace be everyone's gift at Christmas,and joy and blessing to all of you.


PS- Happy Holidays means whatever you celebrate the very best to you and yours! :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tim Price Blogging For Rico- Expression not impression in jazz.

When I listen to great music, not just jazz but great music I hear expression. Take for example Johnny Hodges. ANYTHING... Hodges played by the way! Expression, deep internalized emotional depth that brought the listener in.Stravinsky, Bach, John Lennon and thousands of others.

No a bunch of flurries of fast notes.No matter what,technique must always serve an expressive idea. If you listen to Coltrane play " Russian Lullaby " there is a great example of what I just talked about. To use another example, Ernie Watts with Charlie Haden.( Charlie Haden Quartet West with string orchestra) as much horn as Ernie can play, you never hear how the chops are in the way of the artist.Great jazz players know that all they have is themselves. Doing what everyone else is doing is not an option.In the jazz community you don't get significant points for chest pounding every solo. Entry into the pantheon of great jazz is strictly reserved for those who play "who they are,".

Internalization through performance is also suggested to get expression together- everything can NOT be gained in the practice room.You need to play and play more than just the cream gigs. Play the small out of the way spots to get your ideas to relax and meet new players. I would workshop my bands at the now defunt " Puppets" a great jazz bar in Brooklyn NY on off peak hours. Mid-day to get players together and to get things going. Often, I'd find a lot out. It was a beautiful place to, Jamie who ran it was a great guy and beautiful drummer. On peak hours I'd bring in bands like my
" T.P.'s Kosmik Incubator" and we'd have a ball.Everything does not happen in the practice room!


That man is Jean-Baptiste Illinois Jacquet (October 31, 1922 – July 22, 2004)

Known as Illinois Jacquet, one of the greatest tenor saxophonists in jazz ever. Also one of THE greatest jazz bassoonists in jazz ever.You job is to search out everything you can find of his on you tube, and on Cd's and on older Count Basie you tube because he is essential to everything that ever happened to the music. Ever! And yes he played Rico reeds and oh yes he studied the music hard from every aspect. he even studied the bassoon in later years in life with a teacher from the NY Phil. Hear Illinois- you'll learn a lot.

Lastly,this is something I'm noticing a lot. Self-consciousness on the bandstand can be heard, and can easily be noticed when the player is looking around the room to see if anyone is watching them while they are playing.Lesson of lessons in the real world- ego nor machismo should override common musical sense.
As a player does this they are taking affirmation inventory as they play; checking out who looks impressed with them, or searching to see who or what other musician is in the room. Hiding vulnerability with this approach should be lost. Discipline, focus, sacrifice and heart are the tools used to respect your own life, focus on those and practice, and enjoy your playing on the set, eat right, and be glad your you. That's all you can hope for.

Till next week- make seasons bright !

~ Tim Price

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- Ole' Nicolas Slonimsky

Coltrane’s 1961 Impressions album, recorded at the Village Vanguard in New York City,and the Coltrane record " Ole" took my teenage mind out in the 60's. Songs like “India” and “Impressions” propelled me into an out-of-body experience.I listened to the song " Ole" as a teenager in a different mindset than probably most would once I started to understand Trane could never get to that place in time, without being a strong blues player or a serious student of the music. I knew this from hanging around the older musicians I worked with as a teenager in clubs, and listening to the radio from Philly.

I had this great music and immagery around me. What exactly was happening? Why did Trane’s music have this effect on me? I think the answer lies in his approach to improvising. When he switched from chordal to modal music, he was embracing an old world music paradigm that often induces altered states of consciousness.Modal music takes you on a voyage, and certain scales affect people in powerful ways.It is often used in sacramental rituals in traditional world cultures.

Coltrane had read Russian music lexicographer Nicolas Slonimsky’s exhaustive Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns. It contained not only classic Western modes like diatonic, chromatic, lydian, phrygian and other well-established musical elements, but also modes from various world music genres: Indian scales, North African and African styles, Middle Eastern modes, and more. Coltrane studied these patterns and modes and used them in much of his exploratory music from 1961-1967, the year of his death. He also studied Indian modes and scales with Ravi Shankar.( He named his son Ravi as well, who is also one of my very favorite players )
Yusef Lateef also explored traditional world music in a similar fashion and used these idioms in his music. For both musicians, modal improvisation allowed them to reach a deeper spiritual plane than standard chord progressions would, the latter which Coltrane had thoroughly covered in the 1950s on albums like Giant Steps and his work with Miles Davis for the Prestige sides.
Many cultures outside of Europe see music as elixir, not just entertainment or even art . Music forms a part of daily life, devotion, spirit and ritual, not just in clubs or concert halls. This is where the modal model comes in.

Coltrane was a seeker who wanted to go deeper in his music. And that is why he is revered not only as musician but also as a musical healer as well. He was a true musical sufi who transcended many musical boundaries, and his music prefigured what we enjoy now in world music. And hearing that 1961 album, Impressions and Ole, changed my life and musical journey.

But let me say boldly that the Nicolas Slonimsky book is something still yet to be fully paid attention to in depth. Of course we all know Frank Zappa gave strong props to Nicolas Slonimsky. But if you really study the book in the right way-slowly doors open. I've been into it since buying it in 1970 from the Bumblebee book Store on Hemenway St in Boston. I have sinse bought another hard cover copy as well, as a travel copy. My teacher the late Charlie Banacos and I got deep into the book- and not only did I start to find some great harmonic parts of Coltrane solos, but also key center shifting or the whole-tone pattern of two augmented triads
that appears in an earlier position in Coltrane’s improvisation on “One Down, One
Up”. Plus other nice ideas as - a sesquitone, or minor third, progression used as melodic vocabulary in a Coltrane improvisation occurs just before the E major, C major, and Ab major implied major thirds cycle from the composition “Brasilia”. There are loads more in " Brasilla" and of course " Saturn" with direct links to Slonimsky.

The Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns contains over two hundred
patterns based on the ditone progression which is the most common link to the interval of the major third. Listen to " Giant Steps". Coltrane used so many
ditone progression patterns out of the Thesaurus in his pursuit of cyclical
material.If you search in the book,Slonimsky labels one particular group of patterns included in the ditone progression portion of the Thesaurus as "Miscellaneous Patterns". These sixteen patterns constructed using dominant seventh chords progressing by the interval of a major third and are further classified by root position, first inversion, second inversion, and third inversion.I was playing them for years, and Charlie Banacos pointed them out to me- and the light went off. It made sense then!

Then there are the, if you will and I hate to use a term free but the word free music with Rashid Ali, where you can hear the cycles going from the book.Those duets recorded with Rashied Ali are mind blowing, "Mars" was done in 1967 and sounds like it was done yesterday and contains a cycle following a perfect fourth inversion then perfect fifth until it is reached again. Once Coltrane finishes one complete cycle of fourths, he immediately starts and completes eight more pitches of another cycle of fourths. Right out of Slonimsky! Not note for note mind you but for sure, the thought intuition. Of course another great example is John Coltrane using the perfect fourth via the principal
interval pattern is as the first motive is the composition "Jupiter", from the Interstellar Space recording again as I mentioned.

NOW- Here on "Jupiter" what has made it such a tour de' force is that Coltrane has his be-bop roots right in place,is a melodically stronger pattern because of the whole and half step approaches to the pitches of the principal interval. Slonimsky typically uses patterns in the Thesaurus that outline triads-but Trane had added that to bop approach notes and took to to the ultimate zenith of it's limit. The first time I head this it was mind blowing because it was like opera. Between two eras at once in a split second! Trane has the minor triads outlined in fourths. By arranging the pattern the way he does, Coltrane is able to melodically and rhythmically
emphasize the movement by the principal interval of the fourth with the Slonimsky ideas. Not copying have you but fuel for the fire! Remember, I bought my book in 1970, it took me decades of study and asking questions and LISTENING to get to these places. I'm not done either.

But the other interesting part is-first of all- they bring you in. It feels so good. There's a rapture in there. An invitation and a very unique desire to return. I don't know how many times I listened to those records, let alone the cut " Ole". Also I should add this, It is true that Slonimsky does not come right out and say how to specifically apply these concepts and phrases. Instead, he leaves little clues (many of which are in the Introduction) to help guide and provide the reader with a few different options of harmonizations and applications. Quite simply, with the "Thesaurus," you get what you put into it. If you spend time analyzing, applying, and considering the things in this book, it will over time become clear as to what it is all really about.This is NOT a quick fix book. One of the great things about this book is it inspires an individualistic approach; you learn to develop your own way of thinking as you work through it. This makes everyone's appplication of the scales just a bit different from the next person. Two people might approach the same pattern in a totally different way, therefore making the applications constantly evolve and change. Also, if you are thinking this book will provide a "quick fix" for your playing, or make you sound like Coltrane, don't bother buying this book either. One should be aquainted with both classical and jazz harmony before working through this book. Besides the contents of the book there are a few other nice things about it. There is an explanation of terms, which is most helpful as the musician learns Slonimsky's terminology. It is also extremely well organized which lends itself well to an individual curriculum. For the musicians that are ready, and are motivated enough to put in the required time and effort, it will be well worth it, and the musical rewards will compensate the price of buying the book many times over. Slonimsky states in the Introduction, "There are 479,001,600 possible combinations of the 12 tones of the chromatic scale. With rhythmic variety added to the unbounded universe of melodic patterns, there is no likelihood that new music will die of interval starvation in the next 1000 years." Good news!

I'm even at a point where I'm feeling ready to do a Slonimsky-Coltrane masterclass in NYC in 2012 in the spring. I got a few interesting line matrix within chords that work, and some examples and definitions. I've used some of it myself even with some open ended bassoon things of mine, it works great if you use the patterns in the next portion of this analysis of interval cycles based on the tritone progression that are classified by Slonimsky as“Symmetric Interpolations”. The tritone progression is the only interval cycle in the Thesaurus that includes this category. This is due to the fact that since the tritone interval divides an octave equally into two parts, an intervallic symmetry can be created ascending and descending the middle of the octave by 96 strategically inserting interpolations. This works amazing, due to the octaves on the bassoon, and you don't have to resolve at all.

Improvising- results could go places like this;

If I really want to go off- I throw on my WHAMMY pedal and add some aditional harmony like a 4th down or a 7th up. I wonder what Nicholas might of thought of that? Hmmm????

On a funny note- Once Ernie Watts and I were practicing this book in my home at almost midnight. Ernie got concerned, and said to me, " Does your wife own a fire arm? "....after the laughter stopped,I assured him it was ok. She was sleeping and the room was sound proofed. We still laugh about that. Another story was, I actually met Slonimsky once in Los Angeles. A friend composer /woodwind player knew him, and took me to meet him. He was really a very interesting man. I was at a loss for words.
If you know me, that might behard to believe, but I said to him, Nicolas you look fantastic. As I was really nervous as I never expected to meet this man in my life! He smiled and said " I SHOULD- I'M NOT EVEN 100 !"....He was a brilliant hang.

In any case- this is a path I've been on for decades and also something of great interest. In closing let me also add,entry into the pantheon of great jazz is strictly reserved for those who play "who they are," not for those who second-guess what they think the audience wants to hear. The jazz masters all know that individuality can't be mass-produced. Think about hard...practice hard and be who you are.

~ Tim Price

- I studied with Charlie Banacos from 1984 to December 2009 , the year that he passed. He was a beautiful teacher and a great friend.I really miss this man, he was a remarkable teacher and great friend. He proved to me that education was beyond the ivory tower and beyond a degree,it was also music for music sake as I learned young on the streets as a player.He was a funny vivid brilliant guy who knew the real deal- and was a world class teacher one on one.Actually I remember him briefly at Berklee for a hot minute. Always dug his decorum and energy.
I heard Charlie at the famous Arlington street church concert concert in 1972 with Miles Donahue and Jerry Bergonzi which became known as the famous Arlington street Church Concert.Through Charlie Banacos,Charlie Mariano, Ernie Watts and Bert Wilson I gained much insight into this great book.

Harmonically Charlie Banacos opened many doors for me that helped me open more- this blog is dedicated to Charlie Banacos.Once he gave me advice on some music I had done with electro-bassoon using these Slominsky kinda things and chords. He said, " Look man your cooking Tim but don't play this stuff in the Holiday Inn! "...hahaha. I sure do miss Charlie Banacos. This blog is for him. God Bless You Charlie.