Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- Phil Woods Live In NYC at Birdland ( My Man Phil )

~Friday night October 21 was time to catch my man Phil Woods in New York City at Birdland. He was making his New York gig with his world class famous quintet.This band is just the best in the business today, Brian Lynch- trumpet, Bill Goodwin- Drums, Bill Mays-piano- Steve Gilmore-bass. What a beautiful friendship this unit has become too, you can hear the empathy and commitment they play with from note one, on the bandstand.

From the first tune of the first set to the last tune of the second set, I had the overwhelming impression of a lasting rare beauty they made on me. That beauty has not diminished with time either! I've been a fan of this band from day one, with Phil's sidemen like Mike Melillo and Harry Leahey back in the day, and every one of Phil's bands has the Woods thumbprint. The music is bright, fresh, melodic, soul cleansing, soothing, brialliant, beautiful and swinging hard.The jazz I heard Friday in New York City is some of the best jazz of all time. To me, Phil Wood's has it all. The sound, and the technique, true jazz roots, and style behind it, never falters. That style is what it's all about. he's got the moan in the tone, beauty and grace, but it's the style that sais Phil Woods. That's a lesson there, dear Rico Blog readers! His tone is huge and his melodic phrasing is an inspiration but also he can take you to the moon to once you get inside his solos, this guy travels the outer limits. There's times Friday where I just shook my head, because he knows how to start a phrase so damn well, and if you listen to his story well, and take the trip with him, you'll find out what I mean. Phil is one bad hombre', and modern cat, but he always was! Why would he ever change! I love hearing him play the Benny Carter tune, "Souvenir"...Every time he plays it, I hear something new. That's a tune, every serious jazz saxophonist should be playing as well.

Phil's band , always intelligent and inventive, driven by plenty of emotion and sensitivity. They are the greatest instrumentalists, on the scene today.The coherence achieved was extraordinary - never surpassed, and rarely if ever equalled. Brian Lynch knocks me out! Without a doubt, he is one of the greatest trumpet players ever. Bill Goodwin, was born to play the drums. I always find Bill inventive and intense as well as wonderfully melodious and profound. Bill Mays is one of the most most fulfilling pianists in jazz. His comping fuels the band, I loved his voicings and the way he comped! Amazing! I'll be blunt- this is one of the greatest pianists playing today.Unhesitatingly recommended - only great respect and gratitude to Bill Mays. Steve Gilmore is a rock solid player I always enjoyed, his sound is right there decade after decade.Warm, vital and inspiring, uplifting contributions.

Everything this band has recorded I recommend, not just one CD. But everything. Why? Because it's totally distinctive: there is no replacement, and you will not regret owning and playing them frequently. It's history and a saxophone lesson as well, and for those of you, a jazz history lesson is you step far enough in.

SPECIAL NOTE; Frank Wess was in the house digging Phil Woods too! Phil announced his great respects to Frank and noted that when he grows up he wants to be just like Frank Wess. Don't we all Phil, don't we all ! Support from within' the ranks is inspiring, and what it's about. Take note!

What a great night Friday was, and a fantastic inspiration. A great joy to hear Phil, see some friends and get inspired.Mission accomplished.

This is, I feel confident, the kind of music people will still enjoy centuries hence among the best music of the twentieth century.Thank you Phil Woods!

Till next week, Keep listening, keep practicing, support live music always- Tim Price

Pictured below- Is Drummer Bill Goodwin; One of the greatest drummers in jazz and original member of Phil Woods quintet, and a beautiful human being to boot!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- " The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena "..

~ So many times people musically are concerned about harsh reviews that serve no purpose and just thrash the artist. The common sense of communication, respect and review are lost forever in this kind of situation.

The great teacher Charlie Banacos once shared the below quote with me of Theodore Roosevelt which sums it all up nicely.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt take it a step even further...some words from Rico artist Jerry Bergonzi ;

"It's none of your business what other people think of your playing" - Jerry Bergonzi

Here's a helpful hint to gain new dimension ;

Replace the same old videos you watch on youtube with classic jazz recordings.Start listening more to masters and study the real history of what your playing! Youtube can be a great starting point- but keep on searching. Listen to more String Quartets, more Woodwind Quintets, read more about composers. Open a book, listen to Bill Evans, Bartok, read Boulez.Study scores, and get past the same stuff. The world is out there go find it.Live music needs your support! I continue to explore and learn all I can about all music in the quest to develop a voice.The more I know about what’s behind the music the more profound the effect is on my musical psyche. Being a complete musician goes well beyond the notes- much more than that. I’m grateful for the era that I came up in, and the teachers, musicians that made me aware of these values. Balance! I hope my words on this issue, in the process inspire people to do the right thing.Go hear some live music, support the people playing NOW, be part of it.

Till next week be in the moment and make every moment the best it can be.
~ Tim Price

PS- The cat is my Maine Coon Cat Milo..he's 12 weeks old. A beautiful Cameo color.
He's on the case already!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Musician + Entrepreneurship = Career You Want

Hi - I'm Rico Artist and saxophonist Connie Frigo, and I'm flattered to start contributing to Rico's blog page. D'Addario & Co. (parent company to Rico) and the Road of Creativity (my consulting business, ROC for short) are partnering to launch ROC's Inaugural Music Entrepreneurship Retreat from June 3-9, 2012, hosted by the University of South Carolina. If you are a young professional or college-aged musician who desires to gain essential career skills and attitudes for success in today's music world, you need this retreat.

Click here to go to my blog for a free download of my first published article on entrepreneurship for musicians. It first appeared in the Saxophone Journal magazine in early 2011. More to come!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' ForRico Reeds- Peer Or Clone

Tim Price Jazz Workshop- Peer or Clone?

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
e. e. cummings

Monday, October 3, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico Reeds- Happy Birthday Von Freeman- Saxophone Legend.

Happy Birthday Von Freeman!

Von Freeman is a saxophonist and Chicago jazz legend in a town that is known for producing a lot of both.Von Freeman is the namesake of a street Von Freeman Way and the recepient of an honorary doctorate from Northwestern University. That's very cool, and a bright moment in jazz.

Von Freeman is an iconoclastic jazzman, a tenor sax player and a life long fixture on the Chicago jazz Scene. Long regarded as among the top players in the world, he still gigs regularly in a weekly jam session he heads on the south side of town.

Von's style is all his own. Clearly having learned the lessons of Bebop, he chooses instead to play inside changes when he wishes with an outside tone, again when he wishes, playing lines with incredible speed and dexterity.I always loved his taste as to when to use this and when not to.So many other tenor players, play solos that have nothing to do with the song. Not Von, but this is an asset of a master, and he is also a great pianist too.

I consider Von Freeman possibly the most compelling instrumentalist I have experienced,I used to hear him live when I'd travel through Chicago. At a point, I got to talk to him and found him to be a very sweet and open guy. Really a walking history book and fun to talk with. I heard him at the Jazz Showcase on Rush St many times and also at the other spots around town.

That first record he did " Doin' it right now" I still listen to, when I got it, it messed me up because of his great sense of time and harmony. I couldn't stop listening to it! His playing was bold, visceral, and striking. Also one of the hippest versions of " Lost In A Fog" ever. Or let me say one of my favorites! The late John Stubblefield and I used to hang and try to cop Von's articulation, or try to. That Chicago time feel, and the driving attack. I just love it.

There's another Von record, that you got to check out- with our man Frank Catalino on it. It's called " You Talkin' To Me"...and it is amazing. It was the first time I heard Frank, and knew I would be a fan. One of the best records in the Delmark catalog, and damn Frank holds his own with Von. That is a great tenor record!

But- everything Von records you should hear! He's that guy! Check him out, you'll hear something new and fresh always. This man is one of the real ones.

But here's to Mr. Von Freenman on his birthday!
Born on this day in 1923 and one of the assets in jazz and saxophone!

Earle Lavon Freeman Sr. is 89. Happy Birthday Von!! Thank you for all of your inspiration. You've touched all of us deeply sir.

~ Tim Price