Monday, January 30, 2012

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- Have you heard Brian Landrus? Well you should!

Have you heard Brian Landrus? Well you should!

~ Rico artist and NYC saxophonist Brian Landrus has released two extraordinary studio albums- both strikingly different from each other but with a core of personal originality that demands your attention. Hearing Brian in these two settings only only further emphasizes my joy and urgency for him to gain a wider audience.

To me, on a first listen each band plays with a combination of logic, trust, and emotion. The key then is how important Brian's leadership, playing and composition takes hold.His playing is lively and intelligent, and contains a lot of excitement. Also emotional and intelligent.He can play anything from swing to be-bop,his roots are there way more than many these days, and his sound on his horns is a knock out.
Those above mentioned skills are a perfect foundation for long lasting attention to his recent recordings.

To describe them review style is one thing. Let me say this- buy them both now ok. Then come back and re-read this blog and you'll see why I'm raving about him.
First off, he cared to do this right, the band still sounded inspired,the inspiration is flowing and his technical facilities are in full force.His new material, at this point is like a fresh breathe and that ups the ante considerably.I'm sure in a live performance these compositions are juggernauts,with jumping off points for a band finding inspiration in the elasticity of the material.

What I noted also was Brian's quest for something original. Open ended blowing, and telling story's.I marvel at how many great ideas, directions his improvising on his horns takes,he is about today.NOW! This is the source of that wellspring coming from him as a player.

On one track “Soul and Body,” his solo improvisation functions as an intro to the standard “Body and Soul”, in which the band rejoins. This to me speaks volumes.Hear him, don't just read my words, buy these CD's and support this man in his creative career. Another point is on The Landrus Kaleidoscope, the electro-acoustic CD "Capsule" Landrus plays baritone sax, bass flute and bass clarinet on Capsule,which was released October 25. This recording beckons air play by radio stations. I'd love to see what would happen if some programming was adjusted to fit just one track in of this disc! Ditto the "Traverse" will hold it’s own,go ahead jazz radio programmers make my day- play these CD's and watch the results.

This playing, music and commitment is very hip. And very modern, not in the sense of being different for the sake of difference or weird, but with the collective mastery and freedom which comes from knowing the form via the music so thoroughly that you can go all the way out with complete confidence that you can come back.

You need to experience such joy and maturity for yourself.Hear Brian Landrus now.

Till next week, strive for tone and remember, in the end it is all about love, giving, and gratitude.

Tim Price

PS- Amazon has them right here ;

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Long tones should be the most important part of your practice routine. This fact is surprising to many beginner or intermediate saxophonists.

Why Go Long?

Long tones help you develop muscles and skills that are extremely important in most playing situations:

• Embouchure. If the embouchure is correct throughout all of the long tones, then you will feel the burn as you reach the high notes. Make sure to really squeeze the corners in the high notes, and do not bite. If you feel the biting, stop, rest for a little while, and then continue when you feel ready.
• Tonal quality. By playing long tones, you become subconsciously aware of the overtones and can develop a finer tone quality.

How to Practice

Long tones should be practiced the following way:

1. Begin with low Bb and play this note at a piano volume the best you can for 10 seconds.
2. If you need to, use a metronome and set it to 60 beats per minute.
3. Go up chromatically and play each note in the range of the instrument. With correct lower lip and breath support as well as well-developed control of the muscles involved, you should be able to keep the intonation even.
4. Be conscious of tone quality, intonation, breath support and embouchure.
5. Use a mirror to see your embouchure. Long tones must be practiced for about 15 minutes at a time. In the first session, start at low Bb and ascend to the highest note you can play correctly. In the second session, start at the highest note you can play correctly, and descend to low Bb. Try your best to practice long tones as much as you can.

Good luck!

Tim Price

Monday, January 16, 2012

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico-The Essence Of Quality Practice.

Today's musicians-students-educators need quality of practice, which is of the essence. It's a life long process-. When you're twenty yrs. old, you just run off desire and youthful animal energy to practice. In the long run, the creative person needs to find a way to maintain a level of interest and aliveness in his art. This takes work and intelligence,it is not separate from living, just another aspect of it.

The concept of daily practice is an important one and is the best way to make
any kind of musical progress. Daily effort keeps you finely attuned to
continuous movement and the accumulation of effect. Practicing sporadically
causes you to lose the thread of your practice and is thus much less effective.

Through diligent , consistent daily work, a tangible musical substance is
incrementally developed. First of all, you develop physical stamina through
the repeated effort. Also , from day to day, you accumulate ideas and expand
on the themes of your practice. If you are working Major chords; the first day
you might just work on arpeggios, the next day you might see some connection
with other musical sources, such as songs, or through or whatever is interesting to you. By continuing to work with focus on the same things from day to day, you will find that your level of proficiency has risen and expanded to include all these other sources. Your practicing every day results in the acquisition of
technique, musical intelligence, improved tone, and stamina. Just the quest to continuously find something to practice will increase you creativity.

There are so many variations of scales melodies, and melodic patterns. So many sounds to make, articulations, songs to learn, music to listen to and analyze, technical
problems to sort out. The only limitation is your focus and creativity.
For example: let’s say that you have adequately practiced your horn and now want something else to work on. You could sit down at the piano and transcribe a song, learn a song by ear that you may have previously learned by wrote.

This , is one of the most beneficial practices you can do. Ear training, learning songs, listening to other players, hearing bass lines, melodies or whatever. Ok. Now you’ve spent a few hours and learned a tune the way its supposed to be played. You know the tune inside and out, in essence a great organizational mind skills study too. However your mind works. Don’t overload-otherwise nothing sticks. Your capacity will increase after you have spent more and more time. It’s amazing how connections are
made,they seem to occur in a fashion which is beyond the conscious ability to
plan and organize.

Daily practice also allows me to imprint the material in my mind until it
becomes instinct. One long practice session will not do this. For
most players, useful techniques can only be acquired through repetition. I
always try to work new materials into songs, lines and grooves that I like.
For me it’s sort of like upgrading my musical mind so that my playing becomes
reoriented in the directions I choose. Increasing familiarity with they materials is a good thing. It’s like learning a language--music is a language.

Here is some lunch for your ears;

Gerry Mulligan - Night Lights

Elgar Cello Concerto 1st mov.

solo oboe

Arthur Doyle & Sunny Murray - Live at Glenn Miller Cafe 2000

Billie Holiday and Lester Young

Gerry Mulligan - Prelude In E Minor

Grateful Dead - St Stephen


STANLEY TURRENTINE, Light Blue (Tommy Turrentine)

It all depends on what ya know, and what your searching for.
If you are looking for Sherlock Holmes you ain't gonna find it in Rumi.

Keep listening, keep your ears open and keep playing.
Sometimes the trip is as much fun as the reward later.

See ya next week, and hope to meet some of ya at NAAM.

~ Tim Price

Monday, January 9, 2012

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- Tim Price in the NAMM ZONE- and more.

Well, we’ve made it through another year. Still on the planet and in love with the music.
As musicians what we have is the spirituality of musical activity is a powerful antioxidant,positive reinforcement to everyday life. If you look at it like that you can have a level of activity that is boundless, both from the perspective of listener or student and player or composer. Music will join the people of the world together and enriches the minds and spirits of young and old alike. Health care has got nothing on music as a healing endeavor.Think about the effects of music in it's many stages, be it a movie or even a beer commercial. As musicians we should be as grateful for music, the arts and the possibilities it implies and spreading tolerance any way we can within that.

CHECK IT- Sonny Rollins won a Kennedy center award, honoring him for his contributions to the American art form called jazz. This was the only time I saw any jazz on network television all year. Never the less, it was heart warming to see this great man acknowledged by our country. At the age of 81 he still practices every day, and is very much aware of what’s happening in the world. ( take note! )

There's a book I'm reading- I urge you all to read ;
Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong
By Terry Teacho

As you should know, Louis Armstrong stands as one of the legends of twentieth century music. During five decades as a performer he thrilled audiences with his cornet and trumpet virtuosity, while his gravelly voice made him one of the most popular and recognizable singers of his day. Such a career became the stuff of legend, making it difficult to discern the truth underneath. In this book, Terry Teachout undertakes the difficult task to sift though the legend to discover the man underneath.

In this he is aided by Armstrong, who left behind two autobiographies and numerous audio recordings. Teachout goes on to describe his journey during the 1920s from promising young cornet player into the headlining talent he became by the end of the decade. Teachout rightly gives this period, one that saw some of his most innovative music, considerable attention.
In examining Armstrong's life, Teachout brings to bear his skills as detective and storyteller. He succeeds in depicting a very human yet enormously gifted performer, a talented musician who was also a superb entertainer.Read this book- it's a must for anyone who is involved with any form of music.

Next week...From Thursday January 16th to Sunday January 22 I'll be at NAMM.
Check the poster at the bottom of this blog - for my performance date at NAMM as well. If you are looking to get to me before NAMM...Email me at so we can hook up.

So there you have it, stay well and strive for tone.

Tim Price

Monday, January 2, 2012

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico'...T.P. Thanks Rico for being the real deal.

~ As 2012 starts I just want to thank Rico Reeds for not only being the innovative reed company, but also for being there for those of us who are concerned saxophonists, clarinets, woodwind players and educators in this life. From my corner as a player who educates and a educator who plays. The Rico team all the way around is stellar, not just to me but to everyone and everything. They care!

For me comfort and mind set as a creative artist are number one.Sure I break in reeds and do that- but many times in the world we live in the band gets set up and my sax pak is in the corner of the club behind a table of people chomping on calamari.It's not always that way but hey, REALITY #101 Class in session!* HA! So I got my reeds in my pocket or on my stash on my Line 6 amp for my Electro-bassoon. Mid-set on the 2ed set the club gets noisy,the band starts to play harder and the heat in the club is up. My reed needs a rest.I take a walk on the wild side...I take a brand NEW RICO RJS out of my pocket that I wet once and put it on. Check it quickly on our break in the jazz dressing room the club so nicely provides for all it's bands. AKA- THE MENS ROOM !! The reeds is ready to rock. The set starts and I am happy and the reed is killin'. This same scene has happened to me on Latin gigs,rock and roll, Aretha , big band, jam band, theater, pit and subbing peoples club dates. Rico is there!

Not every reed 20 years ago was like that and not every concert or gig has perfect sound. BUT...The way Rico has gone to bat for us and done the right thing is something very special. Not just the RJS either but clarinet reeds and Reserve too.A new benchmark has been set.

The beautiful part is, people that are there that listen.They want the truth. Then they also want the truth on the post-reed side. If I ran into a bad run of reeds and told my people like Rob Polon or Kristen McKeon...there would be concern and things would be dealt with instantly.It's like that. In a word, trust.
Plus- nobody told me to say these things. Just so you know. If I feel it- I say it. That is another factor of these blogs. I write what I want. Sure I endorse RICO, but these's a reason why, I'm not just some guy piling up endorsements etc. and playing peek-a-boo with the business of music, this is my life.This is what I do-I educate and I play. Without a great reed, and a consistent reed week to year to year I got issues. Rico, makes the intangible tangible for me. Thank you Rico!

Also another case in point, It's great to help students at clinics with Rico too. So many times as student has a sound that is not so good. I work on breathing and embouchure.But 9 times out of 10 when I give them a Rico product they " lock in" and get a much faster comfort zone as a student.Plus- on clarinet results are instant. In the years I studied reed design with Kal Opperman, as well as years of legit study of the clarinet with Kal I can humbly say if Kal saw these new Reserve reeds he
would be not only in love with them but playing them. ( Kal was a teacher of mine post-Berklee ) Students need this stability in their lives.

So there as we start a new year- I got to give some love and credit to my people at Rico. All of ya! My bro Rob Polan- who not only is one great, great buddy but understands what I'm into as a person and a player. Why? He listens and takes the time. Ditto- Kristen McKeon.She's another great one, and tremendous friend as well. But also like I said EVERYONE at Rico. Take a bow. Thank you.

Till next week- strive for tone.Also in 2012, take the time to say thank you to the folks in your life big and small.The two most unused words in todays language are just those two. Make it happen.


* TAKE NOTE ; Dressing rooms/ gigs.
I've seen every dressing room, from a great green room
to exactly what I described. From rooms with food, towels,
places to changes, water and even nice massage women to the kind I described.
It's what it is. I think I might do a few blogs on SURVIVAL 101. Stay tuned!