Sunday, April 22, 2012

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico Reeds- FEELING GOOD & THE MOAN IN THE TONE

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico Reeds- FEELING GOOD & THE MOAN IN THE TONE 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. 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.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.Music has that same factor and is a healing force.
Albert Ayler said it so well- Music is a healing force.But what do you listen to? There is so much, and where is the starting point? Let me help you my friends. When I was a teenager, one of the tunes you _had_to know to play any gig was " Honky Tonk" by organist Bill Doggett. The saxophonist that created the sound on that signature tune of Bills was the legendary Clifford Scott.
Texas tenor saxman Clifford Scott was born June 21, 1928. Perhaps most famous for his classic solo in Bill Doggett's "Honky Tonk, Scott also played with Jay McShann, Amos Milburn, and Lionel Hampton before joining Doggett.Clifford Scott passed April 19, 1993.When I first moved to the Bronx, after graduating Berklee College of Music in 1973 I ran into a old buddy from my Pennsylvania youth named Rick Seltzer. We hung out a few times, and he heard my play and refereed me to Bill Doggett because Bill was looking for a tenor player, as Bubba Brooks was coming off the road. I wasn't to sure I was ready for this, but I needed to work, and after spending years playing Honky Tonk I went to an audition in Queens NY at the Dew Drop Inn in the afternoon. There were a few other sax players there, Bill kicked off "Honky Tonk" , not one of them knew the melody except me.I started to feel a little better, then we played a ballad. I felt even better. Then Bill took a break, talked to each player but me. Guys were leaving and exiting the audition. Bill comes over to me and sais, " You got the gig, lets rehearse we go to Pittsburg tomorrow". Twent one years old, right out of Berklee and I felt even better.Weather I knew it or not-I was prepared. In any case..that gig was about reaching people. Here is another point, the days of demonstrating were over, it was time to play. Four sets a night, playing with one of the masters of Hammond organ R&B- Jazz. Playing NOT demonstrating. I hope some of youyounger guys are with me there,ok. SO- first off- go to youtube and listen to Doggett and Clifford Scott. what is known as - TEXAS TENOR PLAYING. The forerunner of this lineage was Herschel Evans, was known most prominently for his work with one of the premier territory bands of the time out of Oklahoma – the Count Basie Orchestra.It was from this big toned saxophonistic atmosphere that Illinois Jacquet began developing his style in Houston, Texas. Jacquet first gained prominence in the Lionel Hampton Big Band where he made a name for himself playing a recorded solo on the Hampton classic “Flying Home”. Go check that out on youtube ASAP. While Jacquet popularized the Texan sound within the jazz world, it was King Curtis that brought the wailing sound to the Rock and Roll, Soul and R&B markets during the 1960′s, coining iconic solos for,Aretha Franklin, Donny Hathaway, Roberta Flack, and John Lennon. Starting his professional career in the Lionel Hampton Big Band in 1953, a decade after Illinois Jacquet left the band, Curtis no doubt studied Jacquet’s role in the band and brought a very similar style and energy to the group.It was during these early years in New York that King Curtis made a purposeful shift towards commercial music and away from straight ahead jazz that would help define his career.Arnette Cobb had more to do with the "Texas Tenor" sound than anybody else too.AGAIN- A saxophonist playing directly into the groove, and making people feel great. Nothing more nothing less.The Texas tenor tradition is very deep. It extends from Booker Ervin,Fathead Newman,Wilton Felder,Dewey Redman,Pete Christlieb to guys like Joe Sublett and David Woodford today.To name but a few! everything.Pete Christlieb to me is one of the greatest players playing today, and a great guy. Plus a Rico artist as well. You need to check Pete and all the guys out I mentioned.ASAP too.
This is another unsung- master jazz saxophonist and trend setter.Texas tenor at full tilt. If you love Booker Ervin,James Clay and Wilton Felder this guy needs your ears. One of the original BlueNote legends...a player who's message was SOUL.DON WILKERSON. Don is one of them, a profound master of the groove and grit that every serious student of the tenor should hear. Tenor player Don Wilkerson recorded three sessions for Blue Note in 1962. His most well known work may be the tenor solos he played while in Ray Charles's group in 1954. His altissimo, and full throated sound are so inspirational.Go check him out too!
OK- Next is some stuff to shed. Everyone loves to play the blues.In this I've taken an in-depth approach to give you all some information, new ideas, ear training, and fresh approaches to this form. If your looking for more, go here; ~ There's so much more to talk about on these topics. But I'll stop here as not to overload you. Have a great week, enjoy your music and what you do. ~ ~ TIM PRICE ~~ ps- When you need some grease in you- you need a Pats Steaks in Philly. I get the peppers on it and keep rocking. Great !!


  1. Tim:

    Good stuff. The last time I was in South Philly was after my daughters rowing team from George Mason University was rowing on the Cooper River over in Jersey near Camden. Afterward we went into South Philly to get a cheese steak. Pat's was way to crowded with a long line around the block. So we went diagonally across the street to Geneo's. Still a line but shorter.

    As we came into South Philly I noticed a joint called the South Philly Bar & Restaurant. On it's side they had a great big mural w/drawings of Al Martino, Bobby Riddell, Frankie Avalon etc. That reminded me of when I played in Al Martino's Back Up Band at the Italian Festival in Baltimore in the mid 80's. Good times and some great charts. Al was a Sinatra type singer before he went pop. He had some really swingin' charts in the book that he still sang. Great gig, it was a 3 day stand at union wages and I got paid extra for doubling clarinet.

  2. Larry W- Always great to hear from you. Thank you for your continued support and great insight- Rico is blessed to have a great guy like you as a supporter and friend and I am also fortunate to know you all these years. It really is a pleasure Larry- you always have great things to say, add and you play your backside off too. Thank you- Tim Price :)

  3. Tim:

    Thank you, I really appreciate it. You were a really great teacher for me and you helped me out. Best to you and Marcia.

    Take care,

    Larry W

  4. Your most welcome my friend. Keep doing your thing.

  5. Okay Tim, see ya.