Monday, October 29, 2012

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- Harold Ashby...Zoot Sims...Al Cohn & Frank Tiberi. The art of tenor saxophone mastery & a dash of clarinet legend Willie Humphrey

Here are some masters that are like polished gemstones.Any student of the music worth their salt should be in contact with these styles- no matter what you play style wise.They might not be on the cover of music magazines, but they are so solid, so satisfying. Each of them centers around total command of the music- and style. As well as, larger than life.Harold Ashby,Zoot Sims,Frank Tiberi, Al Cohn and Willie Huphrey. Search...their careers and study them. Discover!
Each of these masters are always hitting his stride every time the reed hits their mouth.There the usual brilliance,enjoyable and entertaining as anything now or then.I was lucky to know Harold really well, did a feature article on him in Saxophone Journal decades ago. When it came out...he calls me and asks for the editors number as to order some extra copys for PR. I told him I'd try to get him as many as he wanted...he said he wanted 25. So I got him half-dozen & he calls the editor & gets 25 as well. So I had to know...I asked him " got over 30 copys of the entire magazine..."....he answers me..." Yeh, I got an agenda Tim." WE SHOULD ALL...Have an agenda like Harold Ashby! Another time...I caught him in a outside concert with Illinois Jacquets Big Band. ( Other saxes were Rudy Rutherford,Hugh Brodie etc ) of course Jacquet sounded amazing...but Harold only got one solo...that had a back beat scuffle. As soon as I caught it that he was going to solo...I knew he was going to rock the house & kick ass. And that he did...he had the joint poppin' & jumpin in the outside park. I'll never forget that too. He was roommates with Ben Webster in NYC in the day, and spoke highly of Joe Zawinul & Ben getting together every day to run down standard tunes- to come up with some stuff on them. That sais something very important. The was pre-Cannonball for Zawinul. His solos with Duke Ellington are landmarks in the Ellingtone band. Also- his days on CHESS records in Chicago/ as a hired soloist etc....playing the blues.I always loved Zoot Sims, Al Cohn and of course Frank Tiberi.Inspiring!Willie Huphrey is a saint...sent to this earth to knock us out.One of the most unique and personal players on clarinet ever.
These are memorable characters so that are deeply inspiring.But besides that,are just a great. Search them out on, download, buy and study.Search you tube for them- they are a lesson.
IN ADDITION- Willie Huphrey.You want to hear clarinet by a player who transcends everything...and is one of the greatest ever? Listen to him. Willie James Humphrey (December 29, 1900 – June 7, 1994) was a New Orleans jazz clarinetist. Willie Humphrey was born in a musical family, the son of prominent local clarinetist and music teacher Willie Eli Humphrey; his brothers Earl Humphrey and Percy Humphrey also became well known professional musicians. After establishing himself with such New Orleans bands as the Excelsior and George McCullum's band, Humphrey traveled up north, playing with such other New Orleans musicians as Lawrence Duhé, and King Oliver in Chicago (Photos show Humphrey with Duhé's band playing in the stands for the infamous 1919 World Series). In Saint Louis, Missouri in the 1920s he made his first recordings. Back in New Orleans, he played for many years with the Eureka and Young Tuxedo Brass bands, the bands of Paul Barbarin and Sweet Emma Barrett, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
~~These are some of my many hero's in life/music.Knowing their music....hearing them live made a huge difference in my life. Do check them out. ~~ TIM PRICE

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- Celebrating Don Byas & Words of admiration for David S. Ware.

THIS BLOG- WE CELEBRATE DON BYAS. In honor of the tenor saxophonist’s 100th birthday, this RICO blog will celebrate his legacy.Born Carlos Wesley Byas in Muskogee, Oklahoma.“Don” earned his moniker as the leader of a Benny Carter-influenced band, “Don Carlos and his Collegiate Ramblers,” while he was still experimenting with the alto saxophone. He later moved to Los Angeles to perform along the West Coast with artists such as Lionel Hampton, Eddie Barefield, and Buck Clayton. In 1941, Count Basie placed Byas’ name on the map for New York jazz musicians and enthusiasts with a concert that was broadcast live on-air, and this led Basie to officially substitute him for Lester Young as the lead tenor saxophonist in his band. Around the same time, he gained a reputation for regularly performing in after hour jams with such pre-notoriety artists as Johnny Griffin, Dizzy Gillespie, and Thelonious Monk. Byas left Basie in 1943 to pursue a career as a leader and occasional sideman until 1946. While on a tour of Europe with Don Redman in the fall of that year, Byas made the somewhat spontaneous decision to stay there permanently, and soon after moved to Paris where his recording career took off. After officially parting ways with unfavorable working conditions in America, Byas spent much of the rest of his life leading quartets and quintets around France and the Netherlands, touring throughout the continent and performing at numerous festivals. Byas passed away in 1972 at the age of 59.
Don Byas Quartet 1946 ~ Cherokee This is a jam session , usually played fast (quarter note= 250 b.p.m. or more). The many long, sustained pitches and slow harmonic movement make it a vehicle for virtuosos desiring to display their technique by playing lots of very fast notes. The harmonic progression of the first eight measures is a variation of the descending series of changes found in songs like “I’m Gonna Meet My Sweetie Now” and the last eight measures of “Charleston” while the second eight measures of the first “A” do a turnaround that delays the resolution: I – II7 – ii7 – iiim7(b5) –VI7(9) – ii7 – V7(+5). The second “A” eliminates the four chords between the first ii7 and V7. The “B” section contains an interesting–and highly logical--descending progression that starts on biii9, which is the ii7 of the bII. This, in turn, becomes minor, functioning as the ii7 of the chord a step below it, and so on, until the V7 of the original tonic. In the original key, it is as follows: Dbm9 – Gb7 – B; Bm9– E7 – A; Am9 – D7 – G; Gm9 – C7 – F7(+5). This same kind of chord progression is heard in “Laura” and “How High the Moon.” Simple. Yes? At that tempo- you gotta work and shed. THIS VERSION....Will never get stale or be out dated. It is a benchmark in jazz playing- and should be heard by anyone with a vision about improvising. It sounds modern to this day! Happy birthday Mr. Byas and you are respected deeply for ever brother Scorpio.
ENTER....DON BYAS ; Don Byas Quartet 1946 ~ Cherokee The song’s A-A-B-A 64-bar form and unusual chord progressions and bridge are the basis for compositions by many jazz greats including clarinetist Buddy DeFranco (“Swinging the Indian”) and Charlie Parker (“Ko-Ko”).Parker’s interest in “Cherokee” was not just a fleeting fancy.
- I bring your attention to these facts and music- To share a celebratory genius. Don Byas. A player that should be in everyone's ears and any tenor player worth his salt should know and study deeply.
THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO DAVID S. WARE....I knew David from 1969 on. Very sad, and beyond words. David was one of the ones....really had something of his own. First time I heard him he was playing " Django" 1969 in his style.I first got to play with David S. one of Charlie Mariano small ensembles at Berklee....It was amazing. Charlie would always play- and sometimes turn out the lights and we'd do crazy blowing and playing. David S. Ware would shake the walls playing and Charlie would be sitting on the floor smiling as David went to the cosmos. David and I used to talk about those times ALL the time!Those memory's for me are paramount and infinite.We had decades of friendship & I was humbled when he asked me to do liner notes for "Third Ear Recitation ". Really beyond any words now- he fought hard too. RIP David S. were an ocean of infinite inspiration in this life. THIS MAN....Was unified by spontaneous invention that are staggering in their complexity and intuitive concordance, skill, hard work,transcendental spirituality and conviction,he was an inspirational and improvisational tour de force of improvisation and mastery in the art form.One of the biggest tenor saxophone sounds in jazz- and a artist that also played stritch, saxello, flute and bass clarinet.David was a strong presence for jazz,humanity and enlightenment.Namaste my friend- RIP...... TILL NEXT WEEK ~ ~ ~ Be kind to each other and listen to David S. Ware and Don Byas. They are assets to this music, life and the legacy of all things in saxophone and music.~ ~ TIM PRICE
Go within. Hear the story of sunrise from the Sun itself. if there were no sunrise within I would have set long ago. ~ Rumi

Monday, October 15, 2012

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- Music Is The Real Teacher.

~ Check it out... music is the REAL teacher. Ya got to love it, that's the long and the short of it. For one reason or another there has to exist enough desire to maintain a practice for the long term. It's true in any field. Of course it's not all a bed or roses, but the returns have been satisfying for me - -and continue to be. Actually, as I get older, there is more of a feeling of appreciation for the skills and talent which I've developed. Perhaps and expansion of your practice into some more enjoyable areas would spice things up for you. Concentrate for a while on things you enjoy--also, some type of physical exercise is sometimes necessary to balance and complement your musical practice since music can tend to be like a desk job at times. The saxophone is not really a solo instrument in the same way that a piano is-so the rewards of playing the sax only really come in performance......recording and things like that. Then of course, there is the money issue. How to make a living playing music---always an interesting subject. So there is another interesting aspect of music--competition. It exists. Whether or not you get caught up in it depends on many things. Let's first assume that everyone is independently wealthy--no money problems. It's difficult to separate out this "pure" love of music from the other. But, what is really the alternative. A practice offers psychological benefits which, in the long run, greatly enhance ones ' quality of life". My philosophy about personal musical growth is that musicians should learn how to think, listen and talk about music. Likewise, I pass this on to my students of all ages. IT'S WORKING! If your in 5th grade or a Doctor studying jazz clarinet with me for fun. There's something we all have. It's this criteria: brain, ears, and voice. Naturally, these three are interrelated. If you think about music, then it follows that you can easily talk about it. Listening is the most important part. Without ears, music would not exist. If I had to pick the most valuable musical tool for shaping musical growth, it would be personal taste. Always visualize only favorable and beneficial situations.Music helps with this.Try to use positive words in your inner dialogues or when talking with others.
Once a negative thought enters your mind, you have to be aware of it and endeavor to replace it with a constructive one.Persistence will eventually teach your mind to think positively and ignore negative thoughts.It does not matter what your circumstances are at the present moment. Think positively, expect only favorable results and situations, and circumstances will change accordingly. It may take some time for the changes to take place, but eventually they do. A student once asked me if a particular note "worked" in a particular setting; my response was, "only if you like it".
Take it a step further Bob Dylan plays thesame C7 chord that Pat Martino does. Same 4 notes, likewise when Sonny Rollins hits a D minor 7th, it's the same chord that Jeff Beck might play or Charles Lloyd.Or how Ernie of the real original voices in saxophone today might approach the same essence as a great orchestra does. It's how YOU deliver it. Lots of cooks use tomatoes and basil you dig? Same deal.Keeping a open mind can create a path for a student. There's a big difference between Bud Powell and Duke Ellington. But they both have a message. Think about it.Personal musical taste expands infinitely. This allows for musical evolution. Just live it. Go for it. Play it. Write it. Above all, use your own personal, ever growing, musical taste. Hence, music is the real teacher.
39 years ago today, Wake Of The Flood made its way into our universe. Wake of the Flood is the sixth studio album by the Grateful Dead. It was recorded between August 4 and September 1, 1973, and originally released on October 15, 1973. It was the first release under the band's own label, Grateful Dead Records, after fulfilling their contract with Warner Bros. Records. It was their first full-length studio album in nearly three years, since 1970's American Beauty. It was also the first studio album without Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, who had recently died. His absence and new piano player Keith Godchaux's tendency towards jazz changed the band's sound.
To arrive at a personal destination you have to invest in yourself. Study, practice and live life. Facebook- and spending 19 hours a day on line don'tdo it- you need toget away from the four walls. Think about this great quote as well ; The characteristics of a good musician can be summarized as follows: 1. A well-trained ear 2. A well-trained intelligence 3. A well-trained heart 4. A well-trained hand. Seems like the most practical, right? Let me go further in the essence of jazz, there must be a constant equilibrium. As soon as one lags behind or rushes ahead, there is something wrong. Check out the music of the of the 20th century, from twelve tone Schoenbergian music to Broadway; from “Mac the Knife” to operas; from Brecht to Lotte Lenya;Hendrix, Satie, Debussy, Cecil Taylor, composers, arrangers, anyone and anything prolific and interesting to you. By accepting that challenge with an individualistc, interpretive approach,you will broaden and deepened YOUR artistic core as an improvisational musician. Study, listen well to the association of how rather than what. In other words don’t let a musical idea,vision or concept get borne out of the fingers rather than the music itself, and the try to keep the highest musical value or useful when searching for oneself.Be the best YOU that is available at the moment. After all,our goal is creativity and the use of the imagination. HERE...Is where listening to THE GRATEFUL DEAD....BOB WEIR....JERRY GARCIA and people in that genre was a big help to my ears and musical forward motion. PLUS- It's fun!!
Thanks to all those musicians for creating an astonishing body of art that will stay forever. Ditto Bob Weir who has become not only a friend but someone who I really enjoy sharing all kinds of music with. what it's about no matter what you play!!!
MUSIC IS....THE REAL TEACHER....See ya next week- be well- Tim Price

Monday, October 8, 2012

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- Discipline...your tool for personal expression & development.

Imagine what you could accomplish if you could simply get yourself to follow through on your best intentions no matter what.The pinnacle of self-discipline is when you reach the point that when you make a conscious decision, it’s virtually guaranteed you’ll follow through on it.Be it practicing your instrument, sticking with a mouthpiece and putting the time in to learn to play it or just daily goals and jobs.
Your discipline is one of many personal development tools available to you. Of course it is not a panacea. Nevertheless, the problems which self-discipline can solve are important, and while there are other ways to solve these problems, self-discipline absolutely shreds them. Self-discipline can empower you- imagine the results, if you say to yourself ... I want to learn all my scales in every key at 120 on my metronome. Not have to...but want. That can be done sooner than you think with discipline. So can application to study-reading a new book to open new ideas on things. It can wipe out procrastination, disorder, and ignorance. Within the domain of problems it can solve, self-discipline is simply unmatched. Moreover, it becomes a powerful teammate when combined with other tools like passion, goal-setting, and planning.
Self-discipline is like a muscle. The more you train it, the stronger you become. The less you train it, the weaker you become. Think of the results- just for you.Confidence before an audition! Confidence when picking up your horn to play in a new setting- your primed and ready. Relaxed and confident! We all possess different levels of self-discipline. Everyone has some — if you can hold your breath a few seconds, you have some self-discipline. But not everyone has developed their discipline to the same degree. Check it out- it takes self-discipline to build self-discipline. Similarly, the basic method to build self-discipline is to tackle challenges that you can successfully accomplish but which are near your limit. This doesn’t mean trying something and failing at it every day, you must start with challenges that are within your current ability.
Old opportunities will dry up. New opportunities will begin to appear.Your mind set does change- and so does your ability on whatever you are working on with discipline. Invitations that once attracted you will seem boring, while others will become interesting to you.People will change how they relate to you. Some will become more distant while others will zoom closer.Gigs will appear, you'll enjoy things more. Things you used to merely dream about will begin to seem possible for you. Celebrate your success! ~ Till next week...practice your long tones everyday- Tim Price

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico Reds- Farewell Vince Wallace

The jazz saxophone world lost a great personal voice- Tuesday tenor man Vince Wallace passed. Vince played with Bird at age 14. He left us with a wonderfully mesmerizing history of humankind through music and his personal commitment to jazz.His style and drive will always make him one of the best tenor saxophonists in jazz. Thank you Vince Wallace for your inspiration, for the incredible saxophone sound.An unbelievable talent and a brilliant composer as well. RIP Vince Wallace-you touched this music deeply.
BALLAD OF BELMONT....CONFRONTATION IN EAST OAKLAND...RAIN CLOUDS OVER COTRANE VALLEY...SCOTLAND (MAC) YARD...compositions that will go down in history as jazz classics. I used to hear him play that Tadd Dameron tune " Gnid". What a cool guy, great player.As a of the greats. His tenor saxophone playing was on the highest level...and his message was soul and love and beauty. Wallace was born in Port Townsend, WA in 1939. At 22 months he moved with his mother to California. After spending a little time in the San Joaquin Valley, he ended up settling in Oakland. His earliest recordings were on the Black Jack Wayne label in 1953. He recorded alongside Screamin Mel Dorsey and Chuck Wayne and the Heartbeats, as well as recording his own original instrumental, “Funky.” He performed regularly at this time at the Country and Western halls and go go bars of Niles, California. At this time he was playing alongside Rose Maddox, Johnny Cash, and the Black Brothers. As he developed, he became more sought after at all hours jazz joints where he sat in with Dolphy, Chambers, Mingus, Poindexter, Blakey and Smiley Winters. Jimbo's Bop City in San Francisco was the best place around, where every night after 2 a.m. another legend of the jazz would come through the door. In 1958 Vince moved to Southern California where he picked up work with Paul Bley and Marvin Rainwater. He headed a now legendary Sunday jam session at The Cascades Club in Belmont Shores, from which came the emergence of Kent Glenn, Mark Proctor, Gene Stone, and Warren Gale. In 1966 Vince moved back to the Bay Area where he found work with alto legend Norman Williams at the Juke Box on Haight St. in San Francisco. Through 1970 Vince recorded three albums with Little John, a fusion rock band on Epic records. After another move back to southern California, Vince experienced some of his widest recognition. Featured performances a Dante's were often reviewed favorable by Gerald Wilson, who spoke of the passion in Vince's playing. This led to an eventual run at the Studio Cafe, and the release of two of Vince's solo albums on Amp Records. The 1980's saw Vince back in the Bay Area, where he worked sporadically until establishing a Sunday night session at Schooner Tavern in San Francisco. This ran well through most of the 1990's and led to Vince's San Francisco Bay Guardian Award for Best Jam Session in 1995. This is a world class player...a master at the highest level. Check out his Cds ,records and you tube videos....and know that Vince Wallace was one of the true masters in jazz and an original sound on the tenor saxophone.
Farewell Vince....thank you for the inspiration. ~ Tim Price

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tim Price Bloggin' for Rico- The decision to try.

There is a nice chill in the air as October arrives,enjoyable and a welcome. Everyone has dreams. Whether they are big or small, they have vast importance in our lives. However, the procrastinator in all of us doesn't have to win. The Little Engine That Could was on to something with the whole "I think I can" mentality. With just a little bit of planning, accomplishing a goal is a simple task.
Start working toward your goals today. Ask yourself, "What can I do today to get one step ahead, however small, closer to achieving my goals?" Stay focused and believe in yourself even if others do not believe in you.Define and describe your goal. Write down when you want to achieve it. Write down the reasons why you want it. Write down what it would feel like after you have achieved it and write down your accomplished goals Figure out exactly what it will take to get it. Be realistic about the time things will take. Many people don't allow themselves enough time, and give up too soon.Once you've broken down your goal into pieces, write down the steps on a piece of paper to make sure you have everything thought out. One of the worst things that can happen is you're almost to the point of your goal, but you're not sure what to do next. Also, give yourself deadlines for each step. Otherwise, you'll end up procrastinating and never achieving your dream.
Visualize. Close your eyes and imagine yourself accomplishing your goals. Where are you? How did you get there? How do you feel? Do this often. Don’t get swayed easily with the noise and happenings going on outside. Put your attention on what you are trying to achieve. Remember the goal, and you will have control over the discomforts and difficulties.. Now that you have the momentum going, don't let it stop! Some steps may seem less exciting than others seem, but make sure to stick to your plan until the end! Avoid distractions and stay focused. Don't allow yourself to be distracted by other energy consuming efforts.Be positive. Always believe that you will achieve your goal. As soon as you stop believing, you have already failed.BUT- Keep trying. as Phil Woods once told me - " If you don't try you die."
Don't forget the words of Lao-Tze: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Put Lao and Phil's words together in your can't loose!
~~ My gig last Friday in NYC was a good example of this energy put to good use. To try and step forward.I woke up Saturday morning, feeling very happy and very fulfilled.A late night drive from Manhattan to my Pa. home was very relaxing, reflecting back on the day with John Gross.It was great to add this experience to my process and journey. I took a two hour multiphonics lesson with John, as well. My goal was to play with John of course...but also create a musicians for the music vibe, and the room at Robertos that I rented, and the audience were just perfect. The room is on the 4th floor- so the windows < behind us> were nice ambiance too. All in all mission accomplished- I am truly inspired. And playing with Putter and Billy was heaven.By the way- we had a listening crowd to which was a joy. You see,life in music was what I desired most in my youth.It was natural, I heard players like Gerry Mulligan whom my teacher in my home town at one time taught. I am so grateful to my musical upbringing and feel honored to continue on my journey.
~ So my vibe is this...You have to realize that some things you have to do yourself.It's about the music. Remember there's ....jazz the art form....and jazz the business. I function in both, but to get a handle on my dreams, you need to step front and try. I wanted to play with John, and Putter and Billy. You don't get things by trying to be king of the hill on the'net...or spending 24-7 in talk groups. NO! Plus when the computer is turned off...them what? LOL. To try is the ultimate. It works. Try it. ~ Till next week- Enjoy this beautiful October. ~ Tim Price
PS- Top picture of John & Tim by Big Dave Wilson. Picture RW aka Roberto' John Gross- Tim Price and a long time bro' and asset to this industry, as a repair artist and knowledgeable insightful man- Anthony Salimbene. Good times!