Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tim PriceBloggin' For Rico- FLOW !

Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” ― Lao Tzu
Taoism advocates a doctrine of inaction that says that one must “go with the flow” of nature. This idea, however, is not completely foreign to a Westerner like me because of the writings of other Westerners, like the Transcendentalists, who were also influenced by Eastern philosophy, but I would say that it is a philosophy that is not the mainstream in Western culture. In fact in our fast-paced society, it is often only found in the outskirts of society in what most mainstream Americans would call the hippie types. Taoism’s Lao Tzu (Laozi), whose life has been surrounded by myth over the centuries. He is believed to have been born around 600 BCE during the Chou dynasty. Nothing is known about his childhood or youth, in fact, legend has it that he was immaculately conceived and born already an old man with white hair and a beard.... however, that at some point he was a book keeper of the imperial archives, before he became disillusioned with the government, which he saw as greedy and hypocritical. So, Lao Tzu decides to leave his job and society to seek fulfillment in the solitude of nature. At some point after this realization (Chinese art often portrays him as an old man riding a horse West while writing his philosophy), he writes the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing), which fundamentally outlines his philosophy in a series of poetic statements. The title is translated as something like, “The Classic of the Power of the Way of Nature.” Yin and Yang are not irreconcilable opposites like good and evil, rather they are metaphors for a changing reciprocal flow. Lao Tzu, for example, saw that especially in political culture there was an overabundance of Yang and sought to go the opposite way of society to seek a balance. Therefore, at its center, Taoism is a type of social non-conformity. It finds the imbalances of culture and seeks to go the opposite way in order to find balance. Some quotes from the Tao Te Ching: “Existence is beyond the power of words to define.”
This mind set, and thought can be used to a musicians advantage. Relaxing in the moment- and using the groove is something both classical, rock and jazz adopt in the highest forms. EG- The ALPHA STATE. One of the biggest problems is getting into the right frame of mind, where you eliminate all the conflicting thoughts and are able to concentrate on the objective outcome. Alpha state makes it easier.
Alpha: A mild daydream or light relaxation state. Operating in Alpha can be exemplified to when you are driving a car or when you get captivated into a good book and sort of lose track what is happening around you. It is useful to absorb information when in Alpha and is considered to be highly desirable for more effective creativity. Alpha promotes more of the left side of the brain to be used for processing. Many times Stan Getz refereed to the ALPHA STATE in his work. Stan was a genius and a creative master-who to me was a Zen-reality but in a street wise state. After all who experienced more than Stan?
OK- Have you ever considered at what time are you the most creative or when is your mind highly productive? For some people it is when they just wake up in the morning or when they are about to go to sleep. Others find that they are most creative in the shower or when relaxing in the bath. I have also found that people are creative when they are driving along the highway or going for a relaxing walk. Interestingly, not many people actually state that they are most creative when at work, which could be the reason why our abilities to solve problems. The key to achieving a highly creative and productive mind is to move into a relaxed state of being, that is, when your mind enters the alpha state. Relaxation, music and mind set all equal a high creative state of mind.
I'm about not just playing jazz, or rock, blues,funk but making the music something lager than any word could describe. After all-the music is bigger than all of us! To get to a good train of thought requires practice and being aware of the world. You already have the answers...keep on your dreams and work hard. TILL NEXT WEEK- Enjoy your November- Tim
WANT SOME STUFF TO PRACTICE? ~~~ GO HERE ; http://www.timpricejazz.com/lessons/index.html

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Tim Price...Bloggin' For Rico- T.P.'s Thanksgiving bonus blog- stuff to shed for the jazz based saxophone & woodwind player. A feast!

I practice everyday, and I practice for at least 2 hours before I do anything. I don't do it because I think that Mike Stern or Sting is going to call. < I wish they would > I do it because it's the one thing in life that has been a constant for me. So few things in life ever remain the same, if any. But the saxophone < and my woodwinds > is the same every day.To me, it's the best ever deal you can make in life. If you work hard and practice at your saxophone , you get better. It's that simple! Think about it. Still grateful to be playing and learning. Looking forward to each gig and rehearsal and student, trying to stay in that vibe. And learn what I can from it. All human beings are linked together through the timeless, universal chain of history and events.The musician links to the practice room and the bandstand. Various life developments have been born in both environs. ~ The first stage of the artistic process involves absorption of principles and techniques that have already been accepted as standard in the field , the artist personalizes past and contemporary styles, meaning active participation in real world. This is why, I've always felt the need to play with all kinds of musicians, any age and of course working heavily with students to develop their "real world" skills. So- till next week - practice hard and eat more vegtables and fruit. Don't forget to do something nice for somebody too, remember compassion is essential with each other. Here's some things to work on also ; STUFF TO SHED FROM TIM PRICE.... Check it out and enjoy.... also- for some more ideas....check through these ; IF...you want some ideas on ii-v's...look here; http://www.timpricejazz.com/lessons/iiV.pdf If your looking for a nice warm up / sax sound study-look here; http://www.timpricejazz.com/lessons/sax_warmup.pdf for info on tune study; look here; http://www.timpricejazz.com/lessons/learningatune.html reed info, look here; http://www.timpricejazz.com/lessons/dealingwreeds.html sax players food for thought:look here; http://www.timpricejazz.com/lessons/creativepurity.html A nice jazz line using II-V. http://www.saxontheweb.net/Price/Dec00.html And a I-VI-II-V...of course http://www.saxontheweb.net/Price/Jul01.html If you check my web page- you'll find some intervallic studys on II- V. http://www.timpricejazz.com/lessons/intervalic1.jpg For those interested in some Bird & bop to shed...check out; http://www.saxontheweb.net/Price/Bird-ologyStudy.html http://www.saxontheweb.net/Price/Bird-ologyStudy.html
Coltrane's playing had the blues in it- just listen to " COLTRANE PLAY'S THE BLUES"...On Atlantic records or "Blue Trane". If you play jazz, and your playing is void of the blues feel, and sound you are lacking in something very basic, and a vital element to this art form.From Louie Armstrong to Ornette, it's heard and felt. In Pentatonic scale use you can use a C Pentatonic scale over these chords; C maj 7 C7 Dminor7 D7sus 4 Emi7b5 Fmaj7 G7sus4 Ami 7 B7b9sus4 Bbmaj7 F# dom7 F#mi7b5 A player like "Thin man Watts" is a very strong blues&pentatonic player. He know's what he's doing. To take it a step further.... On a D minor7th....chord you can use C pent. over it & its gonna be funky. On a C maj 7....chord you can also use a D pent and is going to be singing and funky. BUT. Also on a C dom 7th chord you can build a pent scale off the SHARP 4th..and it will be hip to. EG~ C7...use F # pent. Check out this blues lesson I have on Sax On The Web about Thin man Watts; http://www.saxontheweb.net/Price/Blues1.html#Watts It's a lick from his CD-" Return Of The Thin man". The tune- " SLOP BUCKET." IT GOES THRU EVERY KEY OF THE BLUES...within Thin mans rhythmic bag. You can't beat his-TIME-feel of' being funky. Thin man played things that you could FEEL. More folks NEED to get to Noble Thin man Watts...as his playing carried a message. He told a story!! That aspect today is becoming a lost art. NOT ONLY..could he funk the club down but he was a strong jazz player as well. As a kid,, I heard a 60s organ band at this club in my home town. The club was a semi-famous joint called the "Grand Hotel". It was aside of a railroad station, and had organ groups on weekends. But,one weekend there's this wild band from NYC there. The sax player was as skinny as a telephone poll !!! Later I found out it was a guy named -NOBLE THINMAN WATTS. You could hear him on 2 blocks down the street...PREACHING TENOR . I NEVER FORGOT THIS GUYS PLAYING...it was like a tattoo on my soul.People for months in that joint " the Grand Hotel" were still talkin' about the THIN MAN on sax playing there.
Check out these Sax On The Web lessons of mine for ideas and phrases on the blues. Each lesson is very different but still deals with some aspect of blues playing via jazz. http://www.saxontheweb.net/Price/Blues2.html http://www.saxontheweb.net/Price/Roo...ajorChord.html Look further down in this one...I have a lick on Birds "Now's The Time" thru 12 keys. ALSO CHECK OUT FOR YOUR EAR ; http://www.saxontheweb.net/Price/EarTraining1.html This lesson , also has some ear training via a nice line to play thru the keys by ear. Then, as usual, a line thru all keys thru some important progressions.
CHECK IT OUT.....HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM TIM PRICE & RICO REEDS. I’m grateful for the music that was inspired by and created in the 60’s: Miles Davis, John Coltrane and all the great Bluenote recordings (Freddie Hubbard, Herbie Hancock, Hank Mobley)There was a profound sense of exploration and subtlety in all this music.I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to hear Ed Beach in New York, a radio station that was jazz music. I’m grateful to have grown up in an era when a middle class family could go on nice vacations, own a house, send their kid to college < Berklee >without going into serious debt. This was also an era when you could be a “starving artist” in New York City, and not actually starve.I came though it and learned something from it. Big time. I'm grateful for a great wife and to have people in my life that understand my quest. Enjoy your holiday my friends~ TIM PRICE

Monday, November 19, 2012

TIM PRICE....Bloggin' For Rico Reeds- Always in Trouble An Oral History of ESP-Disk’...by Jason Weiss

TIM PRICE....Bloggin' For Rico Reeds- Always in Trouble An Oral History of ESP-Disk’, The Most Outrageous Record Label in America
Bernard Stollman's ESP-Disk', which issued 125 LPs between 1964 and 1974, might have been the most independent record label of all time. Celebrated in a valuable new book, Jason Weiss's Always In Trouble: An Oral History of ESP-Disk', The Most Outrageous Record Label in America is a fantastic but incomplete adjunct to Broven's massive work, providing a bridge into indie's more recent mutations. Comprising some 40 interviews with Stollman and his cast of spiritual jazzmen and anarcho-surrealist folkies, Always In Trouble is the story of ESP's improbable existence and its real-life consequences.My first ESP record...I bought in a drug store at age 15. It was a "Woolworths"...in the main street of my hometown. What it did was not only inspire me to find more...But I was transfixed by presentation,deeply felt message, poetic to a fault,music that urges us all to be much better than we are.The U.S. is blessed for jazz labels like this. People who were the greatest artisans; respectful, knowing craft, that just might prod us toward creating better sounds ourselves.I applaud this man. He's an important asset to this life.
In 1964, Bernard Stollman launched the independent record label ESP-Disk' in New York City to document the free jazz movement there. A bare-bones enterprise, ESP was in the right place at the right time, producing albums by artists like Albert Ayler, Pharoah Sanders, and Sun Ra, as well as folk-rock bands like the Fugs and Pearls Before Swine. But the label quickly ran into difficulties and, due to the politically subversive nature of some productions and sloppy business practices, it folded in 1974. Always in Trouble tells the story of ESP-Disk' through a multitude of voices--first Stollman's, as he recounts the improbable life of the label, and then the voices of many of the artists involved.
With offices at various midtown Manhattan locations on the fringes of the City's power centers (including one at 156 5th Avenue, almost exactly halfway between Jukebox Row and Greenwich Village) ESP-Disk' was structurally little different than any other small business behind a stone New York facade. They had a skeleton staff that shipped records to the same system of regional distributors that had been established over the nearly two decades of peacetime to get records thousands of miles from coast to coast (a sea-to-shining-sea coverage challenge never faced by British labels that would colonize "indie" a few decades later in a much smaller territory.) Like many of the other enterprises attempting to spread essentially regional music across the vast continent, ESP's financial treatment of artists often left much to be desired; ditto their marketing. But in the grand scheme of the universe, none of these negative traits mattered much to the ESP story, precisely because the label was also completely independent in a few very literal ways. ESP's discs were as idiosyncratic as mass-produced objects could be: labels, covers and even the color of the vinyl itself changing at the whims of Stollman's available resources and manufacturers.
"You Never Heard Such Sounds in Your Life" was one of the company's slogans. Few outside Manhattan had. ESP-Disk' — “ESP" short for "Esperanto," "Disk'" an abbreviation of Esperanto's word for record, "disko" — became arguably avant-garde music’s first committed champion in the broader culture, delivering the music of Albert Ayler, Sun Ra, the Fugs, the Holy Modal Rounders, and countless others to college campuses everywhere via one of the underground's first pipelines to the world outside. The catalogue's Folkways-on-acid selection of far-out recordings included Timothy Leary, Charles Manson, anti-folk forefathers the Godz, a disc of Esperanto instruction (the inspiration for ESP-1001, in fact), gay cabaret folkie Ed Askew, and others. But mostly there was jazz; deep, uncompromising free jazz from a small, committed scene of downtown musicians who chased new harmonies and ways of improvising. While there were lots of indie labels, few represented as many artists so dedicated to making music truly at odds with the rock, pop, and schmaltz that dominated the charts at ESP's founding. In this respect ESP had no true peers.
Weiss's oral history is a proper academic one, sorting his subjects into separate interviews, including 77 pages with label founder Stollman and anywhere between one-and ten-page transcripts with a few dozen ESP artists. This particular arrangement underscores the hardline independence of the operation and its artists, each character isolated in their own time-tracks. The book thus remains a collection of individual stories without much broader context, and the label's enormous narrative is refracted into small scenes. Unlike the Jukebox Row labels who banded together in a physical neighborhood on the literal fringes of Tin Pan Alley (not to mention jukeboxes everywhere), or '80s/'90s giants like Sub Pop and Matador who were connected by networks of fanzines and college radio, ESP had no such infrastructures. They were alone.
"I knew from the inception that it might be a generation before this music would be accepted," says Stollman. "I couldn't give them the promotion that a major label could. I didn't have the staffing, the resources, or the expertise to do a proper job. I knew I could issue and distribute their records. What happened beyond that was beyond my control." The latter part, at least, might not be entirely true if some of Always In Trouble's subjects are to be believed. Stollman, a trained lawyer who put out ESP-1001 because he'd been hired as a publicist for the Esperanto League of North America and grew passionate about the language, was hardly an aficionado of the avant-garde. Nonetheless, he found himself with the extraordinary ability to identify fellow independent spirits. And document them. Throughout Always In Trouble, the artists get a chance to settle scores or make peace. Each shared grievance illuminates another tiny strand of Stollman's complicated persona, which — owing in part to the book's structure — remains a cipher throughout.
A facet of Bernard Stollman's (and ESP's) persona was borne of another kind of independence. Stollman’s parents had founded a successful chain of clothing stores in upstate New York after WWII. Their wealth and generosity gave him the chance to pursue his dream, to channel his own particular creativity. That support included their help at the office and they even gamely manned the door when ESP rented the Village Theater for a year-long Fugs residency. The Fugs' Ed Sanders, who declined to be interviewed by Weiss, owing to the publication of his own memoir, Fug You! last year, wrote that "the oi is still oi-ing in the Oi over [the Fugs'] ESP contract terms" and went on to confide that "a close relative of the label's owner told me the family viewed the owner as unstable and helped bankroll in lieu of therapy or confinement." The author, Jason Weiss, has written about jazz musician Steve Lacy previously to this book. There's 21 pages of b&w photographs-mostly ESP-DISK artists, and several album covers. There's also a photo of the seemingly illusive Bernard Stollman, creator of the label. By the way, the label name comes from Esperanto Disko (the Esperanto word for records), and was shortened to ESP-DISK.
This book is about as close as we'll get to an inside look at this esoteric label, which is mainly an outlet for free jazz/outside jazz/avant garde jazz, or whatever you want to label this music. The book is aimed more towards fans who are familiar with the label's artists and their music. However, someone new to this music will come away with a bit more insight into both the label and the music. Label owner Bernard Stollman not only recorded free jazz, but groups like PEARLS BEFORE SWINE, THE GODZ, THE FUGS, and released albums by artists like William Burroughs, Yma Sumac (not Amy Camus), and Charles Manson, among others.One of the more interesting releases was the album "The East Village Other". Artists include Steve Weber (HOLY MODAL ROUNDERS), Tuli Kupferberg (THE FUGS), THE VELVET UNDERGROUND ( their first recorded appearance with a song titled "Noise"), Marion Brown (with two others playing "Jazz Improv"), Allan Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky ("Mantras") Andy Warhol, and a few others. This is truly a period piece that speaks to those times-especially Side Two of the original album, which was taken up with "Engraved side with a lot of saxophones". The label also recorded speeches and songs during the civil rights era in America.
The first portion of the book is a long (about 75 pages) interview with Stollman, beginning with his boyhood and family. Among the subjects he talks about are becoming a lawyer and early on, winning a case for three bass players (including Art Davis and Reggie Workman) whose instruments were damaged, and helping Mary Lou Williams with publishing problems. Volunteering to do legal work for Moe Asch (Folkways Records), he also went to hear Albert Ayler during this period, and wound up recording Ayler's first album, "Spiritual Unity". This was the turning point for Stollman, who decided to start up a record label. He talks about financing the label by asking his parents for his inheritance-which they gave him.From here Stollamn talks about a number of the artists he recorded for his label. Stollman also relates how he met Jimi Hendrix, and wanted to record him, but Hendrix said he had a plane ticket to London, but would like to discuss it when he returned. And we know how that turned out. Stollman also met Janis Joplin at the Village Theater, who had written her sister, "I'm going to New York to record for ESP-DISK." But her new manager signed her to Columbia Records instead. He also talks about the record business and his own troubles trying to keep ESP-DISK afloat, and how he revived the label beginning in 2003.
ESP stands as a still-breathing example of independence — not in the American marketplace or even the new global one, but the very real world, a sequence of business and practical decisions made by Stollman and Stollman alone. Stollamn talks about a number of the artists he recorded for his label. Stollman also relates how he met Jimi Hendrix, and wanted to record him, but Hendrix said he had a plane ticket to London, but would like to discuss it when he returned. And we know how that turned out. Stollman also met Janis Joplin at the Village Theater, who had written her sister, "I'm going to New York to record for ESP-DISK." But her new manager signed her to Columbia Records instead. He also talks about the record business and his own troubles trying to keep ESP-DISK afloat, and how he revived the label beginning in 2003.The rest of the book is taken up with interviews of many (over three dozen) of the label's artists. Some are bitter at their lack of royalty payments, and others are grateful for having the chance to record their music, and some are a bit of both. Fans of the label's artists will find this portion of the book interesting, informative, and sometimes enlightening. Reading what the artists have to say about the label, the music, and that whole period is like a look back in time. In a way, these interviews "humanize" the artists-there not mysterious people we only hear playing music.Some of the artists interviewed include Gunter Hampel, John Tchcai, James Zitro, Sonny Simmons, Gary Peacock, Milford Graves, Tom Rapp, Roswell Rudd, Guiseppi Logan, William Parker, Ken Vandermark, Gato Barbieri, Sirone, Sonny Murray, and many others. Weiss also interviewed Richard Alderson, who was the engineer on a number of the label's recording dates.Together they paint a picture of the label, the music, and that particular period of time, with first hand insights and observations.
Though some artists arguably lost money by signing their ESP contracts, they surely received (or reaffirmed) something via the arrangement: the knowledge that independence isn't just a personal mission, its life. The artist alone decides but, really, so does everybody.
"YOU NEVER HEARD SUCH SOUNDS IN YOUR LIFE" ~ Have a great Thanksgiving everyone....stay inspired- TIM PRICE

Monday, November 12, 2012

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- Music, forward motion. Thank god for Charlie Mariano.

I better explain.....my mind set,in a way.This ain't easy out here. I've been REAL lucky to have the friends I do.BUT , MUSIC.......is our sanctuary. Our inner spot to focus and grow and Playing/loving music is a special thing.I do not watch a lot of TV. I kinda never did...lived 4 years in Boston and never had a TV.I think , to be positive is my sanity factor.But that IS just me. You know ...like the tune Prez played.." Just you , Just Me". Ever think how boring life could be WITHOUT music.- How many people off the street can you talk to about jazz? MUSIC.....is a special thing.Hope those of you who know , got my points
HERE ARE SOME THINGS TO PRACTICE....GO SLOW AND STUDY THEM. http://www.saxontheweb.net/Price/Dom7ChordLine.html http://www.saxontheweb.net/Price/Jun01.html http://www.saxontheweb.net/Price/Nov00.html For Ear Training via chords; check out: http://www.saxontheweb.net/Price/EarTraining2.html And if you missed " part 1" ; http://www.saxontheweb.net/Price/EarTraining1.html
Today, November 12th, would have been Charlie Mariano 89th birthday. Thank god for Charlie Mariano. He touched us all deeply, was a friend and a player of the highest level.His book published thru Advance Music..."An Introduction To South Indian Music" by Charlie Mariano is excellent.A must have for the open minded.I was very lucky to study with him as a teenager at Berklee, he changed my life and music. Charlie was a beautiful human being and a timeless soul. Till next week....forward motion. Always! ~ Tim Price

Monday, November 5, 2012

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- A ticket to nowhere!

You know the actor John Garfield? In one movie he walked up to this train station, the ticket booth, and the guy says, 'Yes, where are you going?' And he says, 'I want a ticket to nowhere.' I thought: that's it. The freedom to do that. I want a ticket to nowhere --- Wayne Shorter
....My Definition of Success is the Freedom to be Yourself. Remember- Knowledge is a weapon. But intend to be formidably armed.
Sometimes you hear great players say “I just play what I feel.” My answer to young players is, “yeh, play what you feel, but not before you learn how to play.Other wise your wasting energy- ya know. Jazz is a language, just like any language. It’s just that we speak our language, called jazz, on our instruments. Imagine...How would you sound speaking German, if you never learned how to speak it? If you never learned the words, phrases, or sentences of German, not many people would understand much of what you were trying to say.I think of jazz improvisation in those terms and you can sort of see where I’m coming from.
The more I listened and studied jazz, talked to real players at gigs, the more I figured out what I thought were the most important things to concentrate on to become a better player and get to a level that makes it as fun for you play as it is pleasurable for the listener to HEAR you play. When I do a masterclass, I take the myth out of playing jazz, you will come away with something that will not only help you in your improvisation, but also make you a more positive person. This I learned from masters like Andy McGhee, Charlie Mariano, John LaPorta. Not...from the internet or gossip.I always say music is life, and life is music! But lets learn how to play first.
TODAY...lets take more time to learn standards, swing and get roots.Guys like Wayne Shorter...could play minor blues all day long and swing. But the roots were there. Get my drift? Learn the rots, and learn to play with all kinds of folks- not just your friends. There is my point, Wayne, Herbie and all our heros could play blues, rhythm changes all day long- do not by pass this. THEN....you'll be able to embark on journeys like Wayne Shorter.Listen to George Coleman, Sonny Stitt, early Wayne,Zoot Sims , Stan Getz and learn the standards...the tempos.
Till next week....work hard- Tim Price