Monday, January 19, 2015

- Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- Food for thought...for musicians of all ages.

To arrive at a personal destination you have to invest in yourself. Study, practice and life. 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. We are trying to enter the realm of feelings and emotions through music, and to arrive at a point where your fingers go where the ear dictates.Hopefully this blog can instigate the artistic process in an attempt to have a coherent and unified vision of what an art form concerns. Play, study and approach what you do to the maximum. Look for inspiration beyond your own instrument. Check out the trio I speak of as well. LISTENING IS PRACTICE TOO!!! Tracking is the ability to listen to yourself. This is one of the most crucial things in melodic playing. Tracking is the ability to identify your own ideas and build on them. Music is not the combination of as many different ideas as possible in the shortest amount of time, (e.g. playing a lot of notes fast and all over the place) but, the flow and elaboration of a few ideas in a logical and coherent manner. The secret of tracking is to listen to yourself. Again, each idea should have a beginning and an end. Pause and listen to your last idea. Your next idea should be related to the last. Whether you repeat a rhythm, note, shape, or even stop and begin with a new idea, this will help you to direct your lines and phrases into a specific area. What you will hear coming out of yourself will be your own musical ideas. They are shaped by your feelings and the interactions of the people you are playing with, as well as your technical condition. All this will grow richer as you study more and practice harder and learn the repertoire. The secret is to create in the now, and not simply play all your memorized licks. The more you practice, the more you will be able to hear, and your abilities as a jazz improviser will grow and expand. Remember, what you hear is more important than what you know. SUGGESTED LISTENING- CHARLIE PARKER ON DIAL. Volume 8 Recorded: Nov 8, 1947 – Sep 1948 The final volume of the series featured tracks taken primarily from a radio broadcast on November 8, 1947, where Parker played with Barry Ulanov and His All-Star Metronome Jazzmen. The group featured Bauer on guitar, Allen Eager on tenor saxophone,John LaPorta on clarinet, Fats Navarro on trumpet, Tommy Potter on double bass, Buddy Rich on drums, Tristano on piano, and, singing on "Everything I Have Is Yours", Sarah Vaughan.[7] Additional material was taken from a set with Tadd Dameron's Orchestra, featuring performances by Eager and Gray. LISTEN TO JOHN LA PORTA....On clarinet. One of the greatest in jazz clarinet and the teacher at Berklee who took the time to get "tracking" into my mind set as a young player/student. This man, played with Mingus and Bird. Hope this helps you open some new doorways in your playing. I suggest if you want some freedom and personal forward motion you try this for a week: turn off the TV and computer games, use the phone and text only when necessary, and spend the rest of the time doing things that make you think, feel, create or anything that shows an active involvement and appreciation of you life. It's way off the hook, people are talking on the phone in restaurants instead of enjoying the meal they just ordered. Musicians and students need to get their life in order. I've thought and researched it- in one year the average person watches about 1200 hours of TV. Think of what could be learned in 1200 hours in one year. One could become competent on their instrument, and lots more. It's very staggering, and a form of freedom I enjoy. For musicians, you also will reach a moment of clarity and understand time needs to be allocated to insure mastery. As you start the process of practicing thoughtfully you will be able to gauge how much time it takes to accomplish your goals.When outside diversions and distractions are removed then you get down to the real nitty gritty of your journey. Thus begins a new world, watch what happens. In a week there are 168 hours. Most people work about 40-50 hours and sleep fifty to sixty hours. That leaves over 50 hours of loose time. SEE YOU AT NAMM 2015......Let's make 2015 the one...Tim Price

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- Alex Terrier New York Quartet Featuring Kenny Barron

This is a great album and shows Alex at his best with world class musicians! This is another illustration of a player who is really playing at a high level, and deserves attention for not only being true to tradition but also the art of real jazz.. His style is beautiful- he sure sounds like he's having fun too.His playing is quintessentially modern. Alex and his NYQ give this recording an austere clarity of classic perfection, the feel is there and so is the quality of the band. In a word... clarity. If you want to hear something truly genuine, if you want to immerse yourself in some beautiful music, listen to this. I'd add that this one is a very well recorded album as well. His sound is truly focused and very fresh. The album Alex Terrier New York Quartet Featuring Kenny Barron is available now- right here - Alex made his mark with this one...probably his best yet,a classic,it catches every mood and rises to the top of the new releases... you just can't put it down. Check out the nice rapport he has with Kenny Barron,really developed lines, phrasing and focused solos. I am a huge Kenny Barron fan, and to me Kenny is one of the best jazz has to offer.His comping and mastery of making the music speak is a life lesson. What a beautiful player! ALEX IS IMPRESSIVE...Alex Terrier was born in Paris, France, in 1980. He didn't grow up in a musical environment, but "the day I sat down to the piano was the first step to a life long journey into the world of music" Alex says. Studying classical piano for a few years, it was a shock when Alex Terrier, around age 12, heard Duke Ellington and the sound of saxophonist Johnny Hodges. That was the second step. From that day on, Alex Terrier has been dedicating his life to Jazz: "I used to get up in the morning and play the piano half asleep, really first thing in the morning before breakfast. I would listen to music all the time, read, study... that's all I did when I was a kid". His first influences were Duke Ellington, Memphis Slim, Fats Domino, and Sydney Bechet, as these were the few LPs he found in his father's home office. Alex Terrier received a Brevet de Technicien des Métiers de la Musique in Sèvres (it is hard to translate, but that could be Music Technological Diploma) in 1999. He received a Médaille d'Or at the Ecole Nationale de Musique d'Evry before going to Berklee College of Music in 2004. He graduated from Berklee in 2007 with a Dual Degree in Performance and Jazz Composition. He has been since then an active member of the New York scene and has become the first French musician to be part of the legendary Mingus Big Band. - This is an inspired work of art! The record is a tour-du-force of musical vision and mastery of improvisational inventiveness within a melodic and harmonic form that draws the listener in immediately.You need to hear this CD,buy it. It's SPEC-TA-CU-LAR. Nothing less. ~ Tim Price / Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds January 2015.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- The future can be found in Georgie Auld.

It has been my contention that the most valuable viewpoints come from those who do. Thus, it’s logical to assume that any saxist who is surviving in this field, and doing it with success, is doing something right. The energies we all put into our craft; The years of apprenticeship and life-struggle, and the never ending open tuition to the school of hard knocks is always balanced by the intense commitment to the horn, and the pure love of playing it. Not everybody in jazz as in any art form can be a genius' but there are always musicians that have contributed and have made themselves worthy of recognition.This is Georgie Auld. The original KING SUPER 20 ( Along with Chas Ventura) endorser too, by the way.. George Auld was a rising tenor saxophone stylist in the late 1930's. Already in his late teens he was demonstrating his abilities as an original soloist.Playing in Bunny Berigan's band, e.g. "The Prisoner's Song" and many live airchecks with Artie Shaw, e.g. "Everybody's Jumpin'" he managed to sythesize Herschel Evans and "Pres" into a very identifible style. Unfortunately, he is overlooked when listeing to "Pres," "Hawk," Ben Webster, etal. He remains for this listener a mystery.After he left these bands he began sounding like other people, e.g. Ben Webster. Later the cool school West Coast tenor players.The answer to this question I guess will never be known. When many players attempt to find their voice which he apparently did and then to lose site of himself is a strong case of regression of either lost identity or confidence in what he was doing. To me Auld played an important role in the tenor saxophone history. Auld coming to prominence in the Swing era, he was one of the very few swing musicians who managed to traverse the ridge that Dizzy Gillespie and the young moderns threw up between swing and be-bop in the middle Forties. While most of the swing musicians gave up in the face of the new music, Auld not only relished the challenge but moved swiftly towards the top of the be-bop ladder. While his later work was commercial, some of his recordings in the mid-Forties, notably "Co-Pilot", which features Dizzy Gillespie on trumpet, were daring examples of big band jazz, possessing values which would escape the notice of the general listener of the time. Auld's family left his native Toronto when he was 10 and moved to New York in 1929. Studying alto sax, he won a Rudy Weidoeft Scholarship in 1931 and studied with that famous teacher for nine months. In 1936 he was so affected by bearing Coleman Hawkins's recording of "Meditation" that he switched to Hawkins's instrument, the tenor. George had his own small group that year at Nick's, one of New York's more famous jazz nightclubs, and joined Bunny Berigan's orchestra in 1937. Auld's early experiences in the big band world must have been rigorous since, on leaving the everdrunk Berigan, he joined the orchestra led by the brilliant clarinetist Artie Shaw in 1939. No sooner had he settled in than Shaw decided to give up the band and that November the 20-year-old Auld took it over and tried to run it himself, but without a star name to draw the customers, the orchestra was soon forced to disband. After a few months with Jan Savitt's band, Auld joined Benny Goodman in November 1940 and during the next seven months with Benny made his most famous recordings. Most importantly, Auld was here exposed to the work of Goodman's guitarist Charlie Christian, one of the young musicians who was probing his way toward what was, in the hands of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie and others, to become be-bop a few years further on. Christian's use of augmented and diminished chords was unique in jazz at that time. Auld was a receptive listener and Christian's influence on him was profound. When Christian died some months later, Auld left Goodman and joined Artie Shaw's new band, but he continued to explore the music that Charlie and the others had opened up to him, The unpredictable Shaw disbanded again in January 1942, and Auld led a group of his own until he went into the army in 1943. For some reason he was discharged, perhaps because of a chest illness which was to trouble him for many years, and from June 1943 he led a quartet at The Three Deuces in New York until, in September that year, he formed his big band. Auld's band lasted for two years and was never amongst the best known but it made many interesting records and spanned a difficult period in jazz when the roots of its arrangements were in swing but its soloists in the be-bop era. Big bands became uneconomic in the post-war period, and Auld sensibly paired his down to a sextet, probably one of the best of all his bands. It included the trumpeter Red Rodney, the baritone saxophonist Serge Chaloff, the pianist George Wallington (later replaced by Lou Levy), the bassist Curly Russell and the brilliant drummer/composer Tiny Kahn. George's illness caused him to break up this band and he moved to Arizona and finally to California for his health. He reformed, this time with a nine- piece devoted to the writing and style of the great composer Tadd Dameron. In 1948 he joined Billy Eckstine's band and in 1949 spent almost a year on Broadway acting in the play The Rat Race. At this time he also ran a club in New York, the Tin Pan Alley, which became a center for jam sessions. He joined Count Basie's Octet briefly and then formed a fine quintet in New York in 1951 (with Levy, Russell and Kahn, plus the young trombone virtuoso Frank Rosolino). Auld began to shed his be- bop overtones and returned to his earlier Coleman Hawkins-influenced manner. Returning to the West Coast in 1954, he opened another club, The Melody Room in Hollywood. Auld drifted into obscurity, but bounced back when, for no good reason, he became immensely popular in Japan. He made more than a dozen tours there beginning in 1964 and recorded 16 albums for Japanese labels. In 1977 he appeared in the film New and Liza Minelli. De Niro's role was as York, New York with Robert De Niro a saxophone player, and Auld played the solos on the soundtrack as well as having an acting part. His link to the Colman Hawkins school of tough tenor played a vital part in jazz and swing music. John Altwerger (George Auld) bandleader, saxophone And clarinet player, born Toronto, 19 May 1919, died Las Vegas 7 January, 1990. To me Auld played an important role in the tenor saxophone history. If you can listen to him at some point in time I think it would provide a missing link to a style that is very accesiable and vital to the sax and swing music. On a personal note-if anyone has any of his jap. issue recordings - I am very interested in getting any kind of copys. Just E mail me. CLOSE behind the tenor sax playing of Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster and Bud Freeman, came that of George Auld. The result is that their playing will be remembered when Auld's could be sadly forgotten, and yet he too was a jazz innovator through the big bands that he led in the Forties.And was one serious tenor man......Have a great New Years Day my friends...and see you in 2015 as ever - Tim Price