Friday, May 6, 2016

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- For the love of Sal! Sal Nistico workshop.

Sal Nistico....Was not only a dear friend but a inspiration to me and a teacher. I met him in the early1970's after he left Woody Herman's band- and was living in our musicians apartments on Hemenway St called " HOLMES HALL"....In Boston, right down the street from Berklee where I was also a student. Sal used to cook for us, we'd session all day, listen to music and talk about life and everything under the sun. I was only 20, just turned 20 too, and Sal was one of my hero's. I met him at " Lennies On The Turnpike"...he was playing with piano genius Jaki Byard in a quartet. That should of been a record. He had a photographic memory, he used to sing parts from the Don Ellis big band book, that he was in when he was in Los Angeles! He also knew so much from a practical point of view. I loved what Sal stood for as an artist- and how he played. During the lessons, he would show me lines, or ideas and not have me write them out, they had to be internalized! He was a great teacher that way, you really worked when you studied with him. I included two lines here- that were some of my favorites from Sal, that are great to apply. Simple progressions- But keeping them in a tempo and swinging is the goal.

NEXT.....Is to understand...these are NOT sight reading. These are harmonic study's that build note choice and swing feel. Shed them starting at 60= a quarter note. Your goal is to get them burning! Anywhere above 120 is perfect. Internalize these...don't just look at them and add them to a hard drive of information you'll forget. Get into them, and go to you tube and LISTEN to everything you can find of Sal Nistico's. There's a lot there, and also on Ebay & Amazon- get into this creative genius playing. He was one of the real ones on the tenor saxophone, and a great friend to me.

This was the last lesson I had with him in the 1980's before he moved to Europe, and stayed there. It was in Philly, and I set a weekend up with Sal and Don Patterson the organist at a Philly club called the " Kings Rook". Sal made dinner the last day of the gig, we were practicing together, and I was taking a lesson. After the day ended, I went to pay him for the lesson, and he told me.." This one's on the house"...and keep doing what I'm doing and working hard. To get those words from a guy like Sal was beyond anything, it was real. I think about him, his playing and what he stood for as a musician a lot.

I hope these exercises and info get a lot of you interested in Sal. Thank you and I hope this is of assistance to all.
~ Till next week~ Tim Price for D'Addario Woodwinds. 2016.

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