Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- ERIC KLOSS...the supreme artistry & soul of a complete original.

Once upon a time back in the late 60s…… I bought a record called introducing Eric Kloss. I was curious, Who was the teenage young blind saxophone player from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Recording with people like Don Patterson Billy James and Pat Martino. His sound on alto and tenor intrigued me. He was not that much older than me and was a fully developed player not only with style but with soul and commitment.

I watched this young man develop, let's be clear at that stage in the late 60s he was already more developed than most seasoned pros are now. No joke this guy was ready! He was on the bandstand with people like Booker Ervin, Vic Juris, Mike Nock, Terry Silverlight, Groove Homes and very shortly recordings following with Miles Davis is rhythm section of Chick Corea Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette.

Upon a quick listening to any of his records, and truthfully I have all of them everything I could find. This guy was a walking fountain of inspiration. Not only did you have a beautiful style on alto fully formed with roots off-the-wall ideas that were routed in the blues but originality. His tenor playing was in the same area. Without a doubt he could easily play with Miles, without a doubt that was part of him that would've fit Miles Davis like a glove. Yet at the same time as style was fresh- This man stood his own 2 feet, and he stood for something.

As the years went on, he stayed close to Pittsburgh.Taught at the local University and kept playing amazing jazz. The recordings that he made with people like Chick Corea or Pat Martino and to this day challenge much of the music being played even though it was recorded 35+ years ago.

The part of the business of music, and especially jazz, has always bothered me when a person like this is ignored. There seems to be in overindulgence of hero worship for somebody who had enough money to pay a support system of a press agent may be a fashion photographer, and more. The cold reality of the changing art form and also a change in culture surrounding the music. Clubs and audiences that supported people like Eric have changed and I can admit that. Those kind of clubs and environments you'd know if you we're not playing! The audience would let you know if you were not.You had to be coming up with something-and most times it was three or four sets not an hour and 20 minutes like today.Too often people flock today towards one musician or a small handful of those people, then they are everywhere-it's almost of overkill for the artist in the long run. Guys who stand the test of time get ignored- or a person who invents themselves on social media become a brief reality- so it goes.


The values of originality a commitment to an art form not just being popular Have by the wayside. I can easily point to A recording he did with Barry Miles it was all duets. I can point you towards every single one of those recordings-go search them out on YouTube. Listen to the soul that he played the saxophone with-also listen to the personal agenda he had his sound and ideas. That's a lesson right there. Again it's a sad thing when artists get ignored or pushed to the back of the room because people just don't know who they are or don't take the time to listen and find out. Years ago that was something that people prided themselves on, I'm talking about the people with in the music that handled things musically. My words might be a bit spicy here, but somebody's got to bring attention to these type of values before it's too late. The musicianship of Eric will inspire people for decades and decade's. At one point he even wrote a few read preparation articles for Rico! Somewhere I'm going to find one and re-print it so everyone can see it too.

Let this current blog be a polite wake up call to investigate this mans playing- and also realize there was a time. That meaning there was a time when jazz festivals had musicians like this and the Village Vanguard had musicians like this. There are so many recordings of his that I could say right off the top of my head make it a point as this blog closes out on Eric that you investigate yourself and spend some time and listen to at least half a dozen to a dozen of these recordings over the course of the next few weeks. And you'll realize the expression and also… Title of one of his tunes called "to hear is to see". You'll hear and see why I instigated this weeks blog. Thank you for your time and I was always the very best to everyone-keep the music real.

- - - Tim Price Blogging For D'Addario Woodwinds- -

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- Being a complete musician goes well beyond the notes.

What it is...Is hard work and commitment.Commitment to your chosen art form, and desire to do just that.Creativity and responsibility are twins in art. One cannot claim to be truly creative without being responsible. However, the commitment of an artist to a cause should never be blind commitment. The artist should always retain the right to question motives. In that way the artist will remain faithful to both creativity and social responsibility.If all art is a form of communication, all art is produced with an audience in mind. The process of artistic creation is an exercise in communication and as all communication must be able to communicate, it therefore follows that the process of artistic creation entails the responsibility to communicate. It can therefore be argued that there is no necessary contradiction between creativity and responsibility in art. I know that there are philosophies like art for art’s sake, which can be contrasted to say the literature of commitment. But I say you cannot be truly creative without being responsible. The moment you stop being responsible you stop being truly creative.

Music can teach us to listen carefully and without prejudice. It can also teach us to cooperate and interact with others outside preconceived goals and benefits. It can offer insights into expressions of selfhood, as a key player in the construction of subjectivity.

However, on the other hand, music also plays an important role in the disciplining and controlling of human beings. In that sense, music has ‘unethical’ sides as well. 9 times out of 10...a person with an attitude of a hustler or  " enlightened savior" runs a short course in the long term. Absurdities abound in these people and take a second to realize...who is jiving whom!

THE TERM...Intellectual shucking and jiving describes it all. Only thing as a player, that can change YOU as a player is to work, study, and keep working and studying your art. Stay positive and when you can, remember your knowledge is the tool most vital. NEXT- Is your ear. Instead of buying a thousand dollar mouthpiece- Why not buy a thousand dollars worth of recordings of great players and listen. Get an AMAZON ECHO TOO....All I say to my ECHO is ALEXA Eric Dolphy and I've got hours of Eric Dolphy to hear in my home. 


 Being a complete musician goes well beyond the notes.It involves more than just getting a degree, playing your instrument, and those aspects. More so, it includes, the day to day life of travel, prep before you travel, making sure your ducks are in a row on the daily agenda.Gas for the car, bus ticket, clothes and schedule. Anything short of that in today's environment is a loss on the player-performers game card. Yes, it's past the mouthpieces, or a five digit Selmer and the demo CD that your uncle Ralph paid for. It's called- day to day life. 


 See you next week. - Tim Price



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- Coltrane's drawing and variations on thoughts & shapes.

There's been a lot of talk about the circle Trane drew- when you first look at it it looks like a Poly-gram. There are geometric shapes, but  they cannot be drawn into the standard circle of fifths or fourths or chromatic circle . I've heard people referred to this is the Coltrane star or chromatic circle.

If you look at this as a variation of circle of fifths or fourths this circle that he created was also evident in Yusef Lateefs book the "repository of scales and melodic patterns". When you look at this this, it is another way of seeing things. That said- if you look on the inside of the circle at the top where it says C B C#   it would be 12 o'clock… if you look at this and make it simple there's an outer ring that's displaying a six next to tonic or whole tone scale. C- d- E--Gb- Ab- Bb- -C. That is the circle on the inner side that displays a hexatonic scale.OK- if you look at these carefully and go clockwise between the tones of the scale of the rings they're contained in, it turns out to be a circle of fourths and then counter clockwise circle of fifths.

Many times when we look at this we see the tones that are circled… If you look at those you're going to see some super tonic's and leading tones, perhaps there's even more to that than meets the eye, and ear.

In my opinion any Coltrane devotee knows that he liked using the diminished scale or basically the double diminished at it as it was called , good example of that is his solo on " moments notice" and  in the 74th measure explicit use of a B-flat seven diminish scale pattern that is probably one of the most influential in the Trane language. One that I always liked, and I also think is right out in front of your face, is his solo on " Epistrophy" on the live Carnegie Hall recordings with Monk.

I think this was his way of trying to look at things in a clear concise manner.
The possibilities are really endless and I think that is something that he noticed by drawing this. People know there are 13 intervals from the tonic to the octave, these intervals are unison- minor second- major second- Minor 3rd- major third- fourth -tritone -5th, minor sixth -major sixth- minor seventh -major seventh and the octave.  There's a lot of tones in between yes! But keep on mind- there's also a lot of references in clockwise and counterclockwise motion. Shapes and things to come, if you will. To me this is the beautiful part of music… The study in pursuit. In the grand scheme of course- this is just my opinion.I've also seen other drawings that were based on this-that makes sense too.

The drawing on the tone circles will always be a fascination to saxophone players and musicians and jazz musicians for decades and centuries to come. After all that is why we are all here aren't we?

The outlines and concepts of this hopefully will enable the soloist to think further ,and go past the normal outlining the changes at the same time as the rhythm section. That is something that can become very redundant. Remember you're creating something not repeating something! Remember overall sound and shapes and tones is what you're after. Delving in heavily to intervallic and  sequential playing will assist you to eventually develop a vocabulary of your own that moves to new areas, that you might not of played before. The keyword is direction!

When you are approaching concepts like this make sure you're playing them in swinging time and practice slow. Think about what your playing and remember the further into the cosmos that you go- The harder you should be swinging. 

Check out Coltrane on "Sunship" or some of the Yusuf Lateef records and also ALL the Booker Ervin books. EG- The Freedom Book- The Space Book- The Song Book.

Intuition is your friend use it!
Good luck and I hope this helps you all.

Thank you....Tim Price 

 Take some time and study this man's music from the side of enjoyment and reflection-and also the study aspect. People always say to me what's a great solo to start with to transcribe- I always say what started me in 1969 at Berklee was Andy McGee getting me into playing one chorus of his solo on " Oleo"... That's a great place to start get that in tempo. There's always something in this man's legacy and recorded career to be inspired by-search it out and pursue it. But remember being who you are that's one of the greatest lessons that we can learn from this man-and study and look for things lifelong.

For more info on Coltrane via my blogs- go here-

Tim Price Bloggin' for D' Addario Woodwinds- Coltrane / Prestige 7105

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- The pantheon of great jazz masters- and like minds. Trane & Slominsky.

THANK YOU....  Tim Price

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Tim Price Blogging For D'Addario Woodwinds- Shoe Shine Boy transcription- and a study of Lester Young.

Tim Price Blogging For D'Addario Woodwinds- Shoe Shine Boy transcription- and a study of Lester Young.

LESTER YOUNG !This weeks blog is a study on Lester Young.

You gotta have roots- there's no short cuts Andy McGhee used to tell me- AND HE WAS RIGHT.

I acquired my knowledge not just as a student, but from decades of practical experience on the road. Every night you go to work, you're going to school to a certain extent.

As I work on a tune/solo with students, I stop a lot to iron out trouble spots.
I pull apart a tune to show its different intricacies. By the time we finish, we have really wrung it dry.I want students to leave my studio understanding exactly everything they played and feeling good about that.

I'm very serious about it because that's how I learned.
What I learned in the classroom was one thing, what I learned on the bandstand was another. I bring this to my students and they are better for it.

Learn every Prez solo you can. This solo is found here-

Study his lines and shapes. In addition, keep in mind the tempo and phrasings- very modern to this day as well.

The solo is below- your goal is to get the solo in tempo and memorize it.
 NEXT- - On your own transcribe Lester Young solo on " Taxi War Dance" should be fun and pretty enlightening. Get started now!

I suggest this book on Lester Young-

I love Lester Young and had read of this book in another biography and have been enjoying every page. Pres was so important and it is great to get this compendium of so many interviews and views in one place. It's a great start to a young learner who needs to learn more about a classic legendary innovative saxophonist.
Till next week- Enjoy the blog on Lester Young and keep studying  his playing and style. Prez forever.

See you next week- Tim Price

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Tim Price Bloggin For D'Addario Woodwinds- Stay focused and believe in yourself even if others do not believe in you.

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

Ornette Coleman’s early records, more than anything else testaments to this insight. What can specify good improvisation — collaborators like Don Cherry and the recently departed Charlie Haden were consciously trying to innovate but there was never an aesthetic arrogance to what they were doing, compared with others from this time of aesthetic ferment. He and Don Cherry’s experiments at this point were with pitch and playfully provocative – indeed there are at least half a dozen masterpiece records from 1959 — Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue; John Coltrane’s Giant Steps; Charles Mingus’s Mingus Ah Um and its companion piece Mingus Dynasty and the often overlooked debut by by hard-bop trumpet player Donald Byrd, Byrd in Hand. There can be no dispute that all of these records are transformational. Some are more mellifluous and easy to listen in what may be called a “chilled out” fashion (Davis, Byrd), while others demand an active listen (Mingus). It is notable that while all of these records were experimental in that they brought new sounds to the jazz idiom that was moving beyond bop and hard bop, all but Byrd imported musical frameworks that had heretofore been foreign to jazz as a whole. Byrd, on the other hand experimented with texture — two saxophones, a drummer who played on the twos when he should have been playing on the ones, that sort of thingThen of course, there was Coleman’s Shapes of Jazz to Come. Like Byrd, Coleman’s innovation was endogenous within jazz as a blues-derived form, as compared with the exogenous shifts that came from Mingus, Davis and Coltrane. Indeed,  this record is simultaneously incredibly challenging .The song "Lonely Woman" stands to this day as one of the most poignant, even intimate jazz compositions, a sort of blues-for-postwar capitalism, a cold war dirge. Coleman told Derrida "I came across a gallery where someone had painted a very rich white woman who had absolutely everything that you could desire in life, and she had the most solitary expression in the world. I had never been confronted with such solitude, and when I got back home, I wrote a piece that I called 'Lonely Woman.'" Like many of the best politically-minded artists of the last half century, Coleman approached the political sideways and was never as publicly connected with the far-left as his colleagues like Haden and Cherry.

In the early nineties, Coleman was hanging out backstage, waiting to sit in with the   Grateful Dead. Coleman didn’t like what he was hearing. An admirer of Jerry Garcia’s effervescent guitar playing, Coleman had played with him a number of time.  Listening to this cacophony, Coleman said to the Dead’s manager, “Man, these guys don’t listen to each other when they play.” Yet a listen to a bootleg recording of the concert has Coleman hitting the stage during the Dead’s “space” segment (their own "free jazz"  ). Suddenly, the band sprung to life culminating in a version of Bobby Bland’s “Turn on your Lovelight” — precisely the type of Rhythm and Blues that Coleman played as a kid in Texas. The band was listening to each other again.  


This was the key to Ornette Coleman’s cultural production as a whole. It is easy to romanticize the best improvised music in a quasi-new age sense, that is to say the idea that some type of extra-human intelligence of a sort is channeled at “peak moments”. Indeed, many improvisational musicians, unable to fathom the affect they and their audience experience, take to this kind of belief. It is notable, thus, that Coleman, while sometimes having a foot in the milieu of “spiritual jazz” alongside comrades like Don Cherry and Charlie Haden.

In the study of jazz improvisation (both in books and schools), there are two major components that rarely get the recognition they deserve: ear training and rhythm. Instead, the bulk of jazz education focuses mostly on theory -- learning what notes to play over which chords. While knowing jazz theory will help you to become a better player, I think (much) greater advances are possible through strengthening ones ear and rhythmic skills. lunch for your ears- You should listen to this stuff. Start here- and go through my list ;“Porgy and Bess” (Miles Davis), “Ascension” (John Coltrane), “The Jazz Composer’s Orchestra” (Michael Mantler), “Live in San Francisco” (Archie Shepp)Listening/tunes: “Walkin’” and “Mysterioso” (J.J. Johnson), “Freddie the Freeloader” and “Flamenco Sketches” (Miles Davis), John Coltrane Plays the Blues (all tracks), “Cousin Mary” and “Mr. P.C.” (John Coltrane), “Sack O’ Woe” (Cannonball Adderley), “Now’s the Time” (J.J. Johnson), any blues record by Charles Mingus, Milt Jackson, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Horace Silver, Jimmy Smith, Wes Montgomery.Then listen to- “Milestones” (Miles Davis), “Fat Girl” (Navarro); Bird: The Savory Recordings/Master Takes: Miles Davis’ solo on “Half Nelson”...Then isolate your ears with recordings by Bud Powell, John Lewis, Horace Silver, Thelonious Monk, Oscar Peterson, Wynton Kelly, Tommy Flanagan, only piano.
Using your intuition and feelings when improvising is most important be it at the most advanced level or just a basic beginner. To thoroughly approach this as an art form and something that has deep meaning is most important. The masters when they played, be it Johnny Dodds or Sidney Bechet or Bud Powell on through the greats like Wayne Shorter or Charlie Mariano all came from a very deep place. At times, this place is something that you must go to in a natural way. Nothing cosmic about it, it's almost like a trance. It's almost like when your telling someone a story and you close your eyes and you're taking them somewhere with you. Art Pepper wrote a song about this called "The Trip." Stan Getz called this frame of mind the "alpha state."Whether its experienced in dreams, altered states, or simply sitting in solitude, the artist must be aware of the visionary realm.

Check THAT out....and I'll see you next week- - Tim Price