Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- BIRD LIVES!

Bird Lives! Interesting how something can stay in your mind lifelong. Each person has been touched by the genius of Charlie Parker in different ways. So many different inspiring stories I've heard and I've read. Not to mention all the amazing music. I always wish I could of heard Bird live, also wish I could of heard him on tenor live as that's something Don Lanphere spoke of to me a lot.


Around 1970… I saw this movie in Cambridge Massachusetts called "Murmur or the heart".. there is some nice Bird playing in the soundtrack, and the movie itself.. I thought I'd bring it to a few peoples attention- whether or not they know about it or have any interest in checking out the movie, I've seen it on and off on YouTube too. But in any case now you know about it.

The other aspect of Charlie Parker that always stuck in my mind… was his interest to study with Edgar Varese. That always stuck in my mind, had it materialized one can only imagine were music would've went. He was obviously more than familiar with Varese. What drove the point home even further, and I think about this a lot, was at one point saxophonist ( and one of pioneers of the jazz oboe) Dick Hafer had relayed a very interesting story. Dick Hafer known Parker, from various things that he did with Woody Herman ( Bird with the Herd) and of course just being on the scene at that time.Dick told me the story about a conversation that he was a part of with Bird and Varese after a gig, hanging in NYC. Dick also told me Bird dug Stefan Wolpe It seems Charlie Parker had a real interest in those free forms and expanded composition directions combining a structure and freedom together. Hafer was also a woodwind player-who played or oboe and English horn as well as saxes, flute and clarinet. He's on Mingus records like " Black Saint and The Sinner Lady". ( there's various double reed solos on Anthony Ortega records & some dub's that Dick gave me that never made it onto the vinyl.) it seems like as history has it that Birds life was cut short sadly and this project never materialized. Many times I think of what could've happened had this went down. Where could of this music would've went? Talk about imagining the sound right?

Basically I heard from another artist from the same era named Gil Melle that Varese was looking forward to this with Parker. It is a known fact that sadly never materialized. Many of us who understand what both men were about musically- it's kind of overwhelming to think that that kind of point of departure never happened. For what it's worth-Dick Hafer was a friend of mine who is from the same hometown is me. My original saxophone and flute teacher knew him-hence the connection. When I first moved to New York in 1973 I would go to jam sessions on Ave A to sit in with Dick and Joe Chevadone on trombone.He repeated this same story to me when home visiting his brother in Reading, Pa after he spent the night sitting in with Al Grey and me.
To have heard a story like this come right out of someone's mouth in front of you was mind blowing- I thought I would pass it along again as food for thought and also document something I heard from somebody who was on the inside, like Dick Hafer. Something pretty deep, sad it never happened. Thanks for reading this.

Tim Price Blogging For D'Addario Woodwinds August 2017

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- IN THE NAME OF TRANE

In the name of Trane....in the spirit of the great artist John Coltrane I'm very proud to be part of a very select number of musicians in the Philadelphia jazz project that pays tribute yearly to this great master.

Last year I played directly across the street in the park from the Coltrane House in Philadelphia. Once with my own trio- and later in the day with Sam Reeds tenor madness. Sam's band contains some of the most profound saxophone players in the Philadelphia area, jazz legends like Sam Reed or Charlie Cunningham or George Barron or Larry McKenna, Julian Presley, Gilberto Cruz in addition to so many others in the rhythm section like Philly drummer Jeffrey Johnson and more. ( Larry is not on this gig- by the way- take note) Below is the historic ...COLTRANE HOUSE in Philadelphia, Pa.

This year Sam's band is playing at the Clef Club September 20 at 7 o'clock for this event. It's a beautiful event and everybody really gets to blow and stretch out and play-different guys will be featured throughout the gig as well in a quartet or trio fashion as well as Sam's saxophone ensemble with rhythm section. George Baron and I are playing a quartet segment of the show and playing " Soul Trane" and  " 26 -2 ". Julian Presley is going to be playing an amazing version of Duke Ellington's " In a sentimental mood"… Just to give you some teasers. 

 This is a gig that you're not gonna want to miss, it's worth the drive even if you're coming from Baltimore and New York, what the heck why don't I just throw Copenhagen or Miami in as well! LOL😎 The focus is the music and love of all things Trane. We are having a ball too- stop by!

These is the kind of things I'm talking about, that are of the ultimate important musically in a level that steps out of just the normal and approaches some great jazz- played by people who have played this art form for decades. There's a big difference if you come and hear something like this musically then let's say going to a jazz festival and hearing some of the same old stuff that is shopworn. With that in mind some of these players have roots that grew up with people actually Morgan and Jimmy Heath. Charlie Cunningham is almost 90 and he knew Trane. Charlie also played in the 70s with Philly Joe Jones the great drummer. Below is Charlie and me playing at last years festival!

I'll be saying more about this prestigious event cause I'm very proud to be a part of it but also bring it to the worlds attention in these weekly blogs. These are things that should be being talked about and they're also a great form of respect to a master like John Coltrane.

Also- credit and respect and love to our friend and source of great forward motion Homer Jackson. It wouldn't be happening without you sir.

      I'll be keeping you posted-thank you for reading this and I see you all next week.

       In the name of Trane indeed!  ~ Tim Price



Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- AND THERE'S MORE !

~ In today's world as a creative musician, teacher, recording artist and student you got to learn to hang in there. Music is a beautiful thing, something very important to life and all within. But just like anything else, nobody gives you something for nothing.

You have to understand that...
luck is where your lifelong preparation will join the opportunity. It's not easy either- don't expect because you can play " Giant Steps" or know the inner world of the " Creston Sonata" or have played every bar in the Jersey Shore that you deserve anything.

Before anything, you must love what you do. As Charles Bukowski said," You gotta have the guts." Do what you do and do it to the absolute best of your ability. Bukowski also said, " It’s no good quitting, there is always the smallest bit of light in the darkest of hells." This life can be a roller coaster. Sometimes you will make money,maybe great money. Often very little money and will struggle to get by. A strong work ethic is needed, as well as a strength of will. You also will have to be prepared when opportunity appears. Again- HARD WORK.The ethos behind lateral action is creativity coupled with productivity as the route for success, which also means creatively looking at our productivity. Perhaps sitting and squeezing out every drop of inspiration by sheer force isn’t the best way to get results.Like any productive creative process it’s all about balance and finding a way. The picture below- Is me with Philly jazz royalty Sam Reed- Sam is one of the legends in Philly jazz- we play with Phila Jazz Project a lot and he has played with everyone. One of the true tenor legends in this life. Great arranger too.

Nobody is entitled anything, remember that, it's HARD WORK to make a living as a musician. You must embrace the music with the pursuit of excellence.You earn it every cent you make. You'll get there by experience, and we ALL pay dues. These are things only time and a two thousand stupid gigs will teach you , or teaching a few days of fourth grade students for a few years. Don't complain-learn from every situation you find yourself in. We're only human- accept criticism without taking it personally. If you have an open mind, you'll learn and grow. You will never know all there is to know,always will be something new to learn.

Know this is a beautiful thing music, but it's also a business.Hang in there-it's no good quitting and your not entitled, but you have a vision in mind. Don't cheat yourself out of something you love.

Back in the day...As a teenager I heard a tenor saxophonist ~

~ The tenor players name was- Billy Mitchell! I saw him through a dirty bar room window in my home town in Reading, Pa as a kid. He wa splaying with trombonist Al Grey.That left a huge impression on me as a young player. Every week I'd go stand
outside & look thru the dirty glass window on 7th street ( which is where the railroad is...Eg-Reading Railroad for all you Monopoly fans ) And dig the bands. One time I heard Billy Root with Al Grey.Another time this guy FRANK HAYNES, who was like a Trane -grits type line player with a chitlins' Gene Ammons sound.
Frank later recorded with Lee Morgan & Grant Green.

AS time passed...I started to work on the next street at the C.P Club on
weekends and Sundays. ( C.P means Colored Political ) So I got
to meet some of those sax players while I was still in high school.We'd play a lot of soul music with jazz instrumentals as covers. It gave all of a chance to play but also meet some of these guys at an early age. After all- jazz did not start with " Giant Steps" and " Love Supreme". Years later at Berklee, in my apartment building, there was a guy who lived in my building in Boston Gary Hammond. Came off the road in 1970 to study in Boston..he just left " The Ice Breakers". Hammond later played with Patton and at times still does. Gary is a unsung player and a sweetheart of a guy. I
love his playin'. He's on some Johnny Hammond Smith records and some Barbara
Donald stuff on Cadence records. The picture below is yours truly and BETHLEHEM . . a Philly singer- artist of sonics that I have the pleasure to play with- and is a world class artist- Listen for her ok.

I got to mention two guys from Philly who played in that bag-one was the late great Rudy Jones. He never left Philly. He and I used to play a lot with Don Patterson in late 70's. Another Philly guy who never got credit was Vance Wilson. Great tenor player. 

I always get concerned about these guys because they were the backbone of tenor playing. Like Bergonzi said " The cats you never heard of". They helped me in many ways...I get concerned because these environments like the clubs etc are not around anymore. Even the audiences have changed. And believe me these bands and players were an education unto themselves. I worry that young players will miss the essence of
Fred Jackson , Marvin Cabell, Rudy Rutherford,Rudolph Johnson, Tom Russell, Weasel Parker, Leo Johnson in Newark,Miles Donahue,Sue Terry, Sam Phipps, Arnie Krackowski, Bll Saxton in NYC, Patience Higgins and so many more.With the loss of the record industry and the influx of commercial sales- things have gotten worse.Yes- the " net" is somewhat of a help but the players I'm talking about are of another era. These guys have paid some real dues.Listen for them. AND THERE'S MORE....

TILL NEXT WEEK, Keep a light in the window and a chilled cucumber vodka martini ready for me- Tim Price

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- “Bebop, Swing, and Bella Musica" ( book review)

A MUST!! Fascinating read of some of the players and people that make this music go round.

In this 383-page reference treasure, famous singers such as Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett are profiled along with lesser known but important contemporary improvisers such as Frank Catalano, Jerry Bergonzi, and Joey Calderazzo. The authors point to several examples of Sinatra’s and Bennett’s contribution to the civil rights movement as well as their commitment to playing a vital role in the integration of jazz.

Celebrating the Italian contribution to jazz are the stories of many Italian-American musicians whose talents and determinations have enriched one of America’s greatest art forms. This book profiles musicians such as Tony Bennett, Joe Lovano, Flip Phillips, Louis Prima, Frank Sinatra, and Lennie Tristano, and also features original interviews with Louie Bellson, Sam Butera, Buddy DeFranco, Johnny Frigo, Buddy Greco, and Bucky Pizzarelli—who, in the pursuits of their craft, survived the immigrant experience, the Great Depression, poverty, and other personal tragedies. As Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Joe Lovano said, “Jazz has a specific root— the African American experience—but it’s also about the branches of the tree. Jazz is about cultures coming together, inspiring each other, which is what makes it so beautiful.”

"What a joy to see so many musicians I've worked with receive their due. Dal Cerro and Witter have composed a chronicle of history, love, joy and music that started in countless Italian American homes. A great musical read!"  —Gene DiNovi, bebop pianist and composer

In their recent book “Bebop, Swing, and Bella Musica: Jazz and the Italian American Experience,” co-authors Bill Dal Cerro and David Anthony Witter document “the many cultural barriers Italian-American musicians faced in the pursuit of the American Dream.”  They also postulate that the importance of melody and harmony to those of Italian extraction make for a common bond in their interpretation in any music, be it opera, popular music, or jazz.

A perfect summer read- for the student of jazz and music who wants to get a broader picture of the depth of the magnitude of the music.Louie Bellson, Lennie Tristano, Tony Bennett,

Buddy DeFranco, Flip Phillips and Joe Lovano: These are just some of the
hundreds of musicians of Italian descent whose talents have enriched jazz.

But Bebop, Swing and Bella Musica is more than just a book about music, this book documents the cultural barriers which Italians faced in their pursuit of the American Dream. It also profiles musicians like Joe Marsala who played an active role in the integration of jazz music.
Bebop, Swing and Bella Musica features original, in-depth interviews with many artists who overcame poverty, illness and other personal tragedies. In the end, they drew strength from the musical traditions of their ancestors, bringing Italian passion to America’s greatest art form. 

Do check this out...Highly recommended. Tim Price - D'Addario Woodwinds blogger ;

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds-ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE. . . A blog about a innovative timeless human being- Joe Lovano.

ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE. . . A blog about a universal innovative human being- Joe Lovano.

  To function creatively in an art form like jazz one must think creatively and also have a reference. Joe Lovano is an amazing example and benchmark of that. I've known Joe since we were students at Berklee around 1970! The rapport and the simpatico within the music was always there and flowing. The beautiful part of it is all of us are still playing and involved in something we love. As time has passed evolution growth within the art form and also growth and development with the internals of the music are moving forward constantly. This blog this week is just some things I'm going to share about Joe… That you might not read anywhere else… And also some things that I feel strongly about.

When you hear Joe Lovano, you hear Joe Lovano. 
Joe has very deep roots in the music, he grew up in a musical family with the father that not only knew all the musicians, but knew them personally and had played and jammed with them. That is quite evident and I have always seen that as something that was passed on to Joe at early age-that love and fearlessness of just getting together and playing. Letting the music flow and letting the personalities in the music blend in many sonic directions within the notes and tones of the people creating it. 

Jazz is a peoples music-jazz is the original social media and always will be. 

The reality happens when the music is played. Everything else after that becomes evident and also becomes part of an atmosphere among friends and fellow travelers.NOTE; The book below, About the Italian-American players- this is a must read! Joe is in there of course and if you want a book that you can't put down- this is it. I love it!

This last Sunday we spent a lot of time talking about instruments and also doing some playing and hanging. I strongly urge you if you haven't already to listen to some of the many projects and recordings that Joe has done in his life. Each one contains a very special energy and a very special message the only Joe could do-it's like hearing somebody's voice on the telephone. Not only is he a tower of power on the tenor saxophone but he plays Tarogato, Alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, clarinets and straight alto saxophone and straight tenor saxophone ( made by Sax Dakota) as well as drums. And more!
In playing with Joe Sunday, jamming as Joe played the drums it reminded me of what a great drummer he also is. There are many saxophone players who are great drummers there's also many saxophone players who are incredible piano players to. Don't worry that will be subjects of other blogs in the future to help you get a focus on that dear reader. The authenticity of Joe's drumming is very inspiring also when somebody plays drums at a level like that it also enhances what they're doing on their woodwinds. That expansive creativity , and that search is something that makes your main instrument even stronger.

Google Joe's name and look at the multitude of things he's done from Woody Herman to Paul Motian to projects with Michael Brecker .The list is endless-you might find some recordings where he's playing alto clarinet you might find some recordings where he's playing straight tenor saxophone. Then again you might find recordings where he's playing standards with his own special touch. This is a person who has to play music- A special person who hears things in the music and moves forward and plays them! 
The above picture is Joe playing my vintage Vito LeBlanc C melody saxophone, and the below is yours truly trying Joe's vintage Conn C melody saxophone. Something in the sound of these horns from the improvisational orchestral spectrum  is inviting.

 The picture to the right is Joe's dad Big T Lovano- a Cleveland legend and the key element in Joe's saxophonistic agenda. You can see on Big T's tenor the Selmer Varitone attachment, on the bell keys. Players like Sonny Stitt, Lou Donaldson and Eddie Harris were involved with these sounds as well- a huge part of a vital thriving jazz era. Joe's dad was a great tenor player!
Joe's wife Judi is one of the premier sounds and innovators in jazz singing and voice. She literally is a sound that is so instrumentally reassuring and inspiring that you have to just sit back and say-this is ...a true individual artist. She is also a vivid artist whose work on canvas no matter pastel or oil. Multidimensional indeed for her. It's a beautiful thing when you see a deep family laying down a benchmark like this-seek out the recordings that Joe has with Judi, and also her own recordings,   you're in for a real treat. Again these are things that came from Joe's family in Cleveland-values and being raised by parents who love and care. I had the pleasure of hearing big T,  Joe's dad in the 70s in Cleveland. He had a huge saxophone sound and always swinging.

Check out- on you tube; Joe Lovano - Bass Space from SOLOS: the jazz sessions...If you want to hear some solo Tarogato- and some of the most beautiful sonic shapes and ideas.

 So there you have it, a small part of what one of the most unique and spiritual artists on today scene is about-put in the words by me who has known him since 1970.
Joe's contribution to this music and also the brotherhood that exists truly is, the sound of joy. Thank you-stay tuned I'll see you next week. ~ Tim Price