Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- Summer 2018, gigs,people & places. Jazz life.

Well here we are, I’m back. A short hiatus on the blog do to seven new mindset at D'Addario. And all in good time… As this summer between May and September was jam  packed with jazz gigs every other day in Philadelphia. I’ve been part of an organization called Philadelphia Jazz Project.  I’m a player was in that project for 7 years plus,that is done everything from jazz Christmas concerts to the  Coltrane at 90 festival a few years ago across the street from the Trane house, to a series of Satellites are spinning gigs and concerts highlighting the directions in music of  Sun Ra.
< Pictures at top of the blog are Webb Thomas- drums and Richard Hill bass...outstanding jazz players amazing people>

Band for Satellites #7 - The Percussion Discussion at the World Cafe Live. Sun Ra concert with Philadelphia Jazz Project with Jocko MacNelly
Kimpedro Rodriguez Daniel Kaplowitz Adam Faulk Malik Henry Gregory McDonald Karen Smith Ron Howerton Raphael XavierPheralyn Dove Bethlehem Roberson Kevin Obatala & Tim Price  and Sun Ra percussion legend Atakatune.
  SPACE IS THE PLACE- Buy you know that — with Jocko MacNelly, Kimpedro Rodriguez, Adam Faulk, Raphael Xavier, Bethlehem Roberson, Ricardo L. Abbott and Daniel Kaplowit

“Percussion Discussion - Satellites Are Spinning: A Sizzling, Sonic Celebration of Sun Ra” under the musical direction of Kimpedro Rodriguez. Produced by Homer Jackson, Director of the Philadelphia Jazz Project. Hosted by radio personality J. Michael Harrison from “The Bridge” WRTI-FM – 90.1 fm.

This summer I played between May and the first two weeks  of September every other day. The first section was with  Old City saxophone quartet, it featured and amazing tenor player named Terry Lawson… Terry is world-class. Has played was Sun Ra,  more Philadelphia jazz legends then you could name. Always an asset to have Terry on the set, his brother you might know as Cedric Lawson a fantastic piano player who played with not only Miles Davis but Roy Haynes and many others. The other tenor player was Elliot Levine… Another long time friend and benchmark the avant-garde as well as many other assets  such as poetry and also along association was Cecil Taylor. Derek El  was is the alto saxophone player, another Philadelphia player who has been on a lot of the projects with the strong sound. On this particular quartet I play baritone saxophone. The premise was a totally improvised saxophone quartet focusing structure versus freedom. We had gigs that was set up for us by Homer Jackson (who is one of the most focused people I ever met my life) the gigs were in the old city section of Philly. Many of you  might realize that this is the section which is the historic district. The turn out was amazing we had a schedule of every other day in the mornings between 11 and two and it was fantastic.

We had a structure of tunes that we’re vehicles that Philadelphia legends wrote like Coltrane or Benny Golson , but also things that were contemporary and of course blues.  The tourist aspect was fantastic-Philadelphia has always been a jazz town as well as a place people go to see history. Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell etc. we encountered people from other countries taking selfie‘s with selfie sticks while the band plays!  It was quite enjoyable and successful in every way. On these particular gigs I used idea D'Addario plastic cover baritone saxophone reeds # 3 1/2. That’s my primary reed on baritone. I’ve been using those  since the mid-70s when they came out . In that era I was playing baritone with a lot of organ bands and this might of been around 76 or 77 when they came in a white square box. I believe the first time I bought them in the 70s was at the saxophone shop in Evanston Illinois… Which was run them by excellent human being and stellar classical player named Robert black. As time went on these were my go to baritone reed !

The next series of summer gigs for Philly jazz project what is a series of trios. This trios highlighted the chord less trio aspect of jazz we’re harmony. My role model with this has always been bands like Elvin Jones’s band with Joe Farrell. As well as the Sonny Rollins vanguard series.  The beautiful part about these gigs was each bass player and drummer was so cooperative on the bandstand and so personal that it gave the gigs ache incredible forward motion soon as I did that-keep in mind these gigs we were playing acoustically was no sound systems of course I didn’t up for the base. So the acoustic level of my horn had to be perfect.  Again beings that I was outdoors and also some of these days it was 102° especially around the Fourth of July-my reed of choice was a plastic cover tenor saxophone Reed. When you need consistency and you need to focus,you might be playing six or eight courses-something like a plastic cover is the ultimate choice . Webb Thomas or Ben Singer were the drummers and Sandy Eldred and Richard Hill the bassists.
      Webb Thomas Sandy Eldred Homer Jackson Karen Smith Tim Price
These gigs were primarily in the same places Independence Hall, the visitor center and old city section of Philly. As I said on the television interview in Philadelphia after these events happened with Homer Jackson, the interesting part was the natural acoustics of these areas. Definitely where it was brick and there was some other buildings around us, the acoustics were amazing. There are some other spots that you think would’ve been dead because we were playing a little bit more to open circumstance but that was not the case. People spend the time hung out side on the grass I took part in the listing experience of jazz. Which is most important and vital today and art form the audience participation of listening and paying attention to attention of what is happening in the music is paramount. These were called- the Summer Sounds In The Historic District free music series delivers sweet tunes at nearly a dozen locations in Old City, Society Hill and along the Delaware River waterfront.Produced by VISIT PHILADELPHIA in partnership with Veteran Freshman, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, Historic Philadelphia, Inc., Wawa Welcome America and the Philadelphia Jazz Project, these musical events will pop up at more than a dozen different locations in Philadelphia’s Historic District — all for free, all summer long. Street Corner Symphony's.The Old City Sax Quartet is a newly formed ensemble, which consists of master reedman, Derrick El: Alto Sax, Terry Lawson: Tenor Sax, Elliot Levin: Soprano & Tenor Sax and Tim Price: Baritone Sax. Between them there is over 150 years of musical experiences within this group. 
Summer Sounds In The Historic District provides us with the opportunity to experience this special group.We played places like...AfricanAmericanMuseum BetsyRossHouse Carpenters’Hall ChristChurch FranklinSquare IVCCCaf√© MuseumoftheAmericanRevolution NationalConstitutionCenter SummerFest SpruceStreetHarborPark TheBourse PhillyJazz. A very fun and inspiring summer.

The series ended up with a Friday and Saturday on Strawberry Mansion Bridge.
 Webb Thomas was my drummer and also Richard Hill- Bass the bass player. I just particular point the trio was crystallize beyond believe  Webb Thomas- Drums and also Richard he’ll was a bass player. I just particular point the trio was crystallized beyond believe!! The synergy and internalization of what we were doing was beyond words.

In between all this we did the Satellites Are Spinning: A Sizzling, Sonic Celebration of Sun Ra at the World Café in June featuring a series of two drummers in for percussionists. Playing music of Sun Ra and internalization of what we were doing I am still inspired by as a person and player. So many great players- and I mean AMAZING forces of creativity-Satellites #7 - The Percussion Discussion at the World Cafe Live will include music director, drummer, KimPedro Rodriguez, with drummers and percussionists Atakatune, Kevin Diehl,Sun Ra percussionist Atakatune ,Greg MacDonald, Ron Howerton, Malik Henry, bassist Jocko McNelly, guitarist, Dan Kaplowitz, saxophonist and electro-bassoonist Tim Price , saxophonist Matthew Clayton, as well as guest vocalists, Bethlehem and poet Pheralyn Dove. You dig!

 Playing music of Sun Ra-  and addition to originals from the band and also an original of mine called Jacson. Which I’ve played electro bassoon on and also wrote a poem for Jacson who was the bassoonist with the Sun Ra.

Basically  a tone-poem I wrote for Sun Ra bassoon legend Jacson.Few remember the amazing playing by Jacson- or that Paul Hindemith at Yale School of Music, who encouraged him to on both oboe and bassoon! Sun Ra & Paul Hindemith that is deep.  My piece was a  a departure point on a tone poem and an open blues structure. Maybe my homage  I wrote can do have some justice to him- he was a genius. For years I’ve been amplified my person with a pick up and either going through house PA or  amp.  

Within these other particular gigs I played with a longtime friend I’ve known for almost 5 decades on Arnie Krakowski -Tenor madness  in Julian Abele Park Philadelphia Pa. — at Friends of Julian Abele Park. . what a great band, with Nick Krolak bass- TP- Arnie Krackowsky- Zach Martin drums. Acoustic jazz, and fun.
We played extra sets and over the allotted time but hey...this was one of those nights.Fantastic meeting , hanging out with everyone playing a lot was really fun.

Arnie came down to play and see his son and also we had an amazing dinner afterwords with macaroni and cheese that had a mustard ingredient in it that was off the hook . The following week I played with a force to be reckoned with in the jazz tap dancing world  Pamela Hetherington and also piano-vocalist extraordinaire Erica Corbo. Those two gigs-wear interesting because I would like to at some point mix these two groups together.Erica is an incredible jazz player and composer-  Pam is a force of greatness in jazz tap-wow.   Pamela Hetherington  created a world class concert at Friends of Julian Abele Park. Pam is the real deal.


Add that to the interplay that Arnie and I have and it would be magnificent. As a musician you have to get an active mental image  of things and concepts you want to do, otherwise you’ll be a replicator. You want to move with forward motion, no matter what you do, you need to bring your element to it. These are some people who are world class and we did it in a cool Philadelphia neighborhood! 

So that about sums it up. If you want to play jazz you need to get out and play in public this music needs it. Don’t sit  home and be content…   the art form is alive and the  give-and-take experience between a player and the audience  has to be experienced. Now is the time!

I hope this blog is been helpful and glad to be back in the blogging mode. I will see you next month.

Suggested monthly reading/ listening.

 Close Enough for Jazz 

by Michael Zwerin

The Jaki Byard Quartet with Joe Farrell: The Last From Lennie's 


See ya next month, Strive for tone...Tim Price

- THIS BLOG THIS MONTH..Is Dedicated to the late great Phila jazz tenor  saxophone legend Charles Cunningham. Rest in power my friend- thank you for the deep inspiration. And - 
Atakatune...one of a kind Sun Ra percussionist Atakatune Leon Morgan- thank you for your creative brilliance and life long commitment- rest in power sir  
- You both made a difference in my life , you will be remembered always. Respect.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Tim Price Blogging For D'Addario Woodwinds; Practical application & foundation ideas.

 Tim Price Blogging For D'Addario Woodwinds; Practical application & foundation ideas.

  That picture at the top; ROSELAND BALL ROOM NYC. I played there! I took that picture when I was walking in the " hood" and knew that it might soon begone. Sadly it has. I played there with no name dance bands, Meyer-Davis club dates, Latin Bands all kinds of bands including Harry James.  It's gone now, but it once was! History! I first met saxophone player Harold Ashby there. He was with a NYC big band for a short period, after Duke Ellington, we become fast friends. I could go on and on. Practical application...real world is what lasts. Get it? I hope so.....it's life!!

 PRACTICAL APPLICATION 1. of, involving, or concerned with experience or actual use; not theoretical 2. of or concerned with ordinary affairs, work, etc. 3. adapted or adaptable for use 4. of, involving, or trained by practice 5. being such for all useful or general purposes; virtual TRAINED BY PRACTICE. Get out there, and make the music stronger.
 Take a deep breath and listen. I’ve taught at a lot at Universities and this is something every student benefits from -one of the key things that is the ultimate is REAL TIME reading. In a nut shell... It is important to read different manuscripts. You need to train your eye to be comfortable with many styles of penmanship and music fonts, as you never know what will be thrown at you unexpectedly!  Notice all the " stuff to shed "on my blogs I try to use different fonts- use my handwriting ( I also used to do music copy- calligraphy too. Broadway shows, at Berklee for John LaPorta so many folks and also Artie Shaw and a Ellington Broadway show.) If you use this targeted sight reading mind set, student gets exposed to many style of  music within a manuscript.Your goal is to play the gig, every gig is different. That said, another issue is so many people think only one way- think more open. Sal Nistico used to tell me, Learn to FEEL time and not count time. Ok, this is a crucial step in taking yourself to next level of rhythmic understanding. Understanding the ideas presented here will greatly benefit your ability to sight read music, and strengthen your foundation.In case you need to know about Sal- Sal Nistico- was a major influence on me.  Sal was a friend.I studied with him on and off,from 1970 till the last time I ever saw him in 1982, he NEVER wrote anything down either.He said-if you want to learn it YOU WILL remember it. When I first met him he was playing a Menza mouthpiece on his Conn 10M . That was 1970 in Boston when he lived in our apt building for a few months. Years later around the time..he lived in NY. He had switched to a balanced action Selmer and metal link.Then I 'm sure LaVoz were something he was using. Like Med Hards. Sal was a fan of Frank Wells. I know if he was using Links during his Woody period Wells worked on them.  Now listen to this- Pepper Adams told me once , that Sal read the Thad and Mel band book AT SIGHT on his first gig. That
must of been something !I know Sal was one of the hardest workers I ever met. There is a record-Called " Neo Nistico" on Beehive records. My transcription of - 'Fe Fi Fo Fum' by Shorter is in my " Great Tenor solos book". To me that solo shows Sals growth from a big band high energy player to where he was wanting to be as a player. Sal told a great story about Trane. They were buds- but the first time Sal met Trane was on a subway. Trane came over to Sal , and told him he loved how great he played. Sal told me ya could always know if Trane was home cuz you'd hear his sound all over the block when he practiced. Search Sal out on youtube- this is someone you need to know of.
I have a huge poster of Sal in front of my music stand in my studio.That guy changed my life ! 

Something to think about too - Jam more- create sessions. play! At its core jamming is all about collaboration, instinct and innovation. One musician may start things off but it is the obligation of every other musician to build on that, take it further, push the envelope and ultimately take it to a new place. To get jamming to work each player must pick up on other players thoughts, translate them, add to them and then pass it back to them for the process to perpetuate itself. Done well it creates a powerful chain reaction of energized collaboration and creativity that produces something new and wonderful.It also allows you to tap into a deeper, more diverse brains trust that can lead to ground-breaking new ideas for your organization.

Charlie Mariano used to tell me- " YOU GOTTA PLAY".' With that, I'll see you all next week- go play. Get off pro-crasta-net and play, shed, work in a new reed and DO IT. 
 ~ Till next week- Tim Price 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- April thoughts.

OK- Here's one for the musicians; BALLAD FOCUS I CALL IT.

Do this- it works! Play the first two bars of the melody of a ballad 15 times, each phrasing the melody differently, but in a way that is expressive yet still melodic. The rhythm can be changed, the melody can be broken up differently with different length rests,dynamics and shapes within dynamics .OK- do not change the actual pitches; once you change the pitches and the rhythm it is no longer the tune that is was to begin with. VARY THE MELODY.
By doing this- you start to look deep inside melody's to find ways of playing and giving new life to the melody each time you play it.Then you can be more accountable for your creativity and the music also speaks with more coming from the melodic. Playing a two bar phrase versus the whole tune allows you to remember what you did two bars ago, than trying to remember what you did thirty-two bars ago. Try it- it works!

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.

This weeks Rico Blog is highlighting improvistaion using blues and pentatonic ;

In Pentatonic scale use you can use a C Pentatonic scale over these

C maj 7
D7sus 4
Ami 7
F# dom7

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.

This one by the way...is a fav of Pharoah Sanders on Maj 7th
chords...it sounds beautiful.

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 the chords and line- try writing some of yours too.

Here's a helpful hint to gain new dimension ;

Replace the same old videos you watch on youtube with classic jazz recordings.Start listening more to masters and study the real history of what your playing! Youtube can be a great starting point- but keep on searching. Listen to more String Quartets, more Woodwind Quintets, read more about composers. Open a book, listen to Bill Evans, Bartok, read Boulez.Study scores, and get past the same stuff. The world is out there go find it.Live music needs your support! I continue to explore and learn all I can about all music in the quest to develop a voice.The more I know about what’s behind the music the more profound the effect is on my musical psyche. Being a complete musician goes well beyond the notes- much more than that. I’m grateful for the era that I came up in, and the teachers, musicians that made me aware of these values. Balance! I hope my words on this issue, in the process inspire people to do the right thing.Go hear some live music, support the people playing NOW, be part of it.

Till next week be in the moment and make every moment the best it can be.
~ Tim Price

PS ;

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
e. e. cummings

There's some stuff to shed below- check it ;

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- POPS - The Life Of Louis Armstrong ; book review

The impression that reading this book leaves is in complete agreement with Ellington's words on Armstrong: "He went from poverty to richness without hurting anyone on the way", which to me means a faithful description of the man and his work.
More than a biography, it is a well written & documented story of a beloved American and the music he nurtured for a lifetime.
Bottom line, if you want to learn about the man and ' the music ', this is the definitive source.

He was a man who applied his skills wisely to making a career in life, in the midst of terrible odds. He played his cards wisely (his God-given talent), minded his own business, and became an American icon. He is the 20th century epitome of hard work plus genius makes it. A true disciple of Frederick Douglass. He was also a man who couldn't hate or hold a grudge, and was despised for that by those pharisees in the business.
History records soldiers, academics and others as American heroes. Rarely, if ever, are great artists so dubbed, although they are able to shape our thinking, change our perceptions and, subsequently, make changes in the world we live in.
As soon as popular critics and serious scholars started writing about that uniquely American pop music, jazz, they wrote about Armstrong. They couldn't avoid it because Armstrong, more than any other individual, set the standards and many of the conventions for jazz, in his playing and his singing. (Where would Bing Crosby have been without Louis to imitate?) He wasn't the first great jazz soloist: Sidney Bechet holds that honor by a few years. And Armstrong's seminal group, the Hot Five (later Hot Seven), played outside the recording studio just one time. It was never a working group, never a combo formed to play in the clubs and dance halls where jazz was being forged in the twenties and thirties.

Trying to imagine jazz without Armstrong is like trying to imagine modern art without Picasso or the essay form without Montaigne. His contemporaries knew it and admitted it. Even those who were on the outs with him -Earl Hines, Coleman Hawkins--knew that Louis was The Man. Red Allen, the trumpeter with (to my mind) the most beautiful sound in jazz, wanted nothing more than to sound like Louis. Jack Teagarden tried to play him on the trombone (and succeeded).

POPS, Terry Teachout's biography of Louis Armstrong does that. With the skill of a fine writer, the accuracy of a fine journalist and the sensitivity of a musician (all of which he is) he approaches Louis Armstrong's innovative musical talent within the context of America's history; of the time that the book covers and America's past. Those things that made the man and his genius and personality almost inevitable.
The admiration felt by the author does not mire the story: it is easy to read and fast paced, to the point, and no digressions are present.

To me- this book is one of the gateways into more than just Pops ....it's life and music as it should be.  

I loved it madly. . . . Tim Price


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- Musical evolution & more....

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- Musical evolution & more....

Hope your life is filled with nice notes and some new musical activity.  I’ve been home writing and listening to music for some inspiration.Teaching a lot too, on Skype and in the studio.

 My philosophy about personal musical growth is that musicians should learn how to think, listen and talk about music. Likewise, I pass this on to my students of all ages. IT'S WORKING! If your in 5th grade or a Doctor studying jazz clarinet with me for fun. There's something we all have. It's this criteria: brain, ears, and voice. Naturally, these three are interrelated. If you think about music, then it follows that you can easily talk about it. Listening is the most important part. Without ears, music would not exist. If I had to pick the most valuable musical tool for shaping musical growth, it would be personal taste. Always visualize only favorable and beneficial situations.Music helps with this.Try to use positive words in your inner dialogues or when talking with others. Once a negative thought enters your mind, you have to be aware of it and endeavor to replace it with a constructive one.Persistence will eventually teach your mind to think positively and ignore negative thoughts.It does not matter what your circumstances are at the present moment. Think positively, expect only favorable results and situations, and circumstances will change accordingly. It may take some time for the changes to take place, but eventually they do. 

Take it a step further Bob Dylan plays the same C7 chord that Pat Martino does. Same 4 notes, likewise when Sonny Rollins hits a D minor 7th, it's the same chord that Jeff Beck might play or Keith Jarrett. It's how YOU deliver it. Lots of cooks use tomatoes and basil you dig? Same deal.Keeping a open mind can create a path for a student. There's a big difference between Bud Powell and Duke Ellington. But they both have a message. Think about it.Personal musical taste expands infinitely. This allows for musical evolution. Just live it. Go for it. Play it. Write it. Above all, use your own personal, ever growing, musical taste. Hence, music is the real teacher. Share the music and propagate it as much as you can. As always,strive for tone and help your school music programs, in every way you can.


The Art Of The 4 bar phrase. Take this study below & play the phrases- hear the melodic shape of the 4 bars. Not just notes but the musical sentence or phrase. Look at my pencil marks in case you need. Do this for a week- 6 Times a day. No mistakes or do it over. Look at your transcriptions, you’ll hear a all new idea. To hear..is to see and visa versa. 

rue improvising has a completely different dimension to it. That element is “spontaneity”. This means that you are forced to create music right on the spot, without having any time to prepare anything in advance. Obviously, this kind of playing is challenging, both from the mental and physical standpoint. It is more challenging from the mental standpoint because you are forced to come up with cohesive musical ideas right as you are playing, without having any time to analyze which phrases will flow well together.

Always keep your focus on dreams and visions close dear reader, along with a larger picture of unconditional human faith. Your music will blossom- and results will be inspiring to you and others. 

See ya'll next week. This weeks blog is dedicated to Bob Feldman, saxophonist- actor-friend.

~ Tim Price

This major seventh chord bebop line carries harmonic interest and a nice intervalic shape.

Listen to the line as you play it. Study the intervals, shape, and harmony of it. Then start to write some of your own major seventh lines based on mine.

Start with the part of the study at letter [A]. Try all tempos and use some phrasing you like.

Try all tempos and use some phrasing you like.

At letter [B] we employ the full range of the saxophone. You must get out your fingering charts and isolate the hard parts of the line until you get this. Hard work will pay off! The only way to play "off the horn" is to study it and put it to use on an idea like this. Take your time. - Click on the music to enlarge the page ok.

~Tim Price




Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- Sonnymoon for.....YOU !

Sonnymoon for.....YOU !

This is Sonny on RIVERSIDE in 1957, when as the liners say, he was undisputed ruling the DOWNBEAT critic's poll and at the top of his form.  
I like this album because Sonny hits on some better known standards, but turns them into vehicles for his rich imagination as a leader and soloist... the tunes are catchy even before his solos (with the opening moments of JUST IN TIME bordering on almost weird), but once he starts soloing, things swing... majorly...The rhythm section needless to say is fitting... Sonny Clark on piano, Percy Heath and Paul Chambers on bass, Roy Haynes on drums. Sonny's tricky rhythms have Sonny C. laying out on THE LAST TIME I SAW PARIS - - I guess the man from St. Thomas could baffle the best ! His playing is energetic, colorful and graceful. It seems to engender respect for the material as well as his band mates as demonstrated by the seemless manner in which he migrates between varied rhythm sections. I especially enjoyed the international "flavor" of "Mangoes," an interesting counterpoint to "The Last Time I Saw Paris." What I love about this album is that it demonstrates what an engaging player Sonny is and was... regardless of the tempo or tune he really gets your attention... even before the solos... I also like how he clearly states the melodies to the tunes, yet put his own things into it. The solos can be very simplistic yet hard driving at the same time... at other times, he'll lay a flurry of notes on you... That was another strength of his... to play on space and time and do it cleverly, yet always deep within the pocket. He was definitely one of the few immediate post-Parker players who had his own rhythmic thing going... a big fat fluent swingin' sound that makes you pay attention to each and every moment... and again, cute and clever ideas for the arrangements, showing the reason why he was a LEADER and not a sideman. THIS...is one of my favorite albums in jazz ever. If you know me- You know I'm a Sonny Clark fan as well."The Sound of Sonny" is Sonny Rollins' first and only recording with one of my all-time favorite bop pianists, Sonny Clark. Like most Sonny albums from this period, 80% of the material here is standards. However, it is a perfect blend of familiar and seldom heard standards, up-tempo grooves and touching ballads. Of particular interest here is Sonny's first unaccompanied solo recording ("It Could Happen To You"). "The Sound Of Sonny" ranks right up there with the best of them. Rollins' performance on this classic from 1957 not only solidified him as one of the greatest tenors of his generation, but, along with all of the other material from his illustrious fifty plus year career, has stood the test of time to make him one of the all-time greatest musicians regardless of style. Backed by a duo of legends in bassist Ray Brown and drummer Shelly Manne, Rollins cooks from beginning to end. He is in prime form, still a relatively unknown tenor when this album came out, he plays like a man ahead of his years. Sonny's tone is hard, percussive, rasping, and even playful, a full spectrum of colors and moods. What makes this a truly great album is that every single note Rollins plays is a highlight. His soloing stands up to repeated listening and rewards the effort with something new each time through. Manne and Brown contribute fantastic performances of their own, matching Rollins by producing phenomenal solos of their own.Sonny was in his absolute prime when he cut Way Out West. No tennor ever had a better tone than "Newk", and that includes some very exclusive company, (Coltrane, Getz, Shorter, etc.) The painstaking remastering job here brings out the brilliance of his majestic sound. To me Sonny's pharsing has always had the same inherent rhythm as the great post-war singers like Sinatra and Tony Bennett. Without a single bad note or overstated phrase, Way Out West is some of the best hard-bop you'll ever hear. Fortunately Sonny is still going strong and at seventy-something he is still producing vital music for us to enjoy. Even the usually aggravating practice of sticking alternate takes behind the originals hardly makes a difference. Rollins, Manne, and Brown are so brimming with ideas, the longer alternates offer the listener just that much more of a good thing. This is one of those albums that needs to be in every jazz collection, even the cover photo is a classic. .  
"Rollins Plays for Bird" is vintage Sonny Rollins -- an album with the perfect combination of medium tempo hard boppers and scintillating ballads. But unlike other recordings, you get them here all in one song. "The Bird Medley" features seven different Charlie Parker songs, all strung together intelligently by the band of Sonny, Kenny Dorham, Wade Legge, George Morrow and Max Roach. While the medley is album's focal point there are two other tracks, the eloquent ballad "I've Grown Accustomed to Your Face" and "Kids Know," featuring terrific horn interplay by Sonny and Dorham."Rollins Plays for Bird" is vintage Sonny Rollins -- an album with the perfect combination of medium tempo hard boppers and scintilating ballads. But unlike other recordings, you get them here all in one song. "The Bird Medley" features seven diiferent Charlie Parker songs, all strung together intelligently by the band of Sonny, Kenny Dorham, Wade Legge, George Morrow and Max Roach. While the medley is album's focal point there are two other tracks, the eloquent ballad "I've Grown Accustomed to Your Face" and "Kids Know," featuring terrific horn interplay by Sonny and Dorham. In my review of the previous incarnation of this CD, I complained that the "The House I Live In" should have been included here to complete this 10/5/56 session. STILL....important timeless music.
Rollins was only 20 years old when track 13, I Know, was recorded in January 17, 1951. Eleven months later, the then 21 year old Rollins was on tracks 5-12 (Scoops, With a Song in My Heart, Newk's Fadeaway, Time on My Hands, This Love of Mine, Shadrack, On a Slow Boat to China, and Mambo Bounce.) It is interesting that at 21 he already had a song that contained his nickname - Newk - on the album. The first four tracks on the album were the last ones recorded (October 7, 1953).I am a big MJQ fan to begin with, so having Rollins with the original members - John Lewis, Percy Heath, Milt Jackson and Kenny Clarke - is heavenly to me. I will not bore you with feeble attempts at describing the music (the first four tracks) because the sound samples do a far better job than I. As a drummer I was particularly interested in Kenny Clarke's playing. He is the father of bebop drumming, so paired in this musical setting showed aspects of his playing that is not evident in his earlier work, not his later work with Bud Powell in Paris. The bulk of this album - tracks 5 through 12, feature an interesting quartet format with the great Kenny Drew on piano, Percy Heath apparently borrowed from MJQ for the session, and Art Blakey on drums. Art's drumming is pretty subdued considering his explosive technique with other ensembles, including his early work with Clifford Brown and his career with the Jazz Messengers. The focus is Sonny's tenor and the tone is beautiful. When you consider that he was barely 21 when these tracks were recorded you have to wonder why he felt so compelled to spend a chunk of 1959 practicing on the Williamsburg Bridge eight years later. What I love about the final track is the fact that Miles Davis wrote the song and also played piano on it (backed by Percy Heath on bass and Roy Haynes on drums with Sonny's beautiful tone coming from that tenor.) I remember a story about Dizzy chiding Miles for not using the piano more. Apparently that chiding had an effect. For the life of me I do not understand why it took so long to release this album. It was recorded in three sessions between January 1951 and October 1953, but was not released until 1956. Regardless of why, the long period between completion and release does show that the music was still relevant - and this during a time when jazz was rapidly evolving in a number of directions. To me the music is as relevant today as it was when first recorded. These are some Sonny that...should appeal to you....listen and enjoy.
More Sonny soon too- -TIM PRICE

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds-The more you get out and play, the more ideas and energy you will have!

The more you get out and play, the more aptitude ideas and energy you have. Today more than ever-to get something happening with other people face-to-face is of paramount importance to your playing.   
Get out of the house and find out what you don't know! Even  get together with a guitar player and a piano player- you're doing it. I hope this is making sense, because it is something we  are sorely missing in today's atmosphere in jazz. I look to jam sessions back in the day, when tunes were called and standards were the call the day. Everybody was on a common ground-A fair  drummer who played jam sessions all the time, could easily turn himself into a very good drummer in a group circumstance by playing with other people. Same holds for any instrument.

Imagine what you could accomplish if you could simply get yourself to follow through on your best intentions no matter what.
 The pinnacle of self-discipline is when you reach the point that when you make a conscious decision, it’s virtually guaranteed you’ll follow through on it.Be it practicing your instrument, sticking with a mouthpiece and putting the time in to learn to play it or just daily goals and jobs. Your discipline is one of many personal development tools available to you. Of course it is not a panacea. Nevertheless, the problems which self-discipline can solve are important, and while there are other ways to solve these problems, self-discipline absolutely shreds them. Self-discipline can empower you- imagine the results, if you say to yourself ... I want to learn all my scales in 3eds...in every key at 120 on my metronome. Not have to...but want. That can be done sooner than you think with discipline. So can application to study-reading a new book to open new ideas on things. It can wipe out procrastination, disorder, and ignorance. Within the domain of problems it can solve, self-discipline is simply unmatched. Moreover, it becomes a powerful teammate when combined with other tools like passion, goal-setting, and planning. Self-discipline is like a muscle. The more you train it, the stronger you become. The less you train it, the weaker you become. 

Think of the results- just for you.Confidence before an audition! Confidence when picking up your horn to play in a new setting- your primed and ready. Relaxed and confident! We all possess different levels of self-discipline. Everyone has some — if you can hold your breath a few seconds, you have some self-discipline. But not everyone has developed their discipline to the same degree. Check it out- it takes self-discipline to build self-discipline. Similarly, the basic method to build self-discipline is to tackle challenges that you can successfully accomplish but which are near your limit.

This doesn’t mean trying something and failing at it every day, you must start with challenges that are within your current ability. Old opportunities will dry up. New opportunities will begin to appear.Your mind set does change- and so does your ability on whatever you are working on with discipline. Invitations that once attracted you will seem boring, while others will become interesting to you.People will change how they relate to you. Some will become more distant while others will zoom closer.Gigs will appear, you'll enjoy things more. Things you used to merely dream about will begin to seem possible for you. Celebrate your success!

~ Till next week...practice your long tones everyday- Tim Price