Friday, December 18, 2009

Improvisation Basics 5: The Right Notes At The Right Time

I routinely review Sax on the Web older contents checking out link changes and other things which may have changed over time. It was my pleasure to rediscover Andew Campbell's article "The Right Notes At The Right Time" from 2007. Previously we took a look of Teaching Improvisation to Adult students, Blues Chord Progressions and Blues Scales.

Why do solos based on Blues scales sometimes sound great, but other times sound terrible?

It’s all about playing “Blues Notes” at the right time and in the right place.

Andy uses the great Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson’s solo on “Kidney Stew” as a practical example so, that we can learn a simple and workable method to accomplish the same feat in our own solos.

Although the blues scale, or any scale for that matter, might fit a certain chord or progression, you also have to know when and where to play those notes.

Most of us eventually work this out through a lot of trial and error and lots of listening, but it doesn’t have to be that hard.

Let's look at the melody (head) first:

Then Andy is laying out the theory background for creating a solo.
Enter Mr. Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson with his solo:

Andy goes on analyzing Vinson's solo piece by piece very masterfully. If this is something you want learn more, take a look of the entire article.

Andrew Campbell lives in Sydney Australia, where he plays and teaches. He has been a regular SOTW Forum contributor, under the alias of "Dog Pants", since 2001. Andrew hopes that this lesson will encourage other players to explore both Eddie Vinson and the many other great Blues Sax players.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Field Marshal Mannerheim and Finland's Independence

This photograph is in the Public domain

On December 6th Finland celebrates her 92nd Independence Day. This week seventy years ago Soviet Russia attacked Finland without declaring a war. This widely condemned aggression became known as the Finnish Winter War. Mannerheim's role was paramount for tiny Finland in getting her independence in 1917 and maintaining it during the WWII when fighting against a giant but brutal super nation. Marshal Mannerheim served also as the President of Republic in 1944-46.

A Finnish author wrote a novel "My grandma and Mannerheim". My junction with Mannerheim and Finnish military history happened several times during the past decade when participating in Otava jazz camp and Happy Jazz Festival. The camp accommodation is in Otava Junior College's dormitory where Field Marshal's headquarters were located during the months of the Winter War. Mannerheim's humble office is still maintained in the dormitory as a small scale museum. From 1941 the Army HQ was again located in St. Michael.

Otava is nowadays a borough in the town of St. Michael in Finland. I was directed to a blog by three young St. Michael authors: Mannerheim Darkroom: The statue issue. Apparently there was a fuzz in the town about fairly recent relocation of Mannerheim's statue to a more visible location. I could not help writing a few personal comments.
Happy Independence Day,

Monday, November 30, 2009

Charlie Andrews - BBQ Smoking Hot

Charlie Andrews
was a fine gentleman from the Southern USA, and a friend of the Sax on the Web.

Charlie A, was a professional sax player and teacher since the early 1950’s. He was well known for his products that solved the sticky pad problem for saxophonists.

Mr. Andrews also introduced his BBQ mouthpiece product line. Kim Pelletier helped him by designing the cartoon above.

Charlie passed away four years ago, and was missed by many friends and business associates.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Another One Bites The Dust: Karmann Gone Bust

Ragtop lovers, get out your rags and cry. German maker Karmann, famous for its Karmann Ghia and later for many ragtop versions produced for makers such as Audi, Ford, Mercedes, Porsche, Renault and VW, has declared insolvency, is reported. The company still has 3470 employees.

Karmann’s last big job was the Audi A4 Cabrio. After that was insourced back to Ingolstadt, Karmann could not find another large account to keep them busy.

Two Volkswagen Karmann Ghias

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lennie and Me - How I became a saxophone player?

This is an excerpt of the Interview: Lennie Niehaus (LN) by JazzWax (JW)

Lennie Niehaus, Vol. 1: The Quintets 

JW: What was your first instrument?
LN: The violin. My dad was my teacher. He was born in Russia and had attended the St. Petersburg Conservatory with Jascha Heifetz. It was a strict place. If a kid played a wrong note, they would hit him over the knuckles with a ruler.

JW: Was your dad a good teacher?
LN: My dad was a great violinist but had no patience for kids who didn’t get it immediately. With the violin, you hold your thumb arching backward so your fingers can reach all the strings and you can play fast. My thumb would creep over the instrument’s neck. My father kept telling me to keep my thumb down. One day he hit my thumb and the violin fell and cracked. That was it for violin lessons [laughs].

JW: In school, what did you play?
LN: In grade school, my music teacher urged me to play the oboe because the orchestra needed one. It was still the Depression. I told my teacher that I didn’t think my family could afford one. So the teacher gave me an oboe that belonged to the school. I started to play the instrument little by little. I was a ferocious practicer. Violin lessons had taught me about playing and helped me learn other instruments quickly.

JW: How did you become interested in jazz?
LN: By listening to the big bands. I liked Harry James, and when I heard tenor saxophonist Corky Corcoran play The Mole in 1942, I wanted to play the tenor saxophone. My father was in shock. He said, “The saxophone! You play either the piano or violin, not the saxophone. You’ll wind up playing in a house of prostitution” [laughs] Actually he was right. I did play in small funky clubs later.

JW: Did you buy a tenor?
LN: I tried. I worked in a restaurant at a local Grant's, which was like Woolworth's. I'd collect the dishes and put them on a dumbwaiter that I raised to get the dishes washed. I made a few bucks that way. When I thought I had saved enough, I went to the music store and asked about a tenor sax. The man said it was $125. So I asked the price of the Martin alto saxophone that was there, too. He said $75. So I bought it and became an alto player.

I have a special relationship with Lennie Niehaus. I have played through all his three Jazz Etude books:

The saxophone quartet, Sax4fun where I play has bought several Lennie Niehaus' jazz compositions arranged for the saxophone (SATB) quartet. These are in a way etudes, but very melodic and brilliantly harmonized. They vary from easier one to very demanding like Lennie's jazz etude books above. We have found then very educational, and have performed them publicly, too.

As a youngster I knew nothing of Mr. Niehaus although I should have. I played harmonica and Hohner Melodica (both soprano and alto) as a kid. A neighborhood boy had a clarinet, but never learned to play it. At fourteen I made enough money in my summer job to buy it off from him. I joined my high school (HKYL) band and a student driven folk music ensemble.

Pekka, my classmate and the leader of the folk music band, was a gifted violinist. He wanted to start a jazz band in the school and bought a brand new alto saxophone. I certainly wanted to join the fun. At fifteen I made enough money in a summer job to buy a used Toneking tenor saxophone. Sometimes that Czech-made horn was more a hinder than help. I still own it, although it is no more playable. But the rest is history...

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Drummer Matti Oiling died suddenly

Published first on October 6, 2009 by YLE; the Finnish Broadcasting Company.

A versatile drummer and band leader Kaj-Matti Oiling is dead. Mr. Oiling, born in 1942, died suddenly in Fuengirola, Spain.

Matti became known during the decades of Oiling Boiling Rhytm'n Blues Band which he founded in 1969. He began playing professionally when twenty years old in Onni Gideon's band. Although Matti had a strong jazz background, pop music generally belonged to his repertoire. In addition to his own band, Matti Oiling worked in many of the 1960's guitar bands, for example Jormas and the Boys.

I had a pleasure of hearing the Oiling Boiling band many times in Helsinki clubs and in Jazz festivals all over the country. Matti was well known internationally, too. Occasionally I received messages from my foreign correspondents: How is Matti doing? Now I have to tell that I do not know. But all the signs are on that he is doing just dandy, depending where he landed.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Improvisation Basics 4: Psyching Out Improv Demons

I participated in mid-1990s in Jazz Studio class taught by Roger Freundlich in Espoo, Finland. Roger later published an article in Down Beat Magazine (1998) about his teaching methods. Here is a summary of it:

Look the demons of jazz improvisation straight in the eyes and say, "I'm going to improvise - deal with it!"

That's the attitude I try to instill in adult jazz improvisation students at Jazz Studio, an adult-education evening class held under the auspices of the City of Espoo Adult Education Centre outside Helsinki, Finland. The participants, generally adults between 30 and 60, are seriously interested in unlocking the secrets of jazz improvisation. In the course, we investigate total musical discipline and total musical chaos to find the magic middle ground where the best music is created.

To supplement the systematic study of intervals, chords and scales, a series of simple group exercises can help adult amateur musicians overcome psychological inhibitions in their desire to become more comfortable as improvising jazz soloists. Developed to educate people in a culture where modesty is a virtue and the ability to improvise is not generally an inborn trait, the following classroom techniques can also be used by band directors to sharpen soloing skills in their big bands.

Some of the methods Roger is using:
  • Talk/Play/Talk/Play
  • Create/Imitate
  • I Am the Greatest
  • Ugly/Beautiful
  • Verbose/Taciturn
  • Guest Drummer

The SOTW Article:
Psyching Out Improv Demons by Roger Freundlich

Monday, October 26, 2009

DEC and Symbolics History Revisited

Yes, the title of this blog is referring to Music and Saxophone playing, but I have taken a liberty writing of some personal items occasionally, too.

This is a follow up to my previous Blog post dealing with my personal history with Digital Equipment Corp. and Symbolics, Inc.

This update stems from Harlan E. Anderson, one of the DEC founders publishing his memoirs. Should make interesting reading.

Harlan's marketeer, Carole Gunst has a very interesting Hi-tech History Blog. In there she is writing: The First Domain Ever Registered Was

Carole's articles are hitting home very effectively. I worked for DEC 1974-1985 most of the time in Maynard, Mass, USA. From 1986 I was with Symbolics in Cambridge, Mass, USA when Symbolics achieved that important record. While at DEC they received “the honor” of sending the first spam message in the Internet. That was about announcing VAX 11/750.

The rest is history:

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Jon R. Smith: White Trash, Michael Brecker, Philip Glass

"I used to occasionally hang out with Mike Brecker in NYC. We would both be sitting in with Paula Lockhart who had Howie Wyeth playing drums…Brecker told me that two of his favorite players were Jim Pepper and Jon Smith."

“Jon’s sound is instantaneously recognized, something only a handful of players have, with a tone that’s as big as a house, and a big vibrato that’s characteristic of a gospel singers…If I were putting together a horn section, Jon would be my absolute first choice.”
Edgar Winter
Windplayer Magazine

In Part One of an exclusive interview with SOTW, legendary sax great Jon R. Smith discusses his career and influences, including the early days in New Orleans, great sax players from Louisiana and Texas, the formation of Edgar Winter's "White Trash", meeting Michael Brecker, group dynamics, ego and solos, Philip Glass and more...

This two-part interview is adding up to other Sax on the Web interviews by Neil Sharpe.
There are several mp3-files and music videos from Jon's early career. 

One tidbit from the interview:
White Trash

A lot of the music business is about being in the right place at the right time. Usually that means a lot of hard work to put yourself in that position but, sometimes, lady luck can make a big difference. I was coming out of a music store in New York City, when I ran into my old buddies Edgar Winter and Jerry Lacroix. Seems that Edgar’s brother, the terrific blues guitarist Johnny Winter, had got them an audition which led to a recording contract with Clive Davis and Epic Records. They asked if I’d be interested in joining the band. A three-story house had been rented in Woodstock, New York. Halfway through the question, I’d already started to pack!

“I have followed him since he left Edgar Winter’s White Trash…I couldn’t leave Antone’s until I knew he’d played his last note of the night.”
Will Lee
Late Night with David Letterman Band
Austin American-Statesman 

“Never mind the superlatives, [Jon Smith plays] some of the highest caliber blues to be found…One longtime blues veteran compared his playing to Cannonball Adderley, saying ‘Smith is so good, he’s almost out of control’.”
Austin Chronicle

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tim Price on How To Find Your Saxophone Sound

My good friend, Tim Price authored a comprehensive set of Jazz Lessons and Etudes for my web site, Sax on the Web.

Tim is a Selmer Clinician, professional musician, jazz journalist and author. He teaches in New York City and Pennsylvania.

While at Berklee, he studied with Charlie Mariano, as well as with Andy McGhee, Joe Viola, and Nick Ciazza. After Berklee he studied saxophone and improvisation with Sal Nistico, Fred Lipsius, Jimmy Lyons, Ray Pizzi, Sonny Stitt, and Ronnie Cuber; flute with Harold Jones; clarinet with Kal Opperman and bassoon with Karen Borca.

Tim Price's web site.

In the following video Tim is addressing the eternal question: How to develop your saxophone sound?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bar Mendocino, Tall Ships, and Horses in the Lobby

What does this blog title mean? You figure it out, but it was another exhilarating Monday night (October 12, 2009) in the premier Helsinki roots/blues jam venue; Bar Mendocino.

There were two reasons for a special celebration. The multi-instrumentalist and, blues/jazz talent Rene Reinikainen was in town. We had an important gig for following night for BTA (Bob's Take Away) and Rene agreed to fill in for bass for this gig.

In the above pictures Rene (red shirt) is jamming with base guitar and harmonica. 

Also, Rene and I managed to lure Robert "Bob" Rasmus, against his will, to the scene of the crime. Roba played some magnificent guitars solos and accompanying Kojo, who still has his say about singing the blues.

Kojo singing in the front. Roba on guitar.

 Blues-Pekko and Roba jamming.

Other high points of the night:

Köpi on drums and the company. 
  Horn section: Anders Jansson and Harri.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Air Saxophone playing

Air Sax

What guy doesn’t dream of rocking out on a saxophone?

Posted using ShareThis

Friday, October 09, 2009

Karmann Ghia's Clutch repaired

From a Karmann Ghia Discussion Group:

Harri Rautiainen:

KG clutch problem.

re: Karmann Ghia -58

The clutch wire tube in the shaft tunnel is loose. This prevents adjusting the clutch.
Any similar experiences? 

Andy Holmes:

I thought I had a similar problem with my KG - the advice from Luke Theochari at Terry's Beetle Services was that we would need to cut a small inspection hole in the tunnel to enable the wire conduit inside the tunnel to be welded back in place. Luckily this turned out not to be the problem with my car, it was a fault with the release bearing.

Posted by Picasa

Harri Rautiainen:

More developments on the clutch. It came out that there were already inspection holes in the tunnel. There was some previous repair dome, but the welding was too sloppy and the part was loose again. After fixing that my trusted mechanic, Mr. Simo Makkonen went for a test ride, and broke the clutch release shaft. Cannot really blame him because the original shaft was 51 years old, and was heavily tried recently because of the clutch wire problem.

I found a new part from Kuplapaja in Mäntsälä, some 50 km from Helsinki costing 30 €. Simo is pleased because it is much sturdier and better material than the original. He is throwing in a new release bearing for free. It has been staying on his shelf, and looks like I am his only VW customer. On other hand he can afford a freebie because the overall repair bill will be pretty hefty. If Simo will retire next summer, I will be in deep sneakers with my Karmann Ghia.


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Tipitina's, Tall Ships and Horses in the Lobby

"The Crossroads. That decision every musician must make.

It came while sitting in a ramshackle tour bus, squeezed in between the great drummer Jack Pedlar and a 300 pound entertainer..."

Part Two Interview Sonny Del-Rio by Neil Sharpe

You moved so gracefully across that smoky room,
You thought those saxophones were playing just for you,
We danced a fantasy in syncopated time,
This must be love, I felt that magic when your lips
Met mine.
“Say You Will”  
(Sonny Del-Rio from the album “40 Years of Rock n’ Roll”)

We got a red-hot band,

We’re gonna rock your blues away.

Sonny Del-Rio
Welcome To Saxland

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Friday, October 02, 2009

The greatest invention since sliced bread – A Computer

My friend sent me this and I found it both amusing and nostalgic. I shortened it to include only the computer companies which I had a personal interest and of course , my previous employer:

IBM Global Services Image via Wikipedia
If IBM made toasters... They would want one big toaster where people bring bread to be submitted for overnight toasting. IBM would claim a worldwide market for five, maybe six toasters.

Microsoft Image via Wikipedia

If Microsoft made toasters... Every time you bought a loaf of bread, you would have to buy a toaster. You wouldn't have to take the toaster, but you'd still have to pay for it anyway. Toaster'95 would weigh 15000 pounds (hence requiring a reinforced steel countertop), draw enough electricity to power a small city, take up 95% of the space in your kitchen, would claim to be the first toaster that let's you control how light or dark you want your toast to be, and would secretly interrogate your other appliances to find out who made them. Everyone would hate Microsoft toasters, but nonetheless would buy them since most of the good bread only works with their toasters.

If Apple made toasters... It would do everything the Microsoft toaster does, but five years earlier. The toast would make a little smiley face at you when it popped up, or else it would get stuck and there would be a little picture of a bomb burned onto it. If they break, these toasters would require a special set of MacToaster Tools to even open up. Worldwide market share would only be 5%, but all the bread in school lunches would be exclusively toasted on the MacToaster.

Does DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation) still make toasters?... They made good toasters in the '70s, didn't they?

If Hewlett-Packard made toasters... They would market the Toaster, which takes in toast and gives you regular bread.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Supa dupa fly: Kathleen Kent's The Heretics Daughter, thoughts and memories, sceneries of the mind

Supa dupa fly: Kathleen Kent's The Heretics Daughter, thoughts and memories, sceneries of the mind

Journal entry of a Finnish immigrant brought up in Middlesex County in the Massachussetts Bay Colony who traveled to Sussex County England

Friday, September 18, 2009

Improvisation Basics 3: Blues Chord Progressions and other Rules

Yoyogi-Park Saxophone Player
Image by haribote via Flickr

Blues and Jazz go very much hand in hand. Starting with Blues is the way to get your feet wet in the difficult but rewarding art of improvising. Our approach is three-pronged:
  1. First familiarize yourself with Basic Blues Chord Progressions by John Lull.
  2. Then absorb the bluesy feeling by listening to .
  3. Then follow the Blues Rules below.

Rules Of The Blues

[There are several versions of these floating around in the net.]

1. Most Blues begin, "Woke up this morning..."

2. "I got a good woman" is a bad way to begin the Blues, unless you stick something nasty in the next line like, "I got a good woman, with the meanest face in town."

3. The Blues is simple. After you get the first line right, repeat it. Then find something that rhymes... sort of: "Got a good woman with the meanest face in town. Yes, I got a good woman with the meanest face in town. Got teeth like Margaret Thatcher, and she weigh 500 pound."

4. The Blues is not about choice. You stuck in a ditch, you stuck in a ditch--ain't no way out.

5. Blues cars: Chevys, Fords, Cadillacs and broken-down trucks. Blues don't travel in Volvos, BMWs, or Sport Utility Vehicles. Most Blues transportation is a Greyhound bus or a southbound train. Jet aircraft and company motor pools ain't even in the running. Walkin' plays a major part in the blues lifestyle. So does fixin' to die.

6. Teenagers can't sing the Blues. They ain't fixin' to die yet. Adults sing the Blues. In Blues, "adulthood" means being old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.

7. Blues can take place in New York City but not in Hawaii or any place in Canada. Hard times in Minneapolis or Seattle is probably just clinical depression. Chicago, St. Louis, and Kansas City are still the best places to have the Blues. You cannot have the blues in any place that don't get rain.

8. A man with male pattern baldness ain't the blues. A woman with male pattern baldness is. Breaking your leg cause you were skiing is not the blues. Breaking your leg 'cause a alligator be chompin' on it is.

9. You can't have no Blues in a office or a shopping mall. The lighting is wrong. Go outside to the parking lot or sit by the dumpster.

10. Good places for the Blues:
a. Highway
b. Jailhouse
c. An empty bed
d. Bottom of a whiskey glass

11. Bad places for the Blues:
a. Nordstrom's
b. Gallery openings
c. Ivy league institutions
d. Golf courses

12. No one will believe it's the Blues if you wear a suit, 'less you happen to be a old ethnic person, and you slept in it.

13. You have the right to sing the Blues if:
a. You older than dirt
b. You blind
c. You shot a man in Memphis
d. You can't be satisfied

14. You don't have the right to sing the Blues if:
a. You have all your teeth
b. You were once blind but now can see
c. The man in Memphis lived
d. You have a pension fund

15. Blues is not a matter of color. It's a matter of bad luck. Tiger Woods cannot sing the blues. Sonny Liston could. Ugly white people also got a leg up on the blues.

16. If you ask for water and your darlin' give you gasoline, it's the Blues

17. Other acceptable Blues beverages are:
a. Cheap wine
b. Whiskey or bourbon
c. Muddy water
d. Nasty black coffee

18. The following are NOT Blues beverages:
a. Perrier
b. Chardonnay
c. Snapple
d. Slim Fast

19. If death occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it's a Blues death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is another Blues way to die. So is the electric chair, substance abuse and dying lonely on a broke-down cot. You can't have a Blues death if you die during a tennis match or while getting liposuction.

20. Some Blues names for women:
a. Sadie
b. Big Mama
c. Bessie
d. Fat River Dumpling

21. Some Blues names for men:
a. Joe
b. Willie
c. Little Willie
d. Big Willie

22. Persons with names like Michelle, Amber, Debbie, and Heather can't sing the Blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.

23. Make your own Blues name Starter Kit: a. name of physical infirmity (Blind, Cripple, Lame, etc.) b. first name (see above) plus name of fruit (Lemon, Lime, Melon, Kiwi, etc.) c. last name of President (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore, etc.) For example: Blind Lime Jefferson, Jackleg Lemon Johnson or Cripple Kiwi Fillmore, etc. (Well, maybe not "Kiwi.")

24. I don't care how tragic your life: if you own even one computer, you cannot sing the blues.

Check out Evan Tate Interview

Title: Evan Tate Interview


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Improvisation Basics 2: Blues scales

John A asks:
Can someone tell me how I can play blues and bebop scales? How is each of them different from the original major scales?
Harri R answers:
Start from here:

Pentatonic and blues scales and

Blues and the Dominant Chord

There are more links to scales.

good luck,


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lester Young — A Centennial Tribute

For the lyricists of the Great American Songbook, it was difficult enough to say "I love you" in 32 bars, ­expressing all that passion and profundity in one brief chorus. Yet when the legendary tenor saxophonist Lester Young played those same songs, he crammed even more artistry into that same small space. When Young (1909-1959) plays a chorus of a ballad—or a blues or a riff number—you hear more than "I love you." You hear babies gurgling, flowers blooming, couples making love, dogs barking, mothers crying to their kids, worlds colliding.

Young, whose centennial ­arrives on Aug. 27, created a new approach to the saxophone and to jazz in general. His playing was, by turns, lighter and gentler than anything that had come before it, but also capable of driving with tremendous force and energy.

His 1943 solo on "Sometimes I'm Happy," made shortly after Young's return to the Count Basie Orchestra, is a prime ­example of the President (usually shortened to "Prez")—as Billie Holiday called Young—touching on every emotion known to man in a single, short solo. He's obviously ­inspired by Irving Caesar's title and lyric as much as he is by Vincent Youmans' melody. Most popular songs present the states of "happy" and "sad" as monolithic poles of feeling, but Young seems to be jazzed by the way that Caesar and Youmans mix both together. His ­interpretation of the tune is both at the same time, a constant state of melancholic ­euphoria.

The song is in ABAB form, meaning that the second 16 bars are a repeat, melodically, of the first, and Young uses that as an impetus to inject more jazzy variations into the second half. Even at the tail end of the first "B," the part that matches the words "If I can find the sun in your eyes," Young weaves in an amazing embellishment, a two-bar phrase that could be the ­basis for a song in itself, but, more important, perfectly compliments the Youmans melody. After bassist Slam Stewart's ­simultaneous bowing-and-humming episode and pianist Johnny Guarnieri's brief statement, Prez returns with an amazing coda that's almost completely improvised, except that it uses a phrase from "My Sweetie Went Away" (a 1923 pop song recorded by Bessie Smith) as a point of departure. This lick had a life of its own: It not only also turns up in the verse to Cole Porter's "Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love," but Young had used it earlier in "Here It Is Tomorrow Again," and it was later heard in deference to Prez by Gerry Mulligan ("Jeru"), Stan Getz ("Yesterdays") and King Pleasure and Oscar Peterson in their own tribute versions of "Sometimes I'm Happy."

Small wonder that Young was a major influence not just as an improviser but as an ­interpreter. A whole school of tenor saxophonists identified themselves as virtual vice presidents, including Getz, Wardell Gray and Paul Quinichette (who even billed himself as such). But Young exerted an equally pervasive influence on several generations of jazz and popular singers, both directly and through such key acolytes as Holiday and Frank Sinatra, who told ­Arlene Francis in 1981: "I knew Lester well, we were close friends and we had a mutual ­admiration society. I took from what he did and he took from what I did." Sinatra also praised Young for "knowing the lyrics" to the songs that he played: "knowing what the song is about has to come from the lyric, not merely notes on a piece of paper."

Will Friedwald writes about jazz for the WSJ. Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page D9, Aug. 19, 2009

" You Got to Be Original, Man! "

Tim Price here, for RICO REEDS, talking about some things on my mind lately.

We have all remarked when an innocent child speaks their mind and reveals something candid, with no worries about consequences, failure, or judgment that makes us think. We also know there is something envious about that special quality; raw freedom to express with no fears or hang-ups. When a young student drums on a desk, draws on a paper, or sings, sincerity is at its best. And it’s all valid because it’s sincere.

Our attraction to music is a personal one. Sure, there are peer pressures, and multi musical purposes, but somewhere in our hearts we have our own musical tastes. To step forward and play what you feel might be your best move.I feel it’s tragic to not explore music and life through creativity and self development. I respect the ideal of traditional development of needed musical skills but not at the cost of creativity. No one should have to wait some undetermined amount of time to compose something or even think about composing something.Ditto with improvisation. Same with any writing or art. It’s sincere. It’s in the moment.

The path of a true "artist" is a rocky road. It's like walking up wet glass at times but after a while it's fun.It is your business to keep the channel open.You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you.You'll note a slow emergence almost imperceptible. it will be something you never forget.

Now's the time tell a genuine story, speak the truth, and someone will appreciate it.It is part and parcel of being an artist.

Keep the channel open, and try your best.You'll learn something special.

The quote at the beginning of this weeks blog was from Lester Young. If you want to hear something original-check out Lester Young.

I'll be talking more about ~stepping forward~ and taking your chances. Now's the time.

Till next week, thanks for reading this blog and keep on your path.
~ Tim Price ( forum admin. for Rico Reeds ). Tim is also a Sax on the Web author.
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Lester Young in Sax on the Web