Sunday, February 24, 2019

Flute Fundamentals by The U.S. Army Field Band

Friday, February 22, 2019

Drummer Matti Oiling remembered

Published first on October 6, 2009 by YLE; the Finnish Broadcasting Company.
EDIT: Feb. 22, 2019 - Matti's missing image replaced, the header edited

A versatile drummer and bandleader Kaj-Matti Oiling is dead. Mr. Oiling, born in 1942, died suddenly in Fuengirola, Spain ten years ago.

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 on where he landed.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

It takes two to tango and play flute

Juliette Hurel and Benoit Fromanger co-operating.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sax on the Web Forum upgrade

Update (Jan-16-10) As a new feature there is now Sax on the Web Forum Portal

Or you can go directly to the SOTW Forum
The Sax on the Web article site is still there.

Hope you'll like it,

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 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 the 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 less visible, obscure 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)


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...