|It's been too long...|
|Tuesday, 05 September 2006|
Hello to all and welcome to my latest blog entry. It’s been too long since the last entry and lots to tell.
1) Back in April I was happy to report that Michael Brecker told me via email that he was playing some tenor and EWI again. This news was passed on to SaxShed.com readers in the last blog. In June, Brecker joined Herbie Hancock on stage at Carnagie Hall. Mike’s return to the stage has been widely reported in the last month. Read below:
Hancock took the mic to announce the third tune, “One Finger Snap” (from his 1964 classic Blue Note album, Empyrean Isles). “I feel kind of funny doing this tune as a trio because usually I play it with a quartet,” he announced to the capacity crowd before coyly looking into the wings and adding, “There must be some sax player backstage there who could sit in on this one.” And with that, out walked Michael Brecker with tenor sax in hand, to the utter shock of everyone in attendance. The capacity crowd leapt to its feet with unanimous cheers as Brecker backed his way onto the stage from the wings, looking up at the ceiling and turning about in a mock-disoriented, Chaplinesque manner, as if to ask, “Where am I? How did I get here?”
“While reports had been circulating that he was feeling stronger lately, entertaining visitors at his home and woodshedding again on his EWI and tenor sax, no one—except for Brecker’s inner circle of friends and family—suspected that he was well enough to make a public appearance, let alone a high-profile one at such a prestigious venue.”
You can read the entire review at the link below.
2) Here in the Philadelphia/Atlantic City, as in other metropolitan areas there has been an increased popularity of Smooth Jazz on local radio. WJJZ was a fixture on Philadelphia radio for nearly the past 15 years. Like so many other stations before it, WJJZ has changed the format. Presently, there is no local Smooth Jazz station. About 5 years ago, there were two stations, the second being down the Jersey Shore. That station (which I can’t remember right now) left the airwaves a few years ago as well.
As a frequent traveller to Boston, I used to enjoy tuning into Smooth Jazz stations along the eastern corridor. It seems that some of those stations have disappeared as well.
3) Having taken to riding a bike (bicycle, no engine) for exercise and recreation, I have enjoyed riding in the local area. A stationary bike is great in bad weather, however I much prefer taking to the back roads and county parks. Recently, I was riding on a bike path through Camden County Park and passed several families romping on the playground. This one little girl (and presumably her sister) was riding on a see-saw. Her sister went up and she bumped on the ground. The little girl shouted, “It shut off my ipod!” Wow…I remember when the see-saw all by itself was the entertainment. Call me old-fashioned.
4) Transcribing has taken a back seat to working on another Saxophone Journal Masterclass Cd. This is my fourth and will hopefully address another interesting topic - styles. Over the years, many of us have found it necessary to play in the style of a famous saxophone player. Although most of us search for a unique sound and style, copying others and emulating their approach is part of getting there. The new masterclass will provide examples and tips on honoring the tradition of stylists like Coleman Hawkins, Stan Getz, Sam Butera, Gato Barbieri and even Clarence Clemons.
Well, that’s all to tell for now. Hope everyone has had a great summer and looking forward to an even better fall.
Stay well and play well.
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