Saxophonist Fred Lipsius has recently produced a new website catering to jazz saxophonists and improvisers alike. The innovative and comprehensive site called Freddy’s Guide to Creative Improvisation offers players of all levels an interactive series of lessons for a modest subscription fee.
Many may know Fred Lipsius as the original saxophonist, arranger and conductor with Blood, Sweat & Tears (1967-71). While with BS&T he earned several Gold Records as well as two Grammy Awards for his arrangements with the band. In addition to his official accolades, many jazz historians credit him as being a pioneer of jazz-rock saxophone.
In the years since Blood Sweat and Tears, Fred Lipsius has performed with Simon and Garfunkel and a host of name jazz artists such as Cannonball Adderley, Thelonious Monk and Zoot Sims. Originally from New York City, Fred resides in Boston where he is an Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music.
I have known Fred Lipsius for the past few years to be a highly creative person involved with his digital art as well as other more spiritual and improvisational recordings. Freddy’s Guide to Creative Improvisation showcases his personable approach coupled with his knowledge of theory and the creative mind.
The initial membership to the site includes a 188 page, downloadable book in .pdf format. Options are available for hard copies of these and other publications as well. The online instruction is divided into three main sections; Licks, Blues Scales and Improvising and Composing Techniques. Each of the topics is subdivided into smaller units and accompanying videos.
Although Fred Lipsius is primarily a saxophone player, several video examples are presented on piano and the method is suitable for use with any instrument. The complete course of study can be completed at your own pace and represents what may be semesters or years of practice to digest.
Kudos to Fred Lipsius for developing and presenting this inventive method for jazz improvisation. Freddy’s Guide to Creative Improvisation offers soloists a wealth of information to learn and apply to their own playing – for years to come!