Saxophonist Larry McKenna and Fred Wackenhut have paired up to release This I Dig of You. A complete review and track description can be found under the review section or linked from the front page. Not to be outdone, Neil Wetzel has released Misunderestimated his solo jazz saxophone debut. I have had the pleasure to work with both Larry and Neil on numerous occasions in Philadelphia saxophone sections. Both are world-class saxophonists worthy of more attention. Please do yourself a favor and check out their music.

There are a few new transcription samples as always for readers to peruse. One of particular interest is a Youtube clip by Tony Dagradi playing the classic Invitation. This one is pretty extensive and I’ve posted the entire transcription for all to see.

Many here are aware of my continuing contributions to Saxophone Journal from Dorn Publications. A Funk Duets Masterclass for two saxophones and rhythm section will be featured in the May/June 2010 issue. It came out very well and gave me an opportunity to discuss and demonstrate another popular style on CD for play-along. Banking on the success of this Funk Duet Masterclass, we expect to produce a Funk Saxophone Quartet play-along later this year.

The long awaited interviews I conducted with mouthpiece manufacturers Jody Espina and Theo Wanne are anticipated for publication within the next few months in Saxophone Journal. These two individuals are remarkable subjects and I have enjoyed working with both of their companies over the past few years. Most recently I became an official endorser for Theo Wanne Classic Mouthpieces. More info will be posted soon on Theo’s site. If you are not familiar, both companies are dedicated to the development and improvement of the modern saxophone mouthpiece.

Looking ahead, there will soon be reviews of saxophonist and composer Frank Macchia’s newest releases as well as Aaron Heick’s first CD. They are sitting on my desk and I can’t wait to check out these offerings from two of my fellow Berklee Alums.

Private lessons for saxophonists and woodwind players are still offered in person for anyone in the Philadelphia/Atlantic City area. My studio is happily near full at present, however there are slots available for those outside this area who would like to study saxophone or improvisation via Webcam. Please email and follow the auto responder for more information.

Finally, back the “The Boy.” There is a new saxophonist among us and his name is Andrew Spratt. "Drew", as we like to call him, has been playing trumpet since 4th grade. Now at age 13 he has decided to play the saxophone. I too started saxophone at age 13 and the similarities between father and son cannot be denied. Unlike the trumpet, the saxophone comes easy to Drew. He somehow talked us into getting him a new black saxophone for his birthday and he sounds great for a beginner. He is improving by leaps and bounds, no doubt due to the 1-hour of practice daily. This dad is very proud indeed and I haven't even mentioned the little clarinet player in the family. Perhaps we can talk about the other budding woodwind player another time. Until then…


Stay Well and Play Well