Talkin’ ’Bout i(Pod) Generation

San Francisco Classical Voice had a great article about the iPod Generation
“The iPod (and, by extension, iTunes) not only revolutionized the world’s listening habits early in the last decade, expanding the sheer variety of music people listen to; it also changed the manner in which people think of and hear music. It’s true that not everyone has an iPod (or an iPhone or an MP3 player of some sort), but virtually everyone understands its significance. The device holds music that fits in your pocket, offering you an easy way to listen to vastly different things, even a way to juxtapose and to mash-up music or sounds that would normally seem as far apart as a Formula One racecar and a pony.

The most significant musical inventions from Apple’s iPod (and, by extension, iTunes) are the shuffle, the mashup, and the playlist.”

I think the author left out Music Hoarding…..I think that is a huge contribution to music. You now don’t have to look for an album in your collection, it’s there. And as your collection grows, it is invaluable to hear 20 versions of “Impressions” or “Giant Steps”. Playlists are nice, the mashup can be fun, and shuffling has its place but hoarding is where it is at. That is the wondrous thing Steve Jobs and the iPod brought us.

Thanks Steve……now lets create a playlist of a mashup of everything that has the word blues in it……ahhh, 5,568 songs? I guess we shall be using the shuffle on this…..

How to Play Saxophone

I got this in my email today. Funny stuff.

HOW TO PLAY THE SAXOPHONE

First things first: If you’re a white guy, you’ll need a stupid hat, the more stupid the better and preferably a beret.

Sunglasses are optional, but all the really, really good players wear them, especially indoors.

You’ll also need some “gig shirts”-Hawaiians are good, but in a pinch anything with a loud floral pattern is acceptable, as are T-shirts from various jazz clubs and festivals. The good thing about the latter is that you can get them mail order so you don’t have to go to all the trouble of actually seeing and hearing live music.

And sandals are an absolute must, even in winter.

Once you’ve assembled the proper attire you can begin practicing. One of the most important things about playing is being able to convey emotion to the audience. This you do through various facial expressions. The two emotions you’ll need to convey are (1) rapture / ecstasy and (2) soul wrenching pain and sadness (i.e., the blues). You may find it useful in the beginning to borrow a page from the method acting school. So, for example, to convey rapture, try thinking of something nice-like puppy dogs or getting a rim job from Uma Thurman while Phil Barone feeds you Armour hot dogs with truffle sauce.

To convey the “blues” try thinking of something really appalling – like ulcerative colitis or Alec Baldwin.

You should practice your facial expressions in front of a mirror at least two hours per day. You may feel a tad stupid at first, but you’ll never get the chicks if you don’t jump around on stage like a monkey with your face screwed up like there’s a rabid wolverine devouring your pancreas. And, bottom line, getting chicks is really what music’s all about.

Next, you’ll need the correct ligature.

Some people think that the ligature is just a stupid old piece of metal that holds the reed on the mouthpiece. Well, those people are idiots. Besides your beret, the ligature is the single most important piece of musical equipment you will ever buy. Mine, for example, is 40% platinum and 60% titanium; one screw is rubidium and the other plutonium. It makes me sound exactly like Booker Ervin would if Booker Ervin wasn’t (1) dead and/or (2) living on Mars.

You may have to spend years and years and thousands of dollars finding the proper ligature, but in the end it definitely will be worth it.

Now reeds. Optimally, you’ll want to move to Cuba, grow and cure your own cane, and carve your own reeds by hand. If you’re just a “weekend warrior” however, you can get by with store-bought.

First, buy ten boxes of reeds -100 in all. Next, open all the boxes and throw away 60 reeds. Those were unplayable.

Take the remaining reeds and soak them in a mixture of 27.8% rubbing alcohol and 72.2% pituitary gland extract for a period of 17 weeks.

Throw away 20 more reeds. Those were stuffy.

Take the remaining 20 reeds and sand each one for exactly 13 seconds with #1200 grade 3M sandpaper.

Throw away 14 reeds. Those squeaked.

Take the remaining 6 reeds and soak them for another 17 weeks, this time however in a mixture of 27.8% pituitary gland extract and 72.2% rubbing alcohol.

Sun dry the 6 remaining reeds for 3 weeks, optimally at an equatorial latitude, and throw away 3 more just on general principles.

You now have 3 reeds that will last you several months if you play each one only 20 minutes a day in strict rotation.

Now, you say you just bought a horn. Although you didn’t say what kind it is I’d sell it immediately and get a different one.

The best one to get would be a Selmer Mark VI made at 4:27 PM on June 14, 1963, serial number 635543. If you can’t get that one though, generally speaking the older and more expensive the better.

The following brands are good: Selmer Paris Mark VI. The following brands suck: any other Selmer, Yamaha, Conn, Beuscher, Yanigasawa, Cannonball, LA, Jupiter, Elkhart, King, Martin, Keilworth, Boosey and Hawkes, Couf, Silvertone, and Holton. On no account should you play the horn before you buy it: go strictly on reputation and price.

You will also need some accoutrements: a flight case capable of withstanding atmospheric pressure of dP = – Dg dz where D and g are, respectively, the density of air and the acceleration due to gravity at the altitude of the air layer and dz is a horizontal layer of air having unit surface area and infinitesimal thickness; a metronome; a tuner; a combination alto-tenor-baritone sax stand with pegs for an oboe, bass clarinet, flute, english horn and bassoon; Band in a Box; every Jamie Aebersold play-along record ever created; a reed cutter; swabs, cleaners, pad savers, pad dope, pad clamps; a Sennheiser Digital 1092 Wireless Microphone; an effects rig with digital delay and parametric EQ; and a 200 watt (per channel, minimum) amplifier and 18″ monitor.

It will be helpful if you listen to lots of sax players. Unfortunately, listening solely to players you like is absolutely the worst thing you can do.

To really understand the music and its traditions you have to go back to the beginning and listen to every bit of music ever recorded. I’d start with madrigals and work forward. Once you get to the 20th century, pay particular attention to players like Jimmy Dorsey, Sidney Bechet, and Al Gallodoro who are the foundations of the modern jazz saxophone.

In no time at all, or by 2034-whichever comes first-you’ll be able to understand the unique be-bop stylings of players like Ace Cannon, Boots Randolph, and Sam Butera.

Finally, to play the sax itself, blow in the small end and move your fingers around. (Author Unknown)

Brian Rust, Father of Modern Discography, Dies at 88

Brian Rust died. Don’t know who this is? Oh, but you know his work. Yes you do you jazzer you.

“Brian Rust, a discographic detective who compiled comprehensive guides to recorded jazz and other popular music, in the process setting the standard for the modern field, died on Jan. 5 in Swanage, in southern England. He was 88.

For decades, “Jazz Records” — known to jazz mavens simply as “J. R.” — has been the de facto standard reference work in the field, furnishing meticulous information on session dates, personnel and much else for tens of thousands of recordings.”

See, he’s the reason you know X, Y and Z played on a session at so and so studio on this date.

Thanks for your work Brian.

Mass User Purge

Sometime between the end of November and the first part of the year, Jazz-Sax was hit with tens of thousands of registrations of fake and spam users. Like marc162230205 and his brother marc247329716. The result was that pretty much the outgoing email (like registrations and passwords) was shut down due to being flooded with bounced emails that I didn’t know about (thanks google apps!). We went from a about 12,000 users to nearly 100K.

Anyhow, I’ve been using some tools to remove inactive and spam users. So, if you had registered here but haven’t ever posted a comment or submitted a story, you probably got deleted. Sorry.

You can easily enough register again, except it will ask a few questions and make you enter a CAPTCHA to help weed out the people from the bots.