Category Archives: Articles

General Saxophone related articles, opinions, questions, etc, etc

Uptown Funk on Woodwinds

All I have to say is ……. well played sir, well played.

And damn you for having all that gear!

Taylor Swift Gets The Last Laugh

Think Taylor Swift was dumb taking her music off Spotify? I think not.

According to analytics firm OpenSlate, who estimate YouTube earnings using a formula including total monthly views and subscriptions, Swift and company earned $4,110,788.52 based on 341711430 monthly views on her Vevo channel. Her new release “Blank Spaces” had over 250 million views.

Basically, Spotify is EVIL.

Wireless MIDI Interface for EWI

I posted a review of a pretty cool, small, and cheap way to get midi wirelessly from your EWI to an iPad or iPhone (and soon to anything with Bluetooth Low Energy (bluetooth 4)).

Yoko Kanno Interview

Great interview with Yoko Kanno on Red Bull Music Academy.

Anime has steadily grown in popularity since the ’90s, and Yoko Kanno is one of the most famous musicians working in the genre. The career of the producer who “changed the history of anime music” became widely recognized in 1994 with the score to Macross Plus. Her splendid orchestrations in combination with vocals, tribal, techno, and breakbeat elements were original to say the least, and garnered accolades from many throughout the Japanese music scene.

Gotta love Anime. They have these amazing musical scores in a season of 12 episodes (or that might be the whole show). Compare that to the music in something like Arrow, which is sorta boring and they use the same things again and again…

Best Blogs I Followed In 2014

Wow, 2014 is over already. Luckily, I spent some of 2014 reading some blogs that I find interesting.

  • Best. Saxophone. Website. Ever. This site generally has good articles posted on it, though lately there are other authors posting. And the quality of the articles is a little questionable (like the “Introducing the Most Unique Sax Tone Development Device on the Market).
  • Bill Plake Music. Great articles here. You should follow the site.
  • Bobby Stern Jazz. If I had to rank my favorite sites, this would be #1. Bobby posts AWESOME exercises, transcriptions, and articles.
  • Bret Pimentel posts great, insightful articles.
  • Matt Otto Good free things to work on. Glad he stopped charing $.99 for his sheets on Scribd
  • Jazz Advice. I think every article they have put out is great. If anything, everyone should read every article here.
  • Bulletproof Musician. Like the above site, every one of the articles is great. Go read them. Now.
  • Casa Valdez Studios. He hasn’t been posting much, but when he does, you need to read it. Good stuff.

Yet Another “Vintage Meyer” Clone

Seems every year, we have another “this is THE vintage Meyer copy” mouthpiece. Here is a review of D’Addario’s latest attempt.

As an owner of a vintage Meyer Brother’s alto mouthpiece, a 4 that was opened up to a 6 by the late great Jon Van Wie, I have never found a mouthpiece like it. Not to say that there are not great mouthpieces out there, there are PLENTY of excellent mouthpieces being made today. They just lack the “character” of a vintage Meyer Brothers piece.

Review: Gruv Gear V Solo

There comes a time when you just can’t carry all your stuff to the gig. Your tenor….and soprano…..and flute…..and stands…..and a music stand…..and a microphone stand. It’s a lot of stuff. Then you have to walk a good mile because the parking for the venue sucks balls and you are about a mile from where you want to be.

So, you decide it is time to get a cart. But what sorta cart? There are tons. Something multi-purpose, where it can be a dolly (hand truck), a cart, and maybe something inbetween. Then what you want is a Gruv Gear V Solo. It is a stylish, sturdy (holds 500lbs), and compact cart that can easily hold all your horns. Consider it.
2014-09-20 17.59.19

SaxophoneCommunity.com to Shutter

Not sure when SaxophoneCommunity.com launched, but it was recent. And now it’s ending due to lack of funds. Go figure. In fact, in the email sent out to it’s members, they only ever made $30 in donations from 2010 to 2014. That is sad.

I think what really killed it was lack of good content. What I have seen over there were shoddy “transcriptions” or “arrangements” songs. And they were peddling subscriptions at $50 a year for them? Say what? You could get a better transcription of mostly the same songs (or better songs) here for nothing.

As probably the longest running saxophone site on the net (check archive.org, we were up and running way back in May of 1999….that sax on the something didn’t start until November of 2001), it’s really hard to make money running a site unless you are putting out lessons and/or other high quality material(s) like Steve Neff and Bob Reyonlds. Producing that stuff takes a LOT OF TIME, especially all those books Steve Neff does. Hours and hours of tedious work. I have a tough time trying to get a sheet of the week out, but these doods do videos and books?!? Where does one have time for this?

It was a good idea, saxophonecommunity, but it was trying to be an upscale Sax on the something site. Not sure why we needed another one of those.

The Story Of Tina Brooks

If you have never heard Tina Brooks, check him out. A saxophonist who should have been synonymous with names like Joe Henderson, Stanely Turrentine, etc.

Here is his story:

He was 28 when he made the record, and you might have thought, if you didn’t know better, that he was well on his way to an influential career in the jazz forefront. Then comes the sobering thought— when Tina Brooks recorded The Waiting Game in 1961, his career was effectively finished. The record date fell five days before his 29th birthday, but he never recorded again. He would live 13 more years, but neither The Waiting Game nor any of the other music of his mature years was released in his lifetime. He died at 42, a bitter, penniless, incapacitated wreck, but he was he was given up for dead years before that.