Category Archives: Articles

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

Phil Woods Dies

From Pocono Record:

Jazz legend Phil Woods died Tuesday morning, according to Bensing-Thomas Funeral Home in Stroudsburg.
He was 83 years old.

Sad news. We lost one of the greatest alto saxophone players ever.

All About Jazz
NY Times

Podcast: Song Exploder

There are a LOT of great Podcasts out there. One of them is Song Exploder. There is a great episode about the Game Of Thrones composition by Ramin Djawadi. Check it out.

Phil Woods Retires

Seems Phil Woods is retiring:

Well, it was indeed historic but for an unforseen reason: Before his last number, Mr. Woods, best known to the casual music listener as the soloist on Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are,” announced that it would be his last number. Ever.

Sad day.

Minor Scale Usage

This is something I give out students to make sense of what minor scale works where. It’s especially nice since it’s not like the Aebersold “mixohypersuperlocieron” naming system where they name the same minor scale something different depending on what note it starts on.

  Minor Scale Usage (66.3 KiB, 21 hits)
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Flaccid Fallon Joke

Doing late night comedy is hard. Especially when you have the disability that is Jimmy Fallon. How he got the Tonight Show gig when it should rightfully go to Conan I don’t understand. Anyhow, the tonight show USED to have some sort of class to it. At least when Johnny Carson ran it. I never watched when that other guy took over.

It seems the other night Jimmy was struggling for some comedy, so he took to attacking one of the world’s best flute players, Robert Dick. Now, I can sorta see how you could riff off making fun of his last name, and that he has a book called “The Other Flute”. Ok, fine Jimmy. Penis jokes, yes, I don’t think they have ever been on the Tonight Show so up front. But then you took it too far by saying Robert looks like a dick. What the hell was that? Would Johnny Carson have done that? No.

Man up Jimmy and publicly apologize to Robert Dick, and have him on your show to make up. There is a petition going on here to make this possible. Over a thousand people have signed it.

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.