Stanley Turrentine plays live in this video. I love his sound. He played with Jimmy Smith on several albums including ‘Midnight Special’ which I have listened to many times.
The Monterey Jazz Festival finished up last night. On the weekend I saw Maceo Parker, George Young, Christian McBride, Joshua Redman, Brian Blade, Herbie Hancock, Ernie Watts, Tom Scott, the Next Generation Band, Kurt Elling, Anet Cohen, Spencer Day, and Terrance Blanchard.
I had wanted to see Maceo Parker for a long time. Had been listening to him since I was eight years old when I got the CD ‘Roots Revisited’ which is more jazz than most of his music. Maceo Parker was a sideman with James Brown and others for a while, but has been doing his own thing. He seems to be playing in Europe a lot. I bought his CD ‘Roots and Grooves’ later that day.
George Young was great. He played a set of jazz including tunes like ‘Take the A Train.’ The audience really loved his music, and he has quite a local following since he lives here too.
Christian McBride‘s quintet was amazing. He had bass, drums, sax, vibes, and piano. He told us about how the drummer used to play with Freddie Hubbard and that was how he got introduced. The group played more of a straight-ahead bebop style. They really played well together.
Anat Cohen mostly played jazz clarinet and a little tenor sax. I had never heard of her, but she sounded great.
Joshua Redman and Brian Blade together and Brian Blade also played with his own group later on. Hadn’t seen him live before, he played some cool stuff. Brian Blade picks up on everything the other musicians are playing and responds really well.
The Terrance Blanchard group also sounded really good. He had some jokes about the sax player from Tucson, Arizona. He called him the president, treasurer, etc of the Tucson jazz society. Basically because there isn’t much jazz in Tucson. During the set, Herbie Hancock was sitting in the room and went up to play with the group on the last song.
The Next Generation Band, led by Paul Contos, sounded great. They played this song called ‘The Chicken’ which featured the saxophone section. The five sax players got up one by one and were improvising and then Paul joined in on soprano.
Tom Scott did a tribute to Cannonball Adderley and put a new twist on some of those songs. He also had a vocalist that sounded pretty good.
Maria Schneider did her thing with her jazz orchestra. Her grammy winning tenor sax player played some crazy riffs.
Spencer Day is a vocalist who sang some of his newer songs. Hadn’t heard from him before, but he sounded good. The band really grooved well together. The bass player and guitar player would also join him on vocal harmonies at points.
Here’s another Review of the Monterey Jazz Festival that I found. They saw a few of the same musicians that I did, but also some other parts.
Maceo Parker and band play at the North Sea Jazz Festival in 2005.
I just saw Maceo Parker this last saturday at the Monterey jazz Festival and he put on a great show that included this song. If you’re unfamiliar with Maceo Parker, he played saxophone with James Brown, Bootsy Collins, and many others especially in the world of funk.
The Monterey Jazz Festival is this weekend. Some great musicians are scheduled to play including Joshua Redman, Christian McBride, Maceo Parker, Herbie Hancock, George Young, Wayne Shorter, Anat Cohen, Spencer Day, Yaron Herman, Maria Schneider, Terence Blanchard, Tom Scott, Ledisi, Matt Wilson, Bill Frisell, Ryan Shaw, Cassandra Wilson, Tuck & Patti, Marc Cary, Antonio Sanchez, David Sanchez, Miguel Zenon, Scott Colley, Rebeca Mauleon, Derek Trucks, Jamie Cullum, Kurt Elling, Ernie Watts, Laurence Hobgood, Nancy Wilson, John Levy, Brian Auger, Barbara Dennerlein, Kyle Eastwood, Myra Melford, Mark Dresser, Matt Wilson, Jamie Davis, Brian Blade, and more.
On Friday night George Young is playing at 6:30 at the Garden Stage, so I’ll be there. Will definitely see Joshua Redman and Maceo Parker too. Want to check out David Sanchez and Maria Schneider too. I hear Maria Schneider’s big band at the Reno Jazz Festival one year and they sounded good.
The music is played throughout the Monterey Fairgrounds outisde at the Arena/Jimmy Lyons Stage, the Garden Stage and the Courtyard Stage. The Night Club/Bill Berry Stage, Dizzy’s Den, the Jazz Theater and the Coffee House Gallery are indoor venues on the grounds.
Tickets are $35 for Friday night and $45 for Saturday and Sunday, but the price goes up tomorrow (September 19).
You can find out more at the official website.
Monterey Jazz Festival
James Carter and Joshua Redman square off at Carnegie Hall.
Two of the great young tenor players on the same stage. James Carter also played with the World Saxophone Quartet. Joshua Redman was actually in law school when he decided to become a professional saxophonist. He’s going to be at the Monterey Jazz Festival this year, so I’m looking forward to that.
Pacticing . . . . the first thing is to be sure to practice everyday. Even if it’s only for ten minutes. By practicing a little each day you’ll get better, and practicing a bit more each day will speed it up.
You can get reeds, mouthpieces, and other equipment you need from music stores/catalogs/online.
“When you struggle to reach for something you don’t know, that’s where the most interesting stuff is.”
Long Tones– I like to start practicing with the long tone exercise I got from Sherman Irby. To do it, you start with the note low E as quiet as you can play it. You keep that note going for about half as long as one breath will last and then go up chromatically to the next note. This continues two notes at a time up one octave and then back down. On the way up I just play the notes, but then on the way back down I use a tuner to check to make sure that I’m in tune. Checking intonation before you’re warmed up isn’t really helpful, but as Bruce Foreman said one time he doesn’t like to go out and play a test note that is completely off.
Major Scales– After the long tones it’s good to work on some scales. First you should learn the major scales. They can be played along the circle of fifths, circle of fourths, chromatically, or in other intervals. It’s good to change the order and starting point also. I use Jackie McLean’s warmup book, which includes scales and arpeggios.
Other Scales– After you know all twelve major scales you can start learning minor scales, diminished scales, whole tone scales, etc. Most other scales can be understood in terms of the major scale though. Learning every scale possible is not really necessary. Something like the Hindu Ruptured 9th Inverted Heptonic Scale is probably not too useful on a regular basis.
Books– Practice books can also be useful, especially earlier on. Rubanks makes a decent book, with some classical excerpts. The Lennie Niehaus books are also good and try to show jazz phrasing. If you play some classical music or even if you mostly play jazz, it can be beneficial to study from the classical perspective.
Rubank Method is a series that ranges from beginning to advanced. It includes scale exercises, fingering challenges, classical melodies, and other exercises.
I have the Advanced Studies volumes 1 & 2 for saxophone and used the advanced book for clarinet.
You should definitely haveThe Jazz Theory Book.
As James Moody says, “The Jazz Theory Book should be in every musician’s library regardless of the level of their ability.” As author Mark Levine says himself,
“A great jazz solo consists of:
99% stuff that is
You’re on your own for the magic bit, but his book will help you with the 99% part.
Intervals– I have been told by many musicians and have found myself that using intervals to think about music can be really helpful. If you learn a song in one key that’s good and all, but someone else (like a singer) might want it in another key. If you learn the intervals it can be easier to switch between keys. Something like ‘A Night in Tunisia’ has a minor second, minor third, major third, and major fifth for one part. Knowing that will direct you in all keys.
Piano– Even though I only play a little, I’ve found that learning a little piano can be great. It will help you learn what chords and progressions sound like. It’s also good to know how to play more than just a single line so you know more about how music works.
Band in a Box– This is a software program that acts somewhat like Jamie Abersold CDs. You can input chords, feels, time signatures, etc. Files are available online for Band in a Box that contain entire fake books of songs also. Even without the chords you can use the program as a slightly more interesting metronome.
In the end though:
You can practice to attain knowledge, but you can’t practice to attain wisdom.
You can practice to learn a technique, but I’m more interested in conceiving of something in the moment.
Joe Henderson and McCoy Tyner play ‘Ask Me Now’
One of the first songs I heard with Joe Henderson was ‘Song For My Father’ on the album with Horace Silver. He plays the second solo on that song. It starts out simple, builds, and has a good shape to it.
We had it at home and my teacher Todd Clickard also played it at lessons since we worked on that song. Todd had taken lessons from Joe Henderson years ago in San Francisco and tells me stories aobut it sometimes.
Joe Henderson would take the train and never brougth his saxophone, but instead sat at the piano. He was an accomplished piano player in addition to being a great saxophonist. Joe Henderson taught Todd a solo that he played on the song ‘Relaxin at Camarillo’ which I only recently found at a CD store in Boston. Not the same solo Todd learned though.