‘Keep the Pad Unstuck’

Ben Britton in Battling the Sticky G-sharp Key:

The conventional wisdom that gets passed around is to clean the pad with pad paper or a dollar bill, but a bit of liquid soap and water (or just some water in a real pinch) can go a long way. Use a toothbrush if you can to be thorough.

Ben has some helpful tips to help un-sticking the G# key. I was familiar with the Dollar-note (ie.coffee-filter) and the oil one, but soap/water was new to me. I will give that try next time the key acts up. Which is probably tomorrow.

'One of his most important musical dialogues was Blue Train'

Marc Myers in John Coltrane’s Blue Train:

The perfection and excitement of this album is hard to match. The flawless, sculptured lines catch the ear and take you on a journey. From the opening hunting call on Blue Train, to Coltrane’s speed-bag attack on Moment’s Notice, the propulsive blues of Locomotion and lyrical bop lines of Lazy Bird, Coltrane does more than craft solos. He is telling a multi-chapter story here that is largely autobiographical. The songs reflect his heritage, enthusiasm and desire to stand out, and they forecast his goal of making his instrument and jazz more expressive and cerebral.

A short historical view on what is one of my favourite recordings.

Bob Mintzer Masterclass Videos

A few years ago I had the chance to meet one of favourite saxophone players, Bob Mintzer, when he was in town. Meeting him and attending the class he held was very inspiring and I still look back at it from time to time.

Moments like these are rare events.

Bob Mintzer.jpg

Bob Mintzer doing a final speech when he played with our Big Band.

So, when I learned that he had released two masterclass videos I immediately purchased them. The two videos are about 35min each and full of great content. He talks about sound, phrasing, technique, vocabulary and much more, everything one needs to know.

I am a huge fan of his playing and work and seeing him presenting these concepts is both inspiring and motivating. You can check out the videos here.

New Eric Alexander E-Book

Eric is surely one of my favourite players at the moment. Everything he plays seems to fall right into place. I have been working with and practicing with his study materials for a while and found them be very good and insightful.

His latest e-Book Improvising with the Whole Step Triad and Diminished Scales Supplement is, as the title suggest, somewhat an example how to use the techniques described in his earlier books on the Triad Pairs and the Diminished Scale. The book, features three examples on Invitation, Mr.PC and Stella.

I haven’t spent much time with it yet, but found it, as the other books, very inspiring. If you are interested I also recommend to check out his other e-books.