To be honest, I’m mostly angry at the moment and don’t feel like sitting down to write or publish something. That I’m constantly running behind my todo-list isn’t much of a help either. Still I took a few minutes after my first student in the morning and improvised a bit on a blues with my soprano. It’s nothing special, only a short un-accompanied jam. I planned to publish, or post things like these for a while already (needless to say I never did), but I might as well start now.
On Saturday, 18th of December 2021 at 19 o’clock we will perform with the Big Band feat. Jarkko Martikainen the “Pieni joulu-uudistus“ program at the Karjasillan church. It’s going to be a nice program with all kinds of Christmas tunes. The past rehearsals went well, and the saxophone section has a lot of doublings in there (I’m on the un-usual Baritone seat, also play clarinet and tenor here), which is a fun thing to do.
I like to come up with looping exercise like this, because they are a quick way to learn some new material and built-up vocabulary and technique. It’s time for another looping exercise. While practicing I was looking for a way to run through BeBop-scales in all keys following the ideas/concept as described in Jeff Elwood’s e-book Developing Be-Bop Lines and came up with this little loop. The exercise follows the idea breaking down the BeBop scale into three arpeggios followed by the BeBop passing note (again check out his book, it’s worth it) and then resolves into the next chord in the cycle of 4ths.
A transcription of Richie Cannata’s tenor solo on Billy Joel’s New State Of Mind A student needed to play the solo and I tried to find a transcription. Since I couldn’t find a transcription online and had a little downtime I quickly made one myself. It’s a rather slow tune, which makes the rhythmical notation somewhat cryptic, and in a few spots I’m not entirely sure if everything is correct.
“Learn to BeBop on changes like Hank Mobley first. It tells you when to stop.” Those were roughly the words one of my all-time heroes Rick Margitza said to me when I had the chance to have a lesson with him in New York. And even though more than twenty years ago, it hasn’t told me when to stop. Up to this day I enjoy working on lines. Hank is without any doubt one of the most precise players that I have heard.
A concert with trombonist Nils Landgren was planned for many, many years and now it finally happened. How great is that. I heard first about it many years ago and apparently this weekend’s gig with the Oulu All Starts Big Band was booked more than 1,5 years ago. Needless to say it was a great gig. The place was full and we played well and Landgren was fantastic. It was fun, very inspiring and challenging to play with a master like him, a real treat.
Some of my favourite etudes that I ran into over the years are the Kröpsch Clarinet etudes, especially the first volume. The exercises are short, almost easy to remember and overall effective, challenging and fun to play. I always wished there would be something like that for Jazz saxophone studies. Last year Eric Alexander published a book with similar exercises which are fun to play and easily to be used in improvisations.
It’s rare enough of an occasion that someone like Joe Lovano performs around here, let alone shows up on the Jam Session. So rare, that I almost forgot that I had my camera with me. In fact the whole trio with Lars Danielsson and Jukkis Uotila sat-in. After their stunning performance on the main-stage earlier that evening it was particular great hearing them in this smaller place. I guess this is already now legendary night to remember.