This site was created as a platform to share my thoughts on music and politics; my music; and to connect with fellow sax players committed to sharing ideas about the soprano saxophone.
"The potential for the saxophone is unlimited." - Steve Lacy
Podcast for Rhizome's 2022 Catalytic Sound Festival with Layne Garrett
411 Kent - Wednesday, August 17, 2022 @ 8:00PM
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
The Three (3) Tiers of Practicing
Saturday, November 10, 2018
Groan Tube Soprano - Prepared Saxophone Explorations
* Below is a clip of flutist Stacy Russell demonstrating this technique with the flute body and foot joint.
Monday, November 5, 2018
Saturday, November 3, 2018
Why Roy Hargrove was so Important to Jazz
Sunday, October 28, 2018
Political Correctness: The Creative Artist's Kryptonite
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
What's Wrong with the Word Jazz?
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Is Piracy a 1990s Kind of Worry?
Many musicians and industry folks alike feel piracy is our biggest worry. I'm here to beg to differ.
In this era of musical abundance, obscurity should be our biggest concern. Seeing how consumers have access to as much music as their precious little ears can consume, we should be honored that someone would want to steal something we've created. It means that we have somehow figured out how to cut through the clutter. According to an article in Time Health, the average internet user has the attention span of a goldfish, which amounts to eight staggering seconds!
Not only is piracy improbable, but getting folks to know and care that we exist after discovering us, is equally challenging.
If this sounds harsh, consider what we have to compete with:
- According to an article in Tubular Insights, 500 hours of YouTube video are uploaded, not every day, or every hour, but every minute. And this was back in 2015.
- In an article in Internet Live Stats, 6,000 tweets are tweeted on Twitter every second.
- And in an article in GeekWire, 95 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram daily.
Get the point?
Looking at these stats, worrying about someone even noticing our music seems overly optimistic--never mind, actually taking the time to figure out how to steal it. I'm not saying that it can't happen. It happens all the time, especially with sampling. But in all honesty, how often does a big-name rapper illegally sample our music, making millions, while giving us nothing? Rarely. And if they do, what is the likelihood that they would get away with it?
So you get my point. Casing the room for folks making audio and video recordings of our performances is counter-productive. I used to play with a bass player who would stop playing if he saw someone recording--even if it wasn't his gig. Needless to say, I don't use him anymore. In this age of abundance, we should be thankful that someone is willing to record our performances and share it with their friends and followers on social media. Some might see it as stealing; some might see it as exploitation. I see it as free publicity. That person and their Samsung might give exposure to a few thousand folks that I ordinarily wouldn't reach.
If someone illegally records your music and makes a commercial recording of it, or steals your tune and claim it as their own, that's a different story. Again. How often does this happen?
Look. I know we want to protect our precious tunes and performances of them. But trust me when I say that most stuff written and performed is not even exploitable by the musicians who've created it. Never mind a couple of drunken millennials with smartphones. Not to say a lot of music is not good. Just the opposite. This is one of the most creatively fertile periods I've experienced in my lifetime. But being good and being exploitable for commercial gain are two different conversations.
Let me say this. Yes, copyright your music. Make sure your publishing is in order. But when you encounter folks out here doing free publicity for you, don't fight them, embrace them. Hell, maybe even thank them. Realistically, most of the people exposed to our work on social media will give us eight seconds of their precious time, at best, before moving on to the next tweet, Instagram post, Facebook post, Snapchat post, or controversial YouTuber-of-the-month. I don't know about you? But I'll take it. Every little bit helps.
In this era of musical abundance, our only recourse is generosity and sharing, not selfishness, suspicion, and hoarding.
Friday, October 5, 2018
Remembering Hamiet Bluiett: Big Horn, Big Heart
This trio features the Kahil El'Zabar Ritual Trio
I really like the way Hamiet opens up this tune. Not an easy task. As most know who've played it, it's difficult not to fall into a patternistic approach when playing this tune. Hamiet's performance is devoid of all cliches.
Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Awards and Accolades: They’re Only Half the Picture
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Talking Shop with Soprano Saxophonist Jamison Williams
Jamison's Conn18M Soprano Sax (Disassembled)
An Otto Link: Super Tone Master" Soprano Sax Mouthpiece
Jamison's brand of reeds
One of Jamison's homemade ligatures!
JW: Always on the move: tour throughout the South in July with a quartet including fellow saxophonist Jim Ivy, New York in August with Dave Miller and Austin White (to commemorate a trio release), solo Japan in January, and solo throughout Europe in February.
"Interpretations from the Disney Songbook"
To learn more about Jamison and his music, please visit www.jamisonwilliams.com
Thursday, August 23, 2018
Thought of the day: Taking Risks
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Thought of the day: Success Through Failure
Friday, August 17, 2018
Thought of the day: The Status Quo
Monday, August 13, 2018
Thought of the day: Outsider/Insider
Thursday, August 9, 2018
Thought of the day: Ruler
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Thought of the day: Having a Job
Thought of the day: The Harvest
Monday, August 6, 2018
Thought of the day: A New Business Paradigm
- Artist makes demo;
- Artist gives demo to manager;
- Manager gives demo to lawyer;
- Lawyer gives demo to A&R rep;
- A&R rep signs artist to label;
- Label records artist;
- Label releases record to the world.
- Artist makes recording;
- Artist makes recording available to the world.
Thought of the day: Hope
Sunday, August 5, 2018
Thought of the day: Doing the Work
Thought of the day: Creativity
Saturday, August 4, 2018
Thought of the day: Success
Thought of the day: Storytelling
Thursday, August 2, 2018
Thought of the day: Sharing
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Thought of the day: Communities
Monday, June 11, 2018
Don’t Spam, Connect: The True Path to Building Audiences
My issue is not so much wanting to have a unified group in our aesthetical corners, but how we often times treat those we're trying to woo, is something to be desired. Instead of satiating their hunger for artistic enrichment, we often resort to spamming them to death. I'm talking about the barrage of emails, tweets, Facebook posts, snail mail, you name it. As I see it, spam is an acronym for:
We all need money. This I get. The problem with spamming is that you betray the trust of those who are interested in what you do. They opened your email, read your Facebook and Twitter posts for the first time, maybe even the second, third, and forth, and after a while, they know never to do it again. Why? Because they opened their door, and you showed up, not bearing gifts, but things they don’t want or need.
Monday, June 4, 2018
Quarter-Tone Studies for Saxophone - Part 1
(1) Sharpens pitch control. One's sense of pitch becomes heightened after intense quarter-tone study. Since the semi-tone becomes larger, you have a more nuanced understanding of intervals as a whole.
(2) Widens your timbral understanding of the instrument. Since many of these notes require unorthodox fingerings, you also get introduced to new note timbres, quarter steps below and above conventional notes.
(3) Improves dexterity. There's something about playing these awkward fingerings in succession that leaves the fingers very nimble. I think it's the equivalence to running with ankle weights on. You might be moving slower, but you're working harder.
I've included a metronome click with my reading of it. It makes it easier to follow. I also give a universal 4 counts out front.
The recommended tempo is quarter note = 84 -92. But I would say take it at a quarter note = 60, if you have to. The pitches and the fingerings take some getting used to. So take it slow.
Let me know how it works out for you!
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