Ever wonder what your favorite players practice?
Do they still play scales and long tones?
Do they play AEBERSOLDS?!?!
Why wouldn't they!
Warne Marsh was a player that it took me many years to fully appreciate. At first I was turned off by his unusual sound and articulation. His 8th note didn't feel swinging to me and I didn't get his lines. I always liked Lee Konitz, but Warne eluded me. Now I think that Warne is one of the greatest tenor players to walk the planet. I appreciate his ultra-dark sound and I hear that he's swinging his ass off in a different way. His lines are complex and amazing, so melodic and lyrical.
Warne is finally being rediscovered by today's younger players. Guys like Mark Turner and Chris Cheek have both been heavily influenced by Warne's concept. Just these two guys alone have in turn influenced a whole new crop of even younger players.
Today I hear kids say that their main influences are Chris Potter, Mark Turner, Seamus Blake, and Chris Cheek. It seems very strange to me that someone would go right to the most recent cats, without first listening to the older masters first, like Trane, Joe Henderson, Warne Marsh, Sonny Rollins and Stitt, ect. Maybe younger players will find their way back to Warne through guys like Mark Turner and Chris Cheek.
My buddy Markos sent me these MP3s of Warne Marsh practicing with an 'All Bird' Aebersold
record. Yes, records, remember those? They were big, flat, round, vinyl disks with grooves on them. You actually put a needle on them to play the music. No, I'm not even kidding! If the record was sharp then you could put pennies on the needle to make it flatter.
Anyway, these MP3s are very interesting because you can hear Warne try different ideas out. On Scrapple he plays the head up in altissimo and it sounds exactly like an alto. His 8th triplets and double time lines are SICK!
Warne was way before his time and I believe that players will eventually catch on to this monster tenor player.
These tracks must have been recorded by Warne or a student in the early 80's, since he passed in 1987. They were included on a CD that came with Warne's biography 'Unsung Cat' (used copies start at $40).
(Photos by Jack Goodwin and George Ziskind)
Scrapple fron the Apple
Warne's MySpace fan site- great videos
Warne Marsh info site