Joe Allard- A True Master

In my mind the two saxophone teachers that had the biggest impact on saxophonists on North America were Joe Allard and Joe Viola. Of course there are other great teachers who were/are also true masters of the horn, but many of them are more firmly based in the classical tradition.

If you look at the great Jazz players of the last generation or two who studied with one or even both of the Joe's, you'll find many of the most influential players in Jazz. Joe Viola and Joe Allard's peers were people like Marcel Mule' and Sigard Rascher, they were invited to the Selmer factory to help the development of the Mark VI and Joe Allard even designed his own Slant Link.

I only wish that I could just have one more lesson with Joe V. I have so many questions that I think only he could answer. Joe seemed to know exactly what was happening inside my mouth when I played.

Mary-Sue just turned me on to the Joe Allard web site, where some of his students write about his teaching methods. Allard's wisdom should be preserved for later generations of saxophonists. Someone should really put a site like this together for Joe Viola too.

This stuff is pure saxophone GOLD!
Joe Allard web site
Student interviews
The Master Speaks: Joe Allard video


MonksDream said...

Joe Allard was the shit! I learned a lot of stuff about embouchure from one of his students.

He believed, as I understand it that reasonable mastery of closed tube harmonics and buzzing the mouthpiece without the horn really helped pull those muscles together.

Although, as I think you've mentioned, too much focus on closed tube harmonics can cause a rough tone, I've always found, that, especially in periods where I go through not playing for a while, it can be really helpful.

I always wondered, apart from his great "Chord Studies," (volume II of "Method of the Saxophone," what types of things that Joe Viola presented to his students.

markfretless said...

So then I got the idea that you can play a melody you like. Perhaps you've heard it played on many other instruments; you may have heard Tommy Dorsey on the trombone or you may have heard some great jazzman, Stan Getz for instance, or you may have heard Thelonious Monk play it on the piano with his elbows ... but you've experienced a variety of ideas. You've heard this particular melody played in so many varied ways that by the time that you try to shape it in your own imagination, you have an idea in your mind of how you want this melody to be played - you have an inner world. And then, when it comes out of the saxophone, if the outer world doesn't coincide with the inner world, you can't tear it up and throw it in the wastepaper basket, but you can do it over and over and over again. Joe Allard

David Carlos Valdez said...

Actually Joe Viola didn't hardly even have his students work out of his books. We would mostly play contemporary saxophone etudes and duets. Whenever issues like intonation or technique would come up he would deal with them. I learned so much by just playing in unison with him. He knew every note on the horn like the back of his hand. He also knew what the tendencies were of other instruments when they played that same note, and how to play in tune with them.