Russ Nolan's Jazz blog- Joel Frahm transcription

NYC tenor saxophonist/educator recently started writing a blog and he has been posting some nice stuff. Below is a Joel Frahm transcription that Russ did and made into a YouTube video.
Russ Nolan's Jazz educational blog


Complete Approach to Sound for the Modern Saxophonist

Ben Britton, saxophonist/educator/blogger, recently sent me a copy of his Complete Approach to Sound for the Modern Saxophonist book. I was quite impressed with just how thorough the book really was. This is a book that I have started using with my own students at Portland State University. Ben includes a ton of crucial sound production exercises, many that I use with my own students. I really like that Ben focuses on airstream, embouchure, articulation, long tones, overtone exercises, and warm-up exercises, and doesn't really even get into finger technique.

See below for the book's topics from the table of contents:
Ben Britton
 Introduction to Air Support, Breathing In, Blowing Hot Air, Up Against the Wall, Introduction to Embouchure , Mouthpiece Test, Mouthpiece Bends, Introduction to Air Stream, Focus, Low vs. High, Focusing the Vocal Tract, Bending Up, Airstream Focus vs. Embouchure, Other Contributing Factors Long Tones on the Mouthpiece,  Air Attacks, Low Note Bends, Air Support at Soft Dynamics, Whispering Hot Air, Soft Long Tones, Putting it to Practice, Embouchure Pressure, Sound and Feeling, Wrong Embouchure, Embouchure and Articulation, Interval Jumps, Embouchure Flexibility and Timbre, Roll In, Roll Out, Subtone vs. Full Tone, Looking Forward, Lower Lip, Tongue Bends, Techniques for Executing New or Difficult Overtones, Guiding Principles for Overtone Practice, Types of Overtone Exercises, Long Overtone Variations, Overtones and Altissimo, Multiphonics, Multiphonics with Tongue Bends, Level I- Long Overtones, Level I: Overtone Flexibility, Level II Long Overtones,  Level II: Overtone Flexibility, Bugle Calls, Scales Using Multiple Partials, Scales Using a Single Partial, Slurring Up, Articulation Techniques, The Lightest Articulation Possible, Moving Beyond Low Bb, Legato Tongued Scales, Staccato Low Bb, High Register Staccato,  Staccato Scales, Real Music, An Approach to Daily Practice, Regularly Recording Yourself, Why Warm Up?, Importance of Long Tones, Warm-up Outline,  Descending Long Tones, Part 2: Long Overtones, Part 3: Overtone Flexibility, Part 4: Articulation, Customize Your Warm-Up
Here is a page from the book on techniques for executing new or difficult overtones:
(click above graphic for larger version)

Ben includes audio files of himself playing many of the exercises, often with examples of both the correct and incorrect methods of performance. Here are a few excerpts from the book with audio examples.

A few endorsements for the book :
 “Ben’s book covers some of the important concepts of playing saxophone in a well articulated, clear style which can serve both beginners and more advanced players well."-- Dave Liebman
"This is a terrific book on an often neglected yet integral part of saxophone playing. I recommend Ben's book to every serious saxophonist." --Walt Weiskopf
 Nice work Ben!


Mulligan/Giuffre Fake Books

These older Sketch-orks books have all of the harmony parts, for your West Coast Swing action.

Yeah baby!

Mulligan/Giuffre Fake Books

Kenny Wheeler Songbook

A longtime Scandinavian reader sent me a PDF of some Kenny Wheeler charts. I played through a lot of these tunes with John Stowell a few weeks ago, some very nice tunes in there.

Kenny Wheeler Songbook


Paul Contos' World of Fourths- etudes & exercises

 Last week I attended the Jazz Education Network convention in Atlanta. I presented a panel on Jazz blogging with Earl MacDonald and George Colligan and saw a lot of great clinics and concerts. It was quite educational and entertaining. I plan to post more details about some of the things (mouthpieces, software, books, bands, ect) that I saw at the JEN convention, so stay tuned.

Paul Contos
One of the coolest things about the trip for me was being able to reconnect with my first saxophone teacher Paul Contos, who I hadn't seen in years. I started studying with Paul in seventh grade and studied with him all the up until my freshman year of college, seven years total. He got me started on the Omnibook immediately. We were talking about that last week and Paul said that his strategy was just not to tell his students that it was hard! I started with Bloomdido and eventually learned every note in that book.

  Paul is responsible for inspiring a multitude of  young musicians to become great Jazz musicians. He recently took over the job of education director for the Monterey Jazz Festival's educational program, which is a huge job because it includes the year round Monterey schools programs, the summer camp, the National Next Gen honor Jazz band, and the Next Gen yearly competition. Paul also runs the San Francisco Jazz Festival's educational program, which includes an honor band as well. Paul also takes the Next Gen band to Japan or across the US and Canada each year. I recently found a Facebook group called Paul Contos Changed My Life, which just shows how big of an impact he has had as an educator.

 Paul and I had a chance to catch up and then we both went over to Rafael Navarro's both to try out his pieces, which we had both been hearing a lot about recently. Paul tried the soprano pieces and I played a few alto pieces. We were both hugely impressed with the work that Rafy was doing. The soprano piece that Paul tried seemed like a big step up from the Selmer S80 E that he had been using for years. The core was fat and it put out a ton of sound. I'm planning a full review of the alto pieces that I tried and have asked Rafy to do an interview for this blog. I'll also be adding a banner ad for Navarro mouthpieces very soon. It is worth noting that  I only post ads for products that I personally use or recommend to my own students.

Dave Leibman
 Paul is so well know as an educator that I think people often overlook the fact that he a burning and unique player as well. He got swept up in the NY tenor wave back in the late 70's and early 80's, but instead of gravitating to Brecker or Grossman, like many saxophonists, he was more drawn to Liebman. Paul has always been very serious about soprano and flute, making Leibman all the more compelling. Paul mentioned that Leibman was the 'underdog' compared to his contemporaries.

  The last time I saw Leib was in the late 90's at the Blue Note. I have got to say that I was a bit disappointed. He played a lot of tenor and I wasn't digging his sound or time concepts. The high point of the night for me was his bamboo flute playing. The last performance I saw at JEN last week was the Miami big band with Leibman and it just blew me away. The big band was truly impressive, tighter than any band that I remember playing with at Berklee,  but Dave sounded incredible. He played only soprano and his sound was gorgeous. His harmonic and rhythmic concept was killing....so killing.  It made a huge impression on me, making me want to get a better idea of what he was doing. As soon as I got home I ordered the Aebersold published Leibman book How to Approach Standards Chromatically- techniques of superimposition.

  Paul just emailed me some exercises and etudes that he had written for his students. Paul has always had a very cool approach to utilizing fourths in his playing, something which I never  incorporated into my playing much so I was happy to get these new exercises.  Playing through these etudes made me make a mental note to hit Paul up for another lesson the next time I'm in the Bay Area. I am sure you will enjoy this stuff.

Here is Paul's explanations for his exercises:

"World of Fourths - first is a Preparatory sheet, to get people into maneuvering around the horn in that way, especially if they've been so 'scale-oriented'...and/or just comfortable w/chord-like maj. & min. 3rd diatonic intervals...breaks them out of that.
Next is World of Fourths part. A, which shows a pattern that can be used on at least 5 or 6 chords...(same can be used on: D7sus; A-7;F maj7; Bb maj7#11; C6/9; others)

Next up in an exercise of a chorus of "All The Things" using the World of Fourths concept, moving thru the changes, w/logical transitions & many 1/2step resolutions, as relates to the how things lay nicely on the horn.
Next is an Ex. of a chorus on "Cherokee" - just straight-ahead at first, to help students get into making some smooth linear movements thru the changes, then the last 'A' section starts utilizing some of the Fourth concept thru the changes…It's also the 1st Alto part of a quartet version of that chorus of Cherokee…w/Super-sax type harmony"
World of Fourths PDFs

(click above for a larger version)

(click above for a larger version)

(click above for a larger version)
(click above for a larger version)
(click above for a larger version)