Category: General

Yamaha releases new intermediate baritone

Yamaha has released their new YBS-480. This will eventually replace the already popular YBS-52 intermediate baritone saxophone. The neck and bore have been altered, supposedly to closer match the professional model YBS-62 and there is a socket for a removable peg on the bottom.

Since this model will most likely be used by students and often younger students the option to rest the horn on a peg will be a welcome addition.

I had a chance to try this new horn in New Orleans in January at the Jazz Education Network conference, and I thought it was excellent. While I personally play a vintage horn I have no problem recommending a Yamaha especially to schools and students. They are tanks and can take a lot of abuse and still function very well. They are priced appropriately and are very consistent from horn to horn.

The YBS-52 is a big staple across the world in classrooms and hands of students so the improvements this horn will bring are going to make a big difference to baritone players all over. Kudos to Yamaha! Any attention to the big horn is much appreciated.

Click here to read the full news item on Yamaha’s website.

New Ronnie Cuber Transcription – Bye Bye Blackbird

Thanks to Andrea Iurianello, we have a new Ronnie Cuber Transcription in the repository. This solo is on the classic standard, “Bye Bye Blackbird”. Very nice solo with a somewhat relaxed vibe from Ronnie playing with a great band.

Below you can check out a video of the transcription author playing the solo, or head on over to the Transcription Page to download a copy for yourself.

Tribute to Howard Johnson

There will be an excellent concert in New York City next week that is billed as a tribute to the great Howard Johnson! One of the most veteran jazz baritone saxophonists around. It looks like an excellent line up:

Taj Mahal with students of the InterSchool Orchestras of New York Symphony;
Beartones (baritone saxophonists Alex Harding, Erik Lawrence, Jason Marshall, Dave Schumacher, and Lauren Sevian);
Gravity with Guests (low-brass artists/tubists Dave Bargeron Music, Velvet Brown, Joseph Daley, Joe Exley, Clark Gayton, Jack Jeffers, Aaron J. Johnson, Bill Lowe, Earl McIntyre, Marcus Rojas, Jay Rozen, and Bob Stewart; with guitarist/vocalist Nedra Johnson);
Levon Helm Horns (Steven Bernstein, Jay Collins)
Yayoi Lina Ikawa: piano
Larry Fulcher: guitar
Melissa Slocum: double bass
Jerome Harris: bass guitar
Buddy Williams: drums

Wednesday, September 18, 7:30 PM; $100 (all proceeds support financial aid and scholarships for ISO students through ISO’s Howard Johnson Scholarship Fund)

Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center
129 W 67th Street (bet. Broadway & Amsterdam Ave.)
New York NY 10036

Click here for tickets

In depth review and interview on Gary Smulyan’s latest album

The Jazz Profiles blog has posted a very in depth and interesting article on Gary Smulyan‘s latest album, “Alternative Contrafacts

The post is worth a read and the album is definitely worth a listen. I think this is one of Gary’s best albums, especially in trio format.

Head on over and read the article to learn more about contrafacts and Gary’s album.

Opportunity to see Kenny Berger live

Baritonist, Kenny Berger has let us know about an upcoming gig he has in New York City.

Kenny Berger and New Tricks will be playing Thursday September 5th from 6-8pm at Silvana (300 w. 116th St NY, NY 10026)

Rounding out the band is alto saxophonist David Bixler, Chip Jackson on bass and Chuck Zeuren on drums. If you’re in or around NYC this is a great choice for a nice evening of live jazz.

New article – Baritone Saxophone Cases!

I have been meaning to put together an article on cases specifically for baritone saxophones for some time. It might be the most common thing I get asked about in regards to the big horn. 

In the new article released today I’ve collated my advice, experience and hopefully a fairly complete and accurate comparison of many of the options out there today. I’d like to thank Jason Marshall, Lauren Sevian, and Jeff Suzda for their input on the article as well.

Please head on over and check out the Baritone Saxophone Cases article.

New Album from Tim Stocker

Baritone Saxophonist, Tim Stocker, has just released an album he has been working on for some time. These days Tim is living and playing in Singapore, but this album features some of the best musicians in NYC. The music is groove oriented with lots of great blowing and stretching out.

The album is officially out, so head on over and have a listen for yourself:
https://timstockermusic.bandcamp.com/