Category: General

Frank Basile’s new release, out today

I have often stated my admiration for Frank Basile, for his playing, as well as his knowledge of the history and tradition of Jazz. He is my first choice when I am looking for advice or information about the history of the baritone saxophone. But he is not just a trove of knowledge, his playing is fantastic and he has fully absorbed a huge trove of jazz language and tradition. One of the last concerts I saw before the current pandemic forced closings was a group he co-led with Gary Smulyan – it was great. When I found out that Frank had a recording in the works with tenor saxophonist, Sam Dillon I knew it would be excellent. I’ve been fortunate enough to hear Sam play for years and even sit in some big band sections with him. In a world full of tenor saxophonists, he is a monster that stands out.

So today, August 7th, 2020 Frank and Sam have released their album “Two Part Solution” on the Cellar Live label. I just got done ordering my copy and can’t wait for it to arrive. I’ve already heard most of the album and it is indeed great. The playing, the recording (recorded at the legendary Rudy Van Gelder’s in Englewood Cliffs, NJ), the arrangements, everything is good. The songs include some original compositions by both Frank and Sam. Though Jazz fans will also enjoy their take on the classic “Two Bass Hit”

I would really recommend getting a copy of this album, you can do so directly at Frank’s website (the best way to support artists!):
https://www.frankbasilemusic.com/product-page/two-part-solution-cd

Pepper and a Mulligan transcriptions added

I’d like to thank Jorge Retamoza for sharing two new transcriptions to the repository. Two very different solos but both from two great baritonists.

First is a Gerry Mulligan solo from what I always thought was one of Gerry Mulligan’s more interesting albums. Its called “Close Your Eyes and Listen” and its from a collaborative album Mulligan made in the 70’s with Argentinian Tango master, Astor Piazzolla. The music is beautiful and the arrangements are excellent. There is some tinge of unfortunate 70’s era percussion and sounds but overall I think the album is beautiful and Mulligan’s lyrical playing worked really well with Piazzolla’s tango.

pepperThe second solo is a Pepper Adams solo. Its the title track from his album, “Urban Dreams”. Not much to add here other than its great to have another classic Pepper solo in the mix. Urban Dreams is one of the later recordings he made as a leader.

Head on over to the Transcriptions page and check them out.

A Jimmy Heath baritone solo!

Thank you to Anthony Pellegrini for another transcription! This one is pretty interesting – Jimmy Heath. Known more as a tenor saxophonist he did record a small amount on the baritone saxophone, and Anthony found a gem of a short little solo that has some very classic be-bop language. Its on a tune called “Short Life” from a Howard McGee album.

Jimmy Heath passed away earlier this year at the age of 93. If you enjoy jazz autobiographies his is well worth the read, “I Walked With Giants”.  He was a master saxophonist, a great teacher amazing composer, big band leader and frankly one of the wittiest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.  So please check out a rare baritone solo from this master saxophonist on the Transcriptions page.

New Quarantined Woodwind Ensemble featuring baritonists

Over the last few months as all musicians have basically been sidelined at home, many of them have taken to collaborating online. One such group is the Quarantined Woodwind Ensemble, made up of many of New York City’s finest Jazz and/or Broadway musicians. Their most recent video on the classic song “Just The Two Of Us” features prominently two baritone saxophonists – Lauren Sevian and Jason Marshall. Check out the video below.

Leo Parker Transcriptions and Frank Basile on a radio show

The transcriptions keep rolling in. Thank you to Avery Barten, for sending in another couple Leo Parker transcriptions. This time on “Glad Lad” and “VI”. Some nice medium-up tempo tracks off of Let Me Tell You Bout It. Head over to the transcriptions page and grab copies for yourself.

In other news, fantastic baritonist, record collector, and jazz scholar Frank Basile recently participated in a very interesting radio show. Its a show that features music found on 78 records. For you young ones out there, that’s not 1978, that 78 rpm vinyl shellac records (thank you for the correction, Frank) that were used mostly in the first half of the 20th century. Frank brought in and discussed a number of excellent Be-Bop era records. To listen to the show head over to the Hot Club of New York website and scroll down to “Frank Basile”.

After 48 hours JazzBariSax resumes.

Recently JazzBariSax.com went dark for 48 hours in solidarity with the BLM movement. I would hope that the students, educators, and artists that make up the thousands of visitors every month already know how much they owe to Black Americans but It seems they may not be aware. Perhaps this can at least influence a few of them.

Some people want to just be able to focus on the saxophone and not mix politics. I’m pretty sure that’s how the artists felt 60 years ago. See below for the message displayed during the dark period.

JazzBariSax.com would not exist without Jazz. Jazz is a Black American Music. All of the content on this site is directly descended from the art and lives of Black Americans. In solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement JazzBariSax.com will be unavailable for 48 hours.

If you are grateful, or have use for the content on this website, I humbly suggest that you take some time to appreciate the great American artists that have made it possible. It is important then to acknowledge the struggles, discrimination, and brutality they faced while creating this music in America and the rest of the world. We have taken so much joy and pleasure in their art without doing enough to end the misery they endured.

I urge you to support the reforms needed to end violence and discrimination. If possible please consider donating to one of the following organizations:
NAACP Legal Defense Fund: https://www.naacpldf.org/
ACLU: https://www.aclu.org/
Black Lives Matter: https://blacklivesmatter.com/

Sincerely,
Andrew Hadro
Curator, JazzBariSax.com

Two ‘In a Mellow Tone’ Solos!

Thanks to Joseph Trahan we have another Gary Smulyan solo in the transcription repository. This is from another YouTube video, this time Gary is blowing over Ellington’s “In A Mellow Tone“.

We also now have our very first Joe Temperley solo in the repository. I can’t believe we didn’t have one before now, but thankfully that gap has at least somewhat been filled. Many thanks to Tom Sabin, for sending in a transcription to start us off for Joe. Quite coincidentally this solo is also on Ellington’s “In A Mellow Tone“!

This is a pretty cool opportunity to see how two very different players approach the same standard. I hope everyone is staying well and busy during the on-going quarantine. Hopefully the plethora of new transcriptions will keep you all busy.