Category: Videos

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.

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.

Paul Nedzela Baritone overview on YouTube

A few weeks ago Paul Nedzela prepared a great overview and history of the baritone saxophone as part of Lincoln Center’s Jazz Academy. The video is now up on YouTube! It includes a great basic history of the baritone saxophone in jazz with lots of listening examples, and at the end Paul answers a bunch of questions for everyone. If you didn’t catch the initial live stream check it out below:

Paul Nedzela gives masterclass on the baritone saxophone

Paul Nedzela is the baritone saxophonist with Wynton Marsalis’ Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. On Wednesday April 29th at 4pm (Eastern) he will be giving an online masterclass. I’d highly recommend watching it!

Here’s the description from the Facebook event:
“Paul Nedzela guides you through the family tree of baritone saxophonists, highlighting some of the instrument’s most influential players, and playing examples of their work!

Join us through our Zoom link or on Jazz Academy’s Facebook page on April 29 at 4 pm EST.”

UPDATE: Paul did a great job! I’m hoping that Lincoln Center archives the presentation. If so, I’ll be sure to link to it on the site. – Andrew

Gary Smulyan & Frank Basile Quintet shows available for stream!

A few weeks ago at Smalls club in the West Village of New York City, I had the extreme pleasure or watching two sets that featured some of the best baritone playing around. Gary Smulyan & Frank Basile are two incredible baritone saxophonists that are directly connected to the Pepper Adams lineage.

Everyone can now watch both evenings (4 sets total) on the online streaming archive from Smalls – called SmallLive. You’ll need to sign up for a membership, but $10 a month is a small price for the incredible amount of live jazz you’ll have access to. This concert alone had a $20 cover per set to see. Also, in these strange times Musicians and Clubs need all the support they can get – Smalls shares revenue from online streaming with the musicians.

Head over to the Smalls Live archive and watch these incredible sets:
https://www.smallslive.com/events/16554-frank-basile-gary-smulyan-quintet-boss-baritones/

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.

Have you met the Baritone Army?

Stefan Zeniuk is perhaps most known for wielding his creation, the Flame-O-Phone. He is also often part of various rock, and jazz groups in addition to many different types of unique performance art.

Stefan wrote an article for the Red Hook Brooklyn Based Star Revue paper for the 10th anniversary of his creation, the Baritone Army. They are known for bizarre and humorous appearances mostly around New York City but have expanded globally as well. One of their more extravagant projects are their videos “The Honking Dead” a baritone saxophone based parody of the popular show, “The Walking Dead”.

Check out his recent articles here.

New book from Adam Larson!

While Adam Larson is not a baritone saxophonist, he is a great saxophonist and a very busy clinician and teacher. He has a written a new etude book titled “Leaps and Sounds”. Its not a baritone saxophone specific book, but I think its very relevant for any modern saxophonist. He has written 12 etudes over the chord changes to common jazz standards and incorporated large intervals and lines that move in and out of the altissimo register. I recommend these for advanced high school or college students, they are not easy!

I firmly believe that altissimo is especially important to the baritone saxophone. Not just as a way to remain in-step with the trends of saxophone in general, but also because I think its easier and more practical on the baritone. I hope to have a full article about altissimo on the baritone up soon, but in a nut-shell, because the first altissimo octave on the baritone is merely the standard upper octave of an alto saxophone I think those pitches are all usable and within comfortable listening range. The voicing, fingerings, and intonation can be tricky but worth the effort to have access to another octave of range for improvisation.

I’ve included a video of one of Adam’s etudes below, he provided me with a sneak peak and I really enjoyed learning it. They are extremely challenging but at the same time sound excellent. You can head over to Adam’s website and pre-order the book. It will be released on September 1st, 2018.