JazzBariSax.com Interview Series: Adam Schroeder

The next installment in our interview series feature Adam Schroeder. Adam holds down many of the baritone chairs on the West coast and has put out several albums as a leader. He is a tremendous guy and an accomplished saxophonist, we’re glad to feature him here.
  • Adam SchroederWhy the baritone? I found my voice on the baritone saxophone during my senior year of high school.  I had been playing the lead alto chair in our jazz band for three years however was trumped in the audition by a great friend.  We had both been studying with David Glasser from NYC at the time and had both learned that the two most important chairs in the saxophone section were the lead alto and the baritone…support!  Since my friend and I each knew one another’s playing, it was an easy switch for me to hopefully offer a stronger support in the section instead of playing the second alto chair.  Needless to say, I loved it and never looked back.
  • Favorite recordings of and/or with baritone saxophone? 10 to 4 at the 5 spot, Encounter & Julian by Pepper Adams; The Concert Jazz Band stuff by Gerry Mulligan; Stop and Listen by Cecil Payne & anything by Leo Parker
  • What’s your equipment/set up? Right now I’m floating between two set ups: 1. Berg Larson Hard Rubber 110/2 SMS chamber with a Rovner Lig and Rico Jazz Select 3M reeds 2. Vandoren B9 with their M/O Brass Lig and Vandoren ZZ #2 reeds.  I find each suitable for many different occasions but if there is an extra punch needed, then I throw on my Berg
  • Low A, Low Bb, or “My favorite horn is the one in front of me” ? I currently play a low “A” horn; Yamaha 62 with some custom work done after an extensive repair from an airline incident.  I’ve owned a 1920 Silver Conn low Bb however did not play it that often so I sold it to someone who is playing it full-time.  I’d love to find another low Bb horn as I believe they speak better all around the horn…and as a soloist, I find that the horns themselves resonate with more colors than a low A horn
  • Anything specific to the baritone you recommend practicing? Just think of it as another saxophone, not a baritone…that’s a common stereotype, that this horn we love is SO different than the other saxophones.  Don’t be scared, put some air into it and your back into it and have some fun!  LONGTONES!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Favorite venue/place to play? Anyplace where the audience is involved/engaged.  They want to feel the energy as well…not just the musicians playing for themselves (or each other).  I love live clubs where there is conversation going on music related…not just obscene talking or chatter.  In Los Angeles, I really enjoy the Blue Whale, Jazz at the CAP, Alvas, The Lighthouse, Vitello’s and then anything that In-House Music represents.
  • When travelling, does the horn go under or in the plane? IN THE PLANE – but be nice!  Everyone is just trying to do their jobs and being an ass gets you nowhere!  Be accommodating as well.  Most of us traveling with the new “Manning” custom cases also take pics on our cell phones of the horn in the overhead/closet on the different aircraft models that we are flying on.  But overall, JUST BE NICE and they are usually pretty understanding.  If not, stand your ground in a polite and reassuring way and continue to ask for their supervisor.
  • Favorite quotes about music? Keep On, Keepin’ On (Clark Terry); Take care of the MUSIC, and the MUSIC will take care of you (John Clayton); the 5 “T’s” of playing (Oscar Peterson) and Dizzy’s list (can’t remember what its called at the moment)
  • What do you do when not playing music? Enjoy the outdoors…mother natures natural symphony.  Compose and sing; work in another field which I feel allows me to focus in on music at a much more heightened state when I get the chance.  Read and spend time with my family.  All of which I’ve mentioned above leads right back to my passion, our passion, which is music.
  • Bonus Question: “A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero.  What does he say and why is he here?”  Humor Me, you look just as lost as I do…but lets enjoy today for what today brings and hopefully make a few smiles and memories along the way

Be sure to check out Adam’s website for more info!

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