Yeah, well… what did I say about bringing work home?
Just kidding! Didn’t buy myself a piccolo (yet), but my coworker loaned me his backup flute so I can get my embouchure built. And playing this little cutie really throws my chops in place like nobody’s business! On top of that, I am having SO much fun with it – or what would you say it is, playing Iron Man and Smoke On The Water with piccolo flute? 😀
Hei! Wow, it’s been a long time since I last posted! Maybe time to update a little?
Since 2014 I’ve gotten myself couple new instruments. Tenor sax was long yearned and awaited addition to my collection of axes! First, in last autumn, I rented one for a while, but when I was informed about a lightly used but very well kept Cannonball, stone series, I just couldn’t let it slip from my hands. Big boy for sure, both in weight and sound, and I am still kind of on my way to finding the best possible ergonomics with it. Regardless, we already have so much fun together!
Then I went and got myself a flute. Mm, yes, a flute! Truth be told I’ve really enjoyed the sound of flute ever since I was a kid, and after mentioning that and few other excuses to get into flute my co-worker was more than happy to hook me up with one. Couple of months into practice and after some serious frustration as well as feeling myself dumb and dumber, now I’ve finally gotten a little hunch of the embouchure… and maybe one of these days I’m able to play some music with that, too!
The good side of practicing all these new instruments is that my dear ol’ alto sax feels comfortingly familiar, almost easy in times.
Yeah, working in a music store specialized in wind instruments and orchestra string instruments can be a bit… well, don’t we all know how hard it sometimes can be NOT to bring work home? 😉
After few months going around test playing horns – and upgrading my mouthpiece in the process – I bumped into Yanagisawa horn at the sessions. Now Yanagisawa is a manufacturer I had known about, but for some reason I had kind of overlooked it, thinking that like Selmer’s more professional models these also are out of my range. And there aren’t so many of them around, really, so I never got to try one. But things lead to other things and “Yani” travelled home yesterday… end of search, so far.
I broke it in a little today but am planning taking the horn to Eric’s place so he can check it out before I get really serious with it. I love the horn already, it has a nice touch and rich, warm sound.
Practice-wise Duke Jordan’s Jordu has given me some serious trouble lately. I love it!
Happy Valentine’s day! 🙂
Here’s couple of songs I’ve been working with lately!
Practicing with the new Ponzol mouthpiece has been a lot and lot of fun, and in addition it’s been improving my sound quite a lot. I don’t know if it’s possible for a mouthpiece make playing faster, but it sure feels like it has also made some quick passages if not totally smooth at least more possible!
Yay! I was actually test-playing some new horns when I bumped into this metal mouthpiece from Peter Ponzol.
It’s the model SL 85 (opening of *6), and brings the whole variety of sounds! It’s also very pleasant to blow, though quite picky for the technique so I have to really pay attention to my tonguing and such. So, when I’d been sleeping for couple of nights after trying it out and also doing some research I decided to go for it before upgrading my horn. Mouthpiece is, after all -and apart from one’s techniques- the most crucial part of the horn when it comes to sound, so since I liked this one so much with Cannonballs and my own horn I decided I want to test play the possible new horns with this one, too, before making my decision. For me it seems Vandoren green cut 2 works really good right now, I might also try 2,5 at some point. I am still kind of breaking it in, but hope I have you some test sounds later! In the meanwhile, I better keep practicing 😉
After years of practically singing only in karaoke – and even that only twice in the blue moon and when tipsy enough – I was fooling around and singing this Finnish blues while rehearsing for the up-coming gig with some of my co-musicians. And they went and liked it so much that in the end of the rehearsals we had decided to add the song in the set – Finnish is, after all, very exotic here and people sure seem to be very intrigued by my mother language. So there I was last night, entertaining people by singing Finnish blues on the stage. And not only singing but scatting! Who would’ve known… but it was actually quite a lot of fun, plus nobody came complaining about my mispronunciation! In your face, all the damn complainers and pronunciation police in Finland!
And of course, what happened in the bar last night one can find from Youtube tonight, so here’s the clip of the gig, stolen from Ted’s blog. First we play “All Blues” and then in the end there’s “Kaikessa Soi Blues”. The word is added in the scatting for Chris, just ’cause she cracks for it every time!
Maybe I’ll start singing in the morning showers… just in case?
It so happened that my plans for the autumn were changed, and due to that I went and enrolled into Berkeley Jazz School, where Mark Levine is doing a 10-week class for Jazz Theory. Boy, did I bite a big piece to chew there! I’ll inform you later -if my brain haven’t melted- how it all went, but in the meanwhile here’s a clip from a sax player my teacher Tony recommended. Chris Potter improvises on top of one of my favorite tunes, All The things You Are… to really appreciate what he does with the tune it sure helps if you know the song, so for those who are not familiar with the song here’s a link to Ella’s beautiful take of it:
And then Chris’s take on the tune:
Me go back to practice now. See you again when I’ve learned to play that damn horn! 😉