Home Forums Members Saxophone Videos Dream A Little Dream Of Me (Tenor Sax): An Anniversary Present For My Wife

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  • #52825
    Keith Taylor
    Keith Taylor
    Participant

    Jak,

    Thanks for the interest and encouraging words. And – thank you for what you previously mentioned about blowing through the horn and not into it. That comment got me to thinking about something that is often taught in the martial arts and boxing world: don’t punch your target – punch through your target. As in, don’t hit them in the nose. Hit the spot directly behind their nose at the back of their skull – by way of their nose.

    So, that comment got me to thinking about blowing through the horn as if I’m blowing into its bell rather than the mouthpiece. It does help with getting a bigger sounding tone. Similar to when you take in more mouthpiece.

    My problem is that I seem to loose some control and what little finesse I have to my playing when I do either, though. I want that bigger sound, but when you’re playing a ballad, I feel like I need to be putting less air into the horn – because when I do play blowing harder I feel like I’m yelling a love song out of it. As in, “DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME!!!”

    I’ve not yet found the proper balance – but I assume I will in time.

    As far as Mace and the mouthpiece he is playing in that video. I’ll text him tomorrow and see if he remembers. It wouldn’t suprise me if it is a Vandoren though – because I’m pretty sure he a “Vandoren Artist.” I bleive he’s a big fan of the hard rubber V16’s.

    As far as what I’m playing in the video goes. I’m playing a hard rubber V16 T7 due to Mace recommending it to me when I told him I wanted the more mellow type sound of the guys I mentioned in the video (Hawkins, Webster, Gordon, Hamilton, and Graves). I took his advice and asked Santa if he’d bring me one for Christmas. He did – and I have LOVED it.

    When I first bought my tenor I bought a Vandoren T75 Jumbo Java due to it having a brighter sound – and more of the sound of a metal mouthpiece. I do like it a lot still, but the V16 is much easier for me to play. And where I could really tell the difference with it was hitting high G. I struggled with getting it out on the Jumbo Java, whereas with the V16 it became much – much – easier.

    So, I definitely perefer the V16 now – pratiucularly for ballad type stuff. Whereas I think the Jumbo Java may be better for blues and rock once I’m able to play on it as well as I can the V16.

    Also, you didn’t ask, but it’s a Rovner Versa ligature and a #2 Hemke reed I’m playing in the video. For a good while I thought Java Green 2.5’s were my favorite with Jazz Selects being a close second – but those Hemke reeds. Man – I love them on that V16. They’re more mellow sounding than the Java Greens for me on it – which again – is what I was going for sound wise.

    I’ll check out “Kathy” by Lenny Pickett – and thank you again for the concept of blowing through the horn rather than into it. Not sure how I’d never heard or thought of it that way before, but I hadn’t.

    Cheers,

    Keith

    #52834

    jak Swift
    Participant

    Morning Keith, my pleasure to help, always. If you take a look at Aubras clips, look how much mpc, he’s taking in….near the whole thing. You will in time find your own comfort zone. By the look of it he,s playing a Berg, very similar to mine. You would think with ballads, you’d want less air, for that mellow, breathy, tone. Its actually the opposite. Its a combination of, diaphragm, control, and years of practice. In time ( I won’t go into this ) you will learn to open your throat, as if yawning. That’s what we refer to as ” warm air. Try this. Hold your hand, palm facing about 20cm from your mouth. First blow as if blowing dust off an album.
    What do you get ? Fast, cold, a definite ” impact “. Now open your mouth wider, imagine that yawn and do the same. You can only just feel the impact, if at all. Bring your palm up close, repeat and you will feel the warm air. Its coming from your diaphragm, through an open channel. Try to play like this at all times. Ballads are tough, and sort out the players from the fast finger cowboys. It goes deeper, re , chops etc, but I’ll let Mace sort that out. I do teach, but have respect for another guys teaching and don’t want to muddy the waters. Should you ever want to try a metal mpc Keith, gimme a holler, I’ll send you one as promised. I tried for that sheet music yesterday…” Hear me “, but it seemed there was about six choices. Is it ” Hear Me “….or ” Hear me now “. Always a pleasure, have a great day man…best, jak

    #52845

    jak Swift
    Participant

    Also Keith, check out Chuck Rio on ” The Champs ” original recording of Tequila. Man, he nearly swallows the mpc…LOL !!

    #52853
    William Cingolani
    William Cingolani
    Participant

    Sounds great. Nice video too

    #52952
    Keith Taylor
    Keith Taylor
    Participant

    Jak,

    First of all, I’m super happy you asked me to ask Mace about the mouthpiece he was using in that video – or not really that so much – but clarification on the song in regards to you wanting sheet music for it. Mace replied today and told me has was playing a V16 9 in it – and he wrote Here Me Now himself. It’s on Yonrico Scott’s record “Be In My World.” He’s performing it with Derek Trucks – who is one of my favorite guitarist. Somehow I had missed that it exsisted until today – which is shame.

    Listen to them playing together man:

    If you like Mace’s albums – he’s two solo albums out – and there’s no telling how many other albums he’s been on. If you are a Derek Trucks fan too – then check out his “Alraedy Free” and “Roadsongs” live recording. Mace wrote the horn arrangements and plays in both. Derek is definitely the stand out player due to it being his band, but Mace really gets busy with it on a couple of the tracks.

    I did check out Lenny Pickett’s “Kathy” and it turns out I’m familiar with it – just not by name. I own the CD it’s on, The Prescription, and love it. Gotta be in the right mood for it though. Sometimes his off the horn high notes get to be too much for me. But I still love it and think it’s amzing he can play like that – if that makes sense.

    As far as the Berg Larsen mouthpiece goes – you mentioned about sending it to me gratis? I’d be happy to take it off your hands and play it if you’re itchting for somebody, or me, to play it, but, I wonder why you don’t sell it and use the money to put towards another tenor – or a Conn 10M? Sounds like you’re wanting one pretty bad.

    Me, I am enjoying playing different moutpieces when i get the chance, but am trying to resist the urge to go out and buy anymore right now. The idea is to make what I have sound good and not worry so much about what I’m playing with. That’s the approach I take with photography too. Try not to get too hung up on the gear. And if Mace can make a V16 sound that good on a Mk VI – then I figure in time I should be able to make a V16 sound pretty good on my Cannonball.

    But, like I said, if you want to send it to me and think I’d play well on the Berg – then I can get my address to you and you’re welcome to send it on my way.

    You also mentioned that it looked like Mr. Graves was playing a Berg. He may have been in the video you noticed that in, but if you do a search for “Body And Soul Reprise” on his channel, skip forward to the 4:10 mark. He says he’s playing a 1941 Conn 10M with a 7* Otto Link and 2.5 Rico reed. For that particular video. Not sure about the rest. I have spent more time listening to him play than watching him play. Speaking of that, Jak, send me your email address – I’ll email you some tracks I think you’ll appreciate.

    I wonder why you are without a tenor now, because it sounds like the tenor is your favorite of the saxes. Did you hit hard times and have to sell yours? Hope you’ve bounced back if so. Your messages have me wondering more about who you are. And you mentioned something about Beetles merchandise? That makes me me wonder what you do? But yes, of course I love the Bettles. It’s hard not to be put in a good mood some of their music.

    Anyway, if you want to know more about me, check out my website – photography has been my life since 2001: http://www.keithtaylorphotography.com

    As far as the tip to yawn and go for the the warm air with my playing. Thank you for that one too. Yes, I do think as Mace as my first mentor and teacher, but in reality, I doubt I will ever be able to get regular lesssons from him. He’s a really busy guy, and his hourly rate is on up there. He’s worth it, but, when I’m busy enough with photography work to easily be able to afford lessons from him – I likely wouldn’t have the time to practice what he’s teaching me as much as I should. And when I’m slow with work and have plenty of time to practice, well, it’s hard to justify spending that much on regular lessons.

    I’ve yet to discuss with him a plan for moving forward since this video project is done. I’m largely self taught and probably will have to continue to learn through Youtube and forums / websites like this – and then get Mace’s help when I feel really stuck with something. Not sure. Before it’s over with I will have learned from many teachers I’m sure – which I think is a good thing – and I think Mace would agree.

    Anyway, I hope you enjoy that Hear Me Now recording I linked to as much as I think I’m going to. I think that is going to get played a lot in the coming weeks.

    Keith

    #52972

    jak Swift
    Participant

    Morning Keith, Sir, your a man of many talents. Photographer, Video archivist ( the Aubra idea, would be immense, if it comes to fruition, which I sure hope it does !! ) Martial artist, great writer, and most importantly….SAX PLAYER !! So, where do I begin; at the beginning I guess.

    MACE PLAYS AND RECORDS WITH DEREK TRUCKS ?? !!
    WOW !! Along with Joe Bonomassa, Mr Trucks is possibly the worlds greatest living bluesman. I love his stuff. I know he comes from ” Allman Brothers ” stock, so a great background. Doesn’t get better really, all going back to ” Taj Mahal ” and that great sound and style. I’m blown away !! Sadly Keith, the clip says ” video not available “, I really wanted to hear that one, but will buy from Amazon, watch on you tube .

    My problems with the tenorsax !! If you go to Johnny’s blog page, I’ve left a breif history of my life in music. I’ve played thirty years, mostly bari, but due to back problems I now play mostly tenorsax. Two years back, I had a few great horns, including a ” King” bari ; a Martin ” The Martin ” tenorsax, and IMO, the best tenor ever made a 46′ 10M. A p.a. stack fell on my bari, thinking back , it was like watching it in slow motion….NOOOoooo !!!! June last, I was mugged in my hometown of Liverpool. I was due to play an International Music Festival, based in Liverpool that year with a major Liverpool band. These guys hit me from behind, knocking me into the road. A car took out my left arm completely. Now its a mass of pins, metal elbow and plates. As I’m lying, clutching my arm, they held a knife to my throat, and took about forty , fifty bucks, and my cellphone. Even my cigarettes.
    If I can’t play Keith, I don’t earn. I really tried, but had to let my 10M go to pay bills, and keep a roof over my head. I don’t think I’ve ever known mental and physical pain like it. I took an overdose of a strong antidepressant, and was found at the bottom of the stairs. I was intensive care, touch and go for five days. I had nothing left to live for.

    I spent about a month in hospital, and was discharged mentally sound. My arm is a mess !! It will never lock at the elbow again, is set at an angle. It causes me untold hassle. I raised a hundred pounds, and began the uphill climb, going from one bad tenor to the next, learning to move my fingers again. I’d say I was 90% back now, and only yesterday secured a half decent tenor. I’ll never rest until that 10M is replaced. I don’t come from a priveliged background. Quite the opposite. I only have myself and have fought tooth and nail for every last reed. Its no secret that I’m not popular on the sax chatrooms. I have no time for people with more money than sense, telling me A, B & C. I’m not afraid to call something a gimmick, but I’ll tell the maker. Believe me Keith, there is some total cr** out now. Talented kids, from similar backgrounds to mine, will never play Selmer 6 ; the prices are crazy, whilst conmen offload mysterious stones, tablets, neck enhancers. If I can get these kids to see that all they need is one working horn, and none of this junk, I’ll carry right on.

    I’m looking forward to seeing your work Keith, I’m going to do that in a moment. I’m not quite sure how the pm system works, but if you send me a pm, I’ll get back with my address, phone #, and e mail. We can chat further about the mpcs. I do all this on a fifty buck pad. I owe Johnny an apology, and have done so. In a moment of enthusiasm, I sent him a photo of my ” new ” horn, and asked could he load it as my avatar. After band rehearsal last night, I had a message, saying that I had to do it. I think j may have misread it and its some kind of privacy vibe.
    For the record…..SORRY JF !!

    Have a good day Keith, and thanks for the morning reading. PM me man, I think I’d find it easier to reply, as I tried yesterday. One day, I’ll get a laptop, a mic, and learn how to up and download all the stuff I’ve collected over the years. I’m going to check your site now man. I’ve been hassling Johnny to come to Liverpool for a while. Always a place here for you and your good lady Keith.
    So yeah, that PM MAN !!!!
    Please don’t feel sorry for me, I’m on the mend and have four or five bands chasing me. I do get down from time to time, but avoid prescription meds. In my opinion, if you chemically mess about, with your natural emotions, it will backfire. I’m good man and getting better every day !!

    HEALTH & HAPPINESS, Keep at it my friend !!

    #52973

    jak Swift
    Participant

    I don’t think I missed anything. What a refreshing change to hear somebody say, ” I’ll make what I have work for me “. I reckon a good teacher, you would need to see for two hours once a month. An hour playing, an hour setting out a work plan for the next few weeks. You get teachers who will say ” lesson one, the scale of C Major “….$75. Lesson two, the scale of G Major. A beginner is going to wonder how they are gong to remember twelve of these, before even thinking, minors, diminished… etc. Its all about the CONSTRUCTION !! I would say, ” here’s the scale of C Major and here is how it is constructed. I’d let them go, and come back when they have a grasp of that way. It takes all the mystique away, and proves that it is essentially math on the simplest level. Sadly again, they want that $75 for each individual scale, whilst tying you in knots. Some thing never change !!!!!$$$$$$

    #52975

    jak Swift
    Participant

    Oh, yeah. As to what I do ?? I’m just an average Joe musician. I play with various bands, sessions, busk, teach. I’m nothing to do with the ” Beatles ” other than, I went to ” Quarry Bank ” highschool, as did Lennon, and at the risk of namedropping, Henry Epstein ( nephew of Brian ) is a close friend. Its just a gesture. If anybody really digs the Beatles, to send a souvenir, is really not a problem .

    #52989

    jak Swift
    Participant

    Finally, if you are into blues guitar, a coupla names to check. ( you may already know them )
    Kelly Joe Phelps. Out of NYC, he divides his stuff between, ” singing \ guitar ” albums…
    Roll away the stone.
    Sky like a broken clock
    The shine eyed Mr Zen.

    Then he does, lapstyle finger picking, slide. I’m not familiar with albums featuring solely this, but you tube have a ton of his stuff, a remarkable player.

    Second off. Chris Smither. Out of Nashville, he’s an amazing storyteller, guitar player. Check them out, hope you enjoy them !!

    #53191
    Keith Taylor
    Keith Taylor
    Participant

    First, William, I missed your comment the other dAy when Last replied to Jak. Thank you, Sir. I appreciate the compliment and you taking time to check it the video.

    Jak,

    I wouldn’t call myself a martial artist. I was in it back in my early twenties – and more recently was pretty into Aikido. I loved it, but realized I couldn’t afford to get hurt doing it to the point where I could work since I was self-employed. So, I had to let that interest go – and then took up swing dancing in its place. Which is surprisingly similar as far as timing and balance goes. It’s just a lot less painful.

    Yes, Mace has played and recorded with him along with a whole lot of other extremely talented musicians. I hate you can’t watch the link to the studio version of Hear Me Now I linked to – but hopefully you’ve been able to find it on iTunes or Amazon. I’m loving that song even more now.

    In regards to your whole recent experience having a stack fall on your bari and then the whole mugging thing and your arm. Wow, what a string of bad luck, and no wonder it got you down and depressed. You seem to be a very upbeat and positive guy now, though, so, good for you for bouncing back. Also, not sure that it matters, but I briefly played bari in concert band when I was in high school myself. Never got that into it though – probably because my parts for it were pretty boring. But, if you’re a bari fan, check out Will Scruggs album titled “Bluebari Jam.” In it he’s playing his bari. He’s another Atlanta, GA based player – and it’s a great album.

    As self-employed photographer that has struggled a lot at times – and has had to figure out to create great work without having the latest and greatest gear – I totally get where you’re coming from in regards to having people that have more money than sense. I’m a huge believer that it’s more the person with the camera than it it is the gear. The gear certainly can help, but it’s the person. That’s why I was saying that I’m trying not to get too hung up on feeling like I have to have a a certain mouthpiece in order to play something that sounds good. I’ve got a decent pro level tenor, and two mouthpieces – my Jumbo Java, and my V16. And if Mace can make a factory V16 sound that good – even though it’s a larger tip opening than mine – that tells me it’s not my mouthpiece that’s the issue – it’s me.

    I do admit that I’ve played a Theo Wanne Shiva Destroyer and loved it – but can’t justify paying $600 for one right now. I did break down an buy one of the Reed Geek Klanbogen’s for my horn along with the Versa ligature not long before I recorded this video because I still felt I didn’t sound as good as I wanted to. So I felt if that extra $130 spent on them both helped with it just a little that it was worth it considering how much time and money I had invested in the project at that point anyway.

    Turns out, the Klanbogen did make a difference for me in regards to how my horn plays. I can’t really hear the difference, but I can feel it, if that makes any sense. Kind of odd that attaching what is pretty much just a weight to the top of the horn can do. It is a resonant instrument though, so it makes sense that it can, or would, effect it some. And the different plate and flap options on the Versa ligature makes a difference too.

    I’ll try to figure out how to PM you on here – but if by chance I can’t – my email address is: keithtaylorphotography at gmail dot com Email me there and mention something about this forum in the subject line. congrats on getting a new tenor. You said it was a decent one, and it sounds like you play well enough that you can make most any horn sound good. Again, glad to hear you’re on the mend after what sound to be a really rough couple of years for you.

    In regards to the teaching. I certainly am not interested in paying anybody $75 an hour how to teach me to play learn a scale. I can do that on my own. What I need more help with is critique on my styling, articulation, technique etc. How to do stuff that I hear other sax players doing but don’t know how to do myself. I think that’s where the value of a good private teacher comes in my opinion. Them being able to find specific things you need to improve on and then telling you how to do it – or what to work on to help with i

    I’d say send me a Beatles luggage tag if such a thing exist. I’d put it on my sax case and it’d make me think of Jak Swift in England. But, it’d likely cost you more to mail it to me than it’d be for me to buy one here.

    I’ll check out the blues players you mentioned. And yes, I love slide guitar, and dabble around with a bit too. One of my clients is Mike Snowden of http://www.SnowdenGuitars.com

    He makes some beautiful cigar box guitars – one of which I own – and it’s fun to play. I keep it in open G tuning. That combined with its higher action and it only having three strings makes it easier to mess around with on a slide than a regular guitar. Here’s a video project I did a couple of years back about him. You will likely appreciate it:

    Video

    K.

    #53192
    Keith Taylor
    Keith Taylor
    Participant

    Here’s a better link to that video project about Mike Snowden I did:

    #53225

    Anonymous

    Hi Keith, you have set the bar really high for the rest of us husbands – LOL.
    What a wonderful anniversary gift!

    I had a look at your pictures too, they are very good.
    I particularly liked the one with the chap and his big dog in the bakkie.

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