San Diego Saxophone Lessons

San Diego Saxophone Lessons
presented in conjunction with

Saturday, January 31, 2009

What's on the turntable??

Just kidding. What's a turntable? Here are some of the CD's I've been checking out.

(Yes, I still buy CD's. I know I am old fashioned, but I would much rather listen to my dish-disposal than pay money to buy MP3 files.)

David Binney - sax
Edward Simon - piano
Scott Colley - bass
Brian Blade - drums
Luciana Souza - vocals
Adam Rogers - guitar
Shane Endsley - trumpet
Jesse Newman - trumpet
Alan Ferber - trombone
Pernell Saturnino - percussion

A great record. Brian Blade is really in top form on this disc. Altoist Binney also offers up some inspiring solos without resorting to the usual saxophone acrobatics and unabashed displays of technique. Definitely a whole-album concept, this is a good listen from start to finish. Don't give in to the ipod temptation of single-serve tracks!

Archetect of the Silent Moment
Scott Colley - bass
David Binney - sax
Gregoire Maret - harmonica
Ralph Alessi - trumpet
Craig Taborn - piano / keyboards
Antonio Sanchez - drums
Jason Moran - piano
Adam Rogers - guitar

Another gem. This record is a showcase of Colley's compositions, and he achieves a unique tonal palate with the instrumentation of keyboards, harmonica, trumpet, and alto. Colley certainly takes a broad view of the modern jazz aesthetic - this disc will surprise you with its originality and lack of cliches. The overall concept here is far more refined than on Colley's previous effort, Initial Wisdom.

I am also dying to get my hands on a copy of David Binney's new record, Third Occasion, which was just released this past Monday.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Neighborhood Update part two

Something is missing.

Bassist Jeff Denson and I started working with the saxophone/bass/drums format back in 2007, and we try our damnedest to play in this "chordless" instrumentation as often as possible. This past Sunday, the group featured Danny Weller filling in on the bass, and my favorite drummer, Richard Sellers.

Danny - taking care of business

Richard 'Hat Trick' Sellers & yours truly

Sorry for the blur. Someday, we'll all buy really nice cameras.

We want to thank everyone who came out to indulge us in our trio explorations! The next confirmed trio date is at South Park on April 12th. Check the calendar for more upcoming gigs and performances with other projects.

All Quiet On The Western Front

We all know January and February are quiet months if you're in the music business, but it seems a little too quiet this time around. Even the upright bass players who usually have their pick of gigs are at home with empty calendars. With companies cutting everything extra out of their budgets, that sweet (and high-paying) Chinese New Year gig just didn't happen this time around. The leads for future gigs have gone dead too - either my email server must be out, or your average person finally realized that they just don't like jazz.

During the long, harsh winter is when us working musicians contemplate the switch to a dynamic career in heating and air conditioning repair.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Neighborhood Update

Thanks everyone for packing the house at the December 21st show over at South Park Bar & Grill! We had a great time and got to play a ton of really challenging music we don't often get the opportunity to perform. The rhythm section was also in top form with Jeff, Rob, and Dylan. We would like to thank John (the owner of the club) for continuing to feature jazz every week (and by feature, I mean that we don't have to play in a cramped corner at 1/4 volume all night). We really appreciate everybody that came out to listen - at one point I think it was even standing room only!

Michael Klayman, my new favorite local photographer, took some great shots of the gig. You can see more on his blog at Here are a few of the highlights:

rob thorsen

dylan savage

jeff miles

I have some bad news - our usual trio bassist, Jeff Denson, recently injured his back in an unpleasant trip down a flight of stairs. He suffered compressed vertebrae and was very lucky he did not do irreversible damage to his back! The doctors say that with good luck, he should be able to heal without surgery. Please keep him in your thoughts (and prayers, if that is your bag) in the next few weeks and wish him a quick recovery. Or even better, you can send him a note on MySpace, or buy a copy his excellent new CD with Lee Konitz. The affable and competent Mr. Danny Weller has graciously offered to fill in for Jeff at South Park Bar & Grill on January 25th.

In other San Diego jazz news, the Hoenig/Pilk project will be at the Athenaeum on Thursday, January 29th. The group features Ari Hoenig on drums, Jean-Michel Pilc on piano, and Hans Glawischnig on bass. If you are not familiar, Ari is on of the most creative young drummers around - this is definitely not a show to miss! Type his name into You Tube, and prepare to be baffled.