Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Hearing Steve Lacy & Evan Parker in concert during the 1999 Wellington Jazz Festival wasn't the catalyst. I enjoyed both concerts - Parker's set in duo with Richard Nunns has since been released as 'Rangirua' on Leo Records. I added Lacy to my listening list (having only heard 'Evidence' at the time of the concert). Parker's music, whilst fascinating, seemed out of my reach at that time.

Anyway... I was well entrenched with the alto back then and didn't get a soprano until several years later when I found a used one for an excellent price. I dabbled here and there but eventually it found its way under the bed! There it stayed until one morning I woke having dreamt about playing the soprano. So out it came... I played it that day and had a bit of fun as I struggled away. Once again it retreated behind the alto.

I wasn't listening to much soprano then (I had listened to a fair bit of Lacy a couple of years before). Around that time I was listening a lot to Bill Payne (clarinet) & Connie Crothers (piano) duo album "Conversations" . Five or six months passed (October-ish 2010 at a guess) and I woke having experienced a very similar soprano dream - this time more intense; high contrast black & white, muted sound, but the physical sensation of playing was present. Out came the soprano - still a struggle but I was digging it. This time the horn stayed out and I started working on it in conjunction with the alto. Eventually the soprano starting getting more attention than the alto to the point that I didn't play the alto for a week, then only when I was teaching. Had I become a soprano player? Yes.

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