Tuesday, April 16, 2013

David Liebman Masterclass

Last weekend PM Woodwind hosted a master class with David Liebman. A good turn out - pretty much a full house - but (surprisingly for me) less than at the Ernie Watts master class late last year.
Mouthpiece Exercises!!

He spoke about touring as a single and playing with local pick up rhythm sections (as he did the previous night at the Green Mill) and finding common ground with musicians around the world via the jazz reportoire that he broke into two categories: Standards (Great American Songbook/Broadway Tunes etc) & Jazz Standards (works by Miles, Coltrane, Monk et al).  He also spoke about the legacy of the jazz masters and the STANDARD they set when playing the standards - a nice point. 

When the conversation turned to the saxophone the emphasis was on sound. No surprises there for those of us famlilar with Liebman's books and DVDs. Demonstrations of various long tone, overtone, mouthpiece, and oral cavity exercises that Dave came to via Joe Allard's teachings. I explored many of these during my time studying with Richard Tabnik - another saxophonists profoundly influenced by the teachings of Allard. I find working on tone a lot of fun most of the time - The exercises Richard shared with me have stayed part of my ongoing work. They will be with me as I ease back in to regular practice. 

It made a change to hear (and see) someone demonstrating overtones and mouthpieces exercises on soprano - Dave.... you don't need to be so apologetic about sounds emminating from the soprano during these exercises!

Earlier in the year I got up close up view of Sam Newsome playing at smalls however some of the nuance was lost in amongst the quartet. Sunday was a different story  - up close (front row) with his soprano just a few inches away, unaccompanied, everything was clear and present.

He's quite the storyteller too.... the crowd favorite being a recollection from his early days when he headed to Philly and sat in with Rahsaan Roland Kirk's group.... "All The Things You Are, first note is F#, 1,2,1,2,3,4....."

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