deQuelery Spiro Ligature

This post is a few weeks overdue, but I’m excited to announce that I am now an endorser of Jurjen de Quelerij‘s Spiro Ligature.

I have been playing the ligature on my tenor and baritone saxophones and Spiro ligatures for my soprano and alto saxophones, and clarinet are on the way.



Here are my first impressions on the tenor lig (an exerpt from an email to Jurjen) –

I tried the tenor lig first. It fits my mouthpiece perfectly. The biggest change for me is in the way the mouthpiece-lig-reed combination feels (so resonant!). The sax feels incredibly even, and I had to put a harder reed on to get the same resistance that I was used to. I played a gig on Monday night, and I was so happy with the way the horn responded. In particular, the transition to the altissimo register felt seamless. 

Check out Jurjen’s website for more information on the Spiro ligature, Pearwood mouthpieces, and some very cool, new saxophones.

I post pictures and comments on my Twitter and Facebook pages every few days, so check me out there to see these ligs in action!



Miles Davis Lick On “So What”

A student of mine has been lifting Miles Davis’ solo on “So What” from his “Kind Of Blue” recording. As we have been working on the solo, I keep coming back to his first line on the bridge.

I’ve written out the lick as he played it, and then I’ve placed the line over a few different    II-V-I’s that I thought worked well.


Miles Davis So What

A Great Experience From D’Addario Woodwinds

I can’t remember a time in my playing career where I wasn’t playing a D’Addario (formerly Rico) product on one of my horns, and over the last few years I’ve moved almost exclusively to their products. I find that I play nearly every reed that comes out of each box.

Recently, I was on Twitter (follow me here) and D’Addario Woodwinds (follow them here) followed me back. I was curious if D’Addario was going to release a Reserve Classic Eb clarinet reed, because I love them on my Bb, A and Bass clarinets already. I received a reply that day from Anthony and suggested that I try the Grand Concert. He went even further and offered to send me a box.

The reeds showed up at my house and I tried them out. They are great reeds! The sound is even throughout the range and articulates beautifully.

I wanted to thank D’Addario for allowing me to try some new reeds and for continuing to make products that help me create the sounds that I work toward every time that I pick up my instruments!


Eastman 52nd Street – Tenor Saxophone Trial

I was extremely fortunate to have an Eastman 52nd St. tenor saxophone lent to me for my gig last week.
It’s an incredible horn – big sound, great intonation, the keywork fit right under my hands (and feels really solid) – it looks great, too!
I recorded a quick clip on May 1st, 2014 with an Otto Link STM 5, Francois Louis Ultimate Ligature, and Rico Select Jazz 3H Unfiled Reeds. The mic is an RE20 with no effects added to the recording.

Stan Getz II-V-I

This II-V-I comes from Stan Getz. To be more specific, his recording of “Pennies From Heaven” with Oscar Peterson. When I first heard that recording, I couldn’t put it down. Getz plays the line at 1:54 of the video.

Over the last few months, this line has crept into my playing – I’ve finally decided to write it down and share it!


Here’s the video –

Here’s the line –

Stan Getz II-V-I


Away From The Horn – Lots Of Listening!

I’ve been away from my horn since last Wednesday (the Second Cup gig was great!), because I’m away on a business trip with Long and McQuade Musical Instruments. I’m starting to get itchy about being away from the horn, so I’ve been trying to supplement these feelings with my music collection on my iPod.

Here are some of the recordings that I’ve been listening to –

Tom Waits – Closing Time (1973)

Tim Price & Sue Terry – Blueseum (2005)

Bennie Maupin – The Jewel In The Lotus (1974)



The Bridge From Ipanema

Terence Wright and I have been playing “The Girl From Ipanema” on our Wednesday night gigs and it’s given me a chance to really dig into the tune. The bridge is beautiful, and deceptively tough – especially because the melody is so strong. I’ve put some pentatonic scales (which I’ve been studying with Tim Price) over the bridge which have helped me work through the changes and given me some structure from which I can build a melody.

Ipanema Bridge - ConcertIpanema Bridge - BbIpanema Bridge - Eb