Phil Woods – Just the Way You Are


One of my many instructors, this is a touching tribute to Phil.

Originally posted on SDartSax:

Phil Woods passed away this week, so I thought it would be fitting to take a break from the Maceo transcriptions and share one of his most iconic solos.

While he was a jazz legend, I chose this pop recording since it is so famous. When was the last time you heard a saxophone solo in song on the top 10 chart for pop/rock? The 70s were a different time…

This solo deserves the praise that it gets. Phil didn’t dumb down his playing for a pop audience, or resort to gimmicks. He just played a simple, beautiful solo that has some great jazz lines in it, and subtle use of dissonance, tension…

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RIP Phil Woods

“I have no illusions about being a genius musician. I pride myself on being a soldier, a warrior for jazz. I trained a lot of young people, and I’ve learned my lessons well. I’d like to keep the flame burning.” ~ Phil Woods


A saxophone hero of mine died today. I last saw him in 2007 when he ran a master session in Seattle, a master session full of wonderful stories of his life and guidance for the musician. We talked to him for an hour after the gig. He played my sax. He will be missed and his music will live on forever.

So this is what I’ve been listening to this evening. (Click on the picture below.) He, it, jazz … is so hawt. Play on Phil.


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How Important are You?

I’ve seen these two posts on Facebook this week and it kinda struck home. This first one is a data spew that I found fascinating:


This next one is from the aspect of space, a place that always makes me feel very small.


It would be easy to think that you are insignificant, unable to make a difference in this world. But I encourage you to push past those feelings. Think instead of this story my father told the Presbyterian faithful in Sigourney, Iowa back in the early 60s.

Imagine you are a spec on huge tapestry. You are such a small thing that from a few feet away you can not even be recognized. But if you make your little part of the tapestry as beautiful and clean as you can, the whole tapestry is better. And if you are lucky, very lucky, your neighbors will see what you are doing and they will make their little parts that much better. Now, suddenly, you have made a bigger impact than had you just ignored the whole idea of improving your little spot in the sun.

Posted in Community, Health and wellness, Lifestyle, My World, Religon | 1 Comment

Henry Ford, Privilege and Gayness


Many of us do not comprehend what it means to be part of a minority group. This post was an eye opener for me and bonus, there is a great book recommendation here too.

Originally posted on :


In 1913, Henry Ford started paying his workers $5 per day, a huge amount for the time and a more than 100% raise from what they were previously earning. It’s seen as a milestone in modern capitalism, the moment when employers realized that workers were also consumers, that raising their wages created a generation that would buy as well as work.

Last week in London I randomly read The Greatest Business Decisions of All Time, which has a chapter on Ford’s decision and some of the unsightly details of how he rolled it out.

It came with some strings attached. The headline pay was divided into two parts: wages (about $2.40 per day for an unskilled worker) and “profits” (about $2.60 per day). All workers received wages for their work at Highland Park, but they shared in the profits only if they were deemed worthy. Six months’ service was…

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Sax Art du Jour ~ Mark Kazav

“Mark Kazav is an artist of distinct style and conceptual integrity. He at once challenges the viewer with vibrant color and bold images. Mark has developed his own personal style which is indeed colorful, visually stimulating and a pleasure to own. Mark paints use a “wet-in-wet” technique, attempting to capture the essence of subject, rather than detailed expression. These paintings are reflective of both his philosophy of life and his personality, employing the use of colors as vibrant as any work of art such masters as Matisse or Van Gogh.” ~ Mark Kazav website

This picture really caught my attention, there is so much happening here, layer upon layer.


I like the idea of painting with a pallet knife and the colors just pop here.

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Pricing your Band ~ A Lesson in Economics

My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time. ~ Steve Jobs

I have been running the Microsoft Jumpin’ Jive Orchestra for approaching 12 years. Three to four times a year I get a call from potential customers who, upon hearing the price, respond with, “But you did (names the one charity gig we do a year) for free.” More often than not, this kind of customer wanders off when they hear our price.

The cost to our own band members to play a free gig can be high. For example, consider these costs:

1. $100 to $200 for 20 musicians to drive to gig and pay for parking.
2. $50 to $200 for subs to cover the folks who can’t make it.

And that is the least it costs us as musicians. For our last gig the band shelled out $250 just to play for a gig that paid $400.

If you look at the picture below, can see the stand fronts that my wife created for us. These have to be redone every two years because they wear out with hundreds of uses.


So I’ve created some rules that I use to price my band. Remember, we don’t get paid, only the subs do. But I have been to enough horrible gigs that I have priced some at extraordinarily high prices because, well to be frank, we don’t want to do those kind of gigs.

    • If you want us to play what amounts to 2 hours of music over a 5 hour period, that costs the same as 5 hours.
    • If you want us to play more than 2 hours, the rate doubles.
    • If you want us to play outside on a hot day, even if we’re in a tent, the rate triples.
    • If you want us to play past mid-night, the rate doubles.
    • If you want us to play on a holiday, the rate doubles.

16585138769_f7d474a29b_zAm I the only one who schedules a band like this? Thank goodness we have day jobs. Thank goodness that this band is a taxable non-profit venture. There is no money in this, we play for the love of the music. And if there is any serious money, we have in the past donated them to various charities.

More reading: Here is an example of how another group of bands are booked.

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Music Notation Software Update 2015

Saw this article and wanted to put it in my reading file. The bottom line:

Upgrade bottom line:


  • If you use Sibelius 7, I think that’s a good version to stick with for now. (that’s the version I use for most of my work.)
  • If you use Sibelius 7.5, that’s fine too. (This version added some small new features, but it also changed the file format, so it’s annoying to share files with people working in earlier versions.)
  • If you use Sibelius 6, that’s a little tougher call. It’s acceptable to work in, but there are some limitations and it’s now several versions back. I would recommend moving on from that version before long.
  • If you use any version prior to 6, I would recommend you upgrade to 7 or 7.5 before you get trapped in the version 8 licensing scheme. But act quickly, you’ll need to buy 7/7.5 from a retailer who has existing stock since Sibelius is no longer selling those versions.


  • Finale 2014d is pretty stable and it’s the version I tend to use for most projects. But opening old files in new versions of Finale can cause problems, or in some cases it won’t even work. Finale’s free NotePad is surprisingly the best choice for opening old Finale files and allows for simple editing.
  • If you use a version of Finale prior to ver. 2012, it’s time to upgrade.
    Notation software is absolutely essential for virtually anyone who needs to write down a musical idea. I have about 70,000 music files on my computer, and I’d estimate 2/3 of them are in Sibelius format, the rest in Finale and SCORE format. I don’t foresee abandoning Sibelius or Finale any time in the future, and I am reasonably confident the programs will remain functional and useful, even if they don’t add any significant new features or fix the glaring problems that remain. Perhaps Steinberg’s entry into this market will shake things up and force some serious competition among all of the programs. Despite all of the grim news here, I remain optimistic and hopeful.

Read more:

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