Rain, rain, and more rain

Fly me to the moonGilberto
Let me play among the stars
Let me see what spring is like
On Jupiter and Mars
In other words, hold my hand
In other words, baby, kiss me

Listening to Astrud Gilberto sing this as it rains outside my window. This is one of those weeks when I spend some time contemplating what my goals for next year might be. Suzy, Deb, and I already have plans to visit Hawaii on a cruise of all the islands. That will be the highlight of our 2016 I do believe.

rainRain calms me, when I’m inside looking out at it, listening to it. There is no faster way at night to put me to sleep than when I’m listening the rhythmic rain pattering on our roof. Living in the northwest (US), I like to say in the winter that rain is not bad compared to the snow most of the rest of the US gets.

‘kay so here are some of my favorite songs about rain in no particular order. Feel free to click the first link below as the soundtrack to the rest of this post.

1. The Waters of March ~ Susannah McCorkle (a favorite I go back to all the time)

2. Have You Ever Seen the Rain ~ Creedence Clearwater Revival

3. Fire and Rain ~ James Taylor

4. No Rain ~ Blind Melon

5. Singing in the Rain ~ Gene Kelly

6. Rainy Day Women ~ Bob Dylan

7. The Rain Song ~ Zeppelin

8. Rhythm of the Rain ~ Cascades

9. Here Comes the Rain Again ~ Eurythmics

10. Rain ~ Beatles

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Christmas Babe Scam

I was toying with finding a lovely Christmas babe picture or wallpaper. My intent was to share a lovely picture and attribute it to the creator. So I found this one.

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But alas, upon going to the page to provide credit, I was spammed with a message saying that they were Microsoft and that my computer had been infected with a a virus. Sad that, so much out there being tied to cheating you out of your hard earned money. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the folks that did that spent time on helping mankind rather that trying to cheat us?

I now get three to four calls a week on my landline with people offering to fix my virus laden computer. I usually hang up within less than a sentence of the script being read to me or worse yet delivered from a recording. Here’s hoping that you and yours don’t fall for this scam.

Posted in Computers and Internet, FAQ, Holiday | 1 Comment

‘Twas the night before Christmas’ Mad Magazine #52 Jan 1960

“Twas the night before Christmas and all through the pad,
Not a hipster was swinging, not even old Dad;

The chimney was hung in the stocking routine,
In hopes that “The Fat Man” would soon make the scene;

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The moon and the snow were, like, faking together,
Which made the scene rock in the Day People weather,

When, what to these peepers should come on real queer,
But a real crazy sleigh, and eight swinging reindeer,

As sidemen in combos pick up as they stomp,
When they swing with the beat of a Dixieland romp,

So up to the top of my bandstand they flew,
With the sleigh full of loot, and St. Nicholas, too.

His lids-Man, they sizzled! His dimples were smiles!
His cheeks were like “Dizzy’s,” his break was like “Miles!”
His puckered-up mouth was, like, blowing flat E,
And his chin hid behind a real crazy goatee!

He blew not a sound, but skipped right to his gig,
And stashed all the stockings, then came on real big,
And flashing a sign, like that old “Schnozzle” bit,
And playing it hip, up the chimney he split;

And then, in a quick riff, I dug on the roof,
The jumpin’ and jivin’ of each swinging hoof.
As I pulled in my noggin, and turned around fast,
Down the chimney came Nick like a hot trumpet blast.

The tip of a butt he had snagged in his choppers,
And he took a few drags just like all cool be-boppers;
He had a weird face, and a solid reet middle
That bounced when he cracked, like a gutbucket fiddle!

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He was wrapped up to kill, Man, a real kookie dresser!
And his rags were, like, way out! Pops! He was a gasser!
A sack full of goodies hung down to his tail,
And he looked like a postman with “Basie’s” fan mail.

He was shaking with meat, meaning he was no square,
And I flipped, ‘cause I’d always thought he was “longhair!”
But the glint in his eye and the beat in his touch
Soon gave me the message this cat was “too much!”

He flew to his skids, to his group blew a lick,
And they cut out real cool, on a wild frenzied kick.
But I heard him sound off, with a razz-a-ma-tazz:
“A cool Christmas to all, and, like all of that jazz!”

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Happy Holidays 2015

Your greatest gift to others is to be happy and to radiate your happiness to the entire world. ~ Jonathan Lockwood Huie

What an interesting year it has been. Musically, I have been very busy and happy for that. There are so many fine musicians out there who share time with me and my projects. And there is so much music to discover and enjoy. 

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My favorite project, the Microsoft Jumpin’ Jive Orchestra cut a CD this year. I hope to be able to make cuts from that available soon. Until then, you can find some videos on YouTube. Here’s hoping you are having a wonderful holiday season surrounded by those you love and full of music.

Posted in Holiday, MJJO, My World | 1 Comment

The Life of a Musician ~ Take 123

Only a dedicated musician would take $20,000 in instruments in his $500 car, 50 miles one way to make $20. ~ Anon

JaAGlogoThe holiday season is upon us and for most musicians this is a busy time. I am an amateur musician who plays with four groups right now, one that I run, and I have only three gigs from now through New Years. And that is by choice, having decided to take a break from another of many other musical performances I have done in the past.

But I got another of those interesting offers that really gives me pause. It was an offer to do another holiday show, this time as part of a 4 piece combo. Taking a least 16 hours, not counting traffic, the gig would run over 8 days with the pay check  of $100. I would be soloing on sax, clarinet, flute, and oboe for $6.25 an hour, in a high stress (because as musicians, you can’t make a mistake). Minus my cost for gas (30 miles one way), reeds, and food, my net return, best case, would be a negative $20!

SaxOneDon’t get me wrong, I have done more for less, including donating my time. And I have schlepped a record five different instruments to one long-running show. My returns from that show was 4 free tickets to the show. And this was from a theater that runs many shows a year. We won’t mention my soprano sax that got ruined when someone knocked it over during a break or the damage to Suzy’s alto sax by a sub who dropped it when he forgot to close the case before picking it up.

I recently met a very fine musician who after college was trying to make a go of the life as a professional musician in New York. He gave up and is back in Seattle living in his mother’s home. He does lessons for Music Works, thank goodness for those guys. He is struggling to make a living by giving lessons, writing original music, teaching at Music Works, and playing gigs around town. He recently did a sub gig with a professional quality band and got $20 for the night!

Having run a band, I often filled the band with stellar players who tried the life of a professional musician and then went back to college to get a degree for a job that would pay more regularly. It is nice to eat three times a day. Getting a decent soloing sub for my band is not hard because we are a non-profit with little to no pay for the musicians. But when I bring in a quality soloist, we try to pay them extremely well.

This year I decided to do my first New Year gig with this band. Everyone gets $75 for a three hour gig with one 2 hour practice. Yeah, we can afford Christmas this year …

Posted in Band Management, Big Band, Guides, Music, My World | 2 Comments

The Perfect Clarinet

If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be. ~ Yogi Berra

DSCF3613I have spent a lot of time helping family and friends find the perfect instrument within the constraints of their budgets. New musicians, young musicians, adult newbies and returning musicians all need a good or better instrument. On occasion I have even wowed the jaded professional who thought they’d never buy another instrument. I wowed them with a stellar instrument that they thought they could never afford and one which completed their stable of doubles (instruments besides your primary that you are called upon to play).

B18Today I’m writing you about a clarinet deal that might be the best you’ll ever see for your little musician, your friend or you returning to music. But first I want to talk about why making do with an inferior, cheap, poorly working instrument just doesn’t make sense. This is a medium-long article but it just could make the difference between success and failure and in the long run, save you a lot of money.

I don’t recommend renting an instrument after the first year of music. Often, for the price of a year of rental, you could own this instrument. The Buffet B18 below will play better, helping you move through the levels of learning faster and at the same time bring you much joy as you start to make some beautiful music. If you are using an old student model instrument, you might be fighting key work design problems, suspect intonation challenges, and damaged instrument travesties. I lament at the number of musicians who just gave up because their instrument let them down.

Quinn the Eskimo Vintage Horns has purchased a limited lot of Buffet B18 Bb soprano clarinets. The B18 clarinet is manufactured with a silver-plated finish and metal body rings, in keeping with the Buffet Crampon clarinet line design. The use of silver instead of nickel is an upgrade usually only found on high priced instruments. This clarinet is remarkably well-balanced and carries its power lightly, with a tone that is very close to that of the wood. As it is made of ABS resin, it is stable and unlike wood is not prone to cracking. It is the kind of instrument that could serve you for your whole life.

Quinn the Eskimo Vintage Horns is offering three lines of this instrument for your consideration.

Buffet B18 Bb Soprano Clarinet: $499 includes this new clarinet in either a backpack or standard clarinet case. Compare this to the Buffet B12 selling on sale at $700 and you start to see how much you save with this deal.

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Buffet B18 Bb Soprano Clarinet & Accessories: $599 ~ This includes an upgraded mouthpiece, Yamaha metronome, Yamaha tuner, and music stand.

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Select a Selmer HS or a Giggilotti A or B mouthpiece.

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Buffet B18 rental/repair shop 10 pack: $4000 and includes ten new instruments.

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Now is your chance to get a very fine instrument that could help you or your favorite musician move to the next step up the ladder of success.

Posted in Clarinet, Education, Guides, Music, Tips and Tricks | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Phil Woods – Just the Way You Are

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

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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Posted in Music | 2 Comments