Actually Good Covers: Bilial "Is This Love"

Actually Good Covers: Bilial "Is This Love"

Covers suck. Musicians playing covers suck. - JK, lol.

Covers are great, it’s just so sad to see them done so poorly SO often. Granted, it’s a tough needle to thread. How does an artist put their stamp on a song without losing what makes that song great. This is the 1st installment in a new series on the blog I’m currently calling ACTUALLY GOOD COVERS.

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Table For One: Evan Ziporyn

Table For One: Evan Ziporyn

One of my absolute favorite clarinetists and bass clarinetists is Evan Ziporyn.  While this a long piece, it's so worth listening to all of the sounds Evan is able to get out of the instrument - especially his ability to make chords on the bass clarinet... enjoy.

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2017-2018 - All-State Jazz Results

2017-2018 - All-State Jazz Results

I'm very happy to congratulate one of my students, Andrew Kreitner, on being chosen as lead tenor sax for Georgia's All-State Jazz Band.  Andrew has constantly surprised me with his earnestness and sincerity.  Good job to Andrew for this much deserved achievement.

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I Can Do Something You Can't Do... (kind of)

I Can Do Something You Can't Do... (kind of)

I hate Apple.  Everyone that knows me, knows this.  Like with most things, I'm pretty vocal about it.  And so, I use a Surface Pro as my main device.  I use it as a tablet for gigging and rehearsing, for writing manuscript on Finale, for recording or live production with Ableton, for running live effects with Guitar Rig. 

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How Much Do You Charge for a Gig?

How Much Do You Charge for a Gig?

This has come up, fortunately or unfortunately, a lot in the last few months.  Talking money usually freaks people out, especially if you're setting your own prices.  I've had my good and bad moments dealing with club owners, restaurant owners, wedding planners, etc., but what I've learned is that if you're upfront with people, guidelines are clear, numbers are concrete, deposits paid, and signatures signed, you'll feel much better after a gig and have very little keeping you up at night (like what happened to me recently)...

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Nick Sanborn: A Love Story

Nick Sanborn: A Love Story

I. Love. Sylvan Esso.

And, in true hipster fashion, I've loved them before they were popular.  Before "Radio".  Before they were playing major festivals EV-RY-WHERE.  I love them.  Now, not to ignore Amelia and her amazing voice, lyrics, and dance moves, Nick Sanborn's production is absolutely incredible.  He makes electronic 'instruments' (programming) sound natural and human.  I want to pick up a tiny version of him and place him in my brain so that when I write, he can actually write the tunes.  So, here's my Nick Sanborn research so far...

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How I Use the Surface Pro (and Windows 10) for Music

How I Use the Surface Pro (and Windows 10) for Music

I've seen this question on social media here and there.  There are musicians that are tempted to move to a tablet, but are torn as to which to purchase or are unsure if a full OS vs a mobile OS will work for music/regular gigging.  Here's a rundown of what equipment and software I use with my Surface for running live effects, composing, manuscript, PDF reading and editing, etc.  

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Artimus on WREK 91.1FM

This is last week's Facebook live of our Artimus show on WREK 91.1FM.  Check it out and I hope you enjoy what you hear.  If you do, follow the group here and here. Check out our instagram, twitter, bandcamp, and soon to be designed website (one website at a time...).

Care & Repair #1: Cork Grease

There are always things about practicing, equipment, playing a tune, etc. where you go "Ah! I wish I knew that sooner!"  I've been playing saxophone for 24 years now and I just found this out a couple years ago: Don't Use Petroleum Based Cork Grease.  

This is most "premium" or "special formula" cork grease that you find in the Chapstick-like tube.  The reason is that all of these are petroleum based.  Petroleum is fine for your cork (kind of); it lubricates and protects it from too much moisture.  Petroleum is NOT fine for the glue that keeps the cork on your neck.  Anyone who has ever had to have the cork on your neck replaced has, at one point, watched perfectly good cork just fall off the neck with little to no sign of wear.  The petroleum in the Chapstick-cork grease seeps into the cork and dissolves the glue.  

It's important to remember that cork is a natural product that comes from trees.  It needs some moisture to stay resilient, but not too much or it will break down.  These are the ones I have used so far that seem to work really well:

Note that everyone will have to replace their cork at one time or another.  I prefer using shellac to attach the cork vs rubber cement.  I like the sound and I believe the shellac holds up against moisture better than rubber cement.  I'd love to hear anyone's comments or experiences on this.