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Posts Tagged ‘saxophone’

Benny Reid new album “Escaping Shadows”

December 21st, 2009
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Benny Reid

Benny Reid, 29, is an saxophonist, composer, teacher, and recording artist who studied at Indiana University and now resides in New York. (Find him on Twitter, All About Jazz, Myspace, or Youtube).

He recently released his second album, Escaping Shadows, on the Concord Jazz label.

It features Benny Reid (alto saxophone & keyboards), Richard Padron (acoustic and electric guitars), Pablo Vergara (piano, Fender Rhodes, keyboards), Daniel Loomis (bass and electric bass), Kenny Grohowski (drums), Jeff Taylor (vocals), and Ryan Fitch (percussion).

For a sample of the music on the CD, check out the video below (or on Youtube).

One of Benny Reid’s main influences is Pat Metheny, and many of his compositions have parallels in some of Pat Metheny’s earlier works. The title track, Escaping Shadows, reminds me of Metheny’s Minuano Six Eight.

I’m a big fan of Pat Metheny so Benny Reid’s compositions immediately appealed to me. His work is similar in style and interpretation to Bob Curnow’s (who did a recording of Metheny’s earlier works in a big band style). Benny Reid’s arrangements make use of the smaller ensemble well and move between a contemporary, abstract style and an almost smooth-jazz sound for some of the melody lines and musical effects.

I especially enjoy Kenny Grohowski’s sensitive, nuanced, and very active drumming (which tends on the busy side but is very musical).

Benny Reid has a great sound on the alto sax – a very clear, expressive and pure tone. He avoids repeating the often quoted licks of bebop and instead forges his own way, with easily recalled and infectious melodies that seem almost derivative in their simplicity, but taken in the context of the band and compositions are obviously original.

Escaping Shadows is available as a Mp3 download or a physical disk from Concord Music Group.


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Live gig recording: Julian N. and Geoff Peters (alto sax and piano jazz duet)

November 4th, 2009
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I played piano at a wedding with my friend Julian N., a saxophonist and composer. Julian is a student at Humber College in Toronto. You can view his myspace page by clicking here.

Here is a track listing with links to the individual videos:

If you’d like to download MP3’s of the concert (free) you can get them from here.

With Julian’s permission I used my minidisc unit to record the audio from our performance. There is quite a bit of background noise from the wedding guests’ conversation, but in the recordings you can hear both of us quite clearly.

I also set up my Sony Camcorder in the corner and video-taped our performance too. There was very low light, so you can barely make us out in the video, but it gives more context to the audio to be able to see us perform too.

At this wedding, we performed a selection of mainstream jazz standards in a duo style. Probably my biggest inspiration for the saxophone-piano duo format is the legendary combination of Stan Getz (saxophone) and Kenny Barron (piano). Another inspiration for rhythmic ideas has been the mighty pianist Chick Corea and his duets with the one and only voice artist Bobby Mcferrin (such as their killer performance of Autumn Leaves).

So without further ado, here’s our complete performance (except for the last song we played, Confirmation by Charlie Parker, where we got interrupted by some DJ music).

Hope you enjoy! I hope that these performances will give you some ideas or inspiration for your own journeys in jazz and music in general.

Further listening: I performed one of Julian’s original compositions with the college band at the Phil Dwyer Academy of Music and Culinary Arts (PDAMCA) last August.

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Watch Geoff performing “Tune Up” by Miles Davis

June 10th, 2009
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I made a video of myself performing the song Tune Up by Miles Davis.

Feel free to watch on Youtube by clicking here, or use the player below. It was the first take, and I think that some of the ideas I came up with are pretty interesting.

Also check out Daniel Muniz (guitar) performing Tune Up with Jacob Teichroew (tenor saxophone) and Petros Klampanis (bass) in this excellent Youtube video. (player also included below).

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Interview with Tenor Saxophonist Houston Person

November 10th, 2004
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Found an interview with tenor saxophonist Houston Person, who is actually performing in Vancouver on this coming Friday and Saturday nights.

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Saxophonist and composer Miguel Zenon

September 4th, 2004
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On saxophonist and composer Miguel Zenon, Branford Marsalis said, “I listen for musical intelligence. Lots of jazz musicians spend their lives studying and then trying to make music out of academics. Miguel just grabbed the music. He was able to take something intellectual and make it sound organic and natural.” Zenon, who is only 26, has had a rather illustrious career so far in the world of jazz. This Boston Globe article talks a bit about Zenon’s background. On his snazzy web site, Zenon generously provides lots of samples of his music, including three full length tracks recorded live at the Jazz Gallery in NYC. These are enjoyable performances all around: I especially enjoyed the judicious use of space in the solos (particularly the first half of the piano solo by Luis Perdomo).

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