I’ve been a huge fan of the piano player Michel Camilo since I heard his (US) debut album in the 80s. I’ve followed him ever since, even though he didn’t usually play with horn players. When he did, it was typically someone very technically proficient, like Paquito D’Rivera.
So when this big band album came out a few years back, I got really in to it. I loved the tenor solo on the title track. There’s so much to love about it – the tone is so smooth and pure. The technique is so clean and flawless. The altissimo is so clear and controlled. The solo builds beautifully and is filled with so many great ideas, and is so well executed.
I didn’t know who Ralph Bowen was, but I wanted to find out. Check this guy out, he’s a monster player!
No video for this one this week. I’ve been playing through it slowly, and can pull everything off in isolation, down tempo – but I’m a long way from putting it all together at full speed. Maybe that will be a project for me over the holidays if I get some time off of work. It’s going to be a real stretch!
This is the only saxophone solo on the 3121 album. It’s a medium tempo latin-funk feel. Maceo plays an eight bar solo in the middle of the track, and then a longer sixteen bar solo towards the end. I added the time indexes to each solo and split them across two pages for ease of reading.
These are very typical Maceo solos, although he uses altissimo more here than he usually does. It’s also a little unusual to see him jumping up and down so quickly, but he pulls it off nicely. This is something that has gotten a lot easier for me on the Conn 6M compared to my Mark VI. The altissimo notes just pop out, even some of the tougher notes over the break like G.
Continuing with the Xpectation album…There are a bunch of cool Candy Dulfer solos on this album. My biggest complaint is that they are too short!
The credits list her as playing ‘electric saxophone’ on a few tracks (not this one), which I interpret to mean EWI/WX. The funny thing is, have an EWI (and a WX11 before that), and was deeply into it for many years. I have WAY too much gear for it, along with all of the special patches, etc. that go along with it. I even spent time writing software for it, which led to my first job at Microsoft, but that’s a story for a different day…
But I’ve kind of gotten over the EWI. I rarely play it, and apart from some of Michael Brecker’s early work with it, listening to someone play it on a recording doesn’t do anything for me. That’s even more true on a Prince record because I don’t really know who is playing what. There are a ton of synth parts everywhere, so I can’t even tell that Candy’s playing it.
I’m too in love with the organic sound of the acoustic saxophone and its deep association with the player who created it. So I largely skipped over the ‘electronic saxophone’ tracks on this album and focused on the acoustic solos.
This tune is a latin-jazz feel, reminiscent of what you might hear on a Return to Forever album (albeit with more modern production values). The solo is only 16 bars, but I like it a lot. It’s easy to play and showcases Candy’s beautiful tone to great effect. I especially like the rhythmic play in bars 9-11.