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While I was making dinner this evening, I was listening to Lester Young playing "D.B. Blues" and "Back to the Land," and I was thinking that I'd give just about anything to be able to play some blues like that: I'm mean really play it, for people, with a band that sounded that good. But then I thought: even if I were able to get it together enough to do a passable job at that kind of playing, there'd be nobody to play it with. I've never heard a live blues band that would play that quietly, and leave that much space, for that kind of playing. It may be happening somewhere, but no place I've ever been!

Rory
 

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That's an interesting point. Although I think blues band who has that level of master magician on sax may well find themseleves naturally inclined to leave more room than a blues band with say me on sax for example, but I agree with the sentiment.

Yesterday at college one of the other students told me I had a great tone and some of my ideas sounded like Lester Young (I'd improv'd a blinding solo that evening - one of those ones where you surprise yourself as much if not more than anyone else) and I have to say that that was a huge compliment for me - a very proud moment!
 

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Hey Rick,

I can get a pretty decent Lester-ish tone on my tenor, but the comparison pretty much ends there. I mean I know I'll never be able to interpret a jazz song the way he could, just like I know I'll never play on the PGA or be an astronaut, but I can almost see myself doing what he's doing on these blues numbers.

Almost, that is, until I remember where I usually play: in crappy-PA-way-too- loud-guitar-all-pianos-are-electric-etc. land. As good as it gets sometimes, I doubt Prez would enjoy my scene any more than he did the D.P. !

Man, even though it really does break my own wannabe heart to hear it (and to think about what was done to that brilliantly fragile and sensitive man in the service), I love his postwar blues playing.

Rory

ps. you're in college?
 

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Hi Rory,

Yeah he knew how to play - technique of course, but as you say he had that spark of creative genius that sets aside a true musician from a mere technician ;)

No I'm not in college per se, I attend a 1 night per week jazz improvisation class at a nearby university and it's really cool - very laid back atmosphere, very knowledgeable teachers and a really nice bunch of students from all ages and backgrounds, all of whom are either as accomplished on their instruments as I am on mine or in the case of some of them much more advanced than me. That said, I pride myself that I can really hold my own when it comes to improvisation - I have the ideas, just not the skills!

TBH I didn't deserve the compliment but I was very pleased with it - he wasn't the type to just say it for no reason!

Regrettably it will come to an end next week - the final lesson. Then it looks like I'll be moving to a different area before the next course starts in September. Shame.

My ambitions are highly personal and like you I have no preconceptions about appearing as a headline act to a packed and anticipatory audience at Wembley Stadium, but that's fine because actually all I want to do is play for myself - if I can transcend myself and become the music when I play then I'll be doing all that I aspire to do, and I don't even need an audience of one for that, just a lot more hours of practice! :) :) :)
 

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Have a smooth move, Mr. Adams. You certainly didn't get to stay in Sussex very long. Hope you find another group that sounds as good as the one you have been describing the last few months. Cheers.
 
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