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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everybody!
I have the honour to host the TOTM for February and I chose „Sweet Emma“ from Nat Adderley.

„Sweet Emma“ is the nickname of the pianist and singer Emma Barret from the early New Orleans days. There are some videos on youtube of her, for example here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uo6MGV-i2IU (but you have to skip the terrible introduction).

The original recording is in this slow and soulful „Mercy, Mercy, Mercy“-style.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sncy13vEPEU.

This bigband version from Germany (radio bigband from my hometown) shows a more funky clap-hand-side of this tune.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfPZjCeXKSU.
However, this is a catchy but not so wellknown song and I‘m sure you‘ll like it.

I always thought, that „Sweet Emma“ would be a great tune for the B&I TOTM. There are some secondary dominants, which sound great if you get them – but you can come by with only the major- or bluesscale, too.
Only problem with this song was so far – I found no backing tracks.
Fortunately, our member rhysonsax prepared this song some times ago for cafésaxophone. All the great files (short, long, fast, slow BIAB tracks, leadsheets for Bb and Eb with a very nice harmony voice) are his work. I want to thank him for this kind and helpful contribution! Hopefully he‘ll be heared with a track!

The backing tracks and the notes in Bb and Eb can be found here:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/pb1v9qo4iqznrr2/AADjziztiiyMcpQZJn4j530na?dl=0

I hope we‘ll get a lot of nice and soulfull tracks this month. Hear you soon!

PS: I won't be at home tomorow, so I have to post this TOTM a bit early....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Very soulful first track Mrpeebee! I can virtually hear people saying "yeah" in the background all the time ....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This is my version with the faster backing track (I like the slow feeling with this song, too). I dusted of my alto for the melody and discovered I really like it! The second voice and solo is with tenor - I'm working on sound, perhaps one day it will sound better ....

https://soundcloud.com/taragot/sweet-emma_alto_tenor

So - looking forward for your tracks"
 

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Very soulful first track Mrpeebee! I can virtually hear people saying "yeah" in the background all the time ....
Thanks. :)

This is my version with the faster backing track (I like the slow feeling with this song, too). I dusted of my alto for the melody and discovered I really like it! The second voice and solo is with tenor - I'm working on sound, perhaps one day it will sound better ....

https://soundcloud.com/taragot/sweet-emma_alto_tenor

So - looking forward for your tracks"
Nice feel with the horns playing the theme. I preferred your alto solo over the tenor one. Your sound on alto is more open and it seems you are more comfortable on that setup. Nice solo buildup and use of space in the beginning, can also hear you worked on the chords before, the interesting points in the chords are pointed out very well (something I didn't do in my take, because I did just a hit and record take and played mostly on ear).

On tenor I found your sound better in the theme than in the solo part. It could be that your reed is slightly too hard, or maybe you put too much pressure on the reed during soloing, not sure (I think that can happen if you play tenor with an alto embouchure).

Overall a very nice take Taragot. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for listening, Mrpeebee!
As you decribed - I feel much more comfortable on alto (and on soprano) than on tenor and more soundproblems occur after a quick switch. Perhaps it's time to accept that and focus on the smaller horns....But I shure will upload a slow tenor track this month!
 

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As you decribed - I feel much more comfortable on alto (and on soprano) than on tenor and more soundproblems occur after a quick switch. Perhaps it's time to accept that and focus on the smaller horns....But I shure will upload a slow tenor track this month!
Taragot, I wouldn't stop playing the tenor. You're a good player and I'm sure your will find a way to improve on the things you're not happy with yet in time.

Looking foward to that slow tenor take. :)
 

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Nice work, guys! Thanks for highlighting a soulful song, one of my favorites.
 

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I really need to practice more blues - I either can't find the note, or find it too early !

Sour Emma

I really envy natural blues players like Peebee (playing only !! :mrgreen: ), I always feel like I'm faking it. :cry:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Just listened to your lovely tracks on tenor and baritone, Francisco and Brendan. You both choose the slow backing track, which I find more difficult to play with - timing, expression etc. The faster midtempo version cares for itself in a way - the slower one needs to be shaped (dunno if this is correct or understandable in english). I heared some really nice runs from both of you!
If I had to critizise a something, it would be, that both tracks are a bit uniform. Perhaps you like to try a tension/release-thing,? Or play some more bluesscale-licks f.e. to change the colour sometimes.
But overall - really nice tracks!
 

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Back on my old mouthpiece for the first time in weeks and testing with a new to me synthetic reed for the "just pick up the horn and start practicing" experience.:) Did a quick recording during coffee break, so skipped the coffee. Thought I could just as well post it. First time through exploring the song so I skipped the head the second time and messing with the ending.

https://app.box.com/s/y0gqr2hwt8ew97k5pjudgyu8ktf6od8a
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Nice track, Grumpie!
Which synthetic reed did you play?
I have had good results with hinokis, forestone traditionals and legere signature on all of my horns except on tenor.
 

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Thanks Taragot, this was a Legere Signature on the Sakshama Shorty. Still getting used to the combination (I have been off the Shorty for a while) but I do like how the Signature plays so I'm going to spend some more time with it. I also got a Legere Classic to try, but for now I think I prefer the response from the Signature.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I like the signatures too - I'll try it again on tenor. I've been experimenting with reeds and mouthpieces recently because I could not get sound and control on tenor. I've even bought a new mouthpiece, a 10MFan Robusto, and this is how it sounds with a java reed so far. It's less focussed and much easier to play down low than my marmaduke (which has great altissimo).

https://soundcloud.com/taragot/sweet-emma_tenor
 

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I like the sound you get with the Robusto. I just listened a few times to both your takes, switching between the two for comparison. I personally prefer your sound on the Robusto. Maybe not having to switch between alto and tenor helped a bit but the overall sound has more in it. Seems you are going in the right direction for you with this piece. And overall I enjoyed this take, has some nice ideas going on.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thank you for listening and comparing, Grumpie! I have to invest some practice time in the robusto but feel the same about it's overall sound. I tried some reeds and the java was the smoothest so far. I'll slap on the signature this afternoon and see what happens.
 

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