Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Columnist and Saxophonistic Art
Joined
·
6,260 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
With chops out the wazoo, uncanny rhythmic sophistication and propulsion, deft melodic invention, immediately accessible yet admirably world class tenor playing , Lenny Pickett has kept our attention for many moons. Weather it was TOP or SNL.


Check out these YOU TUBE interviews;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZhHU065C6Y&mode=related&search=

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6aHkN9jnNk&mode=related&search=

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6n5SK9kHaMY&mode=related&search=

OR- the Traneumentary!!
This is cool.:)
THERE IS A GREAT LESSON TO BE LEARNED- WHERE LENNY TALKS ABOUT HIS FAVORITE COLTRANE TRACK " Expresssion" . And- he speaks about master player Bert Wilson. One of my heros/friends/inspirations as well.
( btw- some stuff here on Bert; http://www.timpricejazz.com/articles/bertwilson.html )

http://traneumentary.blogspot.com/2007/07/episode-27-lenny-pickett-commentary.html

http://traneumentary.blogspot.com/2007/03/episode-7-lenny-pickett.html

Something very direct and a lesson from a master. If you're looking for something out of the ordinary rather than the same-old same-old, look no further.
LISTEN TO THIS!!:)


As a teacher life long student of this music, I am constantly exploring and studying the masters words.In this case Lenny has really inspired me. ( AGAIN :D )
A player like this is so articulate,and intelligent. You have to be to explain and define the academic and basic principals- then take it to a personal level like he does here.

Check it out. Enjoy. Hope everyone learns as much here as they can.





.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,885 Posts
The Traneumentary is also available on iTunes. McCoy and Sonny Rollins offer great insights as well... as it's coming from two individuals who played with the man himself. All of the interviews are enjoyable nonetheless. Different perspectives, one person.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Columnist and Saxophonistic Art
Joined
·
6,260 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Coltrane track "Expression."

BlueNote said:
The Traneumentary is also available on iTunes. McCoy and Sonny Rollins offer great insights as well... as it's coming from two individuals who played with the man himself. All of the interviews are enjoyable nonetheless. Different perspectives, one person.

What I'm checking out hard is how Lenny Pickett breaks down his favorite Coltrane track "Expression."

WHY?? Because Pickett came at this solo from a _PURE_listening stand point.
EG- THE MUSIC. THE EMOTION.
How he described Alices solo and how he spoke of the different feels.

What I loved so much was Lennys depth of understanding, sinse Trane came from R & B bands- and the way Trane used his sound. Eg- Sonic possibilities.
Pitch stuff, rise and fall. The RAW expression!!

See what I'm refering to? That ELEMENT that comes from R n' B.
Pickett of couse come right out of R n' B tenor....of course.
And- to me- that is what really is greatly missing in so much of todays tenor players as well. Eg- EXPRESSION. That directness that is only obtained from playing R n' B.
Check out how Pickett talk about the intensity of human speach and Big Jay McNeely and Trane !!! Different yet rooted in the same elements.

Those aspects I could listen to all day- it made such sense and is perfect.






,
 

·
Registered
Primarily Tenor with occasional Alto
Joined
·
1,547 Posts
Tim,

Thanks so much for turning us on to this. Man I have been such a big abuser of spending way too much time looking at the marketplace and gear issues. This is the meat of the matter.....THE MUSIC....and I loved all the stuff about Lenny....great to know what makes him tick and inspires him. In comparison to many other great players I've known very little about Lenny besides of course his well documented skills behind the horn...it's been a more reclusive gig for him with his duties with SNL....he is just not as out there as guys on the road in terms of being available for interviews...doing PR.

I also love his realistic take on recording music and commerce and not being bitter but recognizing that yes the reality is that jazz only makes up a drop in the corporate bucket for major companies.....but the bright side is the advent of the avenue of putting it out there via the web instead. Anyway it was great...I bookmarked the Traneumentary to check it out the rest of it later.

I did love all Lenny had to say...and he broke it down to where I know if I played it for anyone they could understand where Lenny is coming from. I love how astute of a listener he is. Sometimes on the Downbeat blindfold test type of interviews I get the sense instead of listening to the music the musician is spending their time thinking what they would be playing there....not being a music lover and listening to the product.


Tim when are you bringing your *** to NOLA again bro'?....if you can't get Dagradi back on the bandstand.....I'm good for a couple of blues choruses....using my TP licks :c).....I'll even hold your electro-bassoon while you grab some gumbo and a Abita Purple Haze brew.

Seriously...dude...thank you for being such a fine player and educator to ALL students...here is another fine example of me being enriched and learning from you. Thanks for hipping us.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Lenny's take on the world is very fresh. He's not going to say the stuff you hear from all the other saxophonists, but the great thing about him is that he's not TRYING to be different - that's just the way he sees the world. I believe his strength is having the CONFIDENCE to play his horn that way, even though it doesn't fit neatly into any preconceived notion of jazz/improvised music. (I thought that was what jazz was all about in the first place!)

Anyway, after taking some lessons from Lenny, I feel like the most valuable things I got from him playing-wise were in fact quite simple. The first is to practice long tones. Not for 5 minutes as a warm-up, but as an all-consuming focus. Can you control every sound wave that comes out of your horn? Do you have a single ideal tone or can you move it around at a moment's notice to get bright/dark/happy/mellow/excited/scream/wail? Working on just playing a low Bb and making it go from a whispered subtone to a loud subtone to a pure whisper to a pure roar was one of the best exercises I've ever done (it's taken 5 years and I'm still working on it...). Working on this makes sense. Listeners hear everything that comes out of your horn, not just your note choices. It's like restoring a car: we work on the details - rhythm, fast fingers, and intonation - making them clean and symmetrical - why ignore the engine? There's always room to have more power and more control over your tone.

The second activity that I found to be fresh and very helpful was to transcribe vocalists. Al Green is a great one to get started because a lot of his lines are right on the beat and his range is similar to a tenor. In Let's Stay Together, the melody is easy. You'll figure it out in a minute or two, but the thing to work on is figuring out how to sound EXACTLY like Al. He sings a concert G a few times in a row near the beginning ("YOU make me feel...") and each time the note sounds different and MEANS something different. The real work here is not to move your fingers with a static sound like most jazzers are used to. The idea is to spend your time playing a lot of the same notes, but then find a way to change your tone and give each note its own space. It's there in the recording and it's possible to replicate on the saxophone, it's just not something most of us are used to doing.

Practicing these things is frustrating yet not impossible. But when you can master the frustrating things, you get better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Tim,
Thanks for starting this thread. Lenny Pickett has been a huge influence on me since I was about 12.
I didn't know that the Traneumentary existed before tonight. Just so cool. I'll be spending a bunch of time there (just what I need, more time in front of the computer. :shock: ).
I've listened to probably 70% of all the stuff that Trane recorded, but some times it amazes me that I do. Some of it can be off-putting on the first listen. Just hard to get into. Nevertheless, I keep coming back. I wasn't able to articulate why until I heard Lenny bring up the idea of Trane's music as a narrative with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Modern tone poems. If you forget about the technical stuff and let the music take you where it will, well then, you have to listen (kind of like reading a good book -- you can't put it down).
For those of you near San Francisco, here's something cool you might want to experience: The Saint John Coltrane Church.
http://www.coltranechurch.org/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
538 Posts
A real pleasure to hear LP guide me through the Trane track,so respectful,a soulful dude.
What a great site,Rollins talking about JC too"Monk and Coltrane were the guys that I felt most comfortable with...whatever happened happened,no surface stuff nothin',just real life.
Cool post Tim
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Columnist and Saxophonistic Art
Joined
·
6,260 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
A real pleasure to hear LP guide me through the Trane track,so respectful,a soulful dude.
What a great site,Rollins talking about JC too"Monk and Coltrane were the guys that I felt most comfortable with...whatever happened happened,no surface stuff nothin',just real life.
Cool post Tim

THANK YOU. I always dug LP...My buddy Bert Wilson set him on a course back in the day in the SF Bay scene.

There's no question Lenny is beyond words- a very unique player and fun to hear.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
4,147 Posts
Lenny Pickett is beast.


Knock Yourself Out from Live and in Living Color, anyone?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,536 Posts
Lenny is a unique freak genius.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
266 Posts
Tim,
Thanks for continuing to champion Burt Wilson. I had the opportunity to see him several times in the 70's at a small bar in upstate N.Y. Not only is he a monster player beyond belief, it seemed he was always mentoring someone. He is a treasure.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Columnist and Saxophonistic Art
Joined
·
6,260 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Tim,
Thanks for continuing to champion Burt Wilson. I had the opportunity to see him several times in the 70's at a small bar in upstate N.Y. Not only is he a monster player beyond belief, it seemed he was always mentoring someone. He is a treasure.

zonepeter......I've known Bert for over 28 years or so. I never heard a guy that was more complete and also rooted in tradition so steep. YET- He is able toget out there in the right way- after a second ya know it's him.

I've noted that the jazz press or lack there of, ignores guys like Bert, or Ernie Krivda, Ray Pizzi etc. Lately it's at a level that...SOMEONE GOT TO SAY SOMETHING...AND KEEP SAYING IT.
People are unaware of the "ignore factor" and the intellectual shuckin' and jivin' that the jazz press/powers that be// exhibit unless it's on of the chosen few. Whens the last time ya ever saw
Berts name in a major mag? Like even a 1/2 page article? I'm sure you know what I mean but I'm just saying. When I wrote for Saxophone Journal- I got Berts name going in there and got him to write articles etc. THE GUY IS GOD SEND!!! People like Jeff Coffin or Skerik have really tuned into him.

Lastly he's my friend. Every year I get a far out Xmas card from him & Nancy Curtis, with groovy CD's, DVD'S of stuff that ain't in the norm. Eg- CD dubs of Bert & Vince Wallace havin' a tenor battle on the street of Oaksterdam, California.

Anyhow- thanks and someday Pickett and Bert should record....there's a great connect there too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
873 Posts
I totally agree about Lenny. I've had a chance to play in a band that he leads/plays in and he is definitely one of the best musicians that I've ever met. Not only is it incredible to hear him play every week but his knowledge of the music world and all of his stories from decades of serious playing with EVERYONE.

If anyone has a chance to buy his solo record...Lenny Pickett and the Borneo Horns you'll dig it. We'll be recording with him this year at NYU and I'll try to get some of the tracks up on here for people to hear, his playing is better than ever!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,328 Posts
Thank's for sharing these clips, and starting this thread. Lenny is a very interesting (great) cat. I think it's easy for a lot of people to pigeon-hole him based on his reputation for playing high notes, and from SNL. And, he does a great job on SNL and certainly is a gifted altissimo player.

But, when you hear him talking in all these interviews it's clear he's got a really deep understanding of music, history, and seems to have a terrific attitude about life. He's just so direct and honest talking about music and life "this is what I do..." "these are guys I admire, because of these qualites..." "i learned a lot from this experience..." truly inspirational stuff.

One last comment, I remember when he replaced Michael Brecker I was sort of bummed, and also thought "wow. who could follow him?!?" Mr. Pickett has done a masterful job with the show, by just being himself doing HIS thing.

shawn
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top