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I just discovered this musician and have listened to tunes from the albums "California Cookin'" and "Why did I do it". There is some excellent tenor playing. Some of it reminds somehow about the great Plas Johnson, anybody knows what kind of setup Woodard plays?
Anyway, highly recommended listening
Bjorn
 

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great player - from the photo on the cover of california cooking 2 it looks like the mouthpiece might be a link judging by the ligature. Another source said he plays a Lawton.
There's this video of him on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMMVnb-qa6g
Correct me if I'm wrong but his top hand fingering looks unconventional, ie middle finger over the bis key, then ring finger on the A key and little finger on the G key - that what it looks like, even so amazing playing.
 

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Rickey Woodard!!! I was about to post something about him myself, but you beat me to it, Bjorn. I discovered him last month when I was in Los Angeles for a few days and went to catch a show at the Culver Club (I think?). Didn't particularly care for the band -- he was the featured guest -- but Woodard's tenor sax alone to me was worth the criminally expensive taxi and the somehow rather uninspired playing of the rest of the band.

His CDs are a little hard to come by -- CDBaby is where I got Why Did I Do It and Silver Strut, and on the latter is a version of "Stardust" that almost made me cry the first time I listened to it...

Anyway, after the show I got to chat with him just a little bit, and he's a very nice cat to boot! I didn't ask him about his horn, and even from only just a few yards away, with the dim lighting in the club I wouldn't want to venture a guess as to what it was. But, I had noticed that during both sets, he kept switching back and forth between two mouthpieces. They were metal links, which he said he had "just discovered" in his mouthpiece drawer at home, but I'm not knowledgeable enough about Links to say exactly what kind they were, even though he showed them to me in the palm of his hand. However, I do remember distinctly him saying that he had not used either mouthpiece "since high school," which would make them, what, early 1970s? I *think* one of them was a 7, the other an 8, but I also recall that they played "completely different" for him, he said, even though he sounded exactly the same to me.

I got the distinct impression that he's not much of a gearhead, because he seemed quite surprised when I told him that vintage Links can go for hundreds of dollars these days. On the other hand, he asked me about my setup, and he said the Vandoren V16 hard rubber was "a monster" of a mouthpiece, and that he really liked all the Vandoren hard rubber pieces, the V16 best of all, but not so much the metal V16. I told him that I had a metal T95, liked the sound very much, yet for me it lacked not volume, but projection; he immediately nodded his head and said that he'd had the same experience with the metal Vandoren he'd tried a while back. I didn't get the chance, unfortunately, to ask him about reeds, or his horn.

I'm really digging his CDs -- there's some good writing on these as well, in the 1950s Blue Note vein. So, is Rickey Woodard as fast as Brecker? N-n-n-no. Is he as innovative as Trane? N-n-n-no. Is his sound as big as Dexter's? N-n-n-no. But if you're like me, and you love sitting down on your couch on a Saturday evening with a glass of good wine and listen to hard-swinging, sheer JOY tumbling out of your speakers that is going to put a smile on your face, you owe it to yourself to CHECK OUT RICKEY WOODARD.

I can't quite put my finger on why and how exactly, but his solos strike me as eminently transcribable as well -- not because they're 'simple' in any way, but because they sound just so 'logical' to me without being at all predictable -- so that's something I really want to do as well at some point.

-j.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
His CDs are a little hard to come by...
... there's some good writing on these as well, in the 1950s Blue Note vein....
... I can't quite put my finger on why and how exactly, but his solos strike me as eminently transcribable as well -- not because they're 'simple' in any way, but because they sound just so 'logical' to me without being at all predictable -- so that's something I really want to do as well at some point...
-j.
Thanks for the reply. There are about 5 of his albums available on iTunes store, which is where I got them.
I agree there are some nice tunes there, including some great Hank Mobley compositions. You are right about the solos being transcribable, very nice and logical lines. His improvisation actually reminds me somewhat about Mobley's kind of no-nonsense, logical lines. Actually I discovered Woodard through Charles McNeal's excellent site with transcriptions http://www.charlesmcneal.com/. McNeal has transcribed Woodard's solo on the Mobley tune "This I dig of you".

Greetings
Bjorn
 

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Thanks for the heads-up about the solo transcription on McNeal's site, Bjorn! I have that bookmarked actually but haven't visited it in quite some time -- heading over there now!

I don't do iTunes because I'm hopelessly 20th-century that way: I prefer my music on vinyl, drink my coffee black, use the word "friend" as a noun exclusively, and insist that there be a friggin' CORD attached to my telephone. But I may have to get some treatment for my technophobia now....

-j.
 

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i haven't heard it for ages and ages however i'm pretty sure Rickey Woodard is a sideman on "James Morrison and the hot horn happening: live in paris"... i used to time my shower/getting changed in the morning to the first couple of tracks when i was in high school. i did a quick check and it might be out of print.
 

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I've played next to Rickey a few times...he's the real deal!!! He was using metal Links the last time I saw him (about a month ago). By the way he does use a funny position for his left hand fingering. 1st finger on the "B" key, 2nd Finger on the "bis" key, 3rd finger on the "A" key and his pinkie on the "G" key. I asked him about it once, he said it's something he developed on his own when he was younger. He does switch back and forth to conventional fingering but he uses his alternate finger position quite often. Rickey's a helluva blues player also!!!!
 
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