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Just heard Stephen Riley on a local radio. What a special tone he has. Dark and dry with a lot of subtones. And very creative playing.

Does anyone know his setup? And any good records to recommend? I tried to google him, but I couldn't find much info.

Thanks.
 

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I new Steve when he lived in NYC. We were friends and we played together often.

Ever since I met him he played the same set-up. 1970's era Selmer made Buescher "Aristocrat" (essentially a Bundy) with some kind of Morgan HR mouthpiece with a metal band on the shank, and a very hard reed.

I don't think he's recorded much. He appears on a Marcus Printup CD from the mid 90s. That's about it as far as I know.
 

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BarrySachs said:
Ever since I met him he played the same set-up. 1970's era Selmer made Buescher "Aristocrat" (essentially a Bundy) with some kind of Morgan HR mouthpiece with a metal band on the shank, and a very hard reed.

I don't think he's recorded much. He appears on a Marcus Printup CD from the mid 90s. That's about it as far as I know.
Steve and I did Harry Connick Jr.'s gig together for a minute, (he was subbing for Ned Goold, I was there for Weldon), and I remember that horn, it looked like it had been through the wash a few times. He talked about Gonsalves a lot, I always thought he sounded a little like Lucky Thompson as well. As far as recording goes, I think he has a couple of discs on Steeplechase, besides being on Neal Caine's last CD.
 

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I heard him on the same radio again today, and was also impressed by his sound, so refreshingly different from the many contemporary Coltrane clones.
I checked on www.allmusic.com. He has 3 records out (on Steeplechase), apparently all with trio or duo. They are all available on iTunes.
 

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Stephen is playing on a hard rubber Otto Link 9* with #5 Rico Grand Concert Select reeds.
 

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It took me a while for Stephen's tone to grow on me. I'm still kind of new to jazz and I'd never heard that much breathiness before. He's become one of my favorites. His duet with John Brown, another great local musician (yes, Stephen is from here), is fantastic: Once Upon a Dream. This is one of my absolute favorite albums!

That one's not quite as breathy. Check out Inside Out or Easy to Remember to hear what I'm talking about.
 

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Stephen has a new cd out called "El Gaucho" for anyone interested...I listen to him more than anyone these days. His tone is fascinating to me and his playing is just fantastic! I've never met him but oddly I'm friends with his sister...
 

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i could be wrong, be i hear a lot of Jimmy Guiffre influence in Stephen's sound. The album Once Upon A Dream is fantastic.
 

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Stephen is playing on a hard rubber Otto Link 9* with #5 Rico Grand Concert Select reeds.
That's a very intimidating setup.
 

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First off, i love Stephen...we just had a jazz gala together and now he is about to tutor me when he comes back from touring Europe... Some songs of his are "Big Foot, Night and Day, I'm an old Cowhand, and There's a small hotel", you can hear these on youtube.
 

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Based on this thread, I checked out some of Riley's clips on Amazon and ended up ordering a couple of CD's ("Hart-beat" and "Once Upon a Dream"). What an interesting player!
 

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I was lucky enough to see him in a small club here in Tallahassee Fl. with Marcus Roberts, Rodney Jordan, Jason Marsalis, and Scotty Barnhart. Man what show. They all just dropped in on the jazz jam night.. anyway... Stephens sound was very airy and whispy..interesting to say the least... he could sure play!!!
What a treat of an evening. all free and i was sitting front row about 12 feet away.


Tom
 

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Another great tenorist to check out!
 

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Just found some close-up/behind the scenes type clips on YouTube of Stephen put up by ProjectSax. Some great stuff in there!' Funny too..."you know this costs 50$ right? ". "Ohhh, I don't have no money..." Look on Stephens face is priceless!!! I think it's in part 2 of the 3 vids
 

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If u listen closely to what he says in the masterclass vids, he's saying some really important stuff about Jazz education and how to learn--what and How to practice ...some real pearls of wisdom...
 

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Since the last time I posted here, not only have I met Stephen, but we have become friends. It's not often that most of us get to hang out with our favorite musician, but Stephen comes to town about once a month or so to teach privately and stays at my house. I've learned a ton to say the least. I would tell you about all of hilarious stuff we talk about, but that would no doubt land me in forum jail...

Setup update: Stephen is not playing the Link or grand concert #5 anymore. They quit making those reeds in a #5. He's currently playing a Ted Klum 9* (given to him by Ted) and Vandoren blue box #5.

Also he has a brand new record just out on SteepleChase called "Lover".
 

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