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Discussion Starter #1
Great video featuring Walter Blanding during a rehearsal with Wynton's quintet.
I love his tone!

[video=facebook;10150243238461077]http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150243238461077&oid=10058392975&comments[/video]
 

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He's part of the Lincoln Center band and yes, he does swang his a$$off.

I suspect he doesn't get talked up much because his style is too swing oriented.
 

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KILLIN'!!!!! Perfect blend of "old style sound" with technique to burn. Looks like he's playing on an old Chu? Doesn't matter.....he sounds freakin' great!

Thanks for posting, Liam!

John
 

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A very intimate setting! Whomever lives in this apartment, they must have nice neighbours. Love the clip.
 

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Walter plays great! I've had the luck of playing side by side with him in a Jam session and he's all you'd expect from clips like this one. Cool, centered, full of resources and not a single note he plays is aimed at "showing off" his amazing skill. He played the curved sop on that jam and he killed! Also he has an amazing musical instinct, he ended up playing sop with some famous tango musicians (Marinaro, Suarez Paz, etc) and he pocket'd the aesthetics of it after the first chorus.
He plays a Chu tenor in the small combos, and I believe a VI in the LCJO.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Here he is doing his best Gonsalves impression on "Diminuendo & Crescendo in Blue" with Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. I prefer the mellower tone he gets nowadays but he still sounds great.

 

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Walter plays great! I've had the luck of playing side by side with him in a Jam session and he's all you'd expect from clips like this one. Cool, centered, full of resources and not a single note he plays is aimed at "showing off" his amazing skill. He played the curved sop on that jam and he killed! Also he has an amazing musical instinct, he ended up playing sop with some famous tango musicians (Marinaro, Suarez Paz, etc) and he pocket'd the aesthetics of it after the first chorus.
He plays a Chu tenor in the small combos, and I believe a VI in the LCJO.
Wow that's crazy that you've jammed with him! I'm no expert though but in all the youtube/vimeo/facebook videos of him with Wynton & LCJO he's playing the Chu from what I can tell... never seen him playing a VI. maybe he used to. He was definitely playing the Conn when I saw LCJO soundcheck a couple years ago.
 

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Here he is doing his best Gonsalves impression on "Diminuendo & Crescendo in Blue" with Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. I prefer the mellower tone he gets nowadays but he still sounds great.

man I love how dirty he plays in that video - so many players seem afraid of that but he just goes the whole way. I prefer his tone these days too but ain't nothing wrong with his playing there!
 

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There's good reason to be afraid of playing dirty. Unless you are a total technique machine, cats will assume you're grandstanding, or trying to cover something up.

About the VI: Is it possible he'd want to use a different horn for mid-period Ellington than for early swing style with the ork? Or that the Chu simply isn't "in the pocket" for the section sound the ork wants?

Walter begins at 2:51 on the clip.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
He plays a Chu tenor in the small combos, and I believe a VI in the LCJO.
I saw him with LCJO last summer and he was playing his Conn. + All the recent clips of that band show him playing a Conn so I presume he plays it for everything. Haven't seen any clips of him playing a Selmer. He used to play a Keilwerth as per the the diminuendo and crescendo clip. Not that any of it actually matters.
 

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now that you guys mention, I'm not sure he was using a VI... I'm sure he wasn't using the Chu in the LCJO as later on, when jammin' we talked 'bout vintage american horns (I play on Bueschers and have played on Bueschers all my life) this was 2005. I recall Wes on a Borgani alto, Goines on one delacquered VI tenor, Joe Temperley as usual on a 12M... I'm not sure about Walter while playing in the LCJO. In the jam he played a curvie as stated.
 

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I think Bueschers are still a bridge too far for serious jazz players. When I started using them 10-11 years ago, it was precisely because no jazz was being played on them.

Basically I wanted to test the belief that they were only right for Rascherian playing. I disproved that belief for my own purposes as a modestly skilled jazz player. But at the world-class levels, jazz still is not played on Buescher saxes.
 

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I hope you're right. I love the Chus, but I never forget that they are still the exceptions that prove the rule. It takes an an incredible player (like Walter) to transcend all that.
 

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I think Bueschers are still a bridge too far for serious jazz players. When I started using them 10-11 years ago, it was precisely because no jazz was being played on them.

Basically I wanted to test the belief that they were only right for Rascherian playing. I disproved that belief for my own purposes as a modestly skilled jazz player. But at the world-class levels, jazz still is not played on Buescher saxes.
Perhaps not at this moment. Let's not forget that Johnny Hodges and Russell Procope played Buescher altos for quite a big chunk of their careers. Ike Quebec played a Big B tenor. I believe that Noel Jewkes (a great but underrated Bay Area tenorman) used to play a Buescher 400. Jerry Dodgion played a 400 on his album with Charlie Mariano. Dan Block blows a True-Tone soprano and recorded his first CD on an Aristocrat tenor. Now he plays a 10m tenor.
 

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BTW, Walter doesn't play a mk VI. I don't think he even own one. He plays the Conn on every gig. He's got a 12m baritone and a Yanagisawa curved soprano. He played a Keilwerth tenor about 10 years ago and a Yamaha 61 before that. I met Walter in 1986 and he had the Yamaha then.
 

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Re the Buescher issue, I don't think there is any real musical reason, more a lack of tradition. As I said, you have to be a monster player to go against tradition so casually.
 
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