Harold McMillen Blues Jam at Victory Grill

I attended Harold McMillens blues jam at the historic Victory Grill last night. Everyone was friendly and I had a nice time playing tenor sax. There was a $3 cover charge for the musicians but I did not have to pay for parking. I was joined by alto saxophonist Art Martinez during the jam. Art is a wonderful blues saxman with a very good personality! I look forward to attending this jam session often!

Paul Maine Jazz Band Welcomes Drummer Jimmy Fenno

We are delighted to add Drummer/Vocalist Jimmy Fenno to the Paul Maine Jazz Band.  More about drummer/vocalist Jimmy Fenno. Jimmy has excellent chops and brings a great deal of energy and enthusiasm to every performance.

Photo of Jimmy Fenno


Photo of Jimmy Fenno

Antone’s Blues Gig

Last night I performed with Ted Hall and The Pleasure Cats at the legendary Antone’s blues club. It was a surreal experience to realize that I was performing on the same stage that the following people have performed on: Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Pinetop Perkins, James Cotton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmie Vaughan, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Los Lonely Boys, Ian Moore, Bob Schneider, Bono & The Edge of U2, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Eric Clapton, Dwight Yoakam, Bruce Willis, Elvis Costello and many others.

Ted Hall’s Blues Church/Jam

This past Sunday night I attended Ted Hall’s Blues Church/Jam at Jax Neighborhood Cafe near the U.T campus. The jam session is from 8PM-Midnight and musicians of all levels are invited. The house band is named “The Pleasure Cats”. The house band had a horn section consisting of  Dave Boostrum on trumpet and valve trombone, Tommy Wald on baritone sax and  Art Markman on tenor sax. Everyone in the band was very friendly to me and I had a great time playing the blues.

Ted Hall is a wonderful guitar player and owns the Austin Guitar School. If you’re are looking for a good guitar teacher – contact Ted!

Louis Richard Emerson 1921-2011

Photo of Richard Emerson

Richard Emerson

This post is a tribute to my friend Richard Emerson.  Richard was a friend, fellow musician and my world war II hero. He was nearly 90 years old when he passed. Richard played the keyboard and we performed at the Baker Theater in Lockhart Texas for several years. When Richard and I first met and discovered that we were both musicians – an instant connection was made that transcended the generation gap.

Richard told me many stories. He was a WWII pilot that towed gliders into Normandy on D-Day. He was shot down behind enemy lines and lived to tell the story.

I learned many new ( to me ) songs from Richard that I have added to my bands song list. Richard greatly enriched my life and many others. He was able to introduce me to Opera’s – without his prodding I would never have even tried an opera.

Goodbye my friend and thank you for sharing a part of your life with me!

Improve your Sound with Audi-Graph-Part I

How often is a beginning musician asked to develop a quality sound?

A new software application has been developed by a NASA engineer and it is named Audi-Graph. It turns out that the notes on our instrument consist of a fundamental frequency and a number of harmonic frequencies. The timbre of a flute playing a particular note sounds different than a saxophone playing the same note. The harmonics are what make the instruments sound different.  If you compare a professional saxophonists sound to a beginner – you will notice a difference in sound quality. Once again the difference is the harmonics.  Prior to Audi-Graph the student would listen to a good professional sound and then try to emulate that sound. This is usually a process that is trial and error and can take many years.

Audi-Graph provides visual cue’s that can allow a student to make changes ( e.g. more pressure on the reed or opening up the throat ) and see how the changes compare to a professional’s harmonics.  Simply put – if you can match the harmonics  then you will have a professional sound. The Audi-Graph software includes an ever expanding library of classical and other musical styles artists that the student can use as a reference point and try to match harmonics.

After visiting the Audi-Graph website, I was so interested that I purchased the software. I am not a beginner but I see many potential applications that I will write about in future blog articles. In addition to greatly accelerating the time it takes to develop a professional sound, I see many other applications of this software for the developing and professional musicians.

Stay tuned for future articles.

Missy and Andrew’s Wedding Reception

The jazz trio will be performing at the wedding reception for Missy and Andrew from 6-9PM.

Making a Sax Mouthpiece Stand

A good friend of mine in Houston Texas just posted a “how to” article on constructing a nice mouthpiece stand. Many of us have collected a number of different mouthpieces over the years – it is nice to be able to see all of them rather than keeping them packed away. Its also convenient to try some of your old friends!

Don Kelly Mouthpiece Stand Article

Check Out Eric Daniel’s “Jesus Said” YouTube Video

Sorry for the slowdown in my posts for the last couple of months of last year. I would like to wish everyone a prosperous and happy new year!

My first post of the year is to share a really cool video of saxman Eric Daniel and Friends performing a song named “Jesus Said”

I meet Eric Daniel on Twitter last year and started following his tweets ( http://www.twitter.com/ericdanielsax ). Eric is a wonderful player who likes to “give back”. Last year I reviewed his book “The Saxophone Survival Kit”. This book contains a wealth of practical knowledge from the school of hard knocks!

The song “Jesus Said” is from Erics “Old Sax Nu Soul”. You can purchase at: Purchase Old Sax Nu Soul

Please visit the Eric Daniel website.

I hope you enjoy the following video as much as I have:

Smalls Jazz Club in New York City has a searchable archive by instrument or artist

Smalls Jazz Club in New York City has a searchable archive by instrument or artist. This is a very interesting archive of live performance recordings featuring the best in the business. It is so nice to be able to search by instrument or artist!