Happy New Year

It’s hard to believe we’re now thirteen years into the ‘future’.  Pretty much every year from here on out sounds like a science-fiction number to me.  Then again, I watched a season 1 episode of The Sopranos the other day from 1999, and that seemed outdated.  Perhaps I’m just an anachronism. Anyways, in 2013 I’ve resolved to be a bit more active on this blog.  As facebook has become a nightmarish tool for those afraid to have a civil discussion on a barstool, I’m trying to disengage from the malicious source altogether.  There’s all sorts of great things happening in Nashville’s jazz scene, and ideally this blog will give me a chance to illuminate them without inundating my “virtual friends.” So to kick things off, …

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Summer Conclusions

Summers always disappear so fast.  Ever since I was little and took summer trips with family, played sports in Maine or studied intently at music camps, summer has been a time for departing from the norm and self-discovery.  The summer of 2012 has been no exception. First and foremost, here in Nashville summer 2012 brought on the first ever Summer Jazz Camp at the Nashville Jazz Workshop.  We had a great group of over 20 high school kids from the area have fun learning and sharing through jazz.  The camp was a great success, thanks mostly to the very hard work of all the people involved, notably Joe Davidian, Jonathan Wires, Larry Seeman, Duffy Jackson, Chester Thompson, Connye Florence, Matthew White, and of course Lori …

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You’re Live in Three, Two, (one) —>

It was a great weekend of music at Pete Miller’s in Evanston, IL.  The Northwestern University campus and Evanston are in some ways unchanged and some ways very different.  Ten years ago it seemed like I had hundreds of friends and colleagues in and around the area.  Walking along there nowadays seemed like the ground had swallowed up and digested that universe with new people and businesses playing their roles in the recognizable Evanston facade, only to perhaps find the same result in 2022. 2022 sounds so futuristic, doesn’t it?  In remarking about the ease of having a pet cat versus a dog, my friend mentioned that the task is even easier since the litter box is cleaned by a robotic ‘litter’ dispenser.  It seems …

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Camp!

It’s been a busy spring here in Nashville, although since we hit 90 degrees yesterday it really seems like an early summer.  Some recent news to share: This past weekend I had the distinct honor and privilege of playing with The Queen of Soul herself.  It was pretty wild to hear all the famous soul tunes that I’ve played at weddings and events countless times being sung by Aretha herself.  She completely killed it for 90 minutes and had the audience (and the band!) in the palm of her hand.   Yesterday I received some excitement from the mailman (not that excitement, get your mind out of the gutter) – the June issue of Downbeat.  When I first became enthralled with the jazz scene as …

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Tenor Players Passing Through

It’s been an exciting 2012 here in Nashville so far.  Monday nights have been a fun hang  since Chester Thompson started leading his trio at the Commodore Grille, and now the Nashville Jazz Orchestra is playing an early set there every Monday at 5:30!  Sportsman’s Grille has continued its Wednesday night jazz series, the Charles Walker Trio has been playing many Tuesday nights, Beegie Adair Trio on Thursdays at F Scotts…it’s been a thrill getting out and hearing so many inspiring players. As a tenor saxophonist it’s been an especially thrilling winter.  First Bob Mintzer was here as a guest soloist with the Nashville Jazz Orchestra.  The band played about 12 of his charts and Bob sounded ridiculous.  He’s so incredibly expressive, and his tone …

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NY Times

The show with JD Souther was a big hit (despite what Stephen Holden might lead you to believe!).  The band played great and JD was totally captivating.  There’s a review of the show with a beautiful picture in the NY Times. Also exciting is that this week Falling Up has officially ‘charted’ – reaching number 36 on Jazzweek’s Top 50 Jazz Chart for January 17th.  It’s the only album among the top 50 that is self-released! And for future excitement, I just confirmed that I’ll be playing with Cassandra Wilson when she performs with the Nashville Symphony as part of the jazz series on March 2nd.  Time to practice! – evan

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The Famous 27 Chorus Paul Gonsalves Solo

Few solos in the history of jazz have as much notoriety and hyperbole as the 27-chorus solo played by tenor saxophonist Paul Gonsalves with Duke Ellington’s band at the Newport Jazz Festival of 1956.  The solo was an interlude between “Diminuendo in Blue” and “Crescendo in Blue,” two separate compositions penned by Ellington in 1937 but usually woven together in performance by a piano interlude and tenor solo. I’ve heard and read various contradictory accounts about the events leading up to the performance of “Dimiuendo and Crescendo in Blue” at Newport in 1956.  The recent lack of success of Duke’s band; possible punishment for recent performance problems stemming from Paul’s alcohol and drug addictions; tensions among the ‘high-society’ patrons of Newport with the younger dancehall …

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Things Falling Up at the End of 2011

A few quick hits while preparations for the unfurling of 2012 commence… Falling Up continues to receive a lot of great airplay.  Crecent City Ditty just had its first spin on one of the world’s premier radio stations: WWOZ – the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station! Incredibly, every one of the eight tracks on Falling Up has received airtime on terrestrial radio.  JazzWeek  – the definitive Jazz  national radio airplay chart – has recently ranked the album 80th in the country for weekly airplay. Falling Up also received recognition in the Nashville Scene’s 2011 jazz and blues roundup, including being one of seven albums on the “Local recording scene honor roll.” Here’s to lots more excitement in 2012! – evan

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Falling Up now available!

I’m very pleased to announce that Falling Up is now officially available worldwide.  By my count five of the eight tracks have already received air time on terrestrial jazz radio across the country.  I’ve compiled a list of stations that have been spinning tracks below – if you’re in the broadcast area don’t hesitate to call in and request a track! The first reviews of Falling Up have arrived as well.  I’ll link them here but moving forward I’ll post all of that information on my press page. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of the album, there are myriad ways to do so.  Falling Up is available on itunes, amazon, CD Baby, emusic, and a number of other internet sources.  If you’re …

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Selflessness

As we work on developing our voice, one of the processes that occurs is that we grow our vocabulary.  As a saxophonist, I am always working on new shapes to portray distinct sounds and colors on specific chords.  The practice room is just the practice room however, and when I’m playing live I can only focus on playing with forward motion.  Trying to “squeeze in” a lick or shape that I’ve been practicing never works – it usually sounds contrived and interrupts the natural flow of the solo.  I’ve learned this the hard way over time, that you must separate the practice room from the performance. Teacher extraordinaire Greg Fishman calls the attempt of forcing licks into a solo the “Lobster Theory.”  When you order …

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