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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Thinking of Dexter Gordon

Saxophonist Dexter Gordon is one of the first names I mention to young students looking to get hip to the sounds of jazz.  Unmistakable for his saxophone sound and rhythmic feel, Dexter’s playing remains easily identifiable among legions of followers and imitators.  I learned a number of standards from his recorded renditions, including It’s You Or No One, Love For Sale, The Shadow of Your Smile, You Stepped Out of a Dream, and Star Eyes. While Dexter became known to a mainstream audience late in his career due to his leading role in the movie ‘Round Midnight for which he was nominated as best actor for the 1986 Oscars, he has always been known to jazz fans for his use of riffs and quotes in …

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An Exciting Evening of Music and Art

It is with great pleasure that I tell you about an upcoming evening of music and art which I am honored to be a part of. Gallery One of Nashville is to present a chamber music recital on the 11th of March, 2009, at 7pm. The recital will feature violinist Sean Neukom, cellist Alicia Storin, and Oboist Evan Cobb. The design of the program is to highlight employment of color and texture in music. First on the program is Sonata for Violin and Cello by Maurice Ravel. While this work utilizes the typical subtlety and contour of Ravel, it also hinges on the use of dissonance, vivacious rhythmic patterns, and Gypsy bravura found throughout the composer’s later works. Second, Mr. Neukom will parry with the …

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Monk’s Music In Nashville

Last night I had the pleasure of playing in another ensemble at the Nashville Jazz Workshop.  The group was a septet dedicated to the music of Thelonious Sphere Monk.  We performed six of his tunes, including two which were previously unknown to me: Four In One and Little Rootie Tootie.  The septet featured some original arrangements and the alto saxophone playing of Denis Solee, as well as the bass playing of the Workshop’s co-owner Roger Spencer.  I’ve posted some personal playing highlights below, with yours truly on the tenor saxophone.  I hope that you enjoy listening. Epistrophy ‘Round Midnight Bright Mississippi – evan

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Thinking of Coltrane

As a high school student first piquing my interest in jazz, I remember becoming fascinated by the way John Coltrane cut through the changes of standard repertoire in the ensembles of Miles Davis.The Prestige album Workin’ was one of the first albums that I ever purchased, and the solos of Miles and Trane on the tracks ‘Trane’s Blues’ and ‘In Your Own Sweet Way’ were some of the first material that I ever transcribed. To a young listener developing my ears with the vocabulary of jazz, I found it enthralling to listen to Trane flow effortlessly and melodically across harmonic changes. In Your Own Sweet Way As I furthered my musical studies, I found that I preferred the playing of a number of John Coltrane’s …

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A Highlight Recording From Last Week

I thought you might enjoy hearing a recording from my gig at the Nashville Jazz Workshop last week.  The septet played the music of Thelonious Monk, and I got to share the lead honors with Denis Solee on Monk’s gorgeous ballad “Ruby My Dear.”  Denis and I split up the melody and solos, so he starts off the tune, and I take the tune from the bridge each time.    Ruby My Dear     Please let me know if you enjoy the recording.  If you do I’ll consider posting more recent recordings.   -evan

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Details on Upcoming Gigs

Here’s the scoop on my upcoming performances in Nashville.   This Saturday night, I will be playing with the rhythm and blues band the Dynagroove Allstars at the French Quarter Cafe.  Dynagroove is a 9-piece band with catchy tunes and some funny song subjects.  I believe this show is free and it starts at 8pm.  This coming Tuesday night, I will be performing at the Nashville Jazz Workshop with a jazz septet playing the music of Thelonious Monk.  The septet recently lost a member and filling in will be none other than Dennis Solee, the master of all things Nashville Saxophone.  Come watch us battle it out over tunes like Well You Needn’t, Evidence, and Ruby My Dear.  This show is free and also starts …

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A New Saxophone Player In Nashville

With the sudden onset of October, I realized that my summer is over and Nashville has been my home for almost a month now.  So far I’ve really enjoyed acclimating to Music City – there are tons of hip areas (much in walking distance), amazing weather, and the people have been warm and receptive.  It seems like the majority of folks that I have met here are not actually from Nashville or the Tennessee area at all, but are instead transplants like me attracted to the music scene.   The music scene itself has been quite interesting to me so far.  Despite what I’ve been led to think about the massive country music industry down here, I’ve actually seen very little of that around, save for …

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