Yeah. I asked him a lot of questions, but the main thing that came out of it was phrasing and articulation; basically, over-emphasizing phrases to make them more 3 dimensional, if you will.
He got me to improvise, then played what I played in the same way. He then played the same thing again using strong articulation and it sounded completely different as well as sounding fantastic. I know it seems really obvious, but actually hearing it right in front of you makes it very clear.
He also talked about how important timing is, and how this can be a weakness with horn players. He gave an example of good timing by showing how Stan Getz would count in the band - by playing a solo 4 bar intro on the sax, completely in time.
In the 5 days he was here, he met with local musicians as well as the world-class musicians he was playing with. He had time for everyone and came across as completely geniune.
I've had the honour of playing with the man himself twice with a big band and a quartet...
Conductor decided to make me do a solo-off...
Didn't end well...
And articulation was the theme then as well.
I've also played with Bruce Adams, Steve Waterman and Mark Nightingale and they all had a focus on different things. Steve on swinging (ie swing phrasing and getting the rhythm section to swing), Mark on scales and patterns and Bruce on a bit of everything. I've only had these priveledges due to a great music teacher/band leader. You're very lucky to get a 1 to 1 like this
Thread resurrection (could be a record)
The conductor of Maghull Wind Orchestra (Phil Shotton) also conducts and plays tenor sax with his Swingshift Big Band and the played last weekend in Southport with the amazing Alan Barnes.
I'm lucky to have seen him play 4/5 times over the last few years as my tutor also runs a Jazz venue and Alan has played there, my tutor has a lesson with Alan each time he visits and raves about his teaching technique.
I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart - Swingshift Big …: http://youtu.be/30D3vFgSJnc