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Colin the Bear

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I was looking for something miles away from my usual stuff and found this in a book at the back of a shelf. I tried all afternoon to get it on a saxophone. It seemed to suit the sop but I couldn't get it in tune. I tried the alto. It fit but still sounded out of tune. I tried the tenor and it just sounded odd. I only got half way through on the Bari before deciding err ...no. I didn't think it would suit the clarinet but I was pleasantly surprised. So I recorded this...

https://soundcloud.com/colin-the-bear/the-air-that-i-breathe

A surprisingly enjoyable tune to play. I may have enjoyed it a bit too much though.
 
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Wade Cornell

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Well played Colin. Finding something you can put yourself into is always good.
 

llamedos

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It could have been written for clarinet. I enjoyed it from beginning to end and envy your control throughout the instrument and the piece. Many thanks for improving my day!!

Dave
 

Colin the Bear

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Thanks chaps.

I enjoyed the discipline of trying to play it straight with no freestyle phrasing and trying to get the pure tone. Not as much control as I would have liked and I did get a bit carried away trying to turn the fudges into decorations :blush:. I find it hard playing on the beat. My instinct is to swing the up beat. Nice piece to play as a tone exercise. The BiaB says its a Kladerman piano.
Who'd a ' thought
 

thesaxman71

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Thanks chaps.

I enjoyed the discipline of trying to play it straight with no freestyle phrasing and trying to get the pure tone.

Not straight pure tone at all, far from it..
I just can't get past that overly fast vibrato you use, it ruins all your pieces for me so i tend not to listen to them (even tho i want to) knowing i can't get past that vibrato, so this time i tried again and to listen through fully, giving it a chance but still i felt the same at the end, vibrato grated on me.
this is just my opinion but i firmly stand by it.

I am sorry if i offend or sound blunt but i am not trying to sound like a 'git' or an A-hole or too picky or trying to think i am some kind of sax playing star cos i am not, and i am not knocking the overall playing which is fine, but simply drawing from much experience i have in music, to me it would sound much better without the vibrato or MUCH slower, imo. But if you are happy with it then that is for you to enjoy.

My comments above are not meant in a nasty or personal in any way, I am not judging and i am simply being constructive. I feel on these forums there is a lot of back patting in general regarding postings (this has been mentioned by various people a few times) and sometimes i feel the constructive and more nitty gritty comments are not posted enough.
Besides I respect that you are able to handle mere words on a forum.
regards,
Ian
 
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Colin the Bear

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I understand.

The statement I made was "trying" for a pure tone. I'm well aware that it is far from it. That was the best I could do at that moment and it was better than where it started from earlier that day.

I'm a totally self taught player, almost 60 years old with more time behind me than infront. I have no pretentions of greatness and play because I must, for my own sanity. I've decided to let it take me where it takes me. Lots of people like the way I play, which encourages me. No doubt lots don't like it. I don't play for them and they shouldn't listen.

You don't like my vibrato. You feel the need to keep saying you don't like my vibrato. Does it bother you that much? I wonder why. You have to opt to listen to it. It's not like I live next door and it's coming through thin walls.

I can only suggest you stop listening because it's not going to go away.

I am what I am and that's all I am.

This is where I'm aiming http://youtu.be/zs_DD_7C8_A

WARNING. MUCHO VIBRATO
 

thesaxman71

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I understand.

The statement I made was "trying" for a pure tone. I'm well aware that it is far from it. That was the best I could do at that moment and it was better than where it started from earlier that day.

I'm a totally self taught player, almost 60 years old with more time behind me than infront. I have no pretentions of greatness and play because I must, for my own sanity. I've decided to let it take me where it takes me. Lots of people like the way I play, which encourages me. No doubt lots don't like it. I don't play for them and they shouldn't listen.

You don't like my vibrato. You feel the need to keep saying you don't like my vibrato. Does it bother you that much? I wonder why. You have to opt to listen to it. It's not like I live next door and it's coming through thin walls.

I can only suggest you stop listening because it's not going to go away.

I am what I am and that's all I am.

This is where I'm aiming http://youtu.be/zs_DD_7C8_A

WARNING. MUCHO VIBRATO

i opted not to click on the link, i guess for me it would be hideous...

the reason it grates on me is that underneath that damn over done vibrato (my opinion) what i hear is a nice melodic player who can really enhance their overall feel and playing to another level with a simple vibrato task of slowing it the hell down and it is never too late to correct bad habits, we ALL got them, and having years past or forward is by the by, music learning is ageless.
I am in full respect of you being self taught and i only bring the vibrato thing up cos i want to listen to your stuff without knowing i will click it off when the vibrato starts cos i hear the melodic side of you but to me and probably most players if they are honest enough to say like i am, the vib is way too much, even tho they may just pat you on the back and say nowt. it is in me to hear potential and want to bring it out, who am i? i am nobody... except a sax player/musician who can hear more potential in a lot of musicians than they can in themselves maybe and can suggest idea's how to enhance that potential.

humble,not shy to speak my mind, blunt but not trying to offend, but honest, to quote, "I am what I am and that's all I am".
 
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Wade Cornell

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Colin and I have had a go around about this in the past (before you showed up?). It's now kind of a joke: he's got Parkinson's and I've got Alzheimer's. Colin is more than aware of his vibrato and compared to some earlier recordings has tamed it somewhat (compared to what it used to be). My first teacher was a New York top pro who is credited with initiating the New York style/school of sax playing. Well that was New York in the 1920s, so I learned to pay with vibrato (in the late 1950s). These things are a matter of fashion to some degree, but I agree that if you've got a good tone then it's sometimes more powerful to express this purely. Vibrato I see as just another tool to be used. Sometimes appropriate, sometimes not, like growls and slurs. In the world of technical fast playing there is no point in using vibrato, but in the world of a slow ballad it can be very appropriate. Would we criticize a jazz singer for using vibrato? Is there really a difference?
 

thesaxman71

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Colin and I have had a go around about this in the past (before you showed up?). It's now kind of a joke: he's got Parkinson's and I've got Alzheimer's. Colin is more than aware of his vibrato and compared to some earlier recordings has tamed it somewhat (compared to what it used to be). My first teacher was a New York top pro who is credited with initiating the New York style/school of sax playing. Well that was New York in the 1920s, so I learned to pay with vibrato (in the late 1950s). These things are a matter of fashion to some degree, but I agree that if you've got a good tone then it's sometimes more powerful to express this purely. Vibrato I see as just another tool to be used. Sometimes appropriate, sometimes not, like growls and slurs. In the world of technical fast playing there is no point in using vibrato, but in the world of a slow ballad it can be very appropriate. Would we criticize a jazz singer for using vibrato? Is there really a difference?
if the singer used it nice and subtle in a slower warm sounding way then great, but if they used it way too fast or sounded like a shivering goat there would be a huge difference and would ruin the music.

not saying anyone here is playing like a shivering goat before i get misquoted or attacked.
 
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Jamesmac

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I agree with the Saxman on the use of vibrato. Listening to a constant vibrato can be very distracting. A good vibrato should compliment the music. If you are aware of the vibrato, then it's probably too much. But on the plus side, it's good for covering up bad intonation.
 

kevgermany

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Guys, you're entitled to an opinion on someone's playing and interpretation. But what's important is that Colin plays it the way he wants. If you don't like it, walk away, but don't try and dictate. We need individuality, not clones.
 

Wade Cornell

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No disrespect but there is a difference between style and bad habits. I'm suffering from some bad habits since I haven't had a lesson for 53 years and left off playing for a long while in between. Right now I'm trying to find a teacher to help me get rid of some awkward fingerings and other problems. Colin is a confessed self learner. As such he's developed an extremely fast vibrato. Absolutely true he can keep it and ignore comments, or do something about it. There's no hiding it. My ears have noticed that it's not as extreme as it once was. I don't think this type of vibrato is much different to a player who uses excessively heavy tonguing. That is equally not a very pretty sound and some might comment. Still up to the individual to change or ignore.

There needs to be balance IMHO or this site could loose it's function as a place for players to be able to post and receive constructive criticism in a safe and supportive environment. Shouldn't be anyone acting as the sax police, and it definitely shouldn't be all be pats on the back. I don't think that anyone has stepped over the line. Colin is a big boy who can either accept opinions (that's all they are) or be happy/satisfied with his sound and not care how it sounds to others.

Of course you, as a moderator can push this site in any way you see fit and scuttle our comments, ban individuals, etc. Your power and prerogative.
 

Colin the Bear

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I suppose we all develop habits over time. Is it arrogant to assume that habits are misguided or unintended?

I do accept and value other players opinions and take them on board. I value them more if I enjoy their playing.

Playing is a personal thing. It touches you or it doesn't. It may touch you in a way that offends. Consider yourselves a little touched.
 

Jamesmac

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Guys, you're entitled to an opinion on someone's playing and interpretation. But what's important is that Colin plays it the way he wants. If you don't like it, walk away, but don't try and dictate. We need individuality, not clones.


Kev. FWIW I was talking about vibrato in general, in fact my thoughts started to think about how Opera singers deal with vibrato and how they use it to shape the phrases and give life to the drama enfolding in the Opera. I was about to write that all opera singers use the vibrato in this way, and then I remembered how Jose Carreras used to annoy the hell out of me with his over the top vibrato. A side point, I still consider myself as a Clarinet player ( that uses no vibrato) and so would have a different approach to most sax players in the use of a sax vibrato, so I wouldn't dream dictating what is the ideal sax vibrato, but I admire guys who will bring up these points as a constructive criticism , and only to help and not hinder.
 

aldevis

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I feel like stepping in...
Personal opinion: I am with saxman about Colin's vibrato, but if Colin really likes it, no issue.
Like saxman, I was a big Brecker fan (I took years to change). It is not necessarily a good thing, but his light vibrato is something hard to achieve and puts you in a musical context where any faster or wider vibrato sounds "old" or "Ackerbilky"

Less personal opinion: being able to perform several kinds of vibrato or no vibrato at all (harder than one would think) is a skill worth achieving. Habits or bad habits are sometimes dangerous: A tenor player that always widely vibrates his middle D is a nightmare in a big band. Clearly it is a habit to hide tuning issues on that note, but it will stay with him as "his style" for a long time. He is quite low in my dep list.
 

thesaxman71

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I feel like stepping in...
Personal opinion: I am with saxman about Colin's vibrato, but if Colin really likes it, no issue.
Like saxman, I was a big Brecker fan (I took years to change). It is not necessarily a good thing, but his light vibrato is something hard to achieve and puts you in a musical context where any faster or wider vibrato sounds "old" or "Ackerbilky"

Less personal opinion: being able to perform several kinds of vibrato or no vibrato at all (harder than one would think) is a skill worth achieving. Habits or bad habits are sometimes dangerous: A tenor player that always widely vibrates his middle D is a nightmare in a big band. Clearly it is a habit to hide tuning issues on that note, but it will stay with him as "his style" for a long time. He is quite low in my dep list.
Agreed, (but i do listen to more than just 1 sax player)
and my vibrato comments are meant as a positive constructive thing and not as a bad attitude or 'slagging off' in any way.
forums i thought are meant for all view points, good bad and ugly but without being offensive.

ps.
i tried to PM you Colin but your inbox is full.
 
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gladsaxisme

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I know for a fact that Colin does not me to defend him or his playing, and I and am sure that most people that comment may be trying to be constructive in their own way, but at times it seems to me that too many people just want to jump on the bandwagon "no pun intended"I was always taught if you don't have anything nice to say its best not to say anything, that does not mean that it is not nice to comment at all but having commented in a fair way it's best not to embellish your statements with other comments like I find it hard to listen to you or the likes,that must get a bit grating and off putting, I for one always enjoy Colin's playing and take it for what it is ie Colin playing the way he wants to, there have been many people's musical postings that I have been unable to listen too but I do not consider it fair to start telling them that in an open forum ......john
 

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