Archive for III

Blindfold Bootleg Series: Walter Smith III

Posted in Improvisation, Musical Influences, Performance with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2015 by pogo56

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I’ve maintained for years that Walter Smith III is the Wayne Shorter of my generation.  I say this of the Houston native because like Wayne Shorter, who’s played alongside the greatest trumpet players of his generation and above (Miles, Freddie Hubbard, and Lee Morgan immediately come to mind); Walter has also done the same with his generation, performing with the likes of Ambrose Akinmusire, Sean Jones, Darren Barrett, Terence Blanchard, and Dave Douglas.  Walter has one of the most seamless streams of music originality that you can imagine coming from and improvising music.  He’s dona ALL of his homework so he is at home in any style that’s laid before him.  Not only is he a great saxophonist, he’s also an excellent composer, arranger, and educator.  Here’s what Walter had to say after hearing the examples:

Example 1: Marcus Strickland live at the Regattabar Cambridge Ma 2008
Marcus Strickland (sounds like his tone and time feel)

Response:  I’ve been listening to Marcus for years…I met him at IAJE when I was in high school and he was playing a white LA Sax! He blew me away then and continues to be one of my favorites and a real torch bearer for our generation.

Example 2: Myron Walden live at Fat Cat NYC (year unknown)
Not really sure on this one ….if I had to guess I would say Myron Walden? Sounds like his alto phrasing and articulation a bit, but I don’t know his tenor playing quite as well as his alto playing.
Response:  It’s cool how you can hear someone’s nuance regardless of the instrument they are playing! His playing with fellowship was a huge inspiration to me and still is. Also “Like A Flower Seeking the Sun” is still on the desert island list…

Example 3: Logan Richardson live at the Duc du Lombards Paris 2013
Logan Richardson (pretty awesome sound and patience).

Response: One of the absolute trend setters on the saxophone these days who is always pushing and inspiring. Another dude that’s carrying the torch for the generation!

Example 4: Ravi Coltrane live at the Jazz Standard 2013
So familiar but i can’t place it! My guess is going to be J.D. Allen but it’s more Trane than Wayne here.

Response: I can’t believe I missed this one! Especially because I’m pretty sure that I was at this show one day that week! Ravi has great ideas and great phrasing and always brings the energy!

Example 5: George Garzone live at the Museum Boston (year unknown)
Again, super familiar but I can’t place it! great sound/taste.

Response: Wow! Garzone! He’s a bad dude and has taught just about everybody I know at some point. Always great to hear him.

Example 6:  Bill McHenry Live at the Village Vanguard Nyc (year unknown)
hmm…

Response: I only have “Roses” and the quartet record with Paul Motian so I’m not as familiar with his playing as the rest of the guys here but getting more of his stuff is definitely on my list of things to do. Great ideas and unique directions with his phrases. Very cool.

Example 7:  Tim Warfield live at Scullers (year unknown)
Tim Warfield? Sounds like his sound and inflection for sure.
The one thing that’s happening here is I’m realizing how small my sound is!
Response: Tim is my man! Fell in love with his playing from the Nicholas Payton records in high school and he’s definitely a powerful saxophone player. He has one of the most colorful tones and set of inflection of anybody. I’d also imagine it would be fun to play in a rhythm section behind him since he has so much energy all the time.

Do yourself a big favor if you haven’t already and pick up Walter’s latest record on his website!!

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