Transcription: Chet Baker’s Vocal Solo on ‘It Could Happen To You’ off the album Chet Baker Sings

This is the first time that I've transcribed a vocal solo. I was drawn to it because of how short and simple the solo is, yet it's very melodic and Chet uses some fantastic tensions here and there. After transcribing it, I have tried to learn from it by starting to play Chet's solo for the first 16 bars and then continuing with my own improv, whilst still trying to sound like Chet. I find it extremely challenging to not slip into my usual lines, not to over play, not to use modern patterns or ideas and just to keep it clear, concise and melodic a la Chet. You give…
Read More

Transcription: TSgt Tedd Baker’s Tenor Sax Solo on ‘Lately’ by Stevie Wonder, as performed by the Airmen of Note off their album iTempo Latino.

Check out TSgt Tedd Baker's tenor saxophone solo on "Lately" by Stevie Wonder as recorded by the Airmen of Note on their album iTempo Latino. I was very lucky to hear the Airmen of Note featuring Peter Erskine at the I.A.J.E. Conference in Long Beach, California in January 2005 and was totally blown away by the band. I bought their CD after the performance and just fell in love with Ted's solo on this tune, arranged as a Bossa Nova by Chuck Loeb. Firstly, Tedd's solo is really melodic. I love his rhythmic approach; for example the rhythmic anticipations he utilises in the opening line of the solo, his use…
Read More

Transcription: Sam Skelton’s Tenor Sax Solo on ‘Freudian Slip’ by Gordon Vernick off the album, Destination.

I thought I'd share a transcription I recently completed of an amazing saxophonist, Sam Skelton. I discovered this solo on a good friend of mine, Gordon Vernick's album, Destination. What really drew me to this solo is the way in which Skelton phrases and accents certain notes in his lines. In order to improve my articulation, phrasing and use of space, I decided to work out this solo and I learnt a great deal from it. The process I use when transcribing a solo is the following: I listen to the solo many times and attempt to sing along with the solo so that it is ingrained in my mind's…
Read More
Bidvest 2015

The Jazz Musician’s Guide to Corporate Gigging

This is a compilation of tips and tricks and dos and don'ts, which I have compiled over several years of gigging in the corporate scene both in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Many of these points have been inspired by actual events. Obviously, one would assume that the musician would already have the technical skills required to work in this sphere of the music industry, such as excellent reading skills, good intonation, the ability to play in different styles, to follow a conductor, to play in time to a click track and possibly even double on other instruments. I would like to thank several music deperados of corporate gigging who have all…
Read More

Top 10 Pubs in Cape Town (According to Sax Players!)

A crucial element for the survival and mental well-being of the modern, Southern African saxophonist - is a decent British-style pub. I got together with some saxophone-playing friends, who are known to be men of the world and experts on lager, to bring you the top 10 British-style pubs in Cape Town. To us, rugby on the telly, draught beer & live jazz are the most important criteria, however we also rate good service, a descent pub menu and a nice view/location. I was joined on this quest by Marc de Kock (In With a Shout), Justin Bellairs (Kesivan & The Lights), Evan Froud (The Load Shedders), Martin Fennell (The…
Read More

Tackle These 10 Things When Starting Jazz

I began my formal musical education as a classical clarinettist and pianist at junior school. I added the saxophone to my arsenal at high school because I wanted to join the big band which played at our Friday assemblies and sounded so fresh and exciting. After I matriculated, I went on to university to study classical clarinet and later changed my course to major in jazz studies on saxophone. Knowing what I know now (several years later), I believe that one should tackle these ten things head-on when starting jazz, in order to give yourself a fighting chance at being a respectable jazz musician. I would like to note, that…
Read More

12 Reasons Why Cape Town is a Great City in which to be a Jazz Musician

I really enjoy making my living as a jazz musician in Cape Town. Here are a few reasons why. 1. Cape Town is a small city, so if you have a car or a motorbike, getting around is very quick and easy. Sometimes musicians have between two to four gigs a day in the height of season. My personal record is seven gigs in a waking day, although not all of them were jazz gigs. 2. The market is not saturated with musicians, so I believe that finding or creating work is easier than in places like Europe, Australasia or North America. If you can play at a reasonably good…
Read More

Transcription: Chet Baker’s Vocal Solo on ‘It Could Happen To You’ off the album Chet Baker Sings

This is the first time that I've transcribed a vocal solo. I was drawn to it because of how short and simple the solo is, yet it's very melodic and Chet uses some fantastic tensions here and there. After transcribing it, I have tried to learn from it by starting to play Chet's solo for the first 16 bars and then continuing with my own improv, whilst still trying to sound like Chet. I find it extremely challenging to not slip into my usual lines, not to over play, not to use modern patterns or ideas and just to keep it clear, concise and melodic a la Chet. You give…
Read More

Transcription: TSgt Tedd Baker’s Tenor Sax Solo on ‘Lately’ by Stevie Wonder, as performed by the Airmen of Note off their album iTempo Latino.

Check out TSgt Tedd Baker's tenor saxophone solo on "Lately" by Stevie Wonder as recorded by the Airmen of Note on their album iTempo Latino. I was very lucky to hear the Airmen of Note featuring Peter Erskine at the I.A.J.E. Conference in Long Beach, California in January 2005 and was totally blown away by the band. I bought their CD after the performance and just fell in love with Ted's solo on this tune, arranged as a Bossa Nova by Chuck Loeb. Firstly, Tedd's solo is really melodic. I love his rhythmic approach; for example the rhythmic anticipations he utilises in the opening line of the solo, his use…
Read More

Transcription: Sam Skelton’s Tenor Sax Solo on ‘Freudian Slip’ by Gordon Vernick off the album, Destination.

I thought I'd share a transcription I recently completed of an amazing saxophonist, Sam Skelton. I discovered this solo on a good friend of mine, Gordon Vernick's album, Destination. What really drew me to this solo is the way in which Skelton phrases and accents certain notes in his lines. In order to improve my articulation, phrasing and use of space, I decided to work out this solo and I learnt a great deal from it. The process I use when transcribing a solo is the following: I listen to the solo many times and attempt to sing along with the solo so that it is ingrained in my mind's…
Read More
Bidvest 2015

The Jazz Musician’s Guide to Corporate Gigging

This is a compilation of tips and tricks and dos and don'ts, which I have compiled over several years of gigging in the corporate scene both in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Many of these points have been inspired by actual events. Obviously, one would assume that the musician would already have the technical skills required to work in this sphere of the music industry, such as excellent reading skills, good intonation, the ability to play in different styles, to follow a conductor, to play in time to a click track and possibly even double on other instruments. I would like to thank several music deperados of corporate gigging who have all…
Read More

Top 10 Pubs in Cape Town (According to Sax Players!)

A crucial element for the survival and mental well-being of the modern, Southern African saxophonist - is a decent British-style pub. I got together with some saxophone-playing friends, who are known to be men of the world and experts on lager, to bring you the top 10 British-style pubs in Cape Town. To us, rugby on the telly, draught beer & live jazz are the most important criteria, however we also rate good service, a descent pub menu and a nice view/location. I was joined on this quest by Marc de Kock (In With a Shout), Justin Bellairs (Kesivan & The Lights), Evan Froud (The Load Shedders), Martin Fennell (The…
Read More

Tackle These 10 Things When Starting Jazz

I began my formal musical education as a classical clarinettist and pianist at junior school. I added the saxophone to my arsenal at high school because I wanted to join the big band which played at our Friday assemblies and sounded so fresh and exciting. After I matriculated, I went on to university to study classical clarinet and later changed my course to major in jazz studies on saxophone. Knowing what I know now (several years later), I believe that one should tackle these ten things head-on when starting jazz, in order to give yourself a fighting chance at being a respectable jazz musician. I would like to note, that…
Read More

12 Reasons Why Cape Town is a Great City in which to be a Jazz Musician

I really enjoy making my living as a jazz musician in Cape Town. Here are a few reasons why. 1. Cape Town is a small city, so if you have a car or a motorbike, getting around is very quick and easy. Sometimes musicians have between two to four gigs a day in the height of season. My personal record is seven gigs in a waking day, although not all of them were jazz gigs. 2. The market is not saturated with musicians, so I believe that finding or creating work is easier than in places like Europe, Australasia or North America. If you can play at a reasonably good…
Read More

Transcription: Chet Baker’s Vocal Solo on ‘It Could Happen To You’ off the album Chet Baker Sings

This is the first time that I've transcribed a vocal solo. I was drawn to it because of how short and simple the solo is, yet it's very melodic and Chet uses some fantastic tensions here and there. After transcribing it, I have tried to learn from it by starting to play Chet's solo for the first 16 bars and then continuing with my own improv, whilst still trying to sound like Chet. I find it extremely challenging to not slip into my usual lines, not to over play, not to use modern patterns or ideas and just to keep it clear, concise and melodic a la Chet. You give…
Read More

Transcription: TSgt Tedd Baker’s Tenor Sax Solo on ‘Lately’ by Stevie Wonder, as performed by the Airmen of Note off their album iTempo Latino.

Check out TSgt Tedd Baker's tenor saxophone solo on "Lately" by Stevie Wonder as recorded by the Airmen of Note on their album iTempo Latino. I was very lucky to hear the Airmen of Note featuring Peter Erskine at the I.A.J.E. Conference in Long Beach, California in January 2005 and was totally blown away by the band. I bought their CD after the performance and just fell in love with Ted's solo on this tune, arranged as a Bossa Nova by Chuck Loeb. Firstly, Tedd's solo is really melodic. I love his rhythmic approach; for example the rhythmic anticipations he utilises in the opening line of the solo, his use…
Read More

Transcription: Sam Skelton’s Tenor Sax Solo on ‘Freudian Slip’ by Gordon Vernick off the album, Destination.

I thought I'd share a transcription I recently completed of an amazing saxophonist, Sam Skelton. I discovered this solo on a good friend of mine, Gordon Vernick's album, Destination. What really drew me to this solo is the way in which Skelton phrases and accents certain notes in his lines. In order to improve my articulation, phrasing and use of space, I decided to work out this solo and I learnt a great deal from it. The process I use when transcribing a solo is the following: I listen to the solo many times and attempt to sing along with the solo so that it is ingrained in my mind's…
Read More
Bidvest 2015

The Jazz Musician’s Guide to Corporate Gigging

This is a compilation of tips and tricks and dos and don'ts, which I have compiled over several years of gigging in the corporate scene both in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Many of these points have been inspired by actual events. Obviously, one would assume that the musician would already have the technical skills required to work in this sphere of the music industry, such as excellent reading skills, good intonation, the ability to play in different styles, to follow a conductor, to play in time to a click track and possibly even double on other instruments. I would like to thank several music deperados of corporate gigging who have all…
Read More

Top 10 Pubs in Cape Town (According to Sax Players!)

A crucial element for the survival and mental well-being of the modern, Southern African saxophonist - is a decent British-style pub. I got together with some saxophone-playing friends, who are known to be men of the world and experts on lager, to bring you the top 10 British-style pubs in Cape Town. To us, rugby on the telly, draught beer & live jazz are the most important criteria, however we also rate good service, a descent pub menu and a nice view/location. I was joined on this quest by Marc de Kock (In With a Shout), Justin Bellairs (Kesivan & The Lights), Evan Froud (The Load Shedders), Martin Fennell (The…
Read More

Tackle These 10 Things When Starting Jazz

I began my formal musical education as a classical clarinettist and pianist at junior school. I added the saxophone to my arsenal at high school because I wanted to join the big band which played at our Friday assemblies and sounded so fresh and exciting. After I matriculated, I went on to university to study classical clarinet and later changed my course to major in jazz studies on saxophone. Knowing what I know now (several years later), I believe that one should tackle these ten things head-on when starting jazz, in order to give yourself a fighting chance at being a respectable jazz musician. I would like to note, that…
Read More

12 Reasons Why Cape Town is a Great City in which to be a Jazz Musician

I really enjoy making my living as a jazz musician in Cape Town. Here are a few reasons why. 1. Cape Town is a small city, so if you have a car or a motorbike, getting around is very quick and easy. Sometimes musicians have between two to four gigs a day in the height of season. My personal record is seven gigs in a waking day, although not all of them were jazz gigs. 2. The market is not saturated with musicians, so I believe that finding or creating work is easier than in places like Europe, Australasia or North America. If you can play at a reasonably good…
Read More

Transcription: Chet Baker’s Vocal Solo on ‘It Could Happen To You’ off the album Chet Baker Sings

This is the first time that I've transcribed a vocal solo. I was drawn to it because of how short and simple the solo is, yet it's very melodic and Chet uses some fantastic tensions here and there. After transcribing it, I have tried to learn from it by starting to play Chet's solo for the first 16 bars and then continuing with my own improv, whilst still trying to sound like Chet. I find it extremely challenging to not slip into my usual lines, not to over play, not to use modern patterns or ideas and just to keep it clear, concise and melodic a la Chet. You give…
Read More

Transcription: TSgt Tedd Baker’s Tenor Sax Solo on ‘Lately’ by Stevie Wonder, as performed by the Airmen of Note off their album iTempo Latino.

Check out TSgt Tedd Baker's tenor saxophone solo on "Lately" by Stevie Wonder as recorded by the Airmen of Note on their album iTempo Latino. I was very lucky to hear the Airmen of Note featuring Peter Erskine at the I.A.J.E. Conference in Long Beach, California in January 2005 and was totally blown away by the band. I bought their CD after the performance and just fell in love with Ted's solo on this tune, arranged as a Bossa Nova by Chuck Loeb. Firstly, Tedd's solo is really melodic. I love his rhythmic approach; for example the rhythmic anticipations he utilises in the opening line of the solo, his use…
Read More

Transcription: Sam Skelton’s Tenor Sax Solo on ‘Freudian Slip’ by Gordon Vernick off the album, Destination.

I thought I'd share a transcription I recently completed of an amazing saxophonist, Sam Skelton. I discovered this solo on a good friend of mine, Gordon Vernick's album, Destination. What really drew me to this solo is the way in which Skelton phrases and accents certain notes in his lines. In order to improve my articulation, phrasing and use of space, I decided to work out this solo and I learnt a great deal from it. The process I use when transcribing a solo is the following: I listen to the solo many times and attempt to sing along with the solo so that it is ingrained in my mind's…
Read More
Bidvest 2015

The Jazz Musician’s Guide to Corporate Gigging

This is a compilation of tips and tricks and dos and don'ts, which I have compiled over several years of gigging in the corporate scene both in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Many of these points have been inspired by actual events. Obviously, one would assume that the musician would already have the technical skills required to work in this sphere of the music industry, such as excellent reading skills, good intonation, the ability to play in different styles, to follow a conductor, to play in time to a click track and possibly even double on other instruments. I would like to thank several music deperados of corporate gigging who have all…
Read More

Top 10 Pubs in Cape Town (According to Sax Players!)

A crucial element for the survival and mental well-being of the modern, Southern African saxophonist - is a decent British-style pub. I got together with some saxophone-playing friends, who are known to be men of the world and experts on lager, to bring you the top 10 British-style pubs in Cape Town. To us, rugby on the telly, draught beer & live jazz are the most important criteria, however we also rate good service, a descent pub menu and a nice view/location. I was joined on this quest by Marc de Kock (In With a Shout), Justin Bellairs (Kesivan & The Lights), Evan Froud (The Load Shedders), Martin Fennell (The…
Read More

Tackle These 10 Things When Starting Jazz

I began my formal musical education as a classical clarinettist and pianist at junior school. I added the saxophone to my arsenal at high school because I wanted to join the big band which played at our Friday assemblies and sounded so fresh and exciting. After I matriculated, I went on to university to study classical clarinet and later changed my course to major in jazz studies on saxophone. Knowing what I know now (several years later), I believe that one should tackle these ten things head-on when starting jazz, in order to give yourself a fighting chance at being a respectable jazz musician. I would like to note, that…
Read More

12 Reasons Why Cape Town is a Great City in which to be a Jazz Musician

I really enjoy making my living as a jazz musician in Cape Town. Here are a few reasons why. 1. Cape Town is a small city, so if you have a car or a motorbike, getting around is very quick and easy. Sometimes musicians have between two to four gigs a day in the height of season. My personal record is seven gigs in a waking day, although not all of them were jazz gigs. 2. The market is not saturated with musicians, so I believe that finding or creating work is easier than in places like Europe, Australasia or North America. If you can play at a reasonably good…
Read More

Transcription: Chet Baker’s Vocal Solo on ‘It Could Happen To You’ off the album Chet Baker Sings

This is the first time that I've transcribed a vocal solo. I was drawn to it because of how short and simple the solo is, yet it's very melodic and Chet uses some fantastic tensions here and there. After transcribing it, I have tried to learn from it by starting to play Chet's solo for the first 16 bars and then continuing with my own improv, whilst still trying to sound like Chet. I find it extremely challenging to not slip into my usual lines, not to over play, not to use modern patterns or ideas and just to keep it clear, concise and melodic a la Chet. You give…
Read More

Transcription: TSgt Tedd Baker’s Tenor Sax Solo on ‘Lately’ by Stevie Wonder, as performed by the Airmen of Note off their album iTempo Latino.

Check out TSgt Tedd Baker's tenor saxophone solo on "Lately" by Stevie Wonder as recorded by the Airmen of Note on their album iTempo Latino. I was very lucky to hear the Airmen of Note featuring Peter Erskine at the I.A.J.E. Conference in Long Beach, California in January 2005 and was totally blown away by the band. I bought their CD after the performance and just fell in love with Ted's solo on this tune, arranged as a Bossa Nova by Chuck Loeb. Firstly, Tedd's solo is really melodic. I love his rhythmic approach; for example the rhythmic anticipations he utilises in the opening line of the solo, his use…
Read More

Transcription: Sam Skelton’s Tenor Sax Solo on ‘Freudian Slip’ by Gordon Vernick off the album, Destination.

I thought I'd share a transcription I recently completed of an amazing saxophonist, Sam Skelton. I discovered this solo on a good friend of mine, Gordon Vernick's album, Destination. What really drew me to this solo is the way in which Skelton phrases and accents certain notes in his lines. In order to improve my articulation, phrasing and use of space, I decided to work out this solo and I learnt a great deal from it. The process I use when transcribing a solo is the following: I listen to the solo many times and attempt to sing along with the solo so that it is ingrained in my mind's…
Read More
Bidvest 2015

The Jazz Musician’s Guide to Corporate Gigging

This is a compilation of tips and tricks and dos and don'ts, which I have compiled over several years of gigging in the corporate scene both in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Many of these points have been inspired by actual events. Obviously, one would assume that the musician would already have the technical skills required to work in this sphere of the music industry, such as excellent reading skills, good intonation, the ability to play in different styles, to follow a conductor, to play in time to a click track and possibly even double on other instruments. I would like to thank several music deperados of corporate gigging who have all…
Read More

Top 10 Pubs in Cape Town (According to Sax Players!)

A crucial element for the survival and mental well-being of the modern, Southern African saxophonist - is a decent British-style pub. I got together with some saxophone-playing friends, who are known to be men of the world and experts on lager, to bring you the top 10 British-style pubs in Cape Town. To us, rugby on the telly, draught beer & live jazz are the most important criteria, however we also rate good service, a descent pub menu and a nice view/location. I was joined on this quest by Marc de Kock (In With a Shout), Justin Bellairs (Kesivan & The Lights), Evan Froud (The Load Shedders), Martin Fennell (The…
Read More

Tackle These 10 Things When Starting Jazz

I began my formal musical education as a classical clarinettist and pianist at junior school. I added the saxophone to my arsenal at high school because I wanted to join the big band which played at our Friday assemblies and sounded so fresh and exciting. After I matriculated, I went on to university to study classical clarinet and later changed my course to major in jazz studies on saxophone. Knowing what I know now (several years later), I believe that one should tackle these ten things head-on when starting jazz, in order to give yourself a fighting chance at being a respectable jazz musician. I would like to note, that…
Read More

12 Reasons Why Cape Town is a Great City in which to be a Jazz Musician

I really enjoy making my living as a jazz musician in Cape Town. Here are a few reasons why. 1. Cape Town is a small city, so if you have a car or a motorbike, getting around is very quick and easy. Sometimes musicians have between two to four gigs a day in the height of season. My personal record is seven gigs in a waking day, although not all of them were jazz gigs. 2. The market is not saturated with musicians, so I believe that finding or creating work is easier than in places like Europe, Australasia or North America. If you can play at a reasonably good…
Read More

Transcription: Chet Baker’s Vocal Solo on ‘It Could Happen To You’ off the album Chet Baker Sings

This is the first time that I've transcribed a vocal solo. I was drawn to it because of how short and simple the solo is, yet it's very melodic and Chet uses some fantastic tensions here and there. After transcribing it, I have tried to learn from it by starting to play Chet's solo for the first 16 bars and then continuing with my own improv, whilst still trying to sound like Chet. I find it extremely challenging to not slip into my usual lines, not to over play, not to use modern patterns or ideas and just to keep it clear, concise and melodic a la Chet. You give…
Read More

Transcription: TSgt Tedd Baker’s Tenor Sax Solo on ‘Lately’ by Stevie Wonder, as performed by the Airmen of Note off their album iTempo Latino.

Check out TSgt Tedd Baker's tenor saxophone solo on "Lately" by Stevie Wonder as recorded by the Airmen of Note on their album iTempo Latino. I was very lucky to hear the Airmen of Note featuring Peter Erskine at the I.A.J.E. Conference in Long Beach, California in January 2005 and was totally blown away by the band. I bought their CD after the performance and just fell in love with Ted's solo on this tune, arranged as a Bossa Nova by Chuck Loeb. Firstly, Tedd's solo is really melodic. I love his rhythmic approach; for example the rhythmic anticipations he utilises in the opening line of the solo, his use…
Read More

Transcription: Sam Skelton’s Tenor Sax Solo on ‘Freudian Slip’ by Gordon Vernick off the album, Destination.

I thought I'd share a transcription I recently completed of an amazing saxophonist, Sam Skelton. I discovered this solo on a good friend of mine, Gordon Vernick's album, Destination. What really drew me to this solo is the way in which Skelton phrases and accents certain notes in his lines. In order to improve my articulation, phrasing and use of space, I decided to work out this solo and I learnt a great deal from it. The process I use when transcribing a solo is the following: I listen to the solo many times and attempt to sing along with the solo so that it is ingrained in my mind's…
Read More
Bidvest 2015

The Jazz Musician’s Guide to Corporate Gigging

This is a compilation of tips and tricks and dos and don'ts, which I have compiled over several years of gigging in the corporate scene both in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Many of these points have been inspired by actual events. Obviously, one would assume that the musician would already have the technical skills required to work in this sphere of the music industry, such as excellent reading skills, good intonation, the ability to play in different styles, to follow a conductor, to play in time to a click track and possibly even double on other instruments. I would like to thank several music deperados of corporate gigging who have all…
Read More

Top 10 Pubs in Cape Town (According to Sax Players!)

A crucial element for the survival and mental well-being of the modern, Southern African saxophonist - is a decent British-style pub. I got together with some saxophone-playing friends, who are known to be men of the world and experts on lager, to bring you the top 10 British-style pubs in Cape Town. To us, rugby on the telly, draught beer & live jazz are the most important criteria, however we also rate good service, a descent pub menu and a nice view/location. I was joined on this quest by Marc de Kock (In With a Shout), Justin Bellairs (Kesivan & The Lights), Evan Froud (The Load Shedders), Martin Fennell (The…
Read More

Tackle These 10 Things When Starting Jazz

I began my formal musical education as a classical clarinettist and pianist at junior school. I added the saxophone to my arsenal at high school because I wanted to join the big band which played at our Friday assemblies and sounded so fresh and exciting. After I matriculated, I went on to university to study classical clarinet and later changed my course to major in jazz studies on saxophone. Knowing what I know now (several years later), I believe that one should tackle these ten things head-on when starting jazz, in order to give yourself a fighting chance at being a respectable jazz musician. I would like to note, that…
Read More

12 Reasons Why Cape Town is a Great City in which to be a Jazz Musician

I really enjoy making my living as a jazz musician in Cape Town. Here are a few reasons why. 1. Cape Town is a small city, so if you have a car or a motorbike, getting around is very quick and easy. Sometimes musicians have between two to four gigs a day in the height of season. My personal record is seven gigs in a waking day, although not all of them were jazz gigs. 2. The market is not saturated with musicians, so I believe that finding or creating work is easier than in places like Europe, Australasia or North America. If you can play at a reasonably good…
Read More

Transcription: Chet Baker’s Vocal Solo on ‘It Could Happen To You’ off the album Chet Baker Sings

This is the first time that I've transcribed a vocal solo. I was drawn to it because of how short and simple the solo is, yet it's very melodic and Chet uses some fantastic tensions here and there. After transcribing it, I have tried to learn from it by starting to play Chet's solo for the first 16 bars and then continuing with my own improv, whilst still trying to sound like Chet. I find it extremely challenging to not slip into my usual lines, not to over play, not to use modern patterns or ideas and just to keep it clear, concise and melodic a la Chet. You give…
Read More

Transcription: TSgt Tedd Baker’s Tenor Sax Solo on ‘Lately’ by Stevie Wonder, as performed by the Airmen of Note off their album iTempo Latino.

Check out TSgt Tedd Baker's tenor saxophone solo on "Lately" by Stevie Wonder as recorded by the Airmen of Note on their album iTempo Latino. I was very lucky to hear the Airmen of Note featuring Peter Erskine at the I.A.J.E. Conference in Long Beach, California in January 2005 and was totally blown away by the band. I bought their CD after the performance and just fell in love with Ted's solo on this tune, arranged as a Bossa Nova by Chuck Loeb. Firstly, Tedd's solo is really melodic. I love his rhythmic approach; for example the rhythmic anticipations he utilises in the opening line of the solo, his use…
Read More

Transcription: Sam Skelton’s Tenor Sax Solo on ‘Freudian Slip’ by Gordon Vernick off the album, Destination.

I thought I'd share a transcription I recently completed of an amazing saxophonist, Sam Skelton. I discovered this solo on a good friend of mine, Gordon Vernick's album, Destination. What really drew me to this solo is the way in which Skelton phrases and accents certain notes in his lines. In order to improve my articulation, phrasing and use of space, I decided to work out this solo and I learnt a great deal from it. The process I use when transcribing a solo is the following: I listen to the solo many times and attempt to sing along with the solo so that it is ingrained in my mind's…
Read More
Bidvest 2015

The Jazz Musician’s Guide to Corporate Gigging

This is a compilation of tips and tricks and dos and don'ts, which I have compiled over several years of gigging in the corporate scene both in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Many of these points have been inspired by actual events. Obviously, one would assume that the musician would already have the technical skills required to work in this sphere of the music industry, such as excellent reading skills, good intonation, the ability to play in different styles, to follow a conductor, to play in time to a click track and possibly even double on other instruments. I would like to thank several music deperados of corporate gigging who have all…
Read More

Top 10 Pubs in Cape Town (According to Sax Players!)

A crucial element for the survival and mental well-being of the modern, Southern African saxophonist - is a decent British-style pub. I got together with some saxophone-playing friends, who are known to be men of the world and experts on lager, to bring you the top 10 British-style pubs in Cape Town. To us, rugby on the telly, draught beer & live jazz are the most important criteria, however we also rate good service, a descent pub menu and a nice view/location. I was joined on this quest by Marc de Kock (In With a Shout), Justin Bellairs (Kesivan & The Lights), Evan Froud (The Load Shedders), Martin Fennell (The…
Read More

Tackle These 10 Things When Starting Jazz

I began my formal musical education as a classical clarinettist and pianist at junior school. I added the saxophone to my arsenal at high school because I wanted to join the big band which played at our Friday assemblies and sounded so fresh and exciting. After I matriculated, I went on to university to study classical clarinet and later changed my course to major in jazz studies on saxophone. Knowing what I know now (several years later), I believe that one should tackle these ten things head-on when starting jazz, in order to give yourself a fighting chance at being a respectable jazz musician. I would like to note, that…
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12 Reasons Why Cape Town is a Great City in which to be a Jazz Musician

I really enjoy making my living as a jazz musician in Cape Town. Here are a few reasons why. 1. Cape Town is a small city, so if you have a car or a motorbike, getting around is very quick and easy. Sometimes musicians have between two to four gigs a day in the height of season. My personal record is seven gigs in a waking day, although not all of them were jazz gigs. 2. The market is not saturated with musicians, so I believe that finding or creating work is easier than in places like Europe, Australasia or North America. If you can play at a reasonably good…
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