Search Results for: amt sax
Instrument: Saxophone | AMT Products Used: LS, LSi, LS Studio
Keith McKelley’s energetic talent transcends genres with a rich, beautiful tone that travels the edgy frontiers of jazz, rock, R&B, funk, hiphop, and gospel. From the age of ten, Keith’s deed with E.C. Scott and Nancy Harmonp affinity with the golden sound of the saxophone took root, inspired by musicians like David Sanborn, John Coltrane, and Kirk Whalum. Beyond the greats, Keith’s inspiration came from closer to home – from listening to jazz with his mother, church performances, and witnessing the incredible connection between performers and their audiences. “It’s nice to feel part of something that can potentially make somebody’s life go a little better at the moment, ” he says of his love of music.
Since then, Keith has performed with some of the best artists in the business, sharing the stage with Secu Bunch, Angela Bofill, Humberto Ramirez , Micki Howard, Marcus Johnson and Bob James. He also toure; and has opened for Wayman Tisdale, Marlon Meadows, Special EFX, Richard Smallwood, Larnelle Harris, Jesse Dixon, and Michael Terry. Currently, he is a professional endorser of Theo Wanne Mouthpieces and Cannonball Saxophones. He recently released his self-titled album Keith McKelley.
I can honestly say that being in Tower of Power is a dream come true. I get lost in the joy of this incredible sound coming together from so many sources and spirits. It’s a language that transcends words, an experience that defies description. Here’s some free-form verse that tries to capture what it’s like when a solo really feels like its going somewhere:
…This feeling…so much like flying, though your feet never leave the ground
Weaving in and out of currents, riding the prevailing wind
Then realizing the wind is ready to follow you….me!
Follow the twists and turns of my permutated mind
All of a sudden I feel again, that burst of energy, so unique
That I can only imagine comes from this particular way of flight
And not the kind where you’re running from
The kind where you’re soaring on…….
That’s really what it’s like – flying. The patterns and colors unfolding underneath my wings – just the realization that I have wings! – all the changes and colors and rhythms that merge when the band comes together, spontaneously. We’re like birds doing maneuvers in perfect synchronization – a flock that’s been together for the ages. Sometimes I leave my body and wonder, Am I really creating this? (Laughs.)
I feel things heating up
The motif that began as such a simple idea has begun to morph into a journey
I’m not sure how this is happening, as so much of it feels unconscious
Like I’m just some big conduit of the universe
When the band is grooving along I feel an inner happiness, and peace. It’s like a perfect moment in time. It balances my soul. My troubles wash away. I’m reminded that, yes, everything’s gonna be all right, that everything is alright. It’s so obvious that I want to kick myself sometimes, that I could have ever taken this freedom, this gift, for granted.
I was born in Detroit and raised in Palo Alto, Calif. My parents were opera lovers so I grew up with a strong background in classical music. I took up the clarinet when I was ten and became pretty proficient playing in my school bands and with local youth orchestras. I wasn’t really exposed to much popular music, but half way through my junior year in high school, the Jazz Band needed someone to fill the baritone sax chair. I was skeptical, but playing Maynard Ferguson, Buddy Rich and especially “Squib Cakes” by Tower of Power convinced me! Had I not made the switch, I don’t think I would have become a professional musician.
The switch changed my life forever. Suddenly I was listening to T.O.P., Earth, Wind & Fire and all types of jazz and r&b. I started buying records and going to clubs. I was a regular at the Keystone Corner in San Francisco and saw so many greats — Dexter Gordon, Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Weather Report, Freddie Hubbard, Miles. Playing sax just transformed me. I started thinking, ‘I’d like to do that’ — sit on stage and perform with a great band — and being in Tower of Power, or Maynard’s band, or Buddy Rich’s band, was at the top of my list. To me, Tower represented one of the greatest bands I ever heard –- they were inspired and they were having fun.
Being in the band has definitely made me a better musician. It’s just something that happens when you’re around great musicians. It’s like a minor league ball player making it to the majors. Your game just gets better. Plus, I get a lot of creative energy from our fans. Their enthusiasm really feeds me.
There’s never been a band like this, ever. It’s just so unique. In the jazz realm you have sophisticated horn sections from Ellington to Thad Jones to Bob Mintzer and Carla Bley, to name a few. But it’s rare to hear our kind of complexity in soul and r&b. Our horn section is detailed into minutia, to the smallest detail. Think about it – notes that start, cut off and have to move together exactly at the same time! That’s what makes this band so tight. I don’t consider myself a virtuoso, but I love to solo! I love the challenge to be spontaneous, and creative, and funky, night after night, to connect with my feelings and emotions. That’s the language I try to speak. People who love Tower don’t need to know how complicated the music really is. The trick is bringing it off seamlessly. It’s like a big jigsaw puzzle — you can see the big picture when you put it all together.
Traveling around for six months of the year together, you become a family. And the fraternal bond I feel in Tower is extraordinary. These guys are my brothers. It’s got to be a team, or it wouldn’t work, and we actually all like each other too, believe it or not, and that isn’t always the case with a band on the road. I just wish I could share this experience with everyone.
“I carry my AMT to every rest stop the bus hits… you dig!” – Tom Garling
Tom Garling Trombonist, Composer, Arranger
Tom was born to Arthur and Lynn Garling on August 1st of 1965 in Danville, Illinois. After moving around a bit, his family settled in Barrington, Illinois when he was three. His interest and talent in music became evident at an early age. His mother started taking piano lessons when he was four, and he would watch her practice. After a while, he would sit down and play the music by ear. Throughout his childhood, he had a never-ending fascination in music, and was constantly making noise around the house. He played piano, played guitar, fooled around with recorders and violins that his older brothers would bring home from school, played along with records, even banged out rhythms on the table, much to the annoyance of his family.
At Barrington High School, Tom won numerous awards at jazz band competitions and played trombone in the Illinois All-State Jazz Band two years in a row. He also started playing keyboards in local rock clubs at the age of fourteen.
Tom studied arranging and composition at the Berklee College of Music from 1983 to 1985. At the age of 20, he left Berklee to tour with Buddy Rich for one year, starting January of 1986. He was on the last touring band before Buddy died. Buddy once said of him in an interview in Stockholm, Sweden: “Tom Garling is going to have a very, very strong future in jazz.” Once, while listening to Tom warm up for a gig, Buddy was overheard saying “Best trombone player I’ve heard in thirty years!”
In 1987, he enrolled at the University of Miami where he stayed for four years to receive a degree in Jazz performance and a Masters degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging. In the meantime, he played with such greats as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennet, Dizzy Gillespie, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, and Randy Brecker, to name a few. After graduation, he stayed one more year to teach improvisation classes, direct big bands, and coach small groups. Shortly thereafter, he joined Maynard Fergusons Big Bop Nouveau Band, and toured with Maynard as Musical Director and Trombonist for six years.
Along with his own album, “Maynard Ferguson Presents Tom Garling”, he is featured as soloist, composer/arranger, and guitarist on numerous Maynard Ferguson albums, “These Cats can swing”, “One more Trip to Birdland”(assistant producer), “Brass Attitude” (co-producer), Maynard with Tito Puente, “Special Delivery”, and Maynard with Dianne Schuur, “Swingin’ For Schuur”. Others albums include five with with Frank Mantooth, “Suite Tooth”, ”Persevere”, “Dangerous Precedent”, “Sophisticated Lady”, and “A Miracle”. You can also find him on a Buddy Rich cd of a 1986 recording at Stadshalle Leonberg, Germay. His talents as arranger have been utilized by Maynard Ferguson, Liza Minelli, Tito Puente, and Dianne Schuur. He has also been commissioned to arrange and compose by numerous Professional, College and High School bands around the country.
Tom currently resides in the Chicago area, and is highly sought after around the world as a recording artist, composer and arranger, teacher, clinician and professional musician at any capacity.
Tom Garling plays a modified King 2B “Jiggs Whigam” model trombone and a King 7C mouthpiece.
Instrument: Saxophone | AMT Products Used: LSW – Sennheiser/LS Studio/LS/LSW – Shure
“Stan’s using the newest generation of the AMT LS which allows for hardwired and wireless use as needed! Catch Stan out with Duran Duran and They Might Be Giants!” – Stan Harrison
Stan Harrison was born in Philadelphia and grew up in New Jersey which explains a lot of things. Soon after graduating from Rutgers University in New Brunswick he moved to New York, but not until spending 2 1/2 years with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, which explains a lot of other things. He has recorded and toured with everyone from David Bowie, Duran Duran and Radiohead to Serge Gainsbourg, They Might Be Giants and The Borneo Horns. He also composed music for documentaries as well as for things that in no way could be considered documentaries. Let’s leave it at that. He is currently promoting his 2nd CD, The Optimist, multiple copies of which can be purchased at CDbaby or Amazon.com (His first one, The Ties That Blind is also still available). Stay tuned for the posting of live shows and all other things remotely interesting.
Instrument: Saxophone | AMT Products Used: LS
Brian Landrus is a woodwind specialist, composer/arranger, and educator. Brian lives in Brooklyn, NY and grew up in Reno NV. Landrus is an in demand soloist with an individual voice on baritone saxophone, bass clarinet, bass flute, and alto flute. He has performed and/or recorded with many artists including George Garzone, Bob Brookmeyer, Michael Cain, Rakalam Bob Moses, Billy Hart, Lonnie Plaxico, John Lockwood, Frank Kimbrough, Donny McCaslin, Steve Wilson, Jay Anderson, Lewis Nash, Scott Robinson, Ryan Truesdell, Dave Pietro, Mike Rabinowitz, Herb Robertson, Greg Gisbert, Jerry Bergonzi, Steve Swell, Roscoe Mitchell, Jason Palmer, Darryl Harper, Danilo Perez, Ken Schaphorst Orchestra, Ayn Inserto Orchestra, Omar Thomas, John Carlson, Carmen Staaf, Lefteris Kordis, Warren Smith, Matthew Parish, Nir Felder, Rudy Royston, DJ Ecto, Frank Carlberg, Maria Schneider Orchestra, Allan Chase, Francis Vanek, Peter Epstein, David Ake, Allan Ferber, Larry Engstrom, Ed Corey, Grant Levin, Gerry Genaurio, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Martha Reeves, The Coasters, The Drifters, Mike Love, Nicholas Urie, Groundation, Rufus Haereiti, Jammal Tarkington, and many others. Landrus plays soprano, alto, tenor, baritone and bass saxophones; clarinet, bass clarinet, and contra bass clarinet; piccolo, flute, alto flute and bass flute; oboe, english horn, bassoon and piano. Brian has been awarded Baritone Saxophone “Rising Star” in Downbeat Magazine’s 2011 & 2010 Critics Poll. He is being acknowledged as one of the strongest voices on baritone saxophone & bass clarinet of his generation. He earned two Master of Music degrees from the New England Conservatory in Boston, (Jazz Composition and Jazz Performance) and was awarded the Gunther Schuller Medal by the faculty of NEC. Brian received his Bachelor’s degree in music performance at the University of Nevada Reno. Landrus plays many different genres of music and performs/records regularly with many groups including his own bands with which he has recorded six CDs. His 2007 recording “Forward”, was released by Cadence Jazz Records in the November of 2009 and received rave reviews. He recorded “Everlasting” for Cadence Records C.I.M.P. (Creative Improvised Music Projects) with Bob Moses, John Lockwood, and Jason Palmer which was released in 2011. Brian has recently launched his record label BlueLand Records and has recorded two CDs on this label which will be released in 2011. The recording “Traverse” features Billy Hart, Lonnie Plaxico, and Michael Cain. “Capsule” by the Landrus Kaleidoscope features Michael Cain, Nir Felder, Matthew Parish, & Rudy Royston. “Capsule” will be released on October 25, 2011.
Brian is faculty at the 92Y School Of Music and The Lagond Music School.
Instrument: Trumpet | AMT Products Used: P800/P800W-Shure/P800W-Sennheiser/P800 Studio
As we’ve all been told, birds do it, bees do it – but anyone who’s actually gone to the trouble of falling in love knows that it’s a lot more complicated when humans get involved. Which can make the reality of relationships a bit disappointing for those weaned on a steady diet of radio-friendly love songs, but can also provide a much richer experience than it’s possible to describe in a couple of verses and a chorus.
As has become evident over the course of his five previous albums, Sean Jones is particularly adept at plumbing complex emotional depths through his trumpet playing and composing.
So when he set his mind to recording a set of love songs, it should come as no surprise that he delved into the evocative nuances of love rather than the more obvious boys-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl generalities.
“I didn’t want to do your typical love songs record that just deals with one aspect of love, ” Jones explains. “Not just the love from a man to a woman or the positive emotional side of falling in love. I wanted to do an album that really dealt with a few different shades of love.”
2010 was certainly a year of change for the trumpeter. In the spring he stepped down from his position as Lead Trumpeter of Wynton Marsalis’ Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, a position that Jones held for over half a decade. Additionally, he formed a new relationship with Marcus Miller, joining the bassist this past summer for a European tour.
Now, in 2011, the title of Jones’ sixth CD, No Need For Words, sums up his overall approach. This is music that cuts straight to the emotional heart, whether dealing with passion, sensuality, parental nurturing, or spiritual forgiveness. Regardless of the particular feeling involved, Jones and his band communicate directly and movingly.
“It’s definitely an emotional statement, ” Jones says. “I tried to make sure that the melodies I created and the vibe that I put on each particular tune really carried the message rather than having it expressed verbatim.”
The title track itself, however, refers specifically to one aspect of love in which the verbal becomes unnecessary: the physical, carnal side, represented by some of Jones’ most sensual playing, his horn virtually reaching out of the speakers to lower the blinds and light the candles in the room where you listen.
“Look and See”, on the other hand, opens the album with a bright, engaging fanfare played by Jones and his longtime frontline partner, alto saxophonist Brian Hogans. The tune represents a far less intimate, more universal brand of love, something that Jones found missing from the repertoire as he prepared the album.
“I was thinking about the universality of love while we were on tour in Russia, ” Jones recalls, “and I started asking people, ‘What do you think about love?’ One young lady said, ‘Love is all around you. All you have to do is look and see.’ I immediately was inspired and started to hear music.”
That sort of inspiration is key to Jones’ creative process. Despite his penchant for creating albums that revolve around a central theme, those concepts arise out of the music he writes, not vice versa. “I allow the music to dictate what kind of album I’m going to put out, ” he says. “I don’t like to write music that’s contrived. For the past couple of years I’ve really been dealing with different types of love, so that’s the music that’s been speaking to me lately.”
Jones’ parents have both figured into that line of thinking. The gorgeous melody of the soulful “Momma” is such that, despite the album title, listeners may find themselves searching their memories for a forgotten lyric; it’s the type of song that instantly insinuates itself into the consciousness, seeming as familiar as a half-forgotten song. “Lately I’ve been seeing how my mother is getting older and I just want to make sure that she knows I love her and I appreciate what she’s given to me, ” Jones says. “She’s not old by any means, but I wanted to give her her flowers while she’s living.”
With a darker but ultimately redemptive view of the parent-child relationship, the gospel-inflected “Forgiveness (Release)” deals with the composer’s long-held feelings toward his father. “‘Forgiveness’ is specifically about letting go of the anger I had harbored up towards my father. It wasn’t necessarily about forgiving him or accepting his apology as much as it was about letting the situation go. I think that’s really what forgiveness is about, getting rid of the actual happening of the event so that you can move on with your life.”
Anger also enters into romantic relationships, expressed in the electrically-charged “Love’s Fury”, which features guitarist Matt Stevens responding to Jones’ request for a savage growl. “I told him, ‘I want it to sound like some kind of animal is going to come through the speakers and rip you apart.’ I tried to make it sound as nasty and evil as I possibly could.”
The disjointed, angular stop-start of “Touch and Go” depicts the back-and-forth, love-hate, on-again/off-again aspect of many relationships, while Hogans’ “Obsession (Cloud Nine)” reflects just what the title suggests, the all-consuming nature of love. But Jones’ view of love isn’t all so jaded; “Olive Juice, ” driven by Khalil Kwame Bell’s churning percussion, was inspired by a friend’s newfound love and takes its title teasingly from an episode of Friends.
Despite the multifarious views of amour represented on No Need For Words, an entirely different type of chemistry runs throughout the album – that between Jones and his bandmates, the core of whom are together for their fourth CD in five years. Jones assembled the rhythm section for his 2006 album Roots, after observing the fact that Miles Davis’ groups were comprised not of the legendary trumpeter’s friends but from the strongest available talent.
“Miles didn’t really hire his boys, ” Jones says, who plans to tour with Herbie Hancock, Marcus Miller and Wayne Shorter in Europe this summer, a direct nod to the Miles Davis legacy. “Miles just went out and got the people he thought would fit best together to create something new. I think it’s easy to hire people that you’re comfortable with: we know them, we know they can play, we’ll know they’ll get it done. But I tried to pick people who I’d played with but didn’t necessarily know all that well, bring them together and see what kind of sound came up. And the rhythm section that came out of that is very unique.”
That section consists of Philadelphia-based pianist Orrin Evans, whose recent projects include his raucous Captain Black Big Band and the collective group Tarbaby; bassist Luques Curtis, who co-leads a Latin-oriented quartet with his pianist brother Zaccai; and Miami-born drummer Obed Calvaire, who has also performed with Wynton Marsalis, Bobby Watson, Lizz Wright and Steve Turre.
No matter what angle they take on the subject, Jones and company’s blazing interactions reveals what any jazz fan knows is the greatest love of all: that between an artist and his music. As Jones says, “I like to play from the heart and not the head.”
Instrument: Acoustic Bass| AMT Products Used: S25B/SP25B
“AMT is the best microphone I have heard for accurately reproducing the true sound of the acoustic bass in a live setting. It mounts easily, and allows me to move freely without compromising tone.” – Scott Colley
His forceful lines, impeccable articulation, assured sense of swing and sensitive support have made Scott Colley the bassist of choice for such jazz legends as Jim Hall, Andrew Hill and Herbie Hancock. Colley’s remarkably empathetic skills, strong melodic penchant and improvisational daring have also served him well in groups led by colleagues Chris Potter, Greg Osby, David Binney and Adam Rogers. But it is as a composer and bandleader in his own right that Colley has flourished in recent years, as evidenced by a string of consistently impressive recordings, beginning with his 1996 debut Portable Universe, (Freelance) and continuing with 1997’s This Place (SteepleChase), 1998’s Subliminal (Criss Cross), 2000’s The Magic Line (Arabesque) and 2002’s Initial Wisdom (Palmetto).
“Although I love being a bass player, ” he has said, “I look to all instruments for ideas and inspiration. I think of myself as a musician first. I’ve been privileged to play under a lot of great bandleaders and now I’m trying to add to that with projects where I have more input compositionally.”
Since Colley’s own brand of music reflects his wide ranging musical influences and experiences over the years, putting a label on it is far too limiting. “I’m not really interested in creating genre music, ” he says. “I’m not even really that comfortable with calling my music jazz, although that’s one of my largest influences. But the great thing about improvised music is that it’s a language that allows for a individual to include anything that they’re interested in. And if you get with other musicians who also have that same openness, then anything is possible….any genre or idea can be entered into the mix. And to me that’s the most interesting part about what we do, placing the communication first before preconception so that we can make music together in a way that is unique to that particular time and place.”
Recognized by Down Beat as the top Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition in the magazine’s 2002 critics poll as well as a nominee in the 2003 Jazz Journalist Association Awards, Colley has been one of the most in-demand bassists on the scene, appearing on more than 80 albums to date. He has also worked with a variety of musicians from guitarists Mike Stern, Pat Metheny, John Scofield and Hall to saxophonists Joe Lovano, Michael Brecker, Clifford Jordan and Osby, pianists Hancock, Kenny Werner, Joachim Kuhn and Edward Simon, and drummers Bill Stewart, Brian Blade, Billy Hart and Roy Haynes, supplying the rich tones and driving momentum behind their music.
“I want to be involved in a lot of different music, ” the thoughtful composer-bass player said in the liner notes to Subliminal. “Some music might speak to me melodically, some rhythmically, some intellectually. If I’m playing with Jim Hall one night, with Andrew Hill the next and something more groove-oriented like LAN Xang the next, it just feeds a different part of me. It’s all music I listen to and absorb in different ways. Essentially, I have my style, whatever that is. And I can subtly adapt it for many different things. I don’t think of music in terms of ‘this is inside or this is old music.’ It’s more inclusive. It comes back to listening. When you’re listening to what’s really going on and not thinking about what you think is supposed to be going on, then you get to the root of what it’s about.”
Born on November 24, 1963 in Los Angeles, California, Colley began studying bass at age 11. At 13, he began studying with Monty Budwig while simultaneously woodshedding with Paul Chambers and Charles Mingus records and playing standards two nights a week at a jam session in Pasadena. By age 16, he discovered the music of Jaco Pastorius and Charlie Haden. The towering influence of Haden’s music came into his playing through the classic recordings of Ornette Coleman. “He had the same qualities of simplicity and beauty that I appreciated in Paul Chambers, ” he told writer Ted Panken in the liner notes to Subliminal . “More than that, I was impressed by his patience. He never plays anything superfluous. You get the feeling every note he plays is exactly what he means.”
From 1979 through 1981, Colley played duo gigs around L.A. with the great pianist-composer Jimmy Rowles. In 1984 he was granted a full scholarship to the California Institute for the Arts, where he focused on composition and jazz studies while also studying privately with Charlie Haden and classical bassist Fred Tinsley, of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In 1986, he began touring and recording with jazz vocal legend Carmen McRae. He graduated Cal Arts with a Bachelor of Music degree in 1988 and soon after moved to New York City. While continuing to work with Ms. McRae through 1990, he also made U.S. and European tours with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Clifford Jordan, Roy Hargrove and Art Farmer. From 1991 to 1995, he performed and recorded with many bands including John Scofield, James Newton, Joe Henderson, Billy Hart, Mike Stern, and Phil Woods. From 1996 to 1998, his work included the celebrated “Grand Slam” tour with Joe Lovano, Jim Hall and Yoron Israel and a separate band featuring Toots Thielemans, Bobby Hutcherson, Billy Hart and Kenny Werner; European tours with Lost Tribe; trio concerts with Ravi Coltrane and Al Foster; trio and duo engagements with Jim Hall; various gigs in quartets led by Chris Potter, Renee Rosnes and Bob Berg; extensive touring with Andrew Hill’s “Another Point of Departure” sextet and work with Lan Xang.
For the past 3 years, Colley has toured extensively as a member of Herbie Hancock’s working trio (with drummer Teri Lynne Carrington) and two separate quartets (one featuring saxophonist Gary Thomas, the other featuring vibist Bobby Hutcherson) at concerts around the world. Hancock’s trio has also performed in concert engagements with symphonic orchestras in the United States. He says his time with Hancock has been invaluable to his growth as a musician. “Watching Herbie as a leader is really an incredible thing, ” says Colley. “It’s taught me a lot about leading a band in a way that allows everyone else to express themselves. With Herbie, we talk about music all the time when we’re on the road but he never really says anything in terms of how he wants you to play. When it comes down to it, he really wants you to experiment all the time and find new things in the music every day. I think he’d rather see me try something new and screw up than play the same thing all the time. So in Herbie’s band, a certain piece of music might change from night to night to where you wouldn’t even recognize it from the beginning of the tour to the end.”
Colley’s plans for 2005 include extensive touring with “Directions in Music”, a collaboration with Micheal Brecker, Herbie Hancock, Roy Hargrove and Terri Lyne Carrington; Trio concerts with Pat Metheny; A Duo tour with Jim Hall; and with Scott’s new quartet, he will do 2 European tours, one U.S. tour, and a new CD release for the CAM record label.
“The thing that I really look for in terms of choosing projects, ” says the prolific bassist-composer-bandleader, “is getting with musicians who are really interested in conversation in music; creating something that’s alive and different every single time that it’s played. I’m interested in playing with musicians who are constantly creating a dialogue in music. And in terms of composition, I’m trying to find ways to bring the most in that regard out of each musician….searching for the forms and creating structures that are suited for each individual , that give them the most freedom to play on.”