I'm a freelance writer by day and a working jazz musician by night, and often I am able to combine my two lines of work. This blog is for posting gigs & various rants about music and life in general.

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Location: Central Illinois, United States
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Monday, February 14, 2005

on the sunny side of the street

That's right...the sun is finally peeking out from behind gray skies, and there are shadow on my street, which means there must also be a sunny side to it. My mundane Monday mood is improving already!

Had a nice, relaxing weekend with minimal obligations. The Swing Daddies gig on Saturday went well. We had a nice crowd at the Rhythm Kitchen. You can catch us again this Friday at the Contemporary Arts Center Five Spot Jazz night (5.30-7.30 pm).

I've been trying out tenor mouthpieces lately. I usually play alto, partly because I hate the two tenor mpcs I currently own. But I've got a tenor student now, and I'm tired of bringing my sop to lessons to play along with him (easier to play together if I don't have to transpose on alto).

So I talked to a fellow sax player in town the other day and he offered to let me borrow a few mouthpieces he's no longer using to try out. I thought he'd give me 2 or 3 to blow on, but when I met him at his gig the other night he presented me with a large box and told me to take my time, he's happy with his current setup and is in no hurry to get these back. Turns out he's quite the collector...I've now got about 17 mouthpieces sitting on my kitchen counter. I've started playing on them but haven't gotten around to trying out all of them yet. So now they're organized in 3 categories: one tupperware container labeled "good/decent," one labeled "not so great," and one labeled "not tried yet."

Most of the metals are Links of various facings, some of which are ok, some of which I didn't like much at all. My two favorites so far are a hard rubber Meyer (6) and a metal Sugal (don't remember the facing). I've always been partial to hard rubber...I don't like the edge I get playing on metal. But then again, I don't have huge lungs and I'm not a large person, so sometimes I can use all the help I can get to get a bigger sound & fill up the horn. Maybe metal's the way to go. But the Meyer has a nice full sound and offers little resistance. I think I like it best. Maybe I'll see if I can buy both and then I'll have a choice should I decide to play more tenor. I hate it when you buy a mouthpiece and think it's great, then after playing on it for a month or two you decide it really isn't as super as you originally thought. Then you're out $80+. Or more. Last time I looked at a WB catalog Sugals ran around $400!

Folks are starting to find my blog, and some comments have been posted. One fellow even posted to my blog, then followed a link to a friend's blog (see link section to the right!) and commented on his blog. I love how we with similar interests can stay connected simply through email, blogs, and the like. Doesn't matter where we live. Music really does create a bond with folks; it's a great way to make friends, "virtual" or whatnot.

Thanks for reading, all. And have a happy Valentine's Day!


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