06/08/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 159)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 159

Date: 06/08/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

Location: Home studio in Clinton, WA (Whidbey Island)


This morning I learned about the passing of saxophone legend Bert Wilson (1939-2013).  A pioneer of multiphonics as a course of study, Bert was a deeply soulful and thoughtful player.  He inspired countless musicians across a career that spanned decades.  I had the great fortune to spend about 4 hours with Bert earlier this year.  That afternoon being my first and last time hearing him play in person and listening about his storied career as an innovator and saxophone master.  What a joyous man.  What a beautiful man.  

I found myself thinking today that I don’t celebrate people enough while they’re here.  Fortunately, during Bert’s later years there were so many people that were close to him and collaborated with him.  I’m certain this must have added so much happiness to his life. My improvisation today is inspired by a bit of the conversation I had with Bert.  We had a very interesting talk about the importance of melodicism in music, and coming from Bert I wasn’t at all surprised to hear him talk about the importance of melody as the core component of why we listen to music.  When I first heard Bert I was deeply inspired by his ability to play multiphonic chords in such a soulful and melodic way.  A rainbow of love streamed from Bert’s instrument and I’m so fortunate to have spent even a few brief hours in his presence.  As Bert told me, “The more you know the more you blow."  Great teachers are always great students themselves, and Bert radiated this with every note he played.


The image accompanying today’s post is of Bert Wilson live in action.