06/17/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 168)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 168

Date: 06/17/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

Location: Practice Room B at South Whidbey High School

Between students this afternoon I spent a bit of time inside the Practice Room B at South Whidbey High School.  On the drive over to the school a Coltrane recording of “Gee Baby Ain’t I Good to You” was on the radio.  The piece opens with a two chord figure in the horns, with tenor, trumpet and trombone playing a repetitive blues figure over and over before Coltrane begins playing the melody.  I haven’t heard this recording in years and the honest blueness of it stayed with me into this improvisation.  This improvisation was balanced around a central split tone, which I found to be amazingly melancholic and inspired me to create a bluesy atmosphere around it.

The central split tone figure creates the Concert pitches E and F (quarter step flat), which is only produced with an extreme amount of back-pressure while playing.  I used mostly pitches from the common Blues Scale on this improvisation, but relied on the power of the split tone to create rhythmic cycles and colors around it.  The fingering was as follows:

Concert E and F (quarter step flat) (Left Hand) B-A-G keys, Octave, Low B // (Right Hand) F# key, Low C


The image “Bleeding Takari II” accompanying today’s post by El Anatsui.