10/25/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 298)


12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 298

Date: 10/25/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


In today’s improvisation I wanted to sculpt a sound mood that was immediately evocative of a melancholic, deep feeling of the blues.  I used wide vibrato with a de-tuned C minor triad, along with small interruptions by a chord series.  This improvisation took shape after working with a small cluster of tones in the upper register with the pitches B, Bb, B, and C.  I immediately identified with the sad quietness of this sound.   The fingering used for this was as follows:

(Left Hand) 1-2, Octave, Low B, Palm Eb only // (Right Hand) 1-3.  Cycle open and closed the Side Bb and C key (in the left hand) in turn.

This fingering system was used to interrupt the flow of triadic motion, but was not intended to disturb it–just interrupt it.  I felt this clustered sound carried with it the same spirit as the melodic triad.  I eventually used this root fingering without the sound cycle, aplied vibrato to it, and played the Concert C that opens the improvisation.  For the improvised triadic material, I chose fingerings that allowed for slight movements between groupings of two pitches, but centered my embouchure on the top most of those two each time they were played.  This resulted in a wide-arching vibrato bend on each pitch.  The melodic material used the pitches C, G, Eb, and C, which were fingered as follows:

High C:

(Left Hand) 1-2, Octave, Low B, Palm Eb only // (Right Hand) 1-3

Middle G:

(Left Hand) 1-2, Octave, Low B // (Right Hand) 1-3

Middle Eb:

(Left Hand) 1-2, Octave, Low B // (Right Hand) 1-3

Middle C:

(Left Hand) 1-2-3, Octave, Low B, Palm D // (Right Hand) 1-2-3


The image “El Rosario” accompanying today’s post by Jose R. Alicea.