Joffe Woodwinds Podcast 5 features the audio portion of the Keith Underwood—Flute Fundamentals video, in which he shares some of his thoughts on breathing and developing greater resonance in the tone as a result of improving one’s breathing efficiency.
Expert woodwind repairmen are among the most important professional associations for any performing artist. They often are the difference between having a good performance or a great one and allow us to achieve our potential. In this video, we examine the careers and artistry of four of the most respected woodwind repair technicians in the business—Mark Jacobi, Bill Singer, Tomoji Hirakata & Tony Salimbene. For anyone pursuing a career in woodwind performance, these repairmen should be familiar names. They come together here for the first time to share their insights and secrets in an inspiring roundtable discussion of their profession. Continue Reading →
My first foray into the world of pod casting came as a result of a former student of mine, Dustyn Richardson, recommending me to clarinetist Sean Perrin for his series of online interviews. Sean is the creator of Clarineat.com, a website that features pod casts related to the world of clarinet playing. (Sean and Dustyn are both excellent young woodwind professionals who hail from Canada and share a deep love for a diverse repertoire of music.) After Sean had expressed an interest in having me on his interview series, I sent him a copy of my book Woodwind Doubling for Saxophone, Clarinet & Flute and CD entitled Contrasts. (Sean is also a doubler of sorts—he plays clarinet and marimba—and displays his talents on his new CD, Dreamsongs.) He liked them enough to offer me the opportunity to talk about those products as well as the life of a multiple woodwind player in today’s changing music industry. What was supposed to be a one-hour session morphed into a three-hour interview conducted over Skype and now offered in three-parts. I hope you find the interviews entertaining and helpful. A brief description of each part follows:Continue reading
This video is a behind-the-scenes look into the world of the players who are the foundation of any full reed section—whether in a pit band, big band, movie soundtrack, or a symphonic setting. The low reeds set the pitch center and help determine the overall volume, balance and rhythmical stability of any woodwind ensemble. The players of this “chair” also must have the type of personality that allows them to be flexible when working with lead players of a woodwind section in order to mimic their pitch, phrasing and rhythmic feeling. These are three of the best artists at all of these responsibilities that I have met in my career. This video allows the viewer to understand the levels of excellence and versatility that Reed V players must demonstrate on the baritone saxophone, bassoon and bass clarinet—the instruments that orchestrators tend to emphasize when writing for Reed V.
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Also available as a podcast. During the 35-year period that I have worked in musical theater, I have encountered a few conductors who carried forth their responsibilities with not only great talent and integrity but also created a positive feeling within the orchestra and cast. The three gentlemen interviewed here represent that type of individual and this interview provides great insight into the conductor’s world. While their backgrounds are varied, they have all succeeded in finding a way to bring forth the best results and have a good time. I first met David Chase during the run of Damn Yankees in 1994 when he took over conducting the show shortly after it opened. He made going to work every night a joy and was respected by everyone in the band and cast. He gave each musician every cue, every night! I met Constantine Kitsopoulos while subbing at the show Cyrano-The Continue reading
Also available as a podcast. This video interview with Rick Heckman & Dan Willis offers rare insight into the world of the double reed doubler. Rick & Dan discuss the nature of what today’s oboe doublers encounter on the job and offer solutions to performance problems. They also describe what they emphasize in their practice routines and demonstrate how they warm-up the oboe. Brief audio examples of their oboe & saxophone abilities are provided before and after the interview. I met Rick in the early 1980s when we played together in a chamber group. Like myself, he had been a saxophone student of Joe Allard and was a serious student of his woodwind doubles. We became friends instantly and have remained so for over 30 years. His affinity and gift for oboe/English horn has enabled him to become a first-call doubler both on Broadway and in the studios. He is Continue reading
Also available as a podcast. I met Larry Guy a number of years ago while freelancing around New York. Larry was always a colleague in the truest sense of the word—a team player and positive influence in the section whether playing principal, second or auxiliary clarinet. His sense of elegance in playing and professionalism on the job was gleaned from his years of study with some of the great woodwind/musical minds of the 20th Century—Robert Marcellus, Anthony Gigliotti, Kalmen Opperman, Alan Balter, and Marcel Moyse. Larry is the perpetual student—always interested in finding out more and willing to explore new avenues both for himself and his students. If there’s an important clarinet recital, clinic, masterclass, or conference being offered, expect to see Larry there! In this video, he talks about his career development, the changing world of orchestral auditions, equipment, and the fundamentals of air usage and tonguing. I hope Continue reading
Also available as a podcast. In this video segment, Keith Underwood provides invaluable information on historical flutes, recordings, exercises and a variety of other topics. He plays several of his historical instruments, including flutes previously owned by Tom Nyfenger and Albert Tipton. He also references recordings/videos by some of his favorite players (Rampal, Baker, Kincaid, Nyfenger, Glenn Gould) as a means for improving one’s musicality. Keith’s demonstrations of these players and their techniques will serve as an endless source of inspiration. Finally, his explanations of his breathing technique and breathing exercises are brilliant and should be seriously studied by all wind players.
Also available as a podcast. I first met Keith when both he and I were studying flute with Tom Nyfenger in the late 1970s. He was one of Tom Nyfenger’s prized students and would sub for Tom on gigs, often with little upfront notice. Nyfenger recognized Keith’s tremendous technical prowess and ability to handle almost any situation without fuss or fanfare. As luck would have it, Keith and I were roommates on a Steve Reich tour in the early 1980s. It was during this tour that he shared some of his thoughts with me on breathing and developing greater resonance in the tone as a result of improving one’s breathing efficiency. His concepts have proven to be invaluable and have helped me as a performer and teacher. Keith continues to evolve in both disciplines and is always seeking new ways to improve the art of wind playing. As a result Continue reading
Also available as a podcast. Jerry Dodgion was the first great lead alto saxophonist I experienced in a live setting when he headed the formidable saxophone section of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra beginning in the early 1970s. He made it all seem so easy and fun at the same time and I’ve never heard a better saxophone section for blend, balance and swing. Admired universally by all generations of musicians for his sophisticated and elegant approach to jazz improvisation, Jerry is also known as a great team player, colleague, multi-woodwind recording artist, and raconteur of stories. He has performed with seemingly every major player—from Louis Armstrong to Herbie Hancock–in addition to being a member of some of the most important big bands of the last 60 years. I’m thrilled to offer Jerry’s insights into woodwinds, the music business and life. I think you’ll find it very helpful and Continue reading
Also available as a podcast. Charles McPherson has been a musical hero of mine for decades. The fact that we have become good friends over the past 15 years has only enhanced my respect for Charles as a musician and as a human being. He is a self-effacing individual who manifests integrity in everything he does and is always available to help others. He cares deeply about his family, jazz, and the world in which we live. All of this infuses his music with a sense of love and profundity not commonly found. He has been a role model to generations of jazz fans and alto saxophonists and is still exploring new avenues of expression within the bebop/post bebop tradition. I think you’ll find this interview enlightening and inspiring. I’m honored to present one of the true legends of jazz and saxophone as part of the Woodwind Legacy Series. For Continue reading
I’ve known Lawrence Feldman since the mid-1970s, having played in a sax quartet with him for a number of years and worked with him on gigs in New York for close to 40 years. Lawrence is one of those rare birds whose love for music and desire to find new techniques to employ on his instruments has continued to grow after a lifetime of success in the music industry. Whether playing the lead alto chair for the Bob Mintzer Big Band, a classically inspired flute solo on a Tony Bennett record, or a vintage swing clarinet style for a jingle, Lawrence always seems to capture the perfect musical expression. Coupled with a Catskill-like sense of humor, he always brings a unique enthusiasm to any rehearsal or performance. Continue reading
Dr. Edward Joffe: A Man of Multiple Talents
A 2009 Interview by Joseph d’Auguste
It is said that the person at the top influences all those below him. In that case New Jersey City University is most fortunate to have Dr. Edward Joffe at the helm of the Woodwind and Jazz departments. He is a man saturated not only in musical talent but in great wisdom and experience. Passing on the traditions of the truly great woodwind teachers of generations before him, he offers his knowledge to all those who seek it. For the serious music student, this is so much more than just a college degree. It is an opportunity to work with one of the last true woodwind pedagogues in our country still actively performing and teaching. Being both a city university as well as a conservatory graduate, having worked with some of the greatest orchestras and performers of our time, he gives an honest appraisal of where music is headed today. He can guide the music student of the future to the best education available at a time when college costs are often prohibitive. His students not only rise to the top as artists but also find their own personal road to success in the music industry via his guidance. The following interview gives you a vantage point one seldom sees of their professors and insight to what the man is truly about. His overwhelming sense of humor is only surpassed by his dedication in helping his students grow both in ability and preparedness. Seeking a faculty of the highest caliber and a sense of professional ethics, students of Dr. Joffe and his staff at NJCU are ready to meet the challenges of a professional musical artist’s career. Continue reading
An Interview with Lew Tabackin
by Dr. Edward Joffe
Published November, 2006
The New York Flute Club Newsletter
This interview was conducted on Saturday August 19, 2006 at Lew Tabackin’s upper westside townhouse, which he shares with his wife—pianist/composer/arranger Toshiko Akiyoshi. Mr. Tabackin will be presenting a recital with his jazz trio on Sunday November 19, 2006 at 5:30pm at the Yamaha Piano Salon, 689 5th Avenue.
Lew Tabackin has been a vital part of the New York music scene since 1965. A virtuoso on both the flute and tenor saxophone, he has enjoyed a diverse career as a sideman working with some of the great jazz legends (Elvin Jones, Shelley Manne, Tal Farlow, Donald Byrd, Attila Zoller); a featured soloist in a variety of big bands (Maynard Ferguson, Duke Pearson, Chuck Israels, Cab Calloway, Thad Jones & Mel Lewis, Clark Terry, Joe Henderson, and Toshiko Akiyoshi); a studio musician (Doc Severinsen’s Tonight Show Band and the Dick Cavett Show Orchestra); and as a leader of his own jazz groups. Beginning in the 1980s, he won both the Down Beat critic’s and reader’s poll awards as top jazz flutist. He continues to tour the world extensively as a soloist, performing in both clubs and jazz festivals. His biography, discography, and upcoming performances can be viewed on his website: http://lewtabackin.com/.
A discussion of the similarities in preparing for performance in both music and sports and how they are mutually beneficial.
Doug Doyle interviews Ed Joffe in this podcast originally aired on WBGO FM Radio.