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Also available as a podcast.
Interview with Ron Jannelli, Roger Rosenberg & Allen Won.
This video is a behind-the-scenes look into the world of the players who are the foundation of any woodwind 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.
I met Ron Jannelli in the late 1970s on the very first opportunity that I had to sub on a Broadway show. He was incredibly supportive and complimentary and made a nervous situation bearable. Since then, we have become friends and colleagues and I have had the pleasure of working with him on various gigs in and around NYC. Ron was also the first person I contacted when I began to assemble the woodwind doubling faculty at New Jersey City University in 2001. This led to the creation of a highly successful graduate program that provided the pathway for numerous young doublers into the industry. Ron has the respect and admiration of every musician I know of in the industry and is the perfect section mate for any type of musical job.
Roger Rosenberg has been a friend for many years. Before we had the opportunity to work together, I had greatly admired his jazz playing and I have never stopped being knocked out by his level of creativeness—he remains my favorite jazz baritone player! He is also a fine woodwind multi-instrumentalist and is especially adept at playing jazz bass clarinet. Roger is a deeply sensitive musician, fine composer, and brings a desire to learn to every musical setting. Like Ron Jannelli and Allen Won, he is also a great colleague.
I can’t remember exactly when I met Allen Won but I had heard his name mentioned frequently around NYC in the early 1980s as a great concert saxophonist and when we eventually got to play together in a recital, I immediately understood what all of the “buzz” was about. (Allen and I played Hindemith’s Concert Piece for Two Alto Saxophones at that recital.) Allen is a monster saxophonist on every saxophone and in many styles. He is always “on” and creates the happiest vibe in the workplace. While he never talks about it or will admit to it, he gets great sounds on every woodwind and is a deeply sensitive musician. He is also a very dedicated and successful music educator who is beloved by his students. He remains a great friend.