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Last modified 09/12/08

 

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09/12/08óCharlie Parker

I was recently talking with a guitarist friend of mine about the great Charlie Parker.† He had said some players donít listen to him because heís not modern.† HOW RIDICULOUS!† Yardbird Parker is as modern as†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† or any of the new players.† People are still trying to figure out how he did what he did.† It was like he came down from Mars, did his thing, and then left.† There are many who have learned from him (including me) but no one has yet transcended his artistry.† Anybody who wants to be a jazz musician needs to listen to Charlie Parker.

07/12/08óSummertime gigs

Itís that time of year again to play the outdoor gigs and itís going to be HOT!† Hereís my take on ways to be prepared:

 If itís not a covered bandstand donít take the gig.† Maybe if youíre younger and you like heatstroke and sunblisters on your face youíll take exception to this one.† Anymore I insist on a canopied area to play in.† If you absolutely must take a gig in the open sun (ahh, the life of a musician), be sure to use sunscreen, wear a hat, and keep plenty of water handy (a small frozen bottle of water is nice ó maybe even under your hat).

 Donít play the good clarinet in the heat.† The wooden clarinets donít like the heat or the lack of humidity (or too much humidity if the gig is down in the sunbelt).† Play the plastic clarinet and leave your R-13 at home. You might even leave the good saxophone at home too.

 Avoid alcohol ó I could write an essay about this one (and maybe will later).† Youíll just end up getting super dehydrated and your playing (and you) will suffer for it.

 Constantly listen for the intonation.† In the heat, wind instruments will go sharp, stringed instruments will go flat, and electronic instruments will stay the same.

 Bring clothespins or better yet get the big clips that are transparent plastic.† You never know when the wind will come and blow your charts out into the audience.

 Donít freak out about the sound.† Itís always hard to hear the mix on an outdoor gig.† Just play your part and know that the sound folks are doing their best to make it sound good out there first ó and on stage second.

Kenny Garrett