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Thread: Pete Christlieb...

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    fsaxwas9's Avatar
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    Default Pete Christlieb...

    Got into a sidebar with DexDex about how much we both love Pete Christlieb in another thread, thought I'd post some clips...a real modern master of the tenor saxophone. One of my most favorite ballad players right up there with Dex and Jug. The history and lineage is all right out there and I love how he always comes right at you with that big sound, hard driving swing, and no BS whatsoever. Pure Jazz.

    Pete really swingin some rhythm changes with Conte Candoli and Carl Fontana...

    Christlieb with Don Menza

    We'll Be Together Again

    Cherokee

    April

    You or No One with Bill Watrous

    'nother bit of April with Don Menza

    F.M. reprise (he has so many ineresting ideas, seems like he could play on this vamp all day and not repeat himself...)

    But Beautiful
    Alto: YAS23, Greg Wier NY 6m
    Tenor: Selmer (Elkhart) 164, Saxscape FatCat Proto
    http://www.soundclick.com/bands/defa...bandID=1122869

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    Default Re: Pete Christlieb...

    Pete is a real master . Thanks for sharing those clips Shawn.

    T : Selmer SBA serial 50xxx (1952) - Otto Link Florida no USA 10* - La Voz medium
    A : Klingsor serial 016xx (early 60's) - Otto Link STM 9* - Rico Royal 2.5
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    Default Re: Pete Christlieb...

    Man, Pete Christlieb came to Ithaca college while I was there. I still remember it like it was yesterday. I remember thinking that I had never heard a tenor sound so bluesy or swing like that in my life. I still have it on cassette but I haven't had a cassette player in like 15 years..........I have to figure out how to make it digital!

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    Forum Contributor 2012 dexdex's Avatar
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    Default Pete Christlieb...

    Thanks Shawn. I'm rediscovering him.
    Sop Yana SC880 - Vandoren V16 S6 - Fiberreed Carbon Classic MH ¦ Alto SA-II - Meyer 7M - Fiberreed Carbon M
    Tenor MkVII - Link STM 8* - Fiberreed Carbon M ¦ Bari SA-II - JJ ESP 7* - Fiberreed Carbon M
    Hear them on The Groove Merchant.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member LateNiteSax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pete Christlieb...

    duplicate
    "We sax players need to stick together and save the world." Sonny Rollins, 1993 after a show.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member LateNiteSax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pete Christlieb...

    PC is not a normal mortal, he's a freak who just happens to play tenor sax, and these days a Taiwanese one at that. I've heard him live, and I tell ya the guy is not normal.
    "We sax players need to stick together and save the world." Sonny Rollins, 1993 after a show.

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    Default Re: Pete Christlieb...

    Pete is the man.

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    Forum Contributor 2012 dexdex's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pete Christlieb...

    What I particularely appreciate, is his strong "tenor" voice. He doesn't just happen to play saxophone, he has that "texas-like" rich tenor tone AND style.
    As Shawn said, his approach on ballads puts him in the same league as Dex or Jug.
    That youtube version of But Beautiful, before an empty concert hall (sound check ?) is smashing.
    Sop Yana SC880 - Vandoren V16 S6 - Fiberreed Carbon Classic MH ¦ Alto SA-II - Meyer 7M - Fiberreed Carbon M
    Tenor MkVII - Link STM 8* - Fiberreed Carbon M ¦ Bari SA-II - JJ ESP 7* - Fiberreed Carbon M
    Hear them on The Groove Merchant.

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    Default Re: Pete Christlieb...

    Neff - if you really wanted that digitized I'm sure myself or anyone else would be glad to help.

    I had the pleasure of talking to him once between sets at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago, very approachable guy. I remember asking him about sound, influences, what to listen to...(typical fan/worshiper type stuff). He asked me besides saxophonists who I listened to... I said Jim Hall, Chick Corea, Bill Evans. I remember he told me "keep listening to those guys, they're great! You can learn a lot from them...you should listen to and absorb any kind of music you love."

    That was a very straight-ahead gig with Conte Candoli and a pick-up rhythm section. Toshiko Akyoshi was in the audience and they talked her into playing a tune with them, which was of course wonderful. They played a most beautiful version of Loverman complete with that bit of Country Gardens at the end. I don't remember everything they played, pretty much standards but there was nothing STANDARD about the quality of the music!

    Conte Candoli was as amazing to hear in person as you would expect...
    Alto: YAS23, Greg Wier NY 6m
    Tenor: Selmer (Elkhart) 164, Saxscape FatCat Proto
    http://www.soundclick.com/bands/defa...bandID=1122869

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    Default Re: Pete Christlieb...

    I am in the exact same situation as Neff. Same college, same concert, same cassette recording. To hear a tenor sound that big and colorful was a true eye opener! I've been meaning to get it to one of a few studio engineer buddies of mine to make the transfer. They said it's an easy process.

    I was fortunate enough to take a private lesson with him that day. It was an amazing experience to stand directly in front of his horn while he played. Pete's like 6'4" so the bell was practically right at my face! He was warm, genuine and very funny - about 30 minutes of playing mixed with 30 minutes of dirty jokes.

    He's also made a good career as a studio contrabass clarinetist and is very involved in pro drag racing.

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    Default Re: Pete Christlieb...

    Pete and Ernie Watts are two old school guys that play on bergs. Pete is a great example that a high baffle mouthpiece can be played darker. You can see a copy of his baffle here: http://www.sax-ccessories.com/produc...E_MASTERS.html Most people would consider that a "pea-shooter" type baffle but he gets such a fat, thick sound out of it. It does have a certain "berg brightness" to it but I think if I played that mouthpiece peoples ears would bleed............................ I love how he bends his notes! I have to transcribe some of this...........

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    Default Re: Pete Christlieb...

    That's a nice looking Drake mouthpiece there, very reminiscent of my old rubber Berg. It's all academic though, as far as mouthpieces, etc. I'm sure he could play a Tonalin, Selmer S80-E, Meyer, or Link and basically get that same sound with some slight differences.

    I know there was some spirited exchanges where Pete and Ernie traded solos on the Tonight Show, seems like none of those have been u/l'd to YouTube. I don't really think there's any great secret to the success of Christlieb and Watts. I just chalk it up to having great ears, putting a lot of practice time in, a lot of listening time and just decades of experience on the bandstand. Obviously they both have great timing and creativity but as far as playing at such a high-level of proficiency, I think that's just paying a lot of dues.

    There were always a lot of great sax players around L.A, so in order to hold down those jobs for so long you know they had to stay at the top of their game. And Doc or whoever made the decisions on who was in that band knew that to be a great big band needed to have some top-shelf soloists. Christlieb, Watts, Snooky Young, Conte Candoli all great players. Now I'm starting to feel old, man that original Tonight Show band... there was nothing like it.

    I always enjoyed Letterman when guys like Brecker, Sanborn, or some of the great rock guitar players sat in... but the Tonight Show was really the epitome - the high-water mark as far as late night variety shows...and Johnny was the greatest interviewer. And a fan of good music, so that helped too...
    Alto: YAS23, Greg Wier NY 6m
    Tenor: Selmer (Elkhart) 164, Saxscape FatCat Proto
    http://www.soundclick.com/bands/defa...bandID=1122869

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    Default Re: Pete Christlieb...

    Interesting to watch the Tonight Show band as well. I was at a taping in the late 80's and they had a plexiglass "box" to the right of the band that the soloist would step into (presumably for isolation) while the band was off camera.

    Hey Steve, I could be wrong, but I think Ernie Watts plays a super open, special order, Otto Link with synthetic reeds.

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    Default Re: Pete Christlieb...

    Quote Originally Posted by blowbaby View Post
    Hey Steve, I could be wrong, but I think Ernie Watts plays a super open, special order, Otto Link with synthetic reeds.
    Indeed, I've seen him a few times and he always was on a Link (his site mentions a tip 13). But he uses non-Link ligatures, so maybe that confused Steve.

    - Ernie Watts equipment: http://www.erniewatts.com/equipment.html
    - Ernie Watts close up: http://www.focusonjazz.lu/images/pho...atts2004_2.jpg

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    A : Klingsor serial 016xx (early 60's) - Otto Link STM 9* - Rico Royal 2.5
    SoundClick | YouTube | SOTW Blues (Round 8) | Mouthpiece Pictures

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    Default Re: Pete Christlieb...

    Quote Originally Posted by fsaxwas9 View Post
    I just chalk it up to having great ears, putting a lot of practice time in, a lot of listening time and just decades of experience on the bandstand. Obviously they both have great timing and creativity but as far as playing at such a high-level of proficiency, I think that's just paying a lot of dues.
    Fully agree with that Shawn, but I also think there is one extra component you didn't mention. Both players use/used big tip mouthpieces (Pete a 130 Berg and Ernie a 13 Link) and that makes a huge difference in sound compared to normal tip mouthpieces like 7 or 8. I know that from own experience, but also witnessed it yesterday when I did a mouthpiece/sax tryout session with two great European tenor players (Rinus Groeneveld from NL and Dimitri Shapko from FR). Both have a fantastic sound, but we found something special was happening only with pieces above tip 9 (they especially loved and sounded insane on my Berg 150/2). I think our member Dexdex can confirm, he's also on his way to bigger tips now and loves it.

    T : Selmer SBA serial 50xxx (1952) - Otto Link Florida no USA 10* - La Voz medium
    A : Klingsor serial 016xx (early 60's) - Otto Link STM 9* - Rico Royal 2.5
    SoundClick | YouTube | SOTW Blues (Round 8) | Mouthpiece Pictures

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    Default Pete Christlieb...

    Quote Originally Posted by blowbaby View Post
    Interesting to watch the Tonight Show band as well. I was at a taping in the late 80's and they had a plexiglass "box" to the right of the band that the soloist would step into (presumably for isolation) while the band was off camera.

    Hey Steve, I could be wrong, but I think Ernie Watts plays a super open, special order, Otto Link with synthetic reeds.
    Hmmmmm, for some reason I thought he played a berg back in the 80's. not sure why I thought that but I always have.

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    Default Re: Pete Christlieb...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nefertiti View Post
    Hmmmmm, for some reason I thought he played a berg back in the 80's. not sure why I thought that but I always have.
    Steve...That was a MENZA mouthpiece. Not a Berg....kinda looks like a Berg....but no.

    I bet that is what you noticed....it was brass as well- HUGE TIP.
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    Default Pete Christlieb...

    Boy, this is sad. I did a search for Ernie Watts setup and found this thread from last year where I also state that I thought Ernie played a Berg and was corrected. http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthr...Y-big-set-ups&

    Hopefully, I will remember this time.........

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