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  1. #81
    Jordan Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Schools" of playing

    Quote Originally Posted by chitownjazz View Post
    Thanks J. Max, that's a good summary in general.

    Can we start the mud-slinging now?

    Seriously, my slight quibble is with the list of prominent "Rascher school" players. You just gave two names, so obviously you didn't intend it to be inclusive. However, I think Paul Cohen would not characterize himself as a "Rascher school" player. He drops in here occasionally so maybe he will address this himself. In the meantime, there's this interview of Cohen which I read as indicating that Joe Allard had a much stronger influence on his playing than Rascher.

    If Cohen drops off the list, I'd "nominate" John-Edward Kelly to add as the second example.

    As a student of Paul Cohen's, I can tell you that he is a strong disciple of Rascher in several ways and looks to Raschers influence in:

    Rascher's Impeccable Musicality
    Rascher's Connection to Major Composers (Dahl, Martin, Glazounov, Ibert)
    Rascher's Commitment to orchestral Saxophone sound as the instrument was intended to sound.

    Although he only studied with Rascher during several brief times, I can say from observation that Dr. Cohen holds rascher to be a major influence.
    Saxophone Ensemble and Saxophone Choir Director, Youth Orchestra of Central Jersey
    Adjunct Professor of Music, Saint Peter's University
    www.jordanpsmith.com

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  3. #82
    Distinguished SOTW Member and Sax Historian
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    Default Re: "Schools" of playing

    I have just become aware of these posts.
    I don't consider my playing/teaching to be from any saxophone school. it is more from the "Orchestral School" of playing based upon the quality of wind playing one hears in professional orchestras.
    Rascher did have a strong influence on me, mostly with aesthetics, philosophy, and the meaning of our repertoire. I did not take saxophone lessons from him, but did attend clinics, and I spent numerous days at his farm over the years with hours of discussion and discovery. But I do not use his equipment, in that most of my professional instruments are Selmers (I split my soprano playing with Buescher curved and a 90,000 series Selmer) with Caravan mouthpieces for most classical music, and Van Dorens for other types of playing. (And a Meyer for jazz).
    The biggest influence on sound came from my college teacher, Galan Kral (also Pat Meighan's teacher) who is an oboist by trade. He schooled us in the nuance and subtlety of sound from his orchestra experiences. This was a seminal experience in understanding the meaning and effect of an artistic tone quality.
    The biggest influence on playing came from my terrific years with Joe Allard. His understanding of the mechanics and physics of tone production and playing transformed my understanding and ability to play the saxophone, and provided me with most of my professional skills. Both Rascher and Allard stressed overtones, and I synthesized their collective understanding and teaching methods into my own system, which include specialized mouthpiece exercises, my "Altissimo Primer" book, etc.

    I hope this clarifies some of the questions and discussions.

    Paul Cohen

  4. #83
    evadnagrom's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Schools" of playing

    Hi Paul, hope you're well.
    I know this is an old thread but it's important to note how much Hamelin and McClane influenced Joe Allard's approach to sound production. The reason there's no "JA school" of playing is that Joe would have found the very idea an abomination. Music is music. Joe spent his entire teaching career developing techniques and information that would awaken the musical impulse in his students. Besides you and Harvey he taught Don Byron, Les Scott, Dave Tofani, Mike Brecker, Eric Dolphy and most of the successful commercial players in New York for lots of years. Like Harold Bennet (NY Opera Flutist) he changed the scene without prejudice or ego. A true Boddisatva.

    Dave in NYC

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  6. #84
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    Default Re: "Schools" of playing

    I don't study music or anything, but I think (at least remembering back to what my instructor in high school was telling me) that Harvey Pittel is more in the French style. Pittel was my instructor's teacher and while I've never heard Pittel on anything other than soprano or alto, i did notice his sound qualities are basically how my instructor would teach me to play (I heard him play a little bit of one of the alto parts at a Solo & Ensemble event at UT Austin when I was there with a quartet). Basically open, clear sound. However, IMO, his playing and thus my teacher's, i've noticed, is a bit darker than some other folks that play in the French style.

    Someone posted a clip of that guy giving a vibrato lesson. That guy's sound is basically what I think of or hear when I hear most folks playing in that style. Pretty much everyone in the area where I'm from were taught to play like that except our teaching also emphasized having a dark sound, and from what I've heard of Pittel (admittedly not much) on alto, I think that's where that comes from. I hope I'm not assuming too much when I think that I got an idea of how his alto sound would be on tenor and that "sound" in my head is what I think of when I would hear my instructor play. Main thing I'm trying to say is that we were taught that a dark sound is good and always try to have a dark sound, along with that other stuff (clear, full, and open sound).

    Consequently, I think my sound is a bit darker than my the one my high school instructor played with because I would always try getting my sound as dark as possible while still having it clear, but also cus I got a Selmer S90 mouthpiece and pretty much everyone else(including the instructor) would play with an S80 mouthpiece. The S90 has a bigger chamber and sounds noticeably darker. Dunno how a listener would perceive the difference, but it's noticeable to me.

    But anyways, yeah I guess even among schools there are different sounding folks. In the French style there are some folks that sound a little brighter(for classical anyways) and others make a point to have a dark sound.


    *********************************************

    edit - I find it interesting that on this forum people are always saying that no, or relatively few, saxophone players will sound very similar. Is that something that only happens after years of playing or is it cus of different influences while learning or something? Cus most folks in my area that learn saxophone in school band are mainly taught classical music and we're pretty much taught the same stuff. So basically all the folks that are good at classical music around here all sound the same or very similar with the exception of a few.
    Courage is doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared.

    -Eddie Rickenbacker (1890 - 1973)

  7. #85
    Angel's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Schools" of playing

    Harvey Pittel is no more a player in the French style as I am Mary, Queen of Scots.
    Concert Saxophonist ~ Artisan Barman
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    Default Re: "Schools" of playing

    Quote Originally Posted by Stealth Swimmer View Post
    Someone posted a clip of that guy giving a vibrato lesson. That guy's sound is basically what I think of or hear when I hear most folks playing in that style.
    By "that guy" are you talking about this video? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKT86vUdPUI

    If so, "that guy" is Tim McAllister and is also not a french-style player. He studied with Don Sinta at UMichigan forever. To use the schools, he's very much an american style player.

  9. #87
    Forum Contributor 2008 lovesthesax's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Schools" of playing

    I'm assuming this is all about the classical world.
    Where and how does the jazz players fit into this tree?
    or are they an entirely different tree?
    =P

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    Default Re: "Schools" of playing

    Quote Originally Posted by Angel View Post
    Harvey Pittel is no more a player in the French style as I am Mary, Queen of Scots.
    well then I stand corrected

    Quote Originally Posted by bezozzi View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Stealth Swimmer View Post
    Someone posted a clip of that guy giving a vibrato lesson. That guy's sound is basically what I think of or hear when I hear most folks playing in that style.
    By "that guy" are you talking about this video? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKT86vUdPUI

    If so, "that guy" is Tim McAllister and is also not a french-style player. He studied with Don Sinta at UMichigan forever. To use the schools, he's very much an american style player.
    Yeah, that guy. Well anyways, looks like I was wrong, lol. Isn't the first time and won't be the last

    Guess i either misremember what my high school instructor told me or I misinterpreted him cus I wasn't paying close attention....but more likely some combination of those two options


    Anyways, in that case, can someone post a link to someone playing in the French style then? Also, what differentiates the French and American schools?
    Courage is doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared.

    -Eddie Rickenbacker (1890 - 1973)

  11. #89
    Angel's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Schools" of playing

    Concert Saxophonist ~ Artisan Barman
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  12. #90
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    Default Re: "Schools" of playing

    Quote Originally Posted by Angel View Post

    So....like American school but brighter?
    Courage is doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared.

    -Eddie Rickenbacker (1890 - 1973)

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    Default Re: "Schools" of playing

    Quote Originally Posted by Stealth Swimmer View Post
    edit - I find it interesting that on this forum people are always saying that no, or relatively few, saxophone players will sound very similar. Is that something that only happens after years of playing or is it cus of different influences while learning or something? Cus most folks in my area that learn saxophone in school band are mainly taught classical music and we're pretty much taught the same stuff. So basically all the folks that are good at classical music around here all sound the same or very similar with the exception of a few.
    For me and what I've noticed, when learning something, the best thing to do is to emulate someone else's work, then make it your own. When I'm programming a system to improvise with in max/msp, I figure out what I want to do, then if I don't know how to do it, I go searching for examples similar to what I want to do. Once that task is down, I tweak it to what I want it to do. I've done the same in my playing. I found a sound I happened to like, copied it as best as I could, then tweaked it to give me my sound. It's pretty much the exact same process that people have been doing since, well, forever.

  14. #92
    SOTW Administrator hakukani's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Schools" of playing

    Quote Originally Posted by Angel View Post
    Great playing, wonderful sound.

    Really, really stupid lighting.
    Sound guy theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- 3dB)
    Sax player theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- .010" at the tip)
    "Free jazz is the vegemite of the musical world. It's an acquired taste."-J. Jacques

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    Default Re: "Schools" of playing

    Quote Originally Posted by lovesthesax View Post
    I'm assuming this is all about the classical world.
    Where and how does the jazz players fit into this tree?
    or are they an entirely different tree?
    Different tree.
    Current setups:
    Yamaha YSS-875EX, Selmer Soloist C**, Ishimori lig,Hemke 3.5
    Yamaha YAS-875EXS, Rousseau RC4 (refaced by Brian Powell), Ishimori lig,Hemke 3.5
    Yamaha YTS-875EX, Rousseau NC4, Ishimori lig, Hemke 3.5
    Kessler Solist Bari, Rousseau NC4, BG Tradition lig, Hemke 3.5

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    Default Re: "Schools" of playing

    Quote Originally Posted by Stealth Swimmer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Angel View Post

    So....like American school but brighter?
    No, there is a significant difference in teaching philosophies, embrouchure concept, vibrato, and other aspects.
    Current setups:
    Yamaha YSS-875EX, Selmer Soloist C**, Ishimori lig,Hemke 3.5
    Yamaha YAS-875EXS, Rousseau RC4 (refaced by Brian Powell), Ishimori lig,Hemke 3.5
    Yamaha YTS-875EX, Rousseau NC4, Ishimori lig, Hemke 3.5
    Kessler Solist Bari, Rousseau NC4, BG Tradition lig, Hemke 3.5

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    Default Re: "Schools" of playing

    Quote Originally Posted by Angel View Post
    Harvey Pittel is no more a player in the French style as I am Mary, Queen of Scots.
    No he's not. He studied with Frederick Hemke at one point, but he refuses to talk about it at all, so he himself would deny that he has ANY French roots.
    Current setups:
    Yamaha YSS-875EX, Selmer Soloist C**, Ishimori lig,Hemke 3.5
    Yamaha YAS-875EXS, Rousseau RC4 (refaced by Brian Powell), Ishimori lig,Hemke 3.5
    Yamaha YTS-875EX, Rousseau NC4, Ishimori lig, Hemke 3.5
    Kessler Solist Bari, Rousseau NC4, BG Tradition lig, Hemke 3.5

  18. #96
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    Default Re: "Schools" of playing

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Max View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lovesthesax View Post
    I'm assuming this is all about the classical world.
    Where and how does the jazz players fit into this tree?
    or are they an entirely different tree?
    Different tree.
    I know the style and the approach are different, but a lot of jazz players (specially the modern ones) were students of classical players. So the trees should connect somewhere, don't you think?

  19. #97
    SOTW Administrator hakukani's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Schools" of playing

    Quote Originally Posted by Pitagoras View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by J.Max View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lovesthesax View Post
    I'm assuming this is all about the classical world.
    Where and how does the jazz players fit into this tree?
    or are they an entirely different tree?
    Different tree.
    I know the style and the approach are different, but a lot of jazz players (specially the modern ones) were students of classical players. So the trees should connect somewhere, don't you think?
    I know where, but I don't wanna say...
    Sound guy theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- 3dB)
    Sax player theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- .010" at the tip)
    "Free jazz is the vegemite of the musical world. It's an acquired taste."-J. Jacques

  20. #98
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    Default Re: "Schools" of playing

    Quote Originally Posted by hakukani View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Pitagoras View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by J.Max View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lovesthesax View Post
    I'm assuming this is all about the classical world.
    Where and how does the jazz players fit into this tree?
    or are they an entirely different tree?
    Different tree.
    I know the style and the approach are different, but a lot of jazz players (specially the modern ones) were students of classical players. So the trees should connect somewhere, don't you think?
    I know where, but I don't wanna say...
    lol

  21. #99

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    Default Re: "Schools" of playing

    Quote Originally Posted by Angel View Post
    Wow, love his tone. Incredible
    MM in Performance - Florida State University
    BM in Performance & Music Education - Northern Arizona University

  22. #100

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    Default Re: "Schools" of playing

    Hak,
    Actually, the lighting scheme is indicated in the score. Quite effective in performance, I think, though some of its impact is certainly lost over youtube...

    Steve P

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