What's in my shed

woodshed [v.] -

To lock oneself away with a musical instrument and practice, either a particular piece or in general, until the player has improved greatly or can perfectly play the piece he has been practicing.

I've had my hands full on a couple of very difficult parts on some great arrangements of some holiday classics.  These tunes may or may not end up being publicly performed this season, but I have a feeling I'm going to need to take out these parts every year before Thanksgiving, so they don't get colder than the turkey.


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Sal Lozano interview on the Big Phat Chat

I had the pleasure of meeting Sal Lozano back in 2008.  I was in the Los Angeles area and he invited me to sit in on a recording session for Disney. No, I wasn't playing, just sitting back and listening to him and other great woodwind players Dan Higgins and Chris Bleth.  Afterwords, Sal and I ate dinner with Dan before I got to watch them perform with the Wayne Bergeron Big Band.  Over the course of that evening, Sal and I had lots of good conversations about music, big bands, and "doubling."  Unfortunately, I wasn't recording the conversations, but I found it very interesting that those same topics, and more, appeared when Gordon Goodwin interviewed Sal for his podcast The Big Phat Chat.  I highly encourage everyone to subscribe to that podcast.  I know Gordon is extremely busy, but maybe he'll produce more episodes if he sees a spike in subscribers.  Every episode features great "inside baseball" on what's happening in the music scene in LA as well as an interview with a member of the Big Phat Band.  You should go back and listen to every episode, but I think Sal's interview covers lots of good topics musicians both young and old can benefit from listening to.

 Big Phat Chat, episode 6 (featuring Sal Lozano Part 1)

Topics in Episode 6 include: 

  • Musicianship in playing 2nd parts
  • Matching pitch and style with Lead Alto
  • The chain of command in big band playing
  • Section playing
  • Stories of working with other great woodwind players in big bands


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