Sunday, November 12th, 2017

True to my unfortunate track record, I am dreadfully behind in my blogging duties. That said, I haven’t been standing still.

I’m happy to report that I’ve become a D’Addario Artist performing on Reserve reeds. The reeds are quite consistent and I particularly appreciate the substantial tone that they allow me to produce. I might add that I very much enjoy working with the professionals at D’Addario. They are fellow musicians and they are clearly contributing to the improvement of our business.

In March of 2017 I made a recording in Northern Italy for the Limenmusic label. I joined with Italian composer/pianist Andrea Padova to record twelve pieces that he composed for the project which will be entitled “Voices: Ballads and Prayers”. I had played some of the music with Andrea some years ago at New York’s Merkin Hall which resulted in encouraging words from the New York Times. The music itself defies categorization in that it draws on jazz and new age flavors while simultaneously acknowledging classical values with marvelously complex rhythmic schemes and soaring melodies. It was a privilege to work with Andrea on this challenging project. Limen will release the CD/DVD set in the near future. Following the recording session Andrea and I performed this music in a recital at Lake Como, with more “Voices” concerts scheduled in Europe, and anticipated opportunities in the States next season.

The 27th James Houlik Saxophone Retreat at Wildacres was yet another grand success. The highlight of the Retreat was having composer Sherwood Shaffer as our composer in residence. A great deal of his wonderful music was performed during the week, including the premier of “Music for Wildacres” for flute, tenor saxophone and piano. Flutist Goran Marcusson joined pianist Vahan Sargsyan and me to offer the first performance. Master instrument technician Jeff Smith also paid a visit to the Retreat for a highly information session on saxophone adjustment and maintenance. As always, wonderful things happen at Wildacres and we’ll be back there again next summer: June 23 – 30, 2018.