Category Archives: Sax

Bill Perkins

Artist Profile:

Bill Perkins

bill_perkinsOur show with Bill Perkins was recorded at Charlie O's night club in Van Nuys. Playing with Don are John Heard on bass, Roy McCurdy on drums and Danny Grissett on piano.

Bill Perkins is a tenor god! It's amazing that Bill Perkins is so little known. He is probably most famous for being a member of The Tonight Show band led by Doc Sevrinson all through the 70's and 80's. But Perk made some really great records in the 50's and 60's. The best one was with John Lewis called 'Grand Encounter' on the Pacific Jazz label, but sadly this one is not in print (and it is, in my opinion, one of the 100 greatest jazz LPs of all time). Perk also made a couple of great records with Art Pepper and Richie Kamuca and played on a few memorable Chet Baker records as well. He recorded a really nice Bossa Nova LP in the very early 60's. Perk comes from the "Lester Young" school, but he has a voice all his own. Bill is also one of the founding members of Supersax.

Just a few of the greats that Bill has played with: Terry Gibbs, Conte Condoli, Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, Bud Shank; Mel Lewis; Russ Freeman; Charlie Kennedy; Richie Kamuca; Herb Geller; Jack Sheldon Jimmie Haskell, Laurindo Almeida, Plas Johnson, Ray Brown, Shelly Manne, Jimmy Giuffre, Ella Fitzgerald, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Stu Williamson, Jimmy Rowles, Al Viola, Pete Christlieb, Carl Saunders, Bill Holman, etc.

Ben Wendel

Artist Profile:

Ben Wendel

Ben_Wendel_1Raised in Los Angeles, Ben Wendel is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music. He performs locally and abroad in multiple groups, works as a studio musician and teaches privately. In addition to playing the saxophone, Ben doubles on the piano, flute and bassoon. He has had the pleasure of sharing the stage with such notable performers as Billy Higgins, Snoop Dogg, Adam Rudolph, Abe Laborial, Phil Woods, Dave Holland, Kenny Wheeler, Manny Album, Warren Cuccurullo, Bob Brookmeyer. Blood Sweat and Tears, Nels Cline, Myra Melford and Lalo Schifrin. Recent touring highlights include multiple domestic and European tours with KneeBody and a successful series of clinics and concerts in Caracas, Venezuela with the Otmaro Ruiz Group. Ben recently completed a score for a short film that was later released at the Sundance Film Festival. Ben is a recipient of the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award.

Artists and/or Groups Ben currently plays with...Ben_Wendel_2

Kneebody - Dakah - Todd Sickafoose - Otmaro Ruiz - Tigran Hamasyan - Jim Carney - The Rhythm Room All Stars - Daedelus

Benn Clatworthy

Artist Profile:

Benn Clatworthy

benn_clatworthy_1Born in Hastings in 1955, but raised in south London, tenor saxophonist Benn Clatworthy -- the grandson of 1930s stage star Gertrude Lawrence -- took lessons at nineteen, from Ronnie Scott, who recommended him to the Berklee College of Music, Boston. Now resident in Los Angeles, Clatworthy has been a regular in clubs there for two decades, and has worked with artists such as Cedar Walton, Lionel Hampton, Johnny 'Hammond' Smith and Jimmy Cleveland. His latest recording, Let's Face the Music (Maestro, 2000), epitomises his approach: 'If you're not affecting emotions, music has little value.'

BENN CLATWORTHY is a truly impressive modern jazz tenor player who was first brought to the Club’s attention by the late Ronnie Scott. Although British, Ben is now resident in California where he has established himself as an important talent.

“While twenty years in Los Angeles seem to have had little effect on expatriate Brit Bennbenn_clatworthy_2 Clatworthy’s Bow Bells speech, his tenor sax playing has acquired strong US characteristics, not least a tough personal tone and a wide emotional range that extends from ballad tenderness to gladiatorial torrents of controlled aggression at fast tempos.” Chris Lee
“…Scattering notes around the room with a deliciously dry loquacity in a fast-moving hard-bob manner” John Fordham

A fixture in Los Angeles area clubs since 1980, Benn Clatworthy was originally heavily influenced by late-'50s John Coltrane, but would soften his tone and sometimes sound a little like Warne Marsh with touches of Sonny Rollins. He debuted on record in 1990, with his Discovery release Thanks Horace (which also features pianist Cecilia Coleman) and, in 1995, released While My Lady Sleeps on his own label (featuring Cedar Walton as a guest).

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Bennie Maupin

Artist Profile:

Bennie Maupin

bennie_maupin_1When Bennie Maupin was a tiny fellow growing up in Detroit he'd skip down a few blocks every afternoon and squat under an open window where he'd listen to an old neighbor play the saxophone. He'd close his eyes and pretend to play a stick, the way his neighbor made magic on that saxophone, fantasizing mellow notes skimming tree tops and brushing stars. Playing sax had become his obsession.
Now, many moons later, "Saxophonist Bennie Maupin and Friends", will be featured at the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art's "Jazz at the Museum", a series of summer Jazz concerts at the Times Mirror Central Court.

Maupin, 52, grins broadly as he about his music. "I grew up round rhythm. Lots of it. Gospel, classical, jazz and the blues ," he said softly. "My environment exposed me to good music and taught me its value. I learned from the finest."

Maupin, who lives in Altadena, studied at the Detroit Institute of Music while working part time and playing, with groups in Detroit. That was until the night the Four Tops, a musical group, heard him play and asked that he join them for a New York gig.bennie_maupin_2
"This was the chance of a lifetime," he recalled. "Most of my friends had gone to New York. It was easy to leave that job and go on tour with the Four Tops. We played the Catskills in upstate New York, 500 Club in New York City and other famous night spots.

When the engagement finished, Maupin continued playing with various bands in New York City. "This was the night life. Jazz! Music! I couldn't believe it. I was meeting Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie and other musical giants who would come to watch us play," he said. While in New York he recorded With Horace Silver, Lee Morgan, McCoy Tyner, Roy Haynes, Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock.

Leaving the Big Apple 10 years later, Maupin headed for Los Angeles and was based in Hollywood where the bulk of rehearsing, television appearances and recording took place. On a trek to San Francisco he merged with Herbie Hancock, creating the album "Headhunters," which has sold more than 1 million copies and has earned both gold and platinum status. Maupin also composes and arranges, and is studying film scoring and composition with Lyle (Spud) Murphy.

He and his wife, Barbara, have a 2-1/2-year-old son, Toussaint. "Many musicians live in Altadena," said Maupin. "This is a cultured community."

The best known works of Bennie Maupin include activities with Herbie Hancock and the comfortably soothing play of his bass clarinet in Miles Davis' album Bitches Brew. In his high school days, Maupin began playing tenor saxophone and went to Detroit Institute for Musical Arts. He was locally active in Detroit, playing the instrument. In 1963 he moved to New York and joined various groups, working on freelance with Marion Brown, Pharoah Sanders and others. From around the year 1966, he began playing regularly with Roy Haynes or Horace Silver.

In 1968 Maupin made a record with McCoy Tyner, and in 1970, with Lee Morgan and Woody Shaw. After playing for Miles' recording, he joined Herbie Hancock Sextet. Maupin was the only member of the Sextet who joined Headhunters which Hancock set for in 1973 after breaking up the Sextet. Maupin led the dates of ECM in 1974, and Mercury from 1976 to 1977. Though he has not come out as a bandleader, and kept a low profile in these years, his 1998 play in Driving While Black is highly valued.
Some admirers of Maupin enjoy fascinating sounds of his sax, which are: eerie, looming, hypnotizing, sensual, sweet, haunting and exciting.

Andy Suzuki

Artist Profile:

Andy Suzuki

andy_suzuki_1During his 30-year career as a professional musician, Suzuki has played a wide range of genres, but he is primarily a jazzer who specializes in traditional, straight-ahead jazz, modern jazz and jazz fusion. He has performed with the legendary Dave Brubeck, "traded fours" with Al Jarreau on "Take Five," jammed on "Autumn Leaves" with Chick Corea and recorded in the studio with a long list of talented musicians.

Born in Finland, Suzuki says his travels as a youngster helped open his ears to a world of music. After a year in Finland, his family spent a few years living in New York City, Philadelphia and New Jersey. He then moved to Japan for two years where he attended kindergarten and grade school and began taking organ lessons. "Living in Japan, I was sandy_suzuki_2urrounded by traditional Japanese music and that had a huge impact on me. My family also had a big influence on shaping my musical tastes. My mother is Finnish and she passed along a deep appreciation for Finnish folk music while my father gave me his love for jazz and classical. All of these diverse experiences inspired my love of world music, which is something I try to incorporate into my playing and writing."

His musical skills were further developed growing up in Seattle where he studied with esteemed teachers, Johnny Jessen (saxophone and flute), Dave Press (piano and music theory), Ed Peterson (Snohomish High School), and Hal Sherman (Kent-Meridian High School). These formative years gave Andy experience performing across America, Europe and Japan, as well as, his first forays into the world of studio recording.

When he was 16, Suzuki moved out of his parent's house and into an apartment 50 miles away so he could attend a high school with a renowned jazz program. During his senior year, he auditioned for the music program at Cal State Northridge (L.A.) and not only earned a scholarship, but also a spot in the school's advanced classes – a rare honor for a freshman. Shocking his family and friends, Suzuki dropped out of college after his first day. "I started out in the top class and felt like there really wasn't much room for me to grow. Besides, I wanted to play music, not sit around doing biology homework daydreaming about playing music."

Instead of moving back in with his parents in Washington, Suzuki decided to stay in L.A. where he would stand or fall on his own. He struggled for several years – even living in his car for a few months – but he trusted in his talent and determination. He jammed with other musicians constantly and gigged when he could while working on his own music. "I didn't get a college diploma, but I still got an education," he says with a laugh. "All the hard times were worth it because they made me stronger, smarter and a better musician. I wanted a challenge and I got it."

After 26 years based out of L.A., he has toured all over the world and recorded with artists from all genres, including Dave Brubeck, Michael Franks, Phil Woods, Larry Coryell, Oscar Castro-Neves, and Peter Erskine to name a few.

Throughout the years Andy has been performing and recording with his own group. The three CD's "Andy Suzuki", "Blue Perspective" and "Prime" all showcase his playing and composing talents. "Working on my own music is satisfying on so many levels. It allows me to combine my interests in numbers (he sites mathematics as one of his most passionate hobbies) and music, plus I get to make music with fantastic musicians that I trust so whole-heartedly." The associations in his group go back as far as 30 years.

Andy has since moved to Berlin, Germany, where he has performed with Robben Ford, Larry Carlton, Marcus Miller and Jan Garbarek. He performs regularly on sax/flute/keyboards with World music legend Trilok Gurtu and singer/songwriter Christopher Cross.

Artists I've performed and/or recorded with:
Trilok Gurtu
Christopher Cross
Jan Garbarek
Dwiki Dharmawan
Shankar Mahadevan
Larry Carlton
Marcus Miller
David Benoit
Dave Brubeck (and sons, Dan & Matt)
Al Jarreau
Melissa Manchester
Deniece Williams
Michael Franks
Lanie Kazan
Carl Anderson
David Pack (Ambrosia)
Don Was
Chick Corea
Tower of Power horn section
Rick Braun
Peter White
Tim Wiseberg
Tom Scott
Phil Woods
Kilauea
Uncle Festive
Flora Purim & Airto
Gregg Karukas
Larry Coryell
John Patitucci
Marc Antoine
Richard Smith
Oscar Castro-Neves
Peter Erskine (Weather Report, Steely Dan)
Ralph Humphrey (Frank Zappa)
Vinnie Colaiuta (Sting)
Alphonso Johnson (Weather Report, Santana)
Abe Laboriel
Grant Geissman (Chuck Mangione)
Frank Gambale (Chick Corea)
Bobby Shew
Ernie Watts
Mitchel Forman (Wayne Shorter, Mahavishnu)
Jeff Richman
Tom Brectlein
John Robinson (Rufus, Michael Jackson)
Alex Acuna (Weather Report)
Shapes (Roger Burn)
Jimmy Haslip (Yellow Jackets)
Russ Ferrante (Yellow Jackets)
Robben Ford (Yellow Jackets)
Smitty Smith (Jay Leno Show)
Robert Hurst (Branford Marsalis)
Pauline Wilson (Seawind)
Steve Huffsteter (Toshiko Akiyoshi)
Jerry Hey (Seawind)
Paul Jackson Jr.
Michael O'neill (George Benson)
Pat Kelley (Natalie Cole)
Brian Bromberg
Dan Seigel
Tom Coster
Walfredo Reyes Jr.
Luis Conte
Tony Maiden
John Ferraro
Steve Ferrone
Paulinho Da Costa
Munyungo Jackson
Bernie Dresel
Michael Landau
Camilli String Quartet

Extensive touring around the U.S. including performances at the Playboy Jazz Fest (Hollywood Bowl), Monterey Jazz Fest., The Beacon Theater (NYC), Jazz Alley (Seattle, WA), Yoshi's (Oakland, CA), Davie's Hall with San Francisco Symphony, Toledo Symphony.

Tours in Japan, Brasil, Indonesia, Phillipines (Manila Symphony), Thailand, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong. Qatar, Morocco, Algeria. Europe incl: England, Holland, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Belgium.

 

Albert Wing

Artist Profile:

Albert Wing

albert_wingAlbert Wing belongs to the elite Frank Zappa band alumni. Anyone who knows the Zappa legacy knows this means virtuoso talent. One of the best saxophonists in the world, Albert has worked on five Zappa recordings as well as sessions with Paula Abdul, Michael McDonald, Flo & Eddie, Scott Henderson, Howie Mandel and Johnny Guitar Watson. Most recently, Albert has been busy touring with Diana Ross, The Manhatten Transfer and The Divine Ms. M, Bette Midler.

Adam Schroeder

Artist Profile:

Adam Schroeder

adam_schroeder_1Los Angeles based, Baritone Saxophonist Adam Schroeder  is rapidly becoming a major force throughout the global jazz scene. Schroeder is know equally for his studious leadership as well as his musicality in Anthony Wilsosn's Nonet (Los Angeles), Bennie Wallace's Nonet (New York), the Clark Terry Big Band (New York), & the Adam Schroeder Quartet/Quintet.

Born and raised in Sioux City, Iowa in 1978, Adam began his musical studies on alto saxophone while in grade school. After Mr. Schroeder's introduction to Charlie Parker in 1992, his musical interest became fixed solely within the Jazz Idiom. Between his junior and senior year is when Mr. Schroeder finally discovered his saxophonistic voice, switching from the Alto over to the Baritone Saxophone. Later that same year, Adam was asked to fill the baritone sax role in the student big band at Clark Terry's International Institute of Jazz Studies. (Westmar University in LeMars, IA) This decision sparked a relationship with the famed Clark Terry, thus leading to a multitude of musicaladam_schroeder_2 opportunities for the two players.

Clark asked Adam if he would consider his jazz institute as a place of residency during his college years, which Adam accepted with great honor. Unfortunately during Adam's freshman year at the CTI, Westmar University cut the Jazz Institute's funding. Upon Clark's recommendation, Adam, along with most of the students, transferred to Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) where he would graduate in 2000 with a BM in Jazz Studies. Mr. Schroeder regularly performed in Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, & Houston. In 1998, at the Corpus Christi Jazz Festival, he was featured with the late Nick Brignola during the Festival's "Saturday Night Sax."

Throughout his career, Adam has had the fortunate opportunity to play and record with a host of jazz greats. Among them are the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Clark Terry, Anthony Wilson, Ray Charles, Diana Krall, John Pizzarelli, Bill Cosby, Bennie Wallace, Michael Buble, Sting, Chris Botti, & the late Nick Brignola.

Adam's presence in the jazz community, from Los Angeles to New York, is felt not only in his muscular swing, but in his outreach to the community as well. When asked about his career, Adam replied "Clark Terry has not once stopped reaching out to others, always taking the time out of his life to give, be it musically or as a mentor. He instilled that in me from the moment we first met; that's a lesson I'll never forget and a lesson I strive to lie up to each & every day of my musical life."