Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Wooden Lines - featuring Osby, Arbenz, Spicher

Taken from the album "Reflections of the Eternal Line" (Inner Circle Music INCM 0090) 
This track features American saxophonist Greg Osby and Swiss drummer/percussionist Florian Arbenz. The recording was made in the workshop of renowned painter Stephan Spicher who created the artwork in real time during the session. 
 Video filming & editing by Philippe Ohl at Philomedia.de 

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Greg Osby and Carlos Averhof Interview in Poland 2016

Snippet from an interview in Warsaw, Poland, held in a beautiful Philharmonic theatre. Promoting the “Iresi” project from tenor saxophonist, Carlos Averhof. Interview conducted my Maciej Ulewicz

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Ego - The OTHER silent killer.

Very recently, I was warming up in the dressing room of a performance venue in preparation for my concert. There were several other performers and groups on the bill as well. In an adjacent dressing room I heard another saxophone player suddenly go silent as I began to warm warm up while playing some very simple exercises and long tones - just to get the blood flowing, so to speak.

When I took a brief pause to change reeds, I heard (the listener) very loudly, rip some of the most incredible and complicated saxophone passages that I’ve ever heard played live. He almost sounded like a violin or viola. Of course I knew who the player was and I was very impressed, but never intimidated. I don’t function that way and I’ve never had a competitive spirit in music for the entirety of my career - nor do I understand the need for that energy. It’s pointless and quite frankly, debilitating.

After the performances had concluded, there was a casual meet and greet, photo shoot, and later, dinner and a jam session at a well known local restaurant. It was opportunity for all of the invited artists to play together since we all had played in separate ensembles during the actual shows.


I’m sorry to reveal that the player who reduced himself to aggressively showing off during the dressing room exhibition was absolutely the saddest participant during the jam session. He sounded levels beneath that of even an intermediate student. What was even worse was the idea that he STILL thought that he was killing and that he wasn’t embarrassed  - not even a little bit. He didn’t have enough humility or academic aptitude to realize that for all of his technique, he didn’t know what to do or when to do it - because he’d spent all of his developmental time in isolation learning difficult patterns and exercises instead of engaging in fruitful exchanges with spirited peers. He was fantastic as long as he played alone, but with a group, his many shortcomings were on vivid display.

And to further the deep hole that he’d dug for himself, He basically rejected the invitation from myself and others to get together for some off-the-record jam sessions and music talk, which honestly, despite his facility, he sorely needed.

That was not the first time that I have had that experience. I somehow thought that it would be a distant memory as I got older and had moved away from conservatory and pedagogical thinking. I fully understand that students are vying for positioning, respect and placement in ensembles in schools. But whenever I see professionals trying to “outdo” others in actual performance situations, I question their reasoning for involving themselves in the creative arts in the first place.