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Tag: alto saxophone

1
Mar

Mindi Abair Part 2

Well, I did it again.

I wrote about attracting Grammy nominated saxophone sensation Mindi Abair last November.

I attracted her again the other night.

Mindi Abair likes my sax album

Mindi Abair likes my sax album

While Mindi performs with the legends – from Aerosmith to Bruce Springsteen – and is a legend herself, she rarely if ever performs private acoustic house concerts.

She’s done it twice now for me and my friends.

And we all love her.

Mindi and my friends

Mindi and my friends

I can’t say enough good things about Mindi.

Not only is she beautiful and mega talented, but a warm, loving, fun, generous person, as well.

Her seventh solo CD, Wild Heart, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Jazz chart and was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Contemporary Instrumental Album category. Featuring special guests such as Gregg Allman, Joe Perry, Max Weinberg, Booker T. Jones and Waddy Wachtel, Wild Heart is my favorite of all her albums (so far).

She played tracks from the recent album: raw, acoustic, and steaming with emotion. And she and her keyboard player, Dave Yaden, a Grammy winning songwriter, hung with us for almost six hours.

They didn’t have to.

They wanted to.

And everyone was amazed, happy and grateful.

Mindi with keyboardist Dave Yaden

Mindi with keyboardist Dave Yaden

A highlight for me was having Mindi teach me how to control my breathing for better saxophone playing.

The basic idea is to make a slip of paper stay stuck to a wall by focusing your breath a few inches away and keeping the air flow out steady, so the paper doesn’t fall.  (You can watch that lesson at http://youtu.be/LQDUS9tFbAk)

Like most women, Mindi swoons to my sax album

Like most women, Mindi swoons to my sax album

Another highlight was Mindi sitting on my lap, swooning to the thought of my own saxophone album, Afflatus.

And both Mindi and Dave answered our questions, which was remarkable and educational, as they openly discussed music, improvisation, and breathing, to where to get hot pants and sexy boots. We also learned about hack-sawing a mouthpiece to get it in tune, the musician’s crush, and more.

As in the last private concert, Mindi introduced each song with a story behind it, which brought the songs to life in a more intimate way.

A poignant story was about Mindi’s sax, which was stolen last January.

She had a custom made alto saxophone which was her baby, her pride and joy, and her workhorse. She took it everywhere, used it daily, and relied on it for her income.

It was stolen out of her car.

Mindi also approves of the new album "Higher Octaves" by Guitar Monk Mathew Dixon and myself

Mindi approves of the new album "Higher Octaves" by Guitar Monk Mathew Dixon and myself

While she was devastated, it turned into something great, as she attracted a new Yamaha Custom Z alto sax and her own signature Theo Wanne mouthpiece.

While the theft was not perceived as good at the time, she later saw it as the Universe kicking her into her next growth spurt.

As she put it, she was an instant Buddhist – learning non-attachment on the spot.

I love this woman.

To nourish us all, Nerissa made pizza and brownies from the grain-free, gluten-free, all natural recipes in her bestselling cookbook, Bread-Free Bread.

All in all, another unforgettable evening with the astonishing Mindi Abair.

Please go get her albums and enjoy this terrific woman’s gifts.

Her site is right here.

Ao Akua,

Joe

PS – You can see the first private house concert with Mindi Abair (and guitarist Randy Jacobs) online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEZahXwrTeQ

NOTE: Just a friendly reminder: you can still pre-order my fifth singer-songwriter album — the one where the songs are like 3-minute self-help books — and with Grammy nominated singer Ruthie Foster on one steamy track — at a dramatic discount at One More Day: Life Lessons in Hypnotic Song. This will be a limited edition collectible booklet and CD package. You’ll want it. I’m no Mindi Abair, but I also play sax on the album. 

Member BBB 2003 - 2015

Member BBB 2003 - 2015

1
Nov

The Saxman Joe Miracle

You can achieve great things when someone believes in you.

I know this first hand.

Daniel Barret, my music producer, coauthor of The Remembering Process, and friend, urged me to create an album of all saxophone music before I felt ready to do so.

I even argued with him about it.

“You have a two year old son,” I began. “Getting me to record sax music right now is like my offering to train your son for the Olympics. He’s not ready. I’m not ready.”

But Daniel persisted.

My first all sax album

My first all sax album

“You have a supernatural connection to the sax,” he said. “Every time I hear you play, I feel the power of it.”

Keep in mind that I had heard a baritone saxophone for the first time last January, when Thomas van der Brook came into the studio to add his bari sax to a track on my Reflection album.

I loved it.

I decided right then to buy a sax and learn how to play.

I did, too.

But that was only months ago.

I had a couple lessons to learn how to put the sax together, watched some YouTube videos on how to play the sax, bought 17 books on the sax, and a DVD course, and just kept trying.

Every week or so, I’d record my playing and send it to Daniel.

I was simply sharing.

But he used it as evidence.

He felt I was ready to record.

After a few months – and with Daniel’s polite but persistent encouragement – I took the jump.

I realized I had been arguing for my limitations.

Enough of that.

I agreed to create an album of all sax music.

Gulp.

That was a HUGE, BOLD, and SCARY move.

I didn’t feel confident.

I didn’t feel ready.

Yet I knew that one of the best ways to learn something is to simply dive in and create a project out of it. Recording an album of sax music would put me in a situation where I had to learn how to play, and fast.

I also knew that as soon as I stated an intention, and invited inspiration, that the Universe would rush in to help me.

And so the adventure began.

It helped that sax great Mindi Abair heard me play (during a Skype sax lesson with her) and said, “You have real talent.”

It helped that I went in the studio with Mathew Dixon and added some bari sax to the first track of our album, Invoking Divinity, which came out hauntingly beautiful.

But that wasn’t a whole album of sax music.

I still remember the first day in the studio with Daniel.

As he set up the mike, and I put together the mouthpiece and reed on my baritone sax, he looked at me and said, “On one level this is an insane thing to do, but let’s do it and see what occurs.”

The result?

Magic.

I played the baritone, tenor, and alto saxophones.

Back cover of sax album

Back cover of sax album

Daniel mixed the music and added some tasty sounds.

I wrote and recorded some hypnotic odes, or prayers.

We ended up with ten tracks – the first five with the poems at an audible level, and the second five with the prayers at a subliminal, or below conscious, level.

I decided to call the album Afflatus, which means, “sudden Divine inspiration.”

And the album is done.

The miracle is complete.

When Mark Hallman, who mastered the album, heard it, he said, “This is the best music you’ve recorded yet. A masterpiece.”

When Mathew Dixon, my partner on several albums, heard it, he said, “It sounds fantastic! I just finished listening and it sounds incredible!”

I’m about as proud as any musician could be.

I’ll be selling the album in 2015 but I’ll be giving it away — yes, you read it right: giving it away for free — in December, as part of my birthday/end of year sale. (I’ll give you details later, of course.)

But I wanted to share this adventure with you today for the lesson it reveals.

It all started with someone who believed in me more than I believed in myself.

With encouragement, you can achieve virtually anything you can conceive.

What’s your dream?

I believe in you.

Go for it!

Ao Akua,

Saxman Joe

PS — If you want someone who believes in you, check out Miracles Coaching.

Member BBB 2003-2015

Member BBB 2003-2015