Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Bill McHenry: Inside Out

Bill McHenry

Bill McHenry’s range encompasses opposite polarities. On his own the tenor saxophonist is an unabashed free player, but he co-leads a quartet that sticks to standard but obscure songs and performs in a large band featuring exotic fare. McHenry attributes this versatility in part to practice. Unlike many musicians he relishes the endless repetition, the opportunity to refine his technique and fortify his musicality.

McHenry’s regimen, in some respects, resembles the daily grind of a student. Standing in the living room of his Brooklyn apartment, he blows a succession of long tones spanning the normal range of his well-worn Selmer Mark VI horn. He concentrates on the attack, sustain and release of each note. Next, he tackles an étude memorized from H. Klosé’s 25 Daily Exercises for Saxophone, a basic but essential text. Increasing the tempo of the metronome, he transposes the exercise first up a half step, and then down.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published