Gigbag: January/February 2009

George Garzone’s Tenor Wisdom

Virtuoso mouthpiece craftsman Jody Espina expands into the instructional DVD market with The Music of George Garzone & the Triadic Chromatic Approach, a comprehensive presentation of the ideas behind the music of Berklee and New England Conservatory instructor George Garzone. Like another Boston jazz legend, George Russell, tenor saxophonist Garzone has developed a practical theory of improvising jazz that melds the “out” with the “in”-or, perhaps more accurately, houses both under the same roof. Judging by this thoroughly engaging set, nobody since Russell has done it better. We’ll not give the entire concept away here, but suffice it to say that it’s ingenious and not difficult to understand, although it will take a dedicated student many months, or even years, to absorb. The two-CD set includes lessons-wherein Garzone puts forth his theory in clear, unambiguous language-as well as play-along tracks, interviews and more. The production values are first class, and the information imparted priceless. The lessons pre-suppose a certain knowledge of conventional jazz techniques, so this isn’t for beginners. For advanced students, however (and even seasoned pros), this stuff is absolute gold