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Gigbag: June 2007

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E-Sax Whisper Mute for Alto

Are you a practicing alto saxophonist living in a Brooklyn apartment next to a little old lady who’s just itching to call the cops the next time you launch into “Koko” at 3 a.m.? If so, you might think about picking up one of e-Sax’s Whisper Mutes. A plastic-shell mute that covers the alto and allows for full-bore playing at polite volumes, the Mute also boasts a headphone jack and a line out for recording purposes.

Meyer “G” Alto Sax Mouthpiece

Looking for that clear-toned but full-bodied timbre exemplified by ’50s sax greats like Paul Desmond and Lee Konitz? Then check out Meyer’s new “G” mouthpiece, which evokes classic sounds of yesteryear. Listing for $99.99, this hard-rubber Meyer is available in three different openings produces a warm, robust tone perfect for a variety of styles.

Alex Acuña: The Rhythm Collector

DW DVD presents drums-and-percussion master Alex Acuña in The Rhythm Collector, a roughly hour-long program that’s part documentary, part concert DVD and part instructional resource. Shot in hi-def with 5.1 surround sound, the film features the onetime Weather Report member drumming with his current band of saxophonist/flautist Justo Almario, bassist Abe Laboriel Sr. and keyboardist Patrice Rushen, in addition to pounding out traditional Latin rhythms on a conga. $39.95 retail.

VandoJazz Etude and Exercise Book for Sax

Sheet music and folio publisher Carl Fischer joins up with reed and mouthpiece manufacturer Vandoren for the VandoJazz Etude and Exercise Book for Saxophone, a 120-page guide featuring lessons from 10 Vandoren endorsers. Among the players are Don Aliguo, Frank Catalano, Jeff Coffin, Denis Diblasio, Gary Foster, Hayes Greenfield, Dan Higgins, Billy Kerr, Dan Moretti and Harry Skoler. Each saxist receives a bio before they outline their individual “Philosophy and Explanation” and offer scale exercises, etudes and original tunes. $24.95 retail.


Jazz Play Along Volume 65: Smooth Jazz

Suck it up and admit it: If you’re a working musician doing time in wedding bands or hotel-lounge combos to subsidize your brilliantly inaccessible postbop and avant-garde music, you’re gonna need to know some smooth-jazz tunes. Hal Leonard’s Play Along series ain’t too proud to help you through arrangements of “Just the Two of Us,” Spyro Gyra’s “Morning Dance,” “Street Life” and that veritable “So What” of wine-tasting music: Kenny G’s “Songbird.” CD included, white silk shirt and chest hair sold separately. $14.95 retail.

The Sonny Stitt Collection

Among the latest guides in Hal Leonard’s Artist Transcriptions series is a volume dedicated to Sonny Stitt, the unsung and Charlie Parker-obsessed alto, tenor and baritone saxophonist. Study his alto and tenor solos over standards (“After Hours,” “Autumn in New York,” “Body and Soul,” “On the Sunny Side of the Street,” “Easy to Love,” “I Can’t Get Started With You”), originals (“Back Door,” “Orange Ashtray,” “Soul Shack”) and the obligatory Bird tune (“Constellation”), 14 songs in all. $19.95.

Originally Published