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  • Carmen – Alto/Tenor Sax

    Posted by Carmen on September 17, 2023 at 1:48 pm

    Okay, I’ll bore you with the details :). I was a clarinet ed major in college in the 70’s. Decided not to teach but played in a very good cover band after graduation. Also was fortunate enough to play lead alto in the Pitt Jazz Band under Nathan Davis for two years. Kenny Clarke conducted the band for two months, which was also an incredible experience. Got married, started a business and had to decide between music or hockey, which I played in high school and college. Since music was prime time and hockey games were at 11:00 pm, I chose hockey. The league was made up of Olympic, minor pros, div I, etc. so the competition was a big draw. Quit playing at 50, the league kept getting younger and I wasn’t. Thus the Grrr8save moniker. Started back on sax in a rock band, then found a couple of big bands I now play lead in. Never learned to improvise, found Steve K online and loved his sense of harmony and here I am at 67. In addition to Nathan and Kenny, I’ve had the honor to meet and play with Richie Cole, Mike Tomaro, Kenny Blake and a host of other great musicians who have been very encouraging. I recently retired and plan to begin practicing a lot more.

    knowatall replied 6 months ago 3 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • Carmen

    Member
    September 17, 2023 at 2:02 pm

    BTW, I apologize for humble bragging and name dropping. I definitely didn’t mean to infer I am anywhere near as good as the folks I mentioned. I’m well aware of how good I’m not. Steve – I also played for a couple of years with a tenor player you might know – Tim McCall. He played at Smalls.

    • Steve

      Administrator
      September 19, 2023 at 12:05 am

      I have heard of Tim but not familiar with his playing – will check it out!

  • Steve

    Administrator
    September 19, 2023 at 12:04 am

    Hey Carmen – sorry for the late reply here and thanks for sharing all your experience! This is awesome – I love all the name dropping and the references to where you are as a player. You seem to have a pretty high level of natural ability and a great sound if you’re getting these lead alto gigs! This is no easy feat and I’m sure you’re not too bad as a soloist either if you have that list of cats as your contemporaries.

    Thanks for sharing this – very cool… looking forward to hearing you play at some point!

  • Carmen

    Member
    November 5, 2023 at 7:11 pm

    Can’t believe I forgot to mention Marshall McDonald, another great player from Pittsburgh, PA. He completely changed my sound and way of thinking about playing.

  • knowatall

    Member
    November 20, 2023 at 7:01 pm

    Carmen, I, too, took about 30 years off from playing, but not to damage my joints with hockey! (although skiing is mostly what I do here in the mountains). Doing similar stuff (big band, community band, funk band, wedding band, etc. – forcing me to double, triple, and even quadruple). I used to see Richie Cole back in the day; man is he missed. I am playing with another Pittsburgh cat who studied with Richie (he’s got loads of cranky RC stories). If I’m not mistaken, Tim Eyermann was also originally from Pittsburgh.