JWQ Showcase 2017

Monday, December 5, 2016

CANADA: Flute Bits - December 2016 - Bill McBirnie

Flute Bits - December 2016 - Bill McBirnie

Hi, Everyone:

Here is a new list of items (each of which is set out in more detail just below my signature): 

(1)  IMPROVING YOUR SOUND WITH THE 'HARMONIC ROLL'

(2)  TIPS FOR IMPROVISING

(3)  JEREMY STEIG REMEMBERED

(4)  SOME FORTHCOMING GIGS

Thanks very much…both for reading and listening!…(And, of course, have a very Merry Christmas!)…

Sincerely,

Bill McBirnie - Extreme Flute
Phone:  (416) 652-1541
 
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.  In practice, there is."  (Yogi Berra)


(1)  IMPROVING YOUR SOUND WITH THE 'HARMONIC ROLL'

I have just updated a page at my website with full details regarding a very important and very useful exercise that I developed some years ago and which can really help to improve your flute sound - the HARMONIC ROLL.  Whether you are a classical flutist or a doubler, this exercise will help you to improve control of your flute sound.

...This is a really important lesson (and it includes a video link)...So you might want to take it!... :-)

[NOTE: It appears toward the bottom of the following page under the heading, IMPROVING YOUR FLUTE SOUND WITH THE 'HARMONIC ROLL'. http://www.extremeflute.com/services.html ]


(2)  TIPS FOR IMPROVISING

I have also included the summary of a clinic that I delivered to the students, faculty and staff at Carleton University in late November.  (Thanks to Jesse Stewart and Mark Ferguson at Carlton University!)

The summary of improvising is general in nature.  But this also makes it relevant, regardless of your instrument (…and it’s only a couple of pages in length!… :-)

I might add that, at the clinic, I demonstrated a lot of what I was saying here with a couple of tracks by…PRINCE!…

In any case, the summary appears just below the "harmonic roll" under the heading, TIPS FOR IMPROVISING, at that same link (i.e., http://www.extremeflute.com/services.html)

…Consider this another free lesson!…

And, if it is worth anything to you, then you might consider buying an Extreme Flute CD for Christmas (for yourself or anyone else)…and see if I actually practice what I preach!… :-)  http://www.cdbaby.com/all/extremeflute


(3)  JEREMY STEIG REMEMBERED

I am pleased to say that the National Flute Association (NFA) published both an obituary and a piece that I wrote in response to the passing of Jeremy Steig in April of this year.  Both of these pieces appear on page 58 of the current issue of The Flutist Quarterly (Fall 2016).  My piece was reduced to about two paragraphs, but I have included the original unedited piece here (because it wasn’t too long to start with! :-)
 

The flute community suffered a profound loss with the passing of Jeremy Steig in April of this year.  

In jazz, technique is often secondary to concept and, perhaps more importantly, technique is secondary to that rare sense of conviction and commitment that characterize and distinguish the greatest of improvisors.

Jeremy was deeply committed to improvising and a true master of his own musical convictions.  Indeed, his entire musical life was based on these principles, much as it had to be, because at the age of 19, he was involved in a motorcycle accident that left him paralyzed on one side of his face.  Still, Jeremy was determined to continue playing and so he fashioned a “crutch” for his mouth.  Of necessity, he became an unorthodox technician, but there was never any want of commitment to – or conviction in – his playing.

Though Jeremy started taking lessons with Paige Brook (who had only just joined the New York Philharmonic at the time) and undoubtedly learned proper flute technique from him, Jeremy came to lament improvisors who were “studied” in their approach, and who did not rely on their ear and their feelings – the very things that Jeremy was convinced of as well as committed to in his own playing.

All of this is clearly evident on Jeremy’s absolutely staggering debut album, Flute Fever (which was released on Columbia records in 1963 and has finally been  reissued on CD with enormous care by International Phonograph, Inc. in 2013 and meticulously remastered complete with the original artwork, liner notes, unedited tracks and a previously unreleased take of “What Is This Thing Called Love?”) 

Jeremy is utterly on fire on this album, playing with a deluge of ideas and a riotous sense of swing that would be the envy of any instrumentalist.  On one track in particular, Sonny Rollins composition, “Oleo”, Jeremy morphs himself into what can only be described as an utterly wild and untamed thing.  Indeed, his improvisation on this particular track constitutes the best jazz flute solo that I have ever heard – and I am certain the best that I will ever hear – because, after more than 50 years, I still listen to this solo, very closely.  

Furthermore, I insist that all my students, if they listen to just one solo by just one jazz flute player, that they should listen to this one by Jeremy and and learn from it, glean from it, try to take something away from it, because this solo really is the best jazz flute solo of all time...and it will likely remain so...


(4)  SOME FORTHCOMING GIGS

The following gig listing is in DESCENDING order.  Please note that you can always find a current/updated list at the following link:  http://www.extremeflute.com/contact.html 

Finally, if you need or want any flute, alto flute or piccolo work (…or any flute/improvisation coaching…), then do not hesitate to contact me at extremeflute@look.ca

Mon., May 29, 2017 at 12:00 p.m.
The Church of the Holy Trinity - Music Mondays
10 Trinity Square (near the Eaton Centre)
Toronto, Ontario
A duo with BERNIE SENENSKY (Classical & Gospel)

Thurs., May 18, 2017 at 9:00 p.m.
The Burdock
1184 Bloor St. W.
Toronto, Ontario
LOUIS SIMAO - The 'A Luz' band with DAVID FRENCH, LUIS ORBEGOSO, RICH BROWN & MARITO MARQUES

Fri., Apr. 7, 2017 at 9:45 p.m.
The Rex
194 Queen St. W.
Toronto, Ontario
With the LOUIS SIMAO 'A Luz' Band! (including DAVID FRENCH, LUIS ORBEGOSO, RICH BROWN & MARITO MARQUES)

Fri., Mar. 10, 2017 at 8:30 p.m.
The Registry Theatre
122 Frederick St.
Kitchener, Ontario
With BERNIE SENENSKY’s Moe Koffman Tribute Band

Sat., Jan. 14, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
The Home Smith Bar at The Old Mill
21 Old Mill Rd.
Toronto, Ontario
With BERNIE SENENSKY & JIM VIVIAN

Fri., Jan. 13, 2017 at 8:00 p.m.
Hirut Restaurant
2050 Danforth Ave.
Toronto, Ontario
With the DON NADURIAK Band (including RUSS LITTLE)

Sat., Jan. 7, 2017 at 8:30 p.m.
The Jazz Room (located in the Huether Hotel)
59 King St. N.
Waterloo, Ontario
With WILLY JARVIS and the Con Gracias Latin Band

Sat., Dec. 31, 2016 at 6:30 p.m
Amica at Bayview Gardens
19 Rean Dr.
North York, Ontario
With the GEORGE MARTON Trio

Thurs. & Fri., Dec. 22 & 23, 2016 at 9:00 p.m.
Jazz Bistro
251 Victoria St.
Toronto, Ontario
With HOWIE SILVERMAN (including HILARIO DURAN, REG SCHWAGER & PAT COLLINS)

Tues., Dec. 20, 2016, 8:00 p.m.
La Revolucion
2848 Dundas St W.
Toronto, Ontario
With PETER HILL (piano)

Sun., Dec. 11, 2016 at 4:30 p.m.
St. Christopher's Anglican Church
662 Guelph Line
Burlington, Ontario
A Charlie Brown Christmas with the JIM SANDILANDS Trio

Sat., Dec. 3, 2016 at 9:00 p.m.
Touche Lounge
669 College St.
Toronto, Ontario
Guesting with TYLER ELLIS & The Eddy Line Band!