|Featured flute recording
Michael Mason: Angels of Fire
A dramatic departure from Michael Mason's usual avant-garde explorations, this is still a fine CD of flute-centric jazz by a too-little known master of the instrument and idiom.
At the end of November, I picked up Trevor Wye's Flute Practice Book and I've been working on the tone exercises. It's slow, uninteresting work, and initially very frustrating since at the early stages of such detailed work on tone, the most noticeable thing is just how bad my starting tone is. Then there's the transition from "play" which best describes the effort involved in playing the short familiar tunes in The Complete flute player versus the very real work in playing lots of long low tones and really focusing on the tone.
Another thing that really inspired me to closely work with my flute is listening to some of Peter Gabriel's (yes, that Peter Gabriel) flute playing with Genesis. Genesis was never really known as a flute-oriented rock band in the same way that Jethro Tull, or even King Crimson, was, but listening to some of the early CDs, it becomes very clear that this was a central part of their sound. What's more, unlike early Jethro Tull, where Ian Anderson's flute playing has a rough quality to it, Gabriel's tone is really quite nice. The CD that really revealed this to me was the rather expensive box set (in particular the song "Twilight Alehouse"), but there's also a nice extended flute section on the song Stagnation on the less expensive Trespass.
I've also been working on some flute parts for my band Dream in Color. We're working on what I've termed, "a long-form prog rock opus" and in the opening section (at least) there will be some flute. For this, I've opened up a new bag of tricks using the multi-track recorder to lay down parts one at a time as I write them to see how everything fits together much more effectively than I can do with paper or even computer-sequencing.
The last bit of news for this month: I've started a second on-line diary, to be updated more frequently than this one, and encompassing a broader array of my musical activities. This will still be a centerpiece for my flute-related musings and reports on my progress, however, so both of my monthly readers need not change their habits.