Monthly Archives: April 2010

The Evolution Of "Shadows"

Over time, “Shadows” will evolve to be an all studio, red book compliant ( the industry standard for audio quality ), retail ready CD. Currently, I see it as a bit more of a demo, than a full on release. I will be producing it in small batches, and larger quantities as demand dictates.  I do realize that most radio stations may not play music that originated from a cassette, currently, 3 tunes.  So, essentially, this CD is a work in progress.  I will post further blogs as new tunes are added.

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Gold Or Silver… Or Platinum

While student model flutes are usually made of nickel, better flutes are made of silver. You can also get flutes made of gold, or platinum, even ebony. Each material has different sound qualities. Personally, I prefer gold. I went to a concert once, in a church, and the flutist had both a silver and a gold Brannen flute. She chose the silver flute, feeling that it had a better sound in that particular acoustic environment. Nice to have the choice. Gold tends to have a deeper, darker, more projecting sound. Silver a bit more airy, lighter. Platinum has a very strong tone as well.  If you have a hundred grand to spend… why not get all three?   With flutes, most of the tonal quality depends on the head joint. And on the head joint, much of the sound that it produces depends on the lip plate, or embouchure. You can have a student model nickel flute, and put a really great head joint on it, and get a fine sound. It really comes down to personal preference. What is best for one tune, might not be for another.   If you really want to get a great flute, try to find a flute fair somewhere. The largest flute event in the world is the National Flute Convention, held in August every year in a different U.S. city. Many of the major flute makers are there, and you can try out flutes to your heart’s content. Personally, I think that Brannen Brothers Flutemakers,   in Woburn, Mass., near Boston, make the world’s best flutes. Their flutes range in price from around $5,000 up to perhaps over $50,000.   Time for a bake sale!!!

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Gone Fishing…

Yessir, I’m just fishing…

My web site, and my CDs going out all over… it’s all just fishing. I am fishing for the truth, the true path that I am to follow for the rest of my life.  How it’s going to happen is a mystery to me.  Living in a ghost town, kind of, is fuel for my global approach. I need to get into a really great recording studio, with fabulous musicians, a master engineer, stellar producer, and all the rest of the gang.  “Shadows” is really more of a demo, than a full on release.   There is a saying about having a demo. First, get one. Then work to produce a better one. The other reality, is that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. I know that some may listen to “Shadows”, and say that the audio quality is not up to par. Yes, some of it came from cassettes.  Over time, it may evolve to an all studio recording.  In the meantime, it is the bait on a cosmic fishing pole, hoping for a big fish to bite.   I don’t care so much to be a big star, as much as I just want to be doing what I am supposed to be doing.   So, all I am hoping for is guidance to help forge the path.

Working together, we can make it happen…

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The Heck With Waiting!

I saw a cartoon a while back… a bunch of vultures flying around…

One says to another  “The heck with waiting, I’m going to kill something!”

I feel a bit the same sometimes… working to make things happen.

Please! Get me away from this computer!  I want to play!!!

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An Evening With Lew

I caught a show by master musician Lew Tabackin, way back in my Paris days. Lew is one of the very few woodwind players who can play both flute and saxophone the way they should be played.  The world is full of sax players, who play a bit of flute, and SOUND like a sax player playing flute. The embouchure is just completely different.  When I’ve played a bunch of sax, and then played flute, it’s like having rubber lips!   So, after Lew’s show in a jazz club in Paris, we spent the whole night talking, and drinking champagne, till sunrise. Many stories he shared with me. Kind of like the University of Lew!  He plays in a big band with his wife, Toshiko Akiyoshi. Once in Seattle, Lew let me play his flute, which I think was a gold Haynes. Amazing!

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How Do You Find America?

“Turn left at Iceland!”

John Lennon, answering a reporters question, when the Beatles first came to the U.S.

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But Can You Play the Bass, Yo Yo Ma?

It’s a funny thing in the music world…

Most of the world’s greatest musicians, play just one instrument. As a flutist, especially in jazz, when you play flute, you frequently get asked if you play the saxes, clarinet, etc.  I have played clarinet a bit, and saxes, over the years. When I first started playing flute, there was the community college in Pasadena, and a class was offered for flute and clarinet. It started with the clarinet, for 9 weeks, and then flute for 9 weeks. So, that was the extent of my clarinet history.  I have a couple of saxes, a curved soprano, and a tenor. My tenor is a Beuscher 400, circa around 1945.  It is a classic horn, very rare. One time, at an All Star jazz concert in Seattle, with vibraphone player Milt Jackson, bassist Ray Brown, Plas Johnson, on sax, and other great players, I had the opportunity to speak with Plas during a break.  I told him about my tenor, and he wanted to buy it from me, sight unseen. He said that when they were available, he couldn’t afford one, and when he had the money, he couldn’t find one. At the time, Plas was a top L.A. studio musician. He is probably best known for his recording of the original version of the Pink Panther.  My feeling about “doubling”, or playing multiple instruments, is that I just want to be the best that I can be on one instrument.  Nobody asks Ravi Shankar if he plays the guitar!    By no means am I in his league, but my calling is with the flute. Maybe at 4 am at some crazy jam session, I will jam out on some sax.

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Just A Few More…

I was chatting with someone the other day on yahoo, and she was mentioning that she needed to organize her contacts, as she had like 4 Mikes, 3 Daves, and so on.

I told her that if she had just a few more Mikes, she could do sound for a band.

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What’s A Blog To Do?

Ninety two bottles of blogs on the wall…

So, to be honest, these blogs of mine are a form of therapy. They help me to recall some of the things I’ve done, people I’ve known, places I’ve been, and, hopefully, help direct me to where I’m going.  It’s kind of funny, that I’ve known what I wanted to do since I was fifteen, and have done a lot of it, but I really feel like I’m just starting out.  A journey into the great beyond. A kid again.  Remember Meyer Baba? He took on an oath of silence. I might do that, well probably not… And yet, the more I play, and the less I talk, the better for all.    So, these blogs, over time, might just turn into a little book.    The Book Of Dave.   Or maybe just and endless stream of thought…

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Don’t Shake Your Finger At Me… Mr Sassy!!!

That’s not me playing the flute… it’s Joe Farell, with Chick Corea, & Return To Forever!  When I lived in Boston, there was a rule about no musical instruments to be played in the apartment, but stereo was OK. So, this one day, the manager, Mr. Sassy, ( Yes, his real name! ) comes a banging on the door. I open it, and he’s waving his finger at me… “No instruments!!! No flute playing round here!!!  Can’t you read the rules???!!!”     I first suggested that if he was desiring that the skeletal structure of his finger not be drastically rearranged, that it might possibly be in his best interest to consider the immediate cessation of his index finger motions.  Well, I didn’t say it exactly like that, but kids might read my blog someday, so I best behave.  I told Mr. Sassy that it was the record, not me playing. Because of the no instrument rule, I would play along with records, and try not to miss a note, lest I get in trouble. I can still see his finger shaking!   I had been playing about two years, and I was trying to jam with “Return To Forever”  Yeah, right, kid!   “It ain’t me, it’s Joe!”        R.I.P. Joe!

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