27 October 2014 Lou Donaldson Ronnie Scott’s, Soho, London http://www.ronniescotts.co.uk/schedulemonthly/2014/october

Written by  on August 28, 2014


When I saw Mr Blue Note live 

At the age of seventy-seven, the stellar presence of Poppa Lou D arrived at London’s Jazz Café where he was greeted with rapturous applause. He launched into his playing.  And suddenly the Café was full of the sound of Lou D. It was the sound that I’d heard on record and taught in the School and yet it spoke to us all so simply and conversationally. His technique was strikingly effortless and very precise. Lou himself was quick to grin and was a very together funky old dude .http://www.ronniescotts.co.uk/schedulemonthly/2014/october

3 D alto saxs

Written by  on August 28, 2014









WORDS from the man himself
‘At the 2013 Euromold trade show, Avi Reichental, the head of 3D Systems, gave me the challenge of making a 3D printed saxophone to go with the rest of the 3D printed orchestra and, never being able to resist a challenge, I have been giving it a go. I still have a long way to go to get it perfect, but here we are, 6 months later, with a little clip showing the very first iteration…

And an important note: I am not a sax player, so be amazed by what 3D printing is capable, rather than by how my awful sax playing might be. And, yes, a couple of the notes are slightly out of tune because of air leakages. The next iterations will be perfect, I promise!

Surprisingly to me, the sax sounds very much like a sax. I have a traditional sax that I used to copy the various key spacings and they both sound pretty similar. There are injection molded plastic saxophones around on the market, so I guess a plastic sax is not unheard of. I suppose it’s the same progression as clarinets, which went from wood to Bakelite (and some in metal) to plastic. Undoubtedly, there is a difference in sound between a plastic and a metal instrument, but it’s hard to say that one sounds worse, or better, than the other. My suspicion is that it has a lot more to do with the player than the instrument…

For the next iteration, mechanically, I will be integrating all the springs as a direct part of the keys. The current iteration uses traditional metal springs for all the keys, but those springs are designed to be hammered into the metal (to prevent them from spinning) which is something that cannot be done with plastic. If I get access to a multi-material printer, I might also give integrating the sax pads (which on a traditional sax are padded leather) directly into the keys.

And I’ll be doing major work on a the aesthetic shape of it to take advantage of what 3D printing can do. Think of the current iteration as a prototype that was done mainly to get all the mechanical aspects of it right, so the next one I can go a bit wilder on the aesthetics. I’m thinking maybe a cornucopia type look, or maybe a rock & roll 3D flame job…

On the technical side, the sax currently has 41 components excluding all the springs and screws, It is printed in nylon, on a SLS machine, and weighs less than a quarter of a real sax (575 grams vs 2.5 Kg. Weight might go up a tad once painted, though, but still a lot less than a metal one).

The whole instrument was designed in Solidworks, the CAD package I happen to be comfortable with, by taking measurements off a traditional sax. Even that was a bit of a nightmare as the holes and keys on a sax are absolutely all over the place.

The first go at assembling the sax took a couple of days but it only allowed me to play a single note. To get it working semi-properly took a few weeks to figure out which keys were not quite closing properly, and which keys were affecting other keys.

One of the reasons I was keen to undertake the project was to show that 3D printing can be used for applications beyond trinkets, phone cases, and jewelry. Note that there is nothing wrong at all with those, but I want to explore real-world applications for more complex products that go beyond single component/ single material/ single manufacturing method. To me, 3D printing has an enormous future role to play in manufacturing all sorts of products. But, what’s important to me, is not to see it as replacing conventional manufacturing, but to be a complementary technology to traditional ones, and to use it only when it truly gives us an advantage. My guitars are a good example of this: the bodies are 3D printed, which allows me to do incredibly complex shapes that could not be otherwise manufactured, but the necks and wooden cores are CNC machined, the bridge is cast, the plastic bits are injection molded, the inlay work is done with laser cutting and engraving, etc.

It’s also important to differentiate between ‘prototyping’ and ‘manufacturing’. For prototyping 3D printing can be used for almost anything, be it simple or complex, just because it allows you to test your ideas quickly (but, if you are 3D printing a square, or some other very simple 2D shape, you may seriously want to consider some other way of making it (like laser cutting it instead, or even cutting it by hand, for example). But, for real manufacturing of sell-able products, it’s important to use 3D printing only in those areas where it really adds value, like incredibly complex parts, parts that need to be customized for every user, light-weighting of parts, part consolidation, etc.

So, to my mind, what we need are more and more good example applications of real products showing how 3D printing can be used as an integral part of the manufacturing chain in an appropriate way. And that’s where I am now wanting to spend a lot of my time, in finding cool new product applications for 3D printing beyond musical instruments.’

a pic of the sax below…

copyright 2011, olaf diegel
Man’s own website (Olaf Diegal, hence his website is) http://www.odd.org.nz/sax.html ..LETS SEE HOW THESE DEVELOP???

Richard Coles of Radio 4 Live once of the Communards and bronski beat was a sax player now a Vicar.

Written by  on August 17, 2014

Richard Coles the pianist from The Communards revealed he taught himself sax and taught himself and played that in Bronski Beat.

So was it him who played the awesome solo on one of my favourite sax tracks from the 80s ‘Love And Money,’ which I first recall being hypnotically entranced by a dancer in her amazing flat in Bordeaux by the river there in the 80s.Its one of the tracks incorporated from my forthcoming sax musical too. His autobiography  is called ‘Fathomless Riches’ and tells of those extraordinary stories of sex drugs and rock n roll years. 

The Ever Pervading Power of John Coltrane ‘s A Love Supreme ‘A Holy Experience.’

Written by  on August 17, 2014

An Article taken from the excellent magazine Q with St Vincent And she ain’t alone!! 

From the excellent book ‘Who I Am’ by Pete Townshend- Saxophone tales part 2 Pete Townshend offending Rahsaan Roland Kirk

Written by  on August 1, 2014

pg 189 From the excellent book ‘Who I Am’ by Pete Townshend

‘Roland Kirk was the support act for three nights at Don Law’s Boston Tea Party. I was a huge fan,and a year earlier I had seen him play at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London.We sat at a great table to the left of the stage,near the front,while Roland Kirk stormed his way through the most the most extraordinary feats of musicianship,dazzling jazz and showmanship.His gimmick was to play two or three instruments at once.We were astounded by him.

After 45 minutes Kirk seemed to get bored and made his way to the piano.His noodling was wonderful -he had a two-fingered approach reminscent of Duke Ellington in playful mood.At one point I whispered into my wife’s ear ‘I love this,but I’ll be glad when he picks up his horn again.’ He  turned and glared in my direction.He’d heard me!I don’t really know how:being blind his hearing must have been highly acute,but I was really whispering.”Sorry,Roland,‘ I shouted in the arch-cockney manner we all used at Ronnie’s. He scoffed,got up from the piano and walked back to the middle of the stage and stuffed 6 different instruments in his mouth and played while singing at the same time.He looked over a few times to make sure I was getting enough horn.

After we had performed Tommy,I stood exhausted in the dressing room as Roland Kirk pushed his way in shouting..’

Where’s that little  white motherf..king dude  that wrote the thing about the deaf,dumb and blind kid?’ I stayed quiet,but he heard me breathing,came over and give me a big hug.

‘You don’t know what it’s like man,but you gave us blind folk our own opera thing at last!But I ain’t dumb,and I ain’t deaf.’

‘Sorry  Roland,’I said in arch-cockney.

‘Damn,’he truned on me in mock-anger ‘You the white motherf..ker who wanted me to stop playing the piano at Ronnie’s last year!’I got one more hug this one more of a crush,but he sat backstage and listened to Tommy all three nights we played it that week.

Roland Kirk taught me that when musicians pay respects they don’t always do it with claps and hug and fan letters.Sometimes they merely listen.If they happen to be blind,they listen with acuity.

From the excellent book ‘Who I Am’ by Pete Townshend-saxophone tales part 1 his dad Cliff

Written by  on August 1, 2014

This was Pete Townshend dad

‘My dad always worked for an hour on scales and arpeggios and his morning practice seemed magical in its complexity.’

‘When his record ‘Unchained Melody,’ was released and his handsome face w

as plastered all over the local record shops….My father the pop star!I wanted to be like him.’

How ironic ‘In rock n roll the electric guitar was becoming the primary melodic instrument,performing the role of the saxophone in jazz and dance music…’

























PJ Harvey also plays sax.

Written by  on August 1, 2014

Just read in Will Hodgkinson’s fantastic book Guitar Man that the amazing talented PJ Harvey used to play Sax in the Dorset pubs when she started out!