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Jazz Band

I just got an email today from one of the guys who played trumpet in the concert band at the university I work at. He's taking over the jazz band and he asked if I was interested in playing with them. They would 'love' to have a bari sax in the ensemble and they're a really talented and fun group. The rehearsal time works with my work schedule so I could potentially attend. The thing that make my heart hammer against my ribs is... I don't know if I can.

I haven't touched my bari sax since mom died. I feel like if I tried to play it I'd make one sound and then start crying. Even holding the damn thing would probably cause me to break down. I mean, I can at least let them know I'm thinking about it. I figure if my sister comes out this weekend to go to Costco with me I'll ask her to bring it into town.

I'm just worried I'd manage to haul the thing out for the rehearsal and just end up being overwhelmed with too many emotions and memories. I don't want to cry in front of people I don't even know for reasons they don't know or can't understand. My bari sax seems to be the elephant in the room... or is it my dead mother? I don't know...

I did have a dream where I was playing my bari sax and that made me want to play it. It made me wish I had it in town with me. I love music and I do love playing it. I do miss it. I have that desire to hear the sound of my instrument... It just really SUCKS that I can't play for her anymore. She can't come out and see me play for their Christmas concert or Spring concert or whatever else that group ends up doing. I know I have a dad still but he'd be in no shape to see me play.


Anyways, if anyone is completely lost about what a bari (baritone) sax is here's a picture of me playing in my high school jazz ensemble. That's my own bari that mom and dad helped me buy (their money).

8 blog comments below

I generally dislike sax, but bari sax is pretty cool.

If you think you'd like to maintain it, get your sister to bring it... spend some time with it at home confronting those feelings, and when you're ready, take them up on their offer. Nothing but facing your hurtles will get you past them.

This is one of my favourite bari sax songs:
Ankhanu on Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:07 am
A little break down won't do harm, so don't resist it. Just go with the moment. I'm sure it will all work out and you'll get caught up with every one playing together and making music together. A great vibe and a great idea as well for after work recreation. I'd go for it with gusto! Darn you're talented, can't waste any of that as it's a gift! Awesome photo! Cool
deanhills on Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:53 am
I'm with Ankhanu on this. Grab that sax and go for it. Drive the neighbors crazy getting reacquainted. Channel any feelings that arise into that sax then join in with jazz band for some rehearsal.
standready on Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:58 pm
wow that's one big Sax ! You must have huge lungs to play that one ! Anyway How much did it cost you in those days ?
dude_xyx on Fri Oct 04, 2013 5:29 am
Sorry Ankhanu, going to have to burst a little bubble. My ears are telling me that's a tenor. One that is probably playing a bit lower but it just has that sound to it... that sound tenors get when they're ripe with attitude and blowing their brains out.

This might give you a better idea of what a bari sounds like Smile I heard it when I was playing BioShock. Sounds like it might just be percussion and piano is the back and a trumpet and bari bounce off each other.

There was another song, In The Mood? I was very confused and thought it was a tenor and bari tossing the solo back and forth but my music teacher at the time said it was just one tenor. I was semi disappointed because I thought that would have looked awesome. In our jazz setup in high school the bari and 1st tenor sat at opposite ends of the row and 2nd tenor sat next to me. If it had of been a bari and tenor solo people's heads would have been shifting back and forth like they were watching a tennis game Smile
TheGremlyn on Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:12 pm
Hmm, you may well be right... sounds killer though Wink
Lee Thomson did play both Bari and Tenor on that album, though. Dunno what was used where Razz
Ankhanu on Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:52 pm
Random note. I'd played the bari for a couple years in high school (9, 10 and 11 at this point) and I'd formed a sax trio around this time so we have an alto, tenor, and bari. One day we decided to swap instruments... guess what happened when i tried to play the alto?


Horrible sound exploded from the bell of the instrument. I mean, I didn't think I was putting that much effort into making a sound but every single time I tried to play a note I was obnoxiously loud! The other two had a horrible time trying to play my bari though Razz The girl who played the alto had a hard time putting enough air through it and somehow, even though she was physically pressing different keys for different notes, they all melded into roughly the same sound. The girl who played the tenor was a little better off playing either.

I swear playing a bigger instrument (tube, bari) or one that just eats up all the air because there is no resistance (flute and kind of the tuba...) really teaches you a thing or two. It takes a bit of effort but you work up your lungs and general user of air so that you can play louder and play longer strings of notes. I know when I started I could play 4 bars at an even tempo. Then a year later it might have been 8. Now I can somehow beat those kids on their altos and clarinets.

I seriously need to start playing again... I should try and buy those Standard of Excellence books for Bari if I can... those were fun to work through and they have at least 3 different levels. Red - very easy. Blue was the next level and I think green is up at the top... there are also some jazz ones out there I'd like.
TheGremlyn on Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:14 am
Good to see you back on the boards, L! Did you join that jazz band for some rehearsals at least? I figured that why you had not been around.
standready on Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:56 am

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