Jazz Great Mel Martin On Finding “the Best Notes” for Our Solos

Mel Martin

Hello again people,

I’m assuming that most of you already know about this past Monday’s killin’ interview with Ben Wendel, but in case you don’t, to recap…

I’m putting out a three-part series of interviews to promote my new jazz educational program, Jazz Lessons with Giants, and that program comes out next week. AlthoughJazz Lessons with Giants features lessons by David Liebman, Bob Mintzer, and Bob Sheppard, these promotional interviews feature three other amazing jazz artists – Ben Wendel, Mel Martin, and Ted Nash. 

To to continue on to the second interview in this series, we have the the modern master, Mr. Mel Martin.

Playing alongside giants such as Benny Carter, Dizzy Gillespie, McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, Tom Waits, Boz Scaggs, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, James Brown, and B.B. King, Mel Martin has cut his teeth in the company of some of the jazz history’s finest. Some memorable moments in Mel’s career have been performing with tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain, tours of Japan with the Benny Carter Orchestra, assembling the orchestra to perform the Bay Area premiere of Charles Mingus’ Epitaph at Davies Symphony Hall, and performing withCharlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra.

Education has also been a strong suit for Mel as evidenced by his stints as professor of jazz saxophone at San Jose and Sonoma State Universities along with a position on thestaff of The Stanford Jazz Workshop. In addition, he regularly conducts workshops and clinics at schools throughout the United States.

In this interview, Mel discusses hot topics such as…

  • Getting comfortable playing over difficult changes
  • Finding the “best notes” in your solos
  • Weening yourself away from of your “bag of licks”
  • Hearing what you’re going to play in advance
  • The importance of creating a mood or a feeling through your solos
  • Getting past the “nuts and bolts” of improvisation and making a strong artistic statement
  • How to practice in a way that will prepare you for making magic on the bandstand

“Sounds great!  Now how the $#%^ do I get this interview?”

Well, if you’re already subscribed to either the Best. Saxophone. Website. Ever. newsletter or the Jazz Lessons with Giants newsletter, the link to this interview as well as Ben Wendel’s goes/went out today (10/10/13) at 4pm across all time zones.

If you’re not currently subscribed, then go ahead and sign yourself up using either the pretty blue form below, or the pretty blue form at the top of the sidebar. As you can see, you’ll also get some awesome master class interviews with Ricky Sweum, Tim Price & Bob Sheppard, not to mention a free saxophone tips PDF booklet. And most relevant to this article, you’ll be getting Jazz Lessons with Giants promo series of interviews with Ben, Mel, and Ted.

Since the original launch of these interviews already took place, hop over here to get the interviews delivered straight to your inbox!

I hope you guys can put into practice all of the great stuff that Mel shared here – so off to the shed or the band stand you go!