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Paul Van Ross Flutes with Itai Kriss

29 July.

Very fortunate today to have a lesson with the Amazing Itai Kriss. A phenomal flutist who is originally from Israel and now resides in New York.

Itai has amazing technical facility on the flute and is equally at home in jazz or Latin music. He fuses the two together effortlessly.

Do yourself a favour and check his website ItaiKriss.com

After quizzing him on some basic fundamentals in the Cuban Charanga style of flute playing we played a few duets.

Had a great hang. Hope we can do it again before I leave NYC.

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Seamus Blake gig @ Kitano

Saturday 6th July….

Joined some fellow Aussies (Aaron Searle & Mark Lockett) and went to see the Seamus Blake Quartet.

Last time I was in NYC 1996, I had ask Seamus for some lessons, but unfortunately he was sick that week. I was excited to be able to hear him again live.

Prior to the music starting Seamus was warming up on a couple of notes and completely filled the venue with his sound. Wow, huge tone….Super balanced Action Tenor with an Otto Link Reso chamber 8 opening.

After a brief speech by the house MC outlining the ettiquette expected on this gig (felt like a lecture), the quartet launched into a Cole Porter standard and were on fire.

Seamus Blake – saxophone
Boris Kozlov – bass
Bruce Barth – piano
Donald Edwards – drums

All musicians had an amazing sense of time. Must mention the interesting Eddie Harris composition “1974 Blues”, which was in 7/4. Groovy.

Had a blast listening to this gig. Wonderful musicians, wonderful music, wonderful friends.

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Flute lesson with the great Keith Underwood

I was last in New York 17 years ago, for private music study purposes. It had been a long time between lessons. At the time my favourite teacher with whom to study was Keith Underwood – a flute specialist. He was extremely articulate in answering questions, always had sensational recordings to demonstrate his theories, was always complimentary in his approach, a master in the art of breathing for wind instruments, knowledgable in all players and genres of music, and treated me like all his professional playing students (despite the fact that I was a beginning “doubler” at the time).

He was constantly travelling to Brazil, Japan, in fact all over the world. I felt very fortunate to study with him.

Lessons with Keith were always inspiring.

Perhaps the most inspiring lesson I learnt from Keith is that he was always the ‘student’ too. Continually hunting down new resources to aid in instrumental playing, and always open to the source of the information.

In my 17 year absence I had managed to track down a few videos of interviews with Keith teaching. He was into new quality theories. I wanted to know more. I just had to got back to New York City.

So, today I got to experience the joys of studying with Keith again. Quality instruction of this level is rare. I felt like I was at University again. I was inspired. My eyes lit up. I wanted to be a sponge, and absorb all information.

An hour and a half lesson just flew by. I wanted to stay longer.

Another lesson next week, can’t wait!!!!!