Meeting Danny Janklow at the Vandoren Los Angeles Studio
Hi, I’m Danny Janklow. I’m a saxophonist, composer, and touring artist. I also do a lot of educational work at Cal State Northridge and through the Thelonious Monk Institute. Some of the projects that I am involved in are the Monkestra, led by John Beasley that just got Grammy nominated, very excited about that. I also have a band called The Elevation Band which is releasing its debut album this year, 2017. Very excited about that and hope you guys check it out.
The equipment that I play from Vandoren is probably my favorite set up that I’ve ever had. This is an A5 medium Vandoren mouthpiece with an Optimum ligature. I switch between Java Green Box 3 strength reeds which gives a warm, kind of flexible, big sound, when I need it and the 2.5 Blue Box reeds which gives a focused, clear sound, especially for recording--it’s really, really good stuff.
So a way to start practicing your rhythmic concept is to just take a few bars from a song that you like that has cool rhythmic ideas much like Straight No Chaser.
Something like that, and try to transpose that or play that in different keys or play it with different intervals. So that, in that song, they’re very close intervals, they’re very scalar intervals, using seconds and half steps. So now we can try to do that with arpeggios instead. So instead of:
We’re just taking the rhythmic idea and using different melody notes from the same blues progression. I recommend starting to practice this on a simple chord progression so that you can have the freedom to express yourself rhythmically without thinking too much about making it through the changes.
So rhythmic variation on that, or a melodic variation on the rhythm.
This is a great idea and it’s helped me a lot: Start thinking like a drummer as opposed to thinking like a saxophonist and your rhythmic concept will start expanding.
Being versatile musically in this scene requires having a wide variety of different sounds and timbres that you can use and the Vandoren products always gives me the ability to have that flexibility and projection, and also play quietly and with an intimate feeling as well as express kind of a louder funky sound sometimes when I need it. These mouthpieces, reeds, and ligatures always get me through and allow me to not think about the equipment and just express music.
*riffs on sax*
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