We all have to deal with setbacks at times, so here’s my most recent one.
After a wonderful session in NYC playing bass trombone with some of the finest players around in a big band setting, I did one more Friday jazz night at Moxie before heading to Brazil. I sometimes only bring the mouthpiece with me but this time I brought the alto, just to have a little “real” music time each day. Practicing was a bit sporadic, but the sound where I was staying was wonderful! Plus I got to play for some of the coolest cats around.
On returning to the US I got laid up with a pretty nasty cold and then spent a week in bed. No practicing, not much deep breathing either. This was one of those persistent things that stays in the lungs for a while, and my first gig back was much more of a strain than usual. I made it through, but it sure felt like I had played about double the time we actually did!
So the focus became “how to get the strength and suppleness back?”
The answer? Back to basics. Ditching the usual complex improvisation practice I tend to do nowadays and going instead with a diet of long tones and progressive overtone exercises.
Finally things started to clear, and I made a little practice recording as a document of what eventually came out. Hope you like it!