Saxophonist John Doheny was born in Seattle Washington in 1953 but has spent much of his adult life in Canada, primarily in Vancouver and Toronto. After early experiences accompanying strippers in bars and cabarets he became a professional R&B sideman in the late 1970s, touring and recording with artists both prominent and obscure. In 1991 he returned to Vancouver and began a program of intense musical study, both in academe (Vancouver Community College, the University of British Columbia) and in the more informal area of performance. He asserts that "all human intercourse is either an opportunity to learn or to teach. Everything that I know about jazz performance (to the extent that I know anything at all) I owe to those players, teachers and students who have suffered to share the bandstand and the teaching studio with me." Since 2003, Mr. Doheny has been a permanent resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, but makes every effort to spend summers in Canada because "it's too damn hot down here then."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

End of Year Update.

A bit premature, I know, but I've got a few spare minutes and, given the nature of my schedule, who knows when that will happen again. As it is I feel like I'm stealing valuable practise time to do this because, among other things...

I got my alto fixed. I own a beautiful 1954 Selmer MK VI alto (I believe that's the first year they made them) that I haven't played for probably nearly two years now because it had some serious leaks. I recorded two tunes on it for the 2007 "Professors of Pleasure' release and played a few scattered gigs on it around that time, including the 2006 ICMC (International Computer Music Conference) at Tulane, then put it away as it was getting to be a real bear to get air through. Just recently I took it to Paulo Tung (who, sadly, is moving to California in the new year) and he fixed it up a treat. It plays beautifully, in no small part because I found the "holy grail' of saxophone mouthpieces, a "New York" Meyer, while cleaning out some boxes of miscellanious junk back in the music library here in the bandroom at Tulane. And a good thing too, because I'm playing lead alto on some big band things with Fred Sanders in December.

The "Jazz Orchestra and Friday Combo" concert is this coming Tuesday in Dixon Hall. Every year, these ensembles get better and better, but this year they took a quantum leap forward with the addition of some seriously killer soloists (tenor saxophonist Ari Kohn, trombonists Ethan Thompson and Molly Heiligman, pianist Ethan Stern and guitarist George Wilde in the Big Band, as well as new drummer Dillon Frazier and, in the combo, tenor man Evan Slaznik, pianist Adam Whitley-Sebti and drummer Mike Mcculoch) kicking the whole thing up several notches, to the point where I'm planning on recording both ensembles professionally in the spring semester. It's time.

For my own self, this past fall has seen the release of my second album recorded as leader here in New Orleans, "John Doheny Presents the Professors of Pleasure vol. 2."
as well as a trio recording that should be in-store (and online) at the Louisiana Music Factory sometime next week, a collaborative project with New Orleans drummer Geoff Clapp and Los Angeles-based bassist Rob Kohler under the name "The Real Cool Killers." "Parades and Saints" is my first serious foray into 'free' jazz, and it's a damn fine record. I'll post a link to it online when it goes up on the LMF in-store database.

The new year will also see the release on my CD of the compositions of the late Canadian bassist Jasper Clarke. Again I'm going to risk being accused of blatant self-promotion by singing it's praises, but the truth is, Jasper's music is killer, and it's being played by some of the brightest and best young players on the New Orleans scene today, including alto saxophonist Rex Gregory (whose new CD "An End to Oblivion" has been voted one of the "twenty best releases of 2010" by WWOZ radio) tenor saxophonist Allen L. Dejan Jr., 17 year old trumpet sensation Latasha Bundy and Wess "Warmdaddy" Anderson's son Wess IV (aka "Quad) on trombone. Along with us geezers (Jesse Mcbride on piano, Geoff Clapp on drums, Jim Markway on bass, and Edward Anderson on trumpet, all of whom teach with me here in the music department at Tulane) they have crafted a swinging, sobbing, joyous tribute to one of the best cats you could have holding down the groove on your bandstand. Jasper never got to record any of his own stuff for commercial release during his lifetime. We aim to put that right.

Then, next february (or thereabouts; we haven't settled on a firm date yet) my good friend vocalist Colleen Savage is coming down to record a new CD with me and my colleagues here in the department, the 'house band,' the "Professors of Pleasure."

So, you know...no moss growing on me.

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