Spring-Summer 2012 Newsletter

Hello friends;

It's been a while since my last newsletter. Facebook has made me much lazier but it's time to bring my friends that don't do FB up to date. It's been some great times and some slow times. California is still going through a great deal of economic turmoil. While many Jazz venues have dissapeared, established Jazz venues have changed their booking policies and include many non-Jazz acts which lessens the opportunities for those of us that still want to bring fresh and inventive instrumental music that actually swings and isn't simply a a glorified Jam session! The quality Jazz venues and Festvals that are left, are filling their slots rather quickly due the absolute glut of independent Jazz artists vying for these coveted spots. So. as the late Jack Webb would say, "Just the facts ma'am"...dem's the facts! In spite of this , we carry on, albeit, travelling is the best way to reach more people with quality music. We hope to see many of you in the upcoming month's at the events that are on the schedule so far. More will be added at my web site so please stay tuned! Also, please check out and "like" The Mel Martin Band Projects page on Facebook and, as always, thank you for your support.

In Jauary, I attended the 3rd Annual JEN Conference in Lousiville, KY where many musicians and educators came together for a great conference. We debuted to a packed house the newest edition of the Benny Carter Tribute Band in celebration of the Benny Carter Centennial + 5. Bret Primack(The Jazz Video Guy) made an outstanding video which can be seen here. This is an all new edition of the popular band formed in 2007 to celebrate the Centennial Birthday of Jazz great Benny Carter. The band includesl Mel Martin on tenor, soprano saxes and flute, Bobby Watson on alto, Don Friedman on piano, Steve Kirby on bass and Jeff Marrs on drums.More pics on my FB page here.

Benny Carter Tribute Band

Two weeks later, I attended the annual NAMM show in Anaheim and connected with many old friends and quite a few new ones as well. The centerpiece of the show, of course, is checking out all of the new equipment currently on the market. I spent quite a bit of time at the Conn-Selmer booth talking about and demonstrating the Yanagisawa line of saxophones. The great lead altoist from the Count Basie Band Marshall McDonald and I presented the "M'Factor" on Friday and Saturday which was some burning bebop w/ friends Jim Mola on drums, Mike Pope on bass and the great Bill Watrous on trombone. More pics can be seen on my FB page here.


M Factor


In March, Catey and I returned to Maui which is always a favorite for us. Ostensibly, it was a two week vactaion but I did a number of events including sitting in @ The CoolCat Cafe, a live broadcast on Manoa radio, a clinic at Samuel E. Kalama Intermediate School where I played with nose flute master Anthony Navidad, worked on a recording project with trumpeter John Maritano at the lovely maui Recording studio, playing on a couple of Pacific Whale Foundation cruises with my main man on Maui Robbie Ray who helped me immensly in putting the events together.It was a great trip and one of our most enjoyable. Here are the tracks from the live broadcast on Manoa Radio.

Maui Tour
Maui Clinic
Maui Sunset
Mel & John

In April, I ventured down the Valley to the town of Modesto to play a show with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra and do a clinic for my good friends at GottschalkMusic Center.It was a fun couple of days.



Mel Martin is currently booking concerts, clinics, masterclasses and residencies for Fall 2012 and Spring 2013. Please contact me directly at mel@melmartin.com.

Mel Martin is currently accepting students for private study either live or via SKYPE.

Bulldog Line

Saturday Afternoon - June 23, 2012 - MEL MARTIN MASTERCLASS @ The Magic Flute 182 Northgate One San Rafael, CA. (415)479-3112,(800)200-3112 5-7PM Free admission Magic Flute

Mel Martin wil be offering a one hour Saxophone Clinic/Masterclass discussing and demostrating advanced Jazz and Saxophone techniques including tone production, articulations, melodic development and technical development. The second hour will include a concert with rhythmsection (including pianist Keith Saunders) and advanced students will be invited to sit in. In addition, there will be many products from Conn-Selmer (Yanagisawa Saxophones) and D'Addario (Rico Reeds) on display including free samples of reeds +.

Sponsored By: The Magic Flute, Yanagisawa Saxophones (Conn-Selmer Corp.), Rico Reeds (D'Addario Corp.)

Mel Martin Band Sunday Morning, July 29, 2012 - The MEL MARTIN BAND at the 5th Annual Benicia Art & Jazz Festival in a tribute to BENNY CARTER. 11:30AM-1:15PM w/ Keith Saunders - piano, Marcus Shelby - bass and Jeff Marrs - drums

Daily General Admission: $8 Adults
Children under 12 (w/ adult): Free
Seniors (65+): $5 Daily
Weekend Pass: $12 Adults

Our first appearance at a very fine regional festival produced my Bryan Girard. We will be performing the music of Benny Carter.

Bonnie Brooks Saturday Evening, September 8, 2012 - MEL MARTIN w Bonnie Brooks for her CD realease event @ The Ernie Shelton Jazz House Concert Series featuring John Simon - Piano, Cliff Hugo - bass, Kendrick Freeman - Drums, Mel Martin - Saxophone & flute, Pete Estabrook - trumpet & Doug Leibinger - Trombone. 625 Sexton Rd. Sebastopol, CA United States 707-829-6718 Contact Ernie Shelton concert@sonic.net or 707-829-6718 for ticket info and directions

KitanoThursday Evening, September 13, 2012 - MEL MARTIN w/ Jazz piano great DON FRIEDMAN @The Kitano. Steve WIlliams - Drums and Phil Palombi - bass
66 Park Ave, New York, NY 10016 - Murray Hill Shows @ 8&10PM
$10 cover, $15 minimum drink and food per person, per sets. Jazz Reservations: 212-885-7119

Our returned to the newly designed and spacious Jazz room at The Kitano Hotel.

Joe Henderson

Friday Evening, September 14, 2012 - MEL MARTIN and The Tenor Conclave Plays the Music of Joe Henderson @ The Turning Point Cafe
468 Piermont Ave, Piermont, NY. featuring Mel Martin, Tim Armacost and John Richmond - tenor saxophones, Don Friedman - piano, Phil Palombi - bass and Steve Williams - drums.
1 (845) 359-1089, e-mail


Saturday Evening, September 15, 2012 - MEL MARTIN w/ Jazz piano great DON FRIEDMAN @ Small's Jazz Club.
W/ Steve WIlliams - Drums and Phil Palombi - bass
183 West 10th Street New York, NY 10014Don and Mel
(212) 252-5091

A repeat engagement from our very succesful post Labor Day appearance last year. NOT TO BE MISSED. It will be a smoker!


MORE TO COME....Stay Tuned!

"Where The Warm Winds Blow"
Just in: "Mel Martin puts the emphasis squarely on melody, group dynamics and swinging."
David Becker - SF Examiner

"Full of marvelous moments that guarantee the pleasure of any jazz fans. A must-have item."
Jazz Station- ARNALDO DESOUTEIRO'S Blog Jazz, Bossa and Beyond

"This new release by multi-reed player Mel Martin is a sonic delight."
Bob Bernotas - Just Jazz Newsletter

"This is gritty, driving music from a high-octane performer who has been delivering the goods for many years."
Ted Goia - Jazz.com

"Never content to rest on his laurels, Mel brings a wide variety of jazz stylings to this release."
Jeff Krow - Audiophile Audition

"While this CD resists easy classification, it is among the most compelling recordings that Mel Martin has made during his entire career." - Ken Dryden, Billboard

"Martin’s a master of phrasing and a meticulous melody maker."
George Fendel - Jazz Society of Oregon

Reviews: Jazz.com, Audiophile Audition, Billboard, Jazz Society of Oregon

It is quite different from anything I've recorded since the early '90s and is reminiscent in ways to my early Listen recordings but with much more of a jazz slant. It was recorded in July when the great jazz pianist Don Friedman came out from New York to do a California tour with my group including guitarist Brad Buethe, bassist Robb Fisher and drummer extrordinaire Jeff Marrs. Besides Don, special guests include John Santos on percussion and Barry Finnerty on guitar. The repertoire is broad and varied from the Latin-tinged Rhythm Man (Do Not Disturb) to the contemporary classical piece with a jazz breakout In The Stars by Stephen Melillo, I Have A Dream by the great Herbie Hancock including my adaptation for woodwinds of his original horn arrangement, the funky, Bitches Brew style of Silly Hawk Walk, a beautiful live version of Blue In Green, George Russell's inventive take on Love For Sale: Ezz-Thetic, The great Benny Carter composition Where The Warm Winds Blow, my personal tribute in 6/8 to my lovely wife Catey: To Catey With Love, and the chestnut Victor Young composition Weaver of Dreams. On many of the pieces, I overdubbed special woodwind arrangements appropriate to the particular composition or just featured the sextet and quartet. I'm very excited about getting it out there and hope that you will enjoy it.

These recordings are available at my web site.

"Where the Warm Winds Blow"14.99 - Add to Cart
"Just Friends" The Mel Martin/Benny Carter Quintet Live @ Yoshi's
"Friends and Mentors"- Mel Martin and Bebop and Beyond
Mel Martin Plays Benny Carter featuring Benny Carter CD-9041 2

Mel Martin is a
Rico Reeds (J'Daddario Corp.) and Yanagisawa (Conn-Selmer) artist.
Mel Martin plays Peter Ponzol Mouthpieces exclusively.

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