Solo Sax Sessions

by Noah Peterson

Released 2013
Peterson Entertainment, LLC
Released 2013
Peterson Entertainment, LLC
Experience the musical mayhem of this one-man sax-looping machine.
“Solo Sax Sessions”
My “Solo Sax Sessions” has been one of the most fulfilling, fun and creative efforts I’ve ever taken on in my career. I figured out how to create a one-man, sax orchestra of my original compositions using a loop-station and effects pedals. It was been a lot of fun, and a little bit frustrating, figuring out how to get it all just right. I keep bringing in new tunes, new gear and I love to play my show anywhere and everywhere I can.
In 2012 I did 250 shows across the U.S. with this show. I saw a lot of beautiful country, met a lot of great people and played some pretty crazy places. But no matter where I did it, the number of people who wanted a recording of this show was overwhelming. I made it for all of you who have requested it. Thank you for supporting my music, thank you for listening, thank you for buying this record. This whole experience has been pure joy. This is my show, created the same way you see me perform it – live without a net, unedited; a one-man music machine. You asked for it and it was my pleasure to make it for you. I hope you enjoy it.

These efforts are never singular or done without help. I want to thank God first. For the blessing of being able to make music my vocation, I thank You. My wife, Marina – for all of the little things, and the big ones too. You put up with my absence and my presence and all my ways. My co-creators: Tony, Zach and Emmett: it’s always a pleasure to make music with you guys. I wish we had more occasion to do it. My brother Travis, your hounding me about this made it happen sooner than later. Phillip Luna, hands down, the coolest man in San Antonio. Dick Weissman; your advice and friendship has changed my life. My friends and family; you put me up when I come through town and share your lives with me. I love getting a peek inside. Thank you. My fans and listeners – without you, none of this would be possible. I hope my music gives you pleasure for years to come.

1. Poortown Scrub : This tune was written on my There And Back Again tour. A three month, 13,000 mile tour. I was about half-way through my tour when Zach Spiezer (My co-writer , friend and musical collaborator from my CD “Bump” ) and I met-up in North Ft. Meyers Florida. Zach was visiting his mother and she was gracious enough to put me up for a few days. Zach had the initial riff and idea for a dub-step groove, but it wasn’t complete. So we spent a couple of nights recording and trying out some ideas. We came up with what we thought was a pretty groovy track. I took what we came up with and re-arranged the lines, harmonies, added a different groove underneath it and, of course, the big finish to get a nice version for my loop show. A little different from the “original,” but a great version nonetheless.

2. Bad Mother: This tune was originally written for my first band, “Miles Ahead.” It’s a swinging blues. We were doing a lot of modal jazz at the time and I wanted something with a little more movement and fun. I always liked the tune because it uses a lot of parallel intervals in the melody. It’s a very open sound and a nice groove. I originally recorded it with a trio for my “Live at Marylhurst Drive” CD. Despite the title, my mom loves this tune. And for the record (pun intended!) she was a great mother!

3. I Just Can’t Believe It: This tune came from my collaboration with poet Emmett Wheatfall. I wrote this for Emmett’s first CD, “When I Was Young.” Emmett had a great poem about a love betrayed and I wanted a groovy, hip blues that stood on its own to back it up. And we did a very fine version of it. Personally, I love this song. It’s all about the bass line. This version is a little more aggressive and my “lyrics” add some comedic fun. After all, it is my audience participation song. Get your grunt on!

4. Follow Me: This riff is taken from a project called “Grunglefunk.” A two-sax led jam band. One of my old buddies from the Marines would have basement parties with his friends and we would jam for hours and hours. Someone would start an idea and everybody else would join in and it would morph into whatever. People would trade instruments, players would come and go…I got the idea to record it. So five of us went into a studio and made a CD Grunglefunk “American Housewives: Cuz They’re Fat.” Follow Me was a simple riff that was just that. I started it, and everyone else just followed along. I was surprised and how well suited the G-funk material was for the loop station. I dressed this tune up with a couple of extra riffs. It came together very nicely.

5. Bump: Taken from my CD “Bump” this is a funky jam. The “Bump” is beat four of the two bar pattern. I love this groove. The original version has some outstanding turntable work on it. This tune gets busy. I love what I came up with for supporting parts. They add some fury and attitude to a groove that will get your booty moving.

6. Everybody Knows: This is my tribute to hometown of Billings, Montana. Where, it seemed, everybody knew everything. I couldn’t get away with anything. I have another, slower version of it an Americana tune with the vocals on the recording “Beer Drinkin’ Songs” by Tip the Band. This version goes into a New Orleans street-band style with multiple melody and counter-melody lines. It’s a lot of fun and is down-home groove.

7. Amy’s Lament: The only ballad on this recording. Co-written with my friend and cellist, Tony Rogers. This tune is a true story of Tony’s broken heart. I was touring through Austin, TX and staying with Tony a couple of weeks checking out central Texas. We had a gig a small venue and Tony wanted to jam on an idea he came up with. We had just had a very frank talk about how he was doing with the break-up and I could tell he was still hurting from it. He started this beautiful strumming and plucking over a very simple progression and the tune just came to me. He had been recording the whole show. He sent me the recording of our “jam” tune. There wasn’t really much to do. The tune was already there, the harmony was already there. I stripped it down a little and cleaned it up for a nice song form. This song is emotionally moving to me. Takes a little bit to get going because of the loop format, but I think it’s worth it.

8. Another Beautiful Day: This song is about San Antonio, TX. Specifically the weather. I love sunshine and heat. I had spent 18 years in Pacific NW; where the skies were cloudy all day. Not much sunshine or heat. It was really getting to me and I needed a change. After moving to San Antonio and waking up every day to sunshine I found myself inspired to write a very happy tune.

9. Ethan’s Blues: This tune is named for my nephew and godson, Ethan. It was written during a wedding. The happy couple wanted a New Orleans parade from the ceremony site to the reception site. But the budget was tight, so it was just me and a drummer. I came up with a nice little bass line to jam on while we would take our stroll. Long-story short – it took a lot more time than I had anticipated, during this time I wrote the tune; whilst jamming on the sidewalk with many people about. This is the 2nd recording of this tune, the 1st being on “Music for Film Vol 1: Sax & Bass.”

10. A Smoldering Beguilement: This is a Brazilian influenced composition. This tune was written to be a cautionary tale. The idea is that you not get Beguiled from a Smoldering gaze across the room. I hear that can happen now and again. 

11. Funk’n’A: Another selection from the Grunglefunk collection. I do quite a bit of material from that group although this riff and Follow Me are my favorites. What really does it for me are the supporting lines. For Funk’n’A ( funk jam in the key of A), I have a great harmonized, descending line to add drama. I like to work that line in and out while improvising. I change up from the riff by going into the spiritual “Wade in the Water” and then add the line in and out again while improvising underneath all of it.

12. Sunshine and Smiles: This tune came about while jamming at home with my equipment. I had spent a few years playing reggae, world and African musics. This included a lot of listening to things like calypso, high-life, steel drum bands, Afro-Cuban, 70s African funk, etc… This tune reflects some of those influences. I wanted a “tropical” feel that had an uplifting beat with some few riffs that continued to build on each other, layer after layer. The name is for my nephew Bjorn; or “Smiles McGee” as I like to call him.