There is a long tradition of solo performance in improvised music. When I was developing my musical language in the 80s before I came to Massachuesetts to go to Berklee I followed several simultaneous paths: I studied jazz and classical saxophone with Kurt Heisig - I did a lot of reading and practice with the classical saxophone literature and I used the Joe Viola saxophone scale studies books (among others) to learn jazz scales and to build my sound - I played these studies very hard and loud for about an hour a day for 5 or 6 years before I came to Boston from California in 1989.
The other path I pursued was to play a lot of solo improvisation - mostly in the woodshed.... However, at the time, my day gig was working in a camping / climbing / mountaineering store in the Bay Area called Western Mountaineering. I new a lot of rock climbers there and I used to go on climbing trips with them . I rigged a backpack with a shelf that I could strap my tenor to so I could do a fairly lengthy hike to find a good spot with natural acoustics. I would play all day while the climbers climbed near to my location. I did this in many places in the Sierras and in Joshua Tree Monument, and did a two week tour with my old high school buddy Rob Hansel of the desert southwest where I played at Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, Red Rocks, and a number of other choice acoustic locations. Bryce in particular was amazing with a very long natural overlapping delay. I have a only few photographs of myself playing in this setting, which unfortunately were not very well scanned and the physical photos were later damaged. Two of these photos are from 1991 when Masashi Harada came from Boston with his percussion set to the last of the annual Joshua Tree trips I did with the climbers over New Years.
In the mid and late 90s, I had some opportunities to revisit this solo language in performances at the Zeitgeist Gallery. Theses performances were recorded and videotaped and I released then as part of the deep catalog reissue project I started in fall of 2014. I also did a number of solo sets at Evil Clown Headquarters without an audience when I was rebuilding my chops after my long hiatus. I have selected a few of those recordings for release also.
Late 80s to present
On Leap of Faith: "Alien yet familiar, bizarre yet completely fascinating. Expanding, contracting, erupting, settling down, always as one force..." - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG