I am retired after seventeen years in Croatian Army Band (1992-2009), and I have to a make a living as a full freelance musician (quite a challenge in this small country). Now I will have more time to concentrate at my own music to learn and study things I missed before because of lack of time. My new album (Free Fall) is already on its way and should be released early next year (2010). This is my second solo album and fourth counting two with Donna Lee Saxophone Quartet. This will be full jazz quartet album recorded live (no overdubs) in a vintage manner for Zivaldo Records. After this CD I will probably try to explore some other settings and more modern genres. Next thing I would consider more is saxophone education.
Generally saxophone education in this country (Croatia) is quite questionable. Of course, there is a lot of music schools and saxophone class at the academy, but it is hard to find a usable and versatile sax player, and believe me most of them have basic problems regarding sound, embouchure, technique, etc. Education in this country is strictly classically based and suffers from a lot of disadvantages which I will explain in a separate post. The worst thing above all, there is no doubling discipline in educational system at all, which is unforgivable, it is is even forbidden to double on other reed instrument, which is insane, but more on that in a next post. All those things I told I experienced myself, because I went through all of it at some point of my education, because after I graduate at Zagreb Music Academy I realized that I do not sound good and I’m not versatile enough to survive as a sax player, so I once again begin it from the scratch, and I made it thanks to a great deal to a few books and especially Dave Liebman’s “Developing a Personal Saxophone Sound“. After that I was lucky to spend some time, hang out and play with great saxophone players and such as Dick Oatts and Don Menza and even Dave Liebman to learn some more. So my next goal will be to educate younger generation how to play saxophone and all interested may go here for more info.