Great George Garzone Masterclass

Here’s a recently posted masterclass by the great jazz teacher and tenor saxophone player George Garzone.  I studied with George for a semester or two while at Berklee back in the mid 80’s.  I remember him messing up my whole musical worldview by telling me to not tongue and stop playing licks. ( I had just spent 2 semesters studying all these bebop licks with Bill Pierce and getting my bebop articulation mastered and now George was telling me to stop all that……….WHAT!!!) Although I still tongue much more than I think Mr. Garzone would like, the lessons with him were an important stage in my development.  I learned the importance of being able to let go and to start exploring more outside ideas while improvising.  He also taught me a lot about playing with confidence which was huge.

Besides being a great teacher, I remember going to see George play down at the Copley Mall in Boston.  I forgot the name of the restaurant/bar but I remember sitting there while George blew my mind as he wailed on standard after standard.  I’d go back to Berklee that night and lock myself in the practice room trying to imitate what I had just heard!  He is not only a great teacher but a true inspiration and master of a player!

Check out this masterclass if you have an hour or so to dedicate to it.  There is a lot of wisdom and sage advice here.  Pick out what you can understand and use.  Don’t worry if some concepts are too heavy or hard to understand you can always come back to them later……………

Also, do yourself a favor and check out some of George Garzone’s recordings.  I’ve always thought he has one of the most beautiful tenor sounds out there…………..

Steve About Steve

Steve Neff has been playing and teaching saxophone and jazz improvisation around the New England area for the last 30 years. He is the author of many effective jazz improvisation methods as well as founding the popular jazz video lesson site


  1. Nice post Steve. I learned something today! I just discovered Mr Garzone… seems like a cool guy and a very good teacher.

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