Ken Leighton 12:30 p.m., Feb. 21
RIYL: Paul Desmond, Christopher Hollyday, Ernie Watts
- "Bebop All Night Long: It's Kyle Myers" · Jan. 24, 2013
Influences: Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderley, Christopher Hollyday, Paul Desmond, David Sanborn, Charles McPherson, Jay Mason
15 years old in 2013 and a student at Mt. Carmel High School, Kyle Myers plays sax in his high school wind ensemble, jazz band, multiple honor bands, and has been taught by notable jazz musicians such as Christopher Hollyday, Charles McPherson, and Jay Mason.
He has alto sax chops to spare. He plays Charlie Parker and Cannonball Adderley heads with a range and depth of intelligence and raw feeling that borders on the supernatural. Close your eyes when Myers is playing, and tell me if he doesn't have the saxophone wisdom of a very old man.
“The real jazz is bebop,” says Myers by phone. “It appealed to me because it’s like classical music that you make up. I don’t know why I like it so much. I wouldn’t say I’ve mastered it. There’s a point where you don’t know where to go.”
The bebop scale is a major scale with an extra note, a flat seven added in front of the natural seven. You could say that the extra note makes the scale longer, and you would be right. It helps a phrase fit better in a way that appealed then and now to the bop community at large.
Myers says he actually landed up on sax as a choice of musical instrument by a process of elimination. “I wanted to play trombone at first. I went to a music shop, and I tried out a trombone and a trumpet. The sax worked out because I could make the most sounds with one, so I went with that.” He was ten years old.
“But I didn’t start getting into it until two years later. At first, it was like another project. Then, and I won’t say that my parents forced me, but they had me learn Dave Brubeck’s ‘Take Five.’”