Part experimental rocker, part classical romantic, and part hard-bop devotee, saxophonist, and composer, Chase Baird has been described as “… the future of jazz music and the saxophone” by Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Randy Brecker.
His latest album, A Life Between, covers a vast emotional terrain with a band comprised of modern jazz’s most revered innovators. Grammy-winning drummer Antonio Sanchez and five-time Grammy-nominated pianist Brad Mehldau are veteran companions alongside new-generation talents Nir Felder on guitar, and Dan Chmielinski on bass. Critics have declared the album “…a truly inspired, dare we say, epic recording complete with progressive singularities and sonic cosmicalities.” A complete bio for Chase Baird can be found here.
We chatted with Chase on how he uses the Prophet ’08 in his music:
What made you choose the Prophet ’08?
The Prophet ’08 is my favorite synthesizer to program for Electronic Wind Instrument. The extensive mod matrix enables breath control to be routed to almost any region or parameter on the synth. I’ve been able to get incredibly expressive EWI patches with really natural response. It’s also a blast to use as a keyboard.
How are you using it?
The Prophet ’08 has been my main synth when performing with Antonio Sanchez & Migration, both live and on the recent studio album, Lines In The Sand. I also play the Prophet ’08 with the all-synthesizer band Circuit Kisser on our latest album Faking The Moon Landing. On tour, it’s lightweight, packs easy, and consistently sounds great.
My upcoming single “Pulsar” (featuring Steve Lyman, Dan Chmielinski, Nathan Prillaman and fellow Sequential artist Julian Pollack/J3PO) also features the Prophet ’08 and is slated for release on July 31st on Outside In Music.
Any interesting tricks or techniques you would like to share?
A tip for EWI-specific users: the MODULATORS section allows the possibility of routing breath to both the LOW PASS FILTER (LPF) and AMP twice each, thus creating the possibility of even more nuanced feel for the breath control. For example, set LPF in the filter section between 0-20, depending on how bright you want your tone to be at pianissimo. Then use MOD 1 to route breath to the LPF, with See Mod Amount to the average brightness you want at a forte — let’s say around 30. Then use Mod 2 to again route breath to the LPF, with Mod Amount set slightly above the first at 32 or so (to simulate the max amount of air and volume you could put into an acoustic instrument). This will give a more horn-like response and feel.
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