Arlen Asher on baritone amongst his various woodwinds at Outpost Performance Space, Albuquerque — February 14, 2013 — playing with First Take Trio — Michael Anthony, guitar; Cal Haines, drums; Michael Glynn, bass — photo by Mark Weber
Of all the great baritone saxophone players, for me, my top three are Lars Gullin, Jack Nimitz, and this guy in Santa Fe name of Arlen Asher. What I like about them is their cool unmolested calm and pure sanctuary in mellow.
Arlen just happens to be a friend of mine, and everybody else in New Mexico who listens to jazz, his radio show The Jazz Experience airs every Monday morning 9 till noon on KSFR 101.1 FM (Mountain Standard Time) and streams over the web at KSFR.org.
Every now & again Arlen invites me onto his show (and likewise, I get him on my show in Albuquerque at KUNM Thursdays) and it gives me a chance to spin records that I’ve been pondering and have Arlen explain what’s going on. I’ll be on The Jazz Experience tomorrow from 10am till Noon and like last time maybe he’ll tell us more of the story when his group opened for Dexter Gordon in Albuquerque, circa 1980. Or the time his group opened for Duke Ellington. Or the time he interviewed Louis Armstrong circa 1958 in Ames, Iowa, for WOIT when he worked in television (thanks to Cal for this gem — we’d sure like to find a copy).
I’ll bring along a gang of baritone records and even this Al Cohn item I recently stumbled over with Al playing bass clarinet (wow!) (Arlen also plays bass clarinet). And a smokin’ Zoot record John Breckow (Los Angeles jazz scholar and dj) pulled my coat about from the David X Young JAZZLOFT release. And this new acquaintance on clarinet, name of Markos Sowlakis out of San Francisco. And the usual Lennie Tristano, and Lighthouse All-Stars, and onward across the airwaves . . . .
That’s tomorrow Monday April 8, 2013 ten til’ Noonski —
John Trentacosta’s Straight Up — November 24, 1997 at the old Outpost Performance Space, Albuquerque — Bob Fox, piano; Wendy Beach, song; John Belzaguy, bass; Paul Gonzales, flugelhorn & trumpet; Arlen Asher, woodwinds; John Trentacosta,drums — photo by Mark Weber
The Jazz Experience in progress — Arlen Asher at the wheel — KSFR Santa Fe — May 19, 2009 — photo by Mark Weber
SuperSax New Mexico — rehearsing at New Mexico Jazz Workshop — May 11, 2011 — Kanoa Kaluhima, tenor; Lee Taylor, tenor; Arlen Asher, lead alto; Dave Anderson, alto; Glenn Kostur, baritone and section leader — photo by Mark Weber
Arlen Asher Quartet at Bumble Bee Bob’s Baja Grill & Jazz Joint — Santa Fe — April 25, 2009 — Bert Dalton, piano; Arlen, alto; Jon Gagan, bass; John Trentacosta, drums — photo by Mark Weber