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Take Five With Sax-of-Praise

AAJ Staff By

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Meet Sax-of-Praise (Otha T. Carpenter, Esq.): Legacy of Peace (Sax-of-Praise) Quiet Presence (Quiet Presence)

Instrument(s): soprano saxophone.

Teachers and/or influences? I have both traditional and contemporary influences varying from John Coltrane to Kenny G. However, being born in Memphis, I favor artists such as Kirk Whalum.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when... I started playing clarinet in the fourth grade and rekindled the interest much later in life from promoting jazz artists like Bob James.

Your sound and approach to music: I like to utilize the full range of the soprano sax including the low tones. Since I began playing in church, there is an inspirational approach to my playing.

Your teaching approach: I would only encourage students to develop their own personal style to playing.

Your dream band: This is ironic but I would prefer musicians who had good ears and could feed off of each other.

Anecdote from the road: I am not currently touring, so there is nothing usual.

Favorite venue: I prefer venues that have a lot of natural wood for the sound. They are hard to find but I enjoy playing in such venues.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why? "Hear Me Say I Love You" because I wrote that song for my mother.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically? The unique sound fragrance of Sax-of-Praise to give you peace, joy, love and inspiration.

Did you know... Generally, I like to keep busy, whether working on legal projects or music projects.

How you use the internet to help your career? I can be found at www.saxofpraise.com and just by looking up Sax-of-Praise on the web.

CDs you are listening to now: I listen to a multifaceted genre, so it would be very hard for me to pick five.

Desert Island picks: Kirk Whalum, Bob James, Kenny G, Rodney Franklin and Joe Sample. A hint: I promoted four of the five artist listed, so I am somewhat partial.

How would you describe the state of jazz today? I think jazz is steadily evolving so a definitive definition would be impossible. There is so much variety.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing? I think the use of non-commercial internet radio and digital downloading is an avenue that allows the music to grow.

What is in the near future? I am about to begin on a new CD and video project.

By Day: I am a practicing attorney by day with an unyielding passion for music and the soprano sax.

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