Last night I took my older kids up to see the Crescent Super Band perform with Eric Mariental (from Big Phat Band, Chick Corea) and Lennie Pickett (from Tower of Power and Saturday Night Live) up in Salt Lake. It was a fantastic concert, with both Eric and Lennie doing phenomenal things. Eric impressed with his technical skill, altissimo, solo content and personality. Lennie wasn't as animated as Eric, but he showed that he is still the master of altissimo on tenor. I can squeeze an extra octave out of my tenor, but I swear that he was getting two. Plus he did some fascinating stuff combining slap tongue and altissimo.
Anyway, those kinds of concerts are what inspire me and keep me going. I always encourage my students to get out and soak in these master performers, since it shows us what quality time in the practice room can do for us. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go practice my altissimo range.