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10 Great Alto Players

randulo

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But where is Earl Bostic ???????
Yes, there will always be a "where is?". In my opinion, having listened to a lot of Earl, thanks to the café, I know a lot about his playing already, so I didn't miss him on the list. Jay's pointing to some of the specific things about each of the players (except Ornette which wasn't instructive) was very interesting to me.
 

CliveMA

Member
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687
Generally, I really like everything Jay at Bettersax does but one thing that is missing from this vid is the importance of emotion to music. With Ornette Coleman, Jay could have posted "Lonely Woman" and pointed out how Ornette's extremism gives voice to the extreme sadness of the lonely woman.

Branford Marsalis' reminds that 95% of audiences he plays to do not play a musical instrument. A happy song must be happy. A sad song must be sad. The audience must feel an emotional connection to the music played.

Too many review videos focus on technical expertise and ignore the player's skill at creating emotional connection with an audience. For me, emotional connection is by far the number one skill, and arguably the hardest for most players to achieve.
 

randulo

Positivity-obsessed
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5,294
Generally, I really like everything Jay at Bettersax does but one thing that is missing from this vid is the importance of emotion to music. With Ornette Coleman, Jay could have posted "Lonely Woman" and pointed out how Ornette's extremism gives voice to the extreme sadness of the lonely woman.

I mostly agree with (not the tenor thing tho! Running joke). Seriously, Jay's great, maybe it's his age and good personality for video presentation. Lot's of free value on his stuff. Regarding Ornette, it's possible there was a rights issue. I would have left out that excerpt, because I don't think it's representative at all. On the rest, it's hard to compare emotion between the players. Superficially, Desmond looks pretty uninterested, yet to a saxophone player he's usually near the top of the list. I thought Jay's comments on Cannonball and others were revealing in ways maybe some players never thought of. He mentioned the flat 5 in the Billy Joel tune. I always knew it was a flat 5 and that it was a brilliant thing to do, and I've only heard the song a few times. That one note and the clever phrase it's part of may not have jumped out to every player. For Bird, he circled that particular fingering (I have looked at it yet) and the moment where he unstuck the octave key.

Getting back to 'emotion', there is no question it's the number one goal to aim for, always in my opinion. Mr. Marsalis' comment about who the audience is, especially his audience, which is wide due to exposure, is 100% true.
 
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GCinCT

Seeker of truth and beauty
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FUN!!!???

This is a totally serious forum. We're not here to have fun. Get back to your long tones this minute!
What if I find long tones fun? I know it seems unlikely, but anything is possible.
 

brianr

Senior Member
Messages
1,167
I enjoyed the video. Thanks for posting it.

A great top ten, but I disagree with it in one respect.

He calls it his “top ten, most influential of all time”, but then he misses out the three most influential of the last 30 years. IMHO of course.
MACEO PARKER, DAVID SANBORN and KENNY GARRETT.
Each of those have had a big influence on the way altoists play these days.

Who would I leave out to make way for those three?
Any 3 from B Carter, J McLean, L Konitz, O Coleman,

I liked his mini analysis of all the the players. Spot on.

This may interest some of you.
In the clip of Parker playing, he plays the same lick twice. This was one of his favourite licks and he played it a lot. ( he had lots of such licks )
If anyone wants to learn it, and has the OMNIBOOK, here are a few places where he plays it.

Page 74 , line three, 2nd bar

Page 24. Last beat of first page in to page two.
This time he extends it a little, but it normally finishes on the note A at the very start of the second bar of that page.

If anyone is going to learn it, it can be a good idea not to go straight in as semi quavers. Think of it in quavers. ie one beat of 4 semis becomes two beats of quavers.

In fact we can find examples of this lick written out this way.
Have a look at page 46 , line twelve.
The first four notes are slightly different, and he often does this. But once he gets to the D, it is usually the same.
It is still the same lick!!!!

Hours of fun !!!!!!
 
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