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10 Great Alto Players

GCinCT

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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.
Yes! I love that lick. I practice it all the time.
 

Pete Effamy

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Yeah interesting. As much as I also love Cannonball, Benny Carter, and Stitt, you can draw a circle around them along with Parker. Art Pepper would be another big gun in this company. I agree with @brianr that there has to be some post early 70's players in there.
 

randulo

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MACEO PARKER, DAVID SANBORN and KENNY GARRETT.
Each of those have had a big influence on the way altoists play these days.
I totally agree with that, but it's just a list, and he adds value to each except Ornette, as I said earlier. Someone should do a similar video just about Ornette!

I would very much welcome a video on all three of those above in the style of Jay's. I'd love it. I've listened to Kenny Garrett the most and I hear the kinds of things one might say about him. I think his work in Amandla is stellar, and his his own tunes are great. Maceo to a lesser extent, but similarly, I get the drift of what he does with so few notes. Sanborn is more of a recent "discovery"', but I get that, too, although I'd welcome someone pointing out passages as Jay did.
 

Keep Blowing

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Not just a list. A lot of interesting details are pointed about about each. Jay's comments are a big value added to the music if you're learning about it. His facial expressions alone are entertaining. A very nice introduction to the best member of the saxophone family!
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMrKsI0dn6s
Well at least he mentioned Ornette Coleman but it's pretty obvious he was apprehensive about it, he was almost apologising for doing so..
 

randulo

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Besides Maceo, Kenny Garrett, Dave Sanborn and Earl Bostic, who else should have been in your "top ten" alto players?
 

Pete Effamy

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Thinking about it, if you look at guys like Grover, Marienthal, Sanborn, Tom Scott, Maceo, Brandon Fields, Andy Snitzer - their sound is made up of a larger palette of articulations, wider usage of dynamics within a note (not just a phrase), manipulation of tone colour and more extensive use of harmonics. If this was one player he'd have to be in there, so it's a case of picking one or two.
 

randulo

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If this was one player he'd have to be in there, so it's a case of picking one or two.
Maybe once there's a list of about 20, we should put them in order of lifespan? You want to study (not copy!) the ones that lived past 60.
 

rhysonsax

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It's interesting that nobody outside the USA plays alto. Anyone any idea why?

Well, I think that the original concept was "most influential", and it would be hard to argue that a single non-American altoist would make the list.

If the idea were "great alto players that you love to listen to" then a couple of Europeans would make my list.

But that's the problem (or maybe the point) of any such "top X" sportsmen, authors, artists, singers, politicians etc.

Rhys
 

Greg Strange

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Pete Effamy

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Yes “terrific players” is another story. I’m afraid I’ve not heard of Nick or Greg’s offerings, so being little-known therefore makes them less influential
 
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