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Alto and the blues.

Rock Lobster

Member
Messages
124
I had a secret plan to move from Alto to Tenor because I wanted to play the blues. A key part of my plan was carried out a few weeks ago in a saxophone shop where I tried a selection of tenor's. It was great but you know what, I think I am an Alto player. The teno's felt just like I thought they would but somehow it;s not the same.

Here's the thing, I have never seen a player in a rock or blues band playing an alto, if blues is my thing must I play tenor or should I stop worrying about it and get out and play alto and stop being so precious about it?

Who plays the blues on alto anyway, anyone I can listen to?

All help gratefully recieved.
 

dubrosa22

Senior Member
Messages
413
Locality
Sydney, Australia
Oliver Nelson's 'Blues And The Abstract Truth' is good place to start :)
 

Kingsleyhk

Senior Member
Messages
507
Locality
Nr. Bandung, Indonesia
Earl Bostic? Dates me a bit doesn't it? Remember also that Ray Charles was an alto payer - and used to play as part of the show in the 60s.
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,898
Locality
brighton by the sea
Earl Bostic? Dates me a bit doesn't it? Remember also that Ray Charles was an alto payer - and used to play as part of the show in the 60s.
...But I've always thought Earl Bostic- even though he's on alto- sounds more like he's playing on tenor. To my ears anyway.....
 

dubrosa22

Senior Member
Messages
413
Locality
Sydney, Australia
I'd also add Ornette Coleman, Cannonball Adderley, Lou Donaldson, Roland Kirk (if you count his alto stritch!)
 

Sue

One prosecco, two prosecco, three prosecco - floor
Café Supporter
Messages
2,533
Locality
The Millenium Falcon
What they all said. Also listen to Pete Thomas playing Slinky (amongst others) on alto
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,662
Locality
Burnley bb9 9dn
What you really need is more saxophones. Alto is great but it's not a tenor. And they're both great but can't do what a baritone does. And who wants to play alto tenor and baritone and not have a soprano. And who can decide between curly and straight? No one, so get both.

Seriously though...Blues is what you play, not what you play it on imho. Blues has a long tradition of being played on home made instruments. I've heard comb and paper trump the whole band and who was that guy that played a one string guitar.


Blues, played well, sounds real easy to play and granted it's not as mathematically complicated as jazz but to sound good you need to listen, practice and develop your sound and style.
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,724
Locality
Betelgeuse
What you really need is more saxophones. Alto is great but it's not a tenor. And they're both great but can't do what a baritone does. And who wants to play alto tenor and baritone and not have a soprano. And who can decide between curly and straight? No one, so get both.

Seriously though...

You mean that wasn't serious? It is to me.
 

wol916

New Member
Messages
125
I tend to agree that you can take to one instrument more than others. I have a soprano and it never comes out of the case probably got less than two hours on it, I just can not get on with it. I'd sell it but the scrap value of brass needs to go up if the last offer I had is anything to go by.:(
 

chadders

Senior Member
Messages
314
Locality
Wrexham.
Stick with the Alto. Tenor Players are two a penny ( ducks head and leaves the room quickly !!) hehehe
 

rhysonsax

Well-Known Member
Café Supporter
Messages
5,120
Locality
Surrey, UK
As well as the great blues alto players listed above, Pete Brown played fine blues. Here he is with Champion Jack Dupree: nice solo from 1:25 onwards:


And you can't beat Louis Jordan for great blues sound and feeling.

Rhys
 
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gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
Messages
3,436
Locality
manchester
I'm quite sure my gorgeous alto is capable of playing any type of music it's just the organic matter hanging on to it that has the problem ......stick to the alto its the only true way .....the others are just for playing with .......you know it makes sense .....John
 

Greg Strange

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,155
Locality
Hamilton, Waikato, North Island, New Zealand
King Curtis was great on alto as well.

Trouble In Mind - King Curtis Sings The Blues, showcases Mr. Ousley on alto sax and electric guitar...and singing hence the title of the album...

Greg S.
 

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