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Alto Saxophone: Recommended Listening...........

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Hi Folks!

Thought it might be a good idea for members to post any recommended CD's etc. of Alto Saxophone players - especially where they are contemporary, and could be seen live.

My recommendation is Alto Sax player Iain Ballamy who appears on a brilliant CD called "Three Windows" (Dark Energy Music - 2008). It is based on a trio, with Mark Wingfield - Electric Guitar, and Jane Chapman - Harpsichord. It has some prog rock elements and a pleasant degree of spaciousness & reflectivity to it.

Any other recommendations are very welcome! Many of us will be aware of Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderley and Art Pepper of yesteryear, but not so up to date on contemporary artists.

Kind regards
Tom
 
Messages
509
Hello Tom,David Sanborn would be a good one to try, he has had quite a few albums and C.D's released my two favourites are Pearls and here and gone the latter being a tribute to some of his own hero's
regards Zoot
 

Juju

Senior Member
Messages
280
Check out Vincent Herring's "Mr Wizard" and Rosario Giuliani's "Lennie's Pennies".
For local musicians, try to see a gig featuring Sam Mayne, he is an amazing London-based alto player.
Juju
 

Andrew Sanders

Northern Commissioner for Caslm
Messages
2,773
I've seen Martin Speake a couple of times and enjoyed his playing greatly but haven't heard him on CD. Very clean player.
Also the great Pete King's "Lush Life" is well worth digging out. I've never heard Iain Belleamy on Alto but really like his Tenor work
 

saxnik

Member
Messages
381
My three favourite living alto players that I can think of right now:
Maceo Parker (funky)
Nathaniel Facey (Empirical)
Soweto Kinch (bonkers hip-hop/jazz)
 

baritonesax

Member
Messages
256
I second "Old Git" about Paul Desmond. However, in terms of altoists who aren't brown bread:

Bobby Watson - almost any album of his is worth the trouble. He writes great tunes too - in sharp distinction to most of his peers.

Kenny Garrett - Beyond the Wall
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Just doing an Amazon search for "Beyond the Wall" and noticed "Pursuance: The Music of John Coltrane" by Kenny Garrett - which had a 5* rating and thought of as KG's best CD - anyone listened to it? I'd be interested to try it some time.

Martin Speake has a good CD on ECM records - "Change of Heart". He's a nice bloke - met him at Swansea Jazzland a few years ago.

Kind regards
Tom
 

chadders

Senior Member
Messages
314
Just doing an Amazon search for "Beyond the Wall" and noticed "Pursuance: The Music of John Coltrane" by Kenny Garrett - which had a 5* rating and thought of as KG's best CD - anyone listened to it? I'd be interested to try it some time.
I have listened to this album loads of times on Spotify and I have to say I think it is a bit of a masterclass in how an alto should be played . I would highly recommend it. I particularly like Equinox and Lonnie's lament

Cheers
Chad
 

Greg Strange

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,077
Over the years I have enjoyed listening to a lot of alto players and recommend as follows:-

The usual suspects since deceased.
Johnny Hodges.
Charlie Parker.
Benny Carter.
Paul Desmond.
Art Pepper.
Bud Shank.
Cannonball Adderley.
Earl Bostic.

The old fellas still going (hopefully)
Phil Woods.
Lee Konitz.
Herb Geller.

The guys from the 60s Soul Jazz era.
Hank Crawford since passed.
Lou Donaldson.

Another underrated player Sonny Criss.

Eddie 'Cleanhead' Vinson.

The guys who pioneered rock alto sax in the late 60s early 70s
Dave Sanborn
Fred Lipsius - Blood Sweat & Tears
Edgar Winter

Maceo Parker

Sonny Fortune.

Bernie McGann - the greatest alto player in the Southern Hemisphere.

Eric Marienthal - Chick Corea Electric band.
Marc Russo - Yellowjackets.

Kenny Garrett - with Miles Davis and solo stuff.

Bobby Watson.

Dan Higgins - 'Catch Me If You Can' film soundtrack.

A few new players on the scene in the last few years,
American Indian Rudresh Mahannthappa (sic?) (think Tendulka not Chief Sitting Bull) released a new album with underrated old bloke Bunky Green
Dave Binney.

Enjoy!

Regards,
Greg S.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
So if you were to recommend 3 contemporary players and particular CDs what would you flag up as essential listening....................?
I'd appreciate some recommendations for my next purchase.

Kind regards
Tom
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Is it better than John Coltrane playing John Coltrane - serious question, which is primarily a subjective dislike of most of his improvising. I like many of the tunes that he has written but intensely dislike his introverted, self preoccupied wanderings. If KG has some order to his playing I will purchase it forthwith.....!

Kind regards
Tom
 

AlanU

Member
Messages
655
The original question was, who to listen to?
The answer is everyone, some you'll like some you won't.

Who to see here in Britain has to include Alan Barnes, Peter King and the often overlooked Pete Long.
There are loads of others but you'll have to see them to find out which you enjoy.
Have fun
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,630
Is it better than John Coltrane playing John Coltrane - serious question, which is primarily a subjective dislike of most of his improvising. I like many of the tunes that he has written but intensely dislike his introverted, self preoccupied wanderings. If KG has some order to his playing I will purchase it forthwith.....!

Kind regards
Tom
Interesting point- KG is quite Coltrane-ish but I've found The Wall album to be rather more lyrical/melodic/tuneful/hummable.. or however you'd describe it. Bear in mind he's playing opposite Pharoah Sanders on a lot of the disc and picks up on his 'euphoric' sort of vibe very nicely (if you like Pharoah Sanders- not sure based on your above post...)
 
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