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Celtic music and the sax

Kath

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119
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South Wales
I know this is a bit odd maybe, but does anyone know of any player who explores celtic music on the sax? I know jazz is where it's at, but I do think the sax has the haunting tones that celtic music uses - I'm sure someone's done it but I can't find them anywhere! I live in the Welsh valleys and would like to play something that 'moves the mountains'
 

Clivey

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1,277
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Edinburgh/Hot Rock off African Coast
I know this is a bit odd maybe, but does anyone know of any player who explores celtic music on the sax? I know jazz is where it's at, but I do think the sax has the haunting tones that celtic music uses - I'm sure someone's done it but I can't find them anywhere! I live in the Welsh valleys and would like to play something that 'moves the mountains'

Fraser Fifield springs to Mind.http://www.fraserfifield.com/ I`m sure Tom Mapfumo will also be along soon to suggest a few . As a fellow celt I would say just play anything you like on it in a Celtic way and it will sound kinda right .

I don`t normally suggest anybody listens to any of my own stuff but I have a few Celtic numbers on Myspace my Version of Hector the Hero "Hector in Progress" , "The maids of Mitchelston" and One I co-composed called "seagulls"
 
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Kath

Member
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119
Locality
South Wales
Thanks Clivey - I did kind of think that my own take on it would be OK . . . I'll listen to yours too. Thank you
 

Kath

Member
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119
Locality
South Wales
Thanks - will give that one a go in the morning once the neighbours have gone back to work!!! Thanks again bigtwin x
 

Andrew Sanders

Northern Commissioner for Caslm
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Ilkley West Yorkshire
I have a lot of celtic music that I play on guitar and banjo and it's really interesting to play the tunes on sax.
There are some really taxing Breton tunes that make you work hard, lots of fast tongue work and strange timing issues.
I'm getting into a band called Lau from Orkney who have a great contemporary take on traditional Scottish music and I'm just starting to take their music apart.
It's good to venture into an area that the sax doesn't traditionally fit into.
 

Colin the Bear

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Burnley bb9 9dn
The skye boat song sounds well played on anything then there's good old amazing grace and mull of kintyre (bonnie she comes) or is that pictish not celtic?
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
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5,215
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Skabertawe, South Wales
A CD to get hold of is "New Origins" by Neil Yates, which was recorded in Llandudno in 2005 (I have a copy, which you could happily borrow!) and is the closest to decent Celtic jazz that I have found so far.

Includes Andy Schofield on sax (as well as a bodhran, guitar, piano, flugelhorn, trumpet and trombone. It is on the Carnyx label, and quite rare.

Here is a sample: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqYxqaFkf9o

Alternatively my old Alma Mater: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNNyPAPo2QI
 
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Dave McLaughlin

Sesquipedalian
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Paisley, Scotland
Tommy Smith's Land of Heroes (hope that's the right vid - having Flash issues) has more than a hint of bagpipes about it - I guess Mixolydian mode, but I'm not really au fait with all that modal malarkey!

I should add there are some other distinctly Celtic tunes on that album.
 
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SopJob

Member
Messages
86
Locality
Stuttgart region, Germany
I know this is a bit odd maybe, but does anyone know of any player who explores celtic music on the sax? I know jazz is where it's at, but I do think the sax has the haunting tones that celtic music uses - I'm sure someone's done it but I can't find them anywhere! I live in the Welsh valleys and would like to play something that 'moves the mountains'

Hi Kath,

I have a songbook by a guy called James Rae. Title: "Sounds Irish: Six Original Pieces for Alto or Tenor Saxophone".
Bought it while travelling in Ireland. I played a few of them, and I must say that the sax is well-suited for Celtic stuff. My accentuation was completely wrong as it turned out. Luckily, I had an Irish colleague to explain it to me.

Titles of the tunes (maybe they mean something to you):

  • A Drop o' the Hard Stuff
  • One Cold, Grey Morning
  • Harry's Empty Glass
  • Beyond the Headland
  • Kieran in the Kitchen
  • His Father's Son
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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Whitchurch, North Shropshire UK
I have some *ahem* 'new age' type Celtic music with sax - I've just tried Googling for more details and failed - I'll look up the CDs which are buried in the study somewhere and post an update later.
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
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4,935
Locality
brighton by the sea
The Irish band Moving Hearts used to have a front line of uillena pipes and soprano sax... some lovely interplay between them. Seem to remember a track called River of Gems being a particularly good one....
(Give me a few years on my current trajectory and my hybrid playing style- Celtic pipes influenced tenor meets Peter Brotzmann- should be complete!)
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
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The Malverns, Worcs
We play Dowd's favourite and Mrs Malcolm in our Sax ensemble....

They're both reels.
 

Riversider

Member
Messages
63
Locality
Stirling, Scotland.
Fraser Fifield, Tom Bancroft Tommy Smith and especially Colin Steele on trumpet are all good. But check out the opening to the world Saxophone Congress at St Andrews last summer —a composition by Richard Ingham, featuring a scorching soprano solo by Sue Mackenzie, my sax tutor. I was there, it was wonderful!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uEncGAFTek

Slaintje,
 

Justin Chune

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,116
Locality
The Athens of The North
That was serious Teuchter music Riversider. I was going to suggest Richard Ingham sop/alto with Mary McCarthy accordion/piano. They toured with, and probably recorded Richard's Celtic style compositions.

Many years ago I had the pleasure of playing sax quartets with Susan Mackenzie at Inch House Edinburgh. I played baritone and it was great fun. Give her my regards. Richard also ran sax play days at St. Andrew's and I went to some of those as well and had a great time.

Jim.
 

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