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Julian Smith


Senior Member
Watched the youtube version of Julian Smith playing soprano sax on Britain's Got Talent this evening and was most surprised at how an audience can be enthralled by the simplest things. The guy, and good luck to him, played 'Somewhere' [there's a place for us]. He had Simon Cowell praising him to the heavens, Piers Morgan gushing with admiration and Amanda Holden was in tears of rapture (something Les Dennis must have envied), the audience rose to it's feet as one at the end.

Now, not wanting to rain on anyone's parade but going to drizzle on it anyway: The guy played well, he had a nice tone and holding that last note for about 15 seconds was a masterstoke. But he also had more reverb on his amplifier than is available in the caves at Wooky Hole so it was a good job he was playing something slow or all the notes would have come out as one. The audience were taken in by the ambience, the mass hysteria and not least by fact that probably 80% of them had never seen a soprano sax before. Apart from the last sustained note, I reckon most of the people on this forum could do as good a job because with that amount of echo, scraping nails down a blackboard could sound good. He got through to the next round and I'll be looking forward to hearing him play something that many of us here could not, THEN I'll give him a standing ovation.

He did have a nice tone though. :sax:



ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
But it's about mass entertainment - not playing ability. And that's why so much drivel gets in the charts.

'Tie a Yellow Ribbon' anyone?


Watched the whole show on ITV1 last night. Of course its very contrived and anything even mildly competent sticks out after having sat through half a dozen 'acts' (word used advisedly!) that, if they'd had half a brain, would've better stayed at home! The kid who false-started doing an Amy Winehouse song (and was asked by SC what else he could do better ... like that happens!?!) had a nice voice, and the soprano sax guy also sounded 'reasonable'. But after listening to all the other dross almost anyone who can stick a few notes together, in roughly the right order, will stick out. And yes, there are far far more proficient players here. But a show like that feeds off the idea of 'relative goodness' as opposed to extremes of 'badness' ... with large dollops of pseudo-emotional treacle added. The final winner will probably also need to be a jobless single parent with 15 kids to support, currently facing eviction, have had a lifetime ambition to play baritone spoons (or something equally bizarre), and so on. Brings a tear to yer eyes, dunnit!
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I don't normally watch these type of shows but I happened to see this last night. Couldn't agree more with losaavedra; how contrived can you get? I found it a bit disturbing as there was one lad, who clearly had learning difficulties, encouraged to make an idiot of himself playing keepie-uppie whilst everybody laughed at him. The soprano player was OK but only compared to the rubbish around him. Not for me.

Young Col

Well-Known Member
I only ever watched one or two of those and from the various descriptions chaps, I see it has continued in exactly the same way and I'm pleased I haven't missed much.

I actually watched several of the docu-portraits on BBC4. Included was one on Charlie Parker, which seemed pretty accurate, although I didn't like the modern silhouette fill in-ins to cover for there being no original film and the line that he died in a New York hotel room was a bit thin considering it was Pannonica Rothschild's suite. The following film about Pannonica herself was also a bit thin on her jazz interest outside of Monk. Even her discovery of him through "friend Teddy Wilson" (no acknowledgement that he was not only a musician but probably the greatest swing pianist) was hardly illuminating. And if it had been my father I would have talked him up, but Monk Jr was way out when said that Monk had led the way for Bird and Dizzy and he was pretty derogatory about Bird - saying he did a lot of bad things to people (really?). That's not to deny Bird's self destructive excesses or Monk's genius but I think Tony Scott had it right about Bebop "Charlie Parker opened the door, showed the world and then he shut the door behind him".

Even so, I'm glad I watched all that (plus a good docu on Jim Clark) rather than some over hyped talent show!

old git

Tremendous Bore
Was amazed to see my hero Jim on four. Must admit eyes were damp at the end, just the same as when visiting the Room at Duns and the grave. What they failed to say was that he was not a good road driver and was not a good saxophonist.

Both Monk and Bird had psychological problems. Well who doesn't, look at politicians and ask yourself who voted them in?

Now just ask yourself, who made you look at that tat? If the answer was the wife, you are forgiven. ;}


I had the TV on in background whilst on the dreaded PC ... I was getting tortured by flat notes and awfulness and thinking about switching the darned thing off just to maintain my own sanity ...

... then a soprano player wandered on, handsome and coolly dressed and looking the part and I thought 'feck me this is going to be really awful!' - he did play well with feeling and we should applaud the dreadful judges and public for recognising that (nothing wrong with a bit of bathroom is there?) The guy done good.

The youngster has a fine voice too - good luck to them all.

He was fine and capable in my humble opinion - nice to look at too :)


Britains got Talent

I saw it this morning on youtube and thought I wish I had the spherical objects to get up there in front of that many people with no band for moral support and play like that.

Good luck to Julian and if you dont take the opportunity then you will never know what might be



Well-Known Member
Café Supporter
I caught that part of the show and it was a bit hard for me (in amongst all the reverb) to hear which notes were the sax and which the backing. He didn't seem to play many notes at all !

Did you notice the tuner clamped to the end of his horn (one of those with a bright blue display screen) ?

My family thought he was very good, but then they only have me to compare against !


Pee Dee

It's the sort of 'music' that appeals to the masses, so he should do well.
We all got to earn a living somehow, and he probably can play jazz, or funk, or rock as well, but that don't win competitions.;}


Just thought i'd throw my penny worth in anyway. I won't say whether he was good or not, it was hard to decipher the tune amongst all the other background noise but what i would really like to say is hats off to him he had the balls to go out there and play potentially in front of one a live audience and then a worldwide audience. I say very good luck to him, i thought it was actually nice see the sax on mainstay tv.
Re the young lad... Well.. SC had that planned did he not? Talk about a plant.. Less said the better. Phil


I went recently to a Client Ball at Coventry University and he was playing, I managed to upset most people at the table by saying he was no more than average and with that amount of reverb you could probably get away with murder.

Its this type of playing that makes me cringe, for the same reasons as I dislike Kenneth G. I'm not suggesting they are talentless, I just don't like this type of sanitised musak, not for me at all. :confused:


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i thought this show was for amatuers trying to make it big, it was in some of todays newspapers that this guy is a professional sax player and has played with some pretty big names in the past,,,is this in the spirit of this type of program.

Chris Jones

If the Public Like it and willing to pay for it, Good luck to him. :welldone

How about a Forum Multi-Trooper playing super group. We can call Ourselves "Ptomfurum" or "PTF" or....:sax::sax:


morning i was looking at the forum about julian smith and to let people now that he made a cd in 2003 this is his real name Joolz Gianni 'Chilled 2 the Sax' you can find it on amazon ( he was good we all now why to) lol:w00t:
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