Listening

Listening is the most important part of music, it ties everything together. You can also feel the lower vibrations in your body, but I’ll include that as ‘listening’.

We ‘listen’ while we play, to ourselves and the rest of the band. And we listen for every piece of music.

But we can also talk about listening as you’re not holding your saxophone.

Picking some favorite saxophone players and learning from them is an important part of developing your own style. If you wanted to be a writer, you would read a lot. Combining what you hear and what you experience in the world are two things that will affect your sound.

Some of my favorites are Stanley Turrentine, Joe Henderson, Cannonball Adderley, Stan Getz, Maceo Parker, Sonny Stitt.I like Big Jay McNeely (who Tim is a fan of) too actually, heard about him not too long ago.

Guys that I listen to, sometimes when I’m in a certain mood, include Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Grover Washington Jr, and Gato Barbieri.One comment about Stitt is interesting, he recorded many many albums, I hadn’t heard that one. But a lot of them he plays melody first.

I’ve seen Plas Johnson and Ernie Watts live and like them both a lot. Have a CD from Plas Johnson that he gave me when I was 12 years old. And actually, I saw Brecker live one time and enjoy some of his music, it’s not all very ‘easy listening’ though (eg Skunk Funk)!

Who are your favorites?  Who do you listen to?  Leave a comment.

One song that has been in my head lately is ‘Red Clay’ by Freddie Hubbard. And started listening to ‘Sunny’ by Bobby Hebb too since the changes for solos come from that tune. Got the melody on tenor. Want to learn to bass line too! Probably will soon.

Thought of posting some of my favorites here as well as some favorites of members of Saxophone Tribe.

The other page with some shared music from Saxophone Tribe Members. Will be reorganizing this soon.

{ 101 comments… read them below or add one }

KT October 9, 2012 at 11:32 pm

Big J Mc Neely. His blows his brains out for a good time! I love watching you tubes and listening to my cd. I usually fade out on Coltrane…sons are too long.

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KT October 9, 2012 at 11:36 pm

I love the sax and blend of instruments in Brian Setzer’s group. Van Morrison. Jazz can be too loose and to much improv….I agree with that comment.

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Neal February 16, 2013 at 11:59 pm

Jazz is a very broad category, some some of it will be undefined in some ways and with a lot of improv, other styles, especially with large groups require more coordination upfront. Have you heard groups like the Big Phat Band with Gordon Goodwin?

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Gil Ross October 10, 2012 at 12:15 am

Paul Desmond, Greg Vail, Dave Koz, Phil
Woods, Euge Groove, Stan Getz, Charles
Loyd, Johnny Hodges, Cannonball Aderly

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Paul Frankland October 10, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Anything by Stan Getz, Paul Desmond, Ben Webster and Johnny Hodges; similar to Gil’s favourites. Alas they are all dead. Jim Tomlinson, Snake Davis ,(both U.K.) and Jan Garbarek, (Norway) going strong and showing complete mastery of sax – sickening!

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Samuel Golden October 11, 2012 at 7:45 am

My Favorites Jazz Saxophonists are Cannonball Adderley, James Moody, Charlie Parker, Sonny Stit, Lou Donaldson, and many more and well as The great Trumpet players; Dizzy, Marsalis, and a few of todays artist. Will attend Lou Donaldson induction to N.C.Music Hall of Fame Tonite

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Neal October 11, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Cool Samuel, I like Lou Donaldson too. Have his recording ‘blue breakbeats’. What else would you recommend that he has recorded?

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JD November 15, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Neal,

Sounds like your taste is very similar to mine. I listen to just about all the guys you mentioned. I also listen to Wilton Felder with the Jazz Crusaders. Although, after the Scratch album I didn’t care as much for their later stuff. Still like Felder though.

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Neal November 19, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Hey JD,
Cool, haven’t actually heard Wilton Felder much on sax, did learn the bass line he played on that one Jackson 5 song. Maybe I’ll check out Scratch. Thanks

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Vijai Anand November 30, 2012 at 12:19 am

Hi Neal,

I have some from Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and also an Indian Kadhri Gopinath (not sure if you heard about him, the first one from India made big impact with saxophone). I also like to listen to lots of various youtube videos. honest answer is only started listening to all this now

Regards,
Vijai

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J March 13, 2013 at 12:13 am

Nice one Vijai,

An old post i know, but just listened to:
Enna thavam seithanai- Saxophone- Kadri Gopinath

at:
http://youtu.be/YbPZM_ufC8o

And WOW!

makes me think of wen i used to live out in alice springs – big sky country.. and sitting in the middle of nowhere just chating with dingos’.

top 100 for sure.

J

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Hanis December 26, 2012 at 9:17 am

Dexter Gordon for ballads ( I don’t cope with 25,00 notes/ minute players too well) and Johhny Hodges for that sweet tone.
I like to hear the saxaphone sing.

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Neal December 28, 2012 at 5:20 pm

haha, it can be good to start with some slower music. You can take it farther and break their songs down into smaller pieces to really learn something. How much have you learned by ear before?

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Sandy January 1, 2013 at 8:39 am

The king for me is Ben Webster followed by Stan Getz and Lester Young, although I like the phrasing of Bob Mintzer. One tenor player I am listening to at present is a Dutch player Boris Vanderlek. He has a great sound and some great ideas.

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Neal January 1, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Haven’t heard of Boris Vanderlek, might have to check him out. Thanks

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Bengt January 1, 2013 at 1:20 pm

I am a newcomer to listening as well as playing. My teacher suggested, among a couple of other things, that I practice on “Little Waltz”. On Spotify a found a recording of that waltz by Ron Carter and Houston Person (Now’s the time/Something in common). Includes a number of other wonderful tracks. Listen to it! I might confess that I still do not master the “Little Waltz”. Among Swedish jazz musicians I might suggest Lars Gullin (bari). Listen to Danny’s Dream because it so Swedish. And to “The midnight sun never sets” by Arne Domnerus.

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Ron January 4, 2013 at 7:25 am

Freddy Jones 1994..not sure who playing saxophone though. Jerry Eubanks with the Marshall Tucker Band.

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Neal January 6, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Thanks Ron

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Fergus January 29, 2013 at 1:44 pm

I’m new to jazz as well but my favourite at the moment is Stan Getz i love his bossa album’s also, i got a cd from an ex-teacher of King Curtis which has akind of Ray Charles feel to it great stuff.
Fergus

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Neal January 29, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Great one to listen to! King Curtis played some good stuff, but I haven’t listened to a lot of it yet.

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J March 12, 2013 at 11:49 pm

that ex teacher of King curtis CD you have- what is it called? comercial CD?

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Doug K. February 16, 2013 at 9:35 pm

I enjoy listening to the Sax player for BILLY JOEL and the now deceased player for BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN. I do not listen to any one person . To me the Sax can play any song but I enjoy the passion I hear with those musicians. Since I believe the Sax can be incorporated to play any song, I listen to all sorts of music and imagine a Sax playing the vocals.

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Neal February 17, 2013 at 12:02 am

Hey Doug, cool, will have to check him out. For Springsteen, you’re talking about Clarence Clemons? Got his autobiography not too long ago, haven’t finished it yet though.

It’s good to listen to a variety, but also can be good to focus on a single player for a time to learn from them.

What are a few tunes you imagine with sax for the vocal?

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Larry March 7, 2013 at 5:00 pm

For steady listening I prefer smooth jazz from people like Kim Waters, Najee and Euge Groove, but nearly anything with a sax is good. I like to hear Jr. Walker (and the All Stars) bust it out in more of a rock style, and the solo in the blues song Eyes Like a Cat (Joe Louis Walker) is great.

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Luc March 9, 2013 at 6:59 am

I like Smooth Jazz like Larry, it’s hard to give names as I am more sensible to tunes than players in particular. If I have to give one ‘When i think of you Everette Harp’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7GTpW7VpZk

I have the music sheet and I tried to play it, it’s a great feeling.

I like hundreds of others tunes, I listen mainly to Jazzy love http://www.airplayradios.com/jazzylove.html

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J March 12, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Some of my favorites already mentioned, some new ones to find also, so thanks all!

Everything has something for me, but my king is Charlie. Dexter for trumpet- and yes- Louis Armstrong for brining such a fine thing to the history of Jass. Well, what a mix hey? Buddy Bolden should go into that history too… LOL!

More modern? I love BB king! Yep, not a saxophone player either, but I saw him live too. WOW.

Now I am going on a rant here! Sorry folks, but benny Goodman (clarinet) just gets my groove on! Go here for the live Carnegie hall (1938) sensation.

http://youtu.be/dbzXS49937A

Hear how it is a little tight at the beginning? Yes- imagine being the FIRST jazz in Carnegie hall. Now keep listening and see if you can hear where they loosen up? Nice, no?

How long do we have to chat on this? Haha.
Check this one:
Chris Potter- more modern- but old school. Have seen him live and at a free jam session at the Melbourne international music festival.. listen to how he builds emotion in this rendition…

http://youtu.be/wmYgn7lLEgs he

he warms up by doing chromatic scales against a wall.

I could go on- but for a really good breakdown on the history of Jass, try to find:
Jazz, a film by ken burns. Seems to be quite a few things linking to info on this series- it was a 10 part thing and really awesome! Thanks for jazz USA…

Also, i listen to live 365 (a USA combination of stations). some really good tunes under the jazz and blues genres.

Enough of my AU ranting.

J

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Neal March 15, 2013 at 7:10 pm

Thanks for sharing J!

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Vijai Anand March 13, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Hi All,

I haven’t been to this page for two weeks . I am feeling frustrated by not moving anywhere near playing songs except doing Lindeman, major scales and little phrases Neal have in ear training page. Thanks for all the youtube links. Going to spend more time listening from now on

Regards,
Vijai

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J March 18, 2013 at 5:10 pm

hey Vijai,

try christmass carols if your really frustrated with not playing anything that sounds like a song.

sounds silly, but i made 20 bucks busking with when the saints and jingle bells,Hahaha.

J

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J March 18, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Another yutube link for some really far out listening folks…

not actually my bag, but some good horn for sure.

Flying Lotus – German Haircut, at this link.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ONqhZY3KlE

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Vijai Anand March 20, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Thanks J, you know every time I go to such links I end up listening to songs like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BROSIBd6IsA

(Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You)

🙂

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Neal March 20, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Maybe you should learn that one Vijai, I can help you with it if you get stuck.

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J April 4, 2013 at 4:56 am

Nice! belated reply for sure, but very nice…

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Venky Ramakrishna March 27, 2013 at 1:44 am

Years ago I had the Blues going and I picked up the harmonica. I went to Blues Festivals and saw how this instrument found a place, the big Chicago sound, hung out with the Greats and started to play the instrument on my own- breathing techniques that I developed- what people have come to know as circular breathing. Within months I was playing on big stage and I did 350 shows a year for 5 years.

I have slowed down a bit but now I have picked up the Alto Sax after attending an Al Jarreau show live. I have had Carnatic music in me all my life that helped me to connect blues and jazz a lot faster than most. I don’t listen much to sax but I connect with it instantly.

My faves are Lou Donaldson, Cannonball Adderly, Duke Ellington, Stan Getz, Big Band Swing, Sonny Rollins and Dave Brubek. Listening is important but I trained by body to resonate with good music and a good audio system. Finally, I met Rudresh Mahantappa and Vijay Iyer who I consider to be great modern jazz musicians connecting South Indian classical music (ragas) with jazz. Now I am ready to have fun with all my ambitious goals on Alto Sax.

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Bengt March 30, 2013 at 10:03 am

Where can we listen to you? I searched Spotify but got no hits. I am sure you have a lot to share with the Tribunists. 350 performances per year for 5 years. You got exhausted or was it just fun??
Please, come along!!

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Venky Ramakrishna March 27, 2013 at 2:01 am

Oh yes I forgot to mention Dave Koz, the Concord Music Group and I subscribe to Jazz Improvs, Jazz Times and Downbeat magazines- just for the read and awareness bout gear, trade-ins, festival announcements. In general, I listen to music that does not have Sax tracks. I developed a good ear for pitch and shifts and am now learning how to transpose scales on other instruments.

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Bengt March 31, 2013 at 8:01 am

Tell us more!

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Charles B April 20, 2013 at 5:03 am

Hi,
some of my favorites are Boney James, Wilton Felder, Kirk Whalum, Gerald Albright, Charlie Nevel (the Nevel brothers) Boots Randolph. There are just so many that I have loved to listen to over the past 50 years.

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Bengt April 20, 2013 at 8:58 am

Charles B
Please give us some more detrailed hints of where we can listen to your favorites. I would like to check what we may have in common!
I do not know any of the songs that you do nmot refer to.

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Charles B April 20, 2013 at 5:26 am

neglected to mention a real favorite the recently late Clarence Clemmons of the E street band. I have recordings of all the “big” players Coltrane, Parker, Adderly, Stitt, Rollins, Maceo, . Also Gordon, Dave Koz, Rudolph Johnson (Spring Rain–from the 70s). Love to listen to Chris Botti on trumpet.

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Bengt April 21, 2013 at 8:41 am

Hi Charles B, what are your favourite songs among stose soloists? My favourite now is the Now’s the time/Something Else with Houston Person and Ron Carter. Lsten to, among others, their version of Joy Spring.

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Bengt April 21, 2013 at 9:00 am

Or…Mack the knife from mthe same recording ……it is so nice!!!

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chad May 20, 2013 at 3:06 am

I listen to coltrane when I am in the mood as driving music. I mostly listen to persons on the web or youtube related either R&B or gospel

Mr V Sax
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti7cEjL2gz0

I am working to learn this song
charle360z
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQZ8WWn1bqA

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Neal May 23, 2013 at 5:13 pm

How far have you gotten with those two songs?

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Zig June 22, 2013 at 8:21 pm

I loved it. I think I seen your post before you are bad. really enjoyed it.

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Eleni June 15, 2013 at 5:53 am

Hi Neal, Just remember we saw Grover Washington, 2 weeks before he passed, so smooth! I agree for listening all day I’m with the smooth jazz artists. I like the more complex too! No one mentioned Kenny G? he does it all
Here’s a different stroke
Clarence Clemons. love them all

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Zig June 22, 2013 at 8:15 pm

I listen to many smooth jazz artist
David Sanborn, Kenny G, Kirk Whalum, Cindy Abair, Jeanette Harris, Eric Marienthathal, Everette Harp, Grover Washington, Mike Philips, Paul Taylor, Ronnie Laws, Dave Koz, Gerald Albright, Walter Beasely, Steve Cole, Richard Elliott, Euge Groove, Jessie J, Ronnie Laws, the Braxton Brothers, Brandford Marsalis, Eric Meadows. Of course this is a scratch of the surface I found some diamond on CDbaby too and on Youtube Erisa Nicole, Ava Lemert who is my saxsis and last Charley Langer. LOL

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Neal June 27, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Thanks for sharing Zig. Will have to check out a few of those I hadn’t heard of before.

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Zig June 27, 2013 at 8:07 pm

I listened and watch vids of Coltrane and Maceo and Jeanette Harris and working on my fingering. I had to study major and minor scales this week and tested today. I passed then moved to learn what I am capable to do with my Presonus music studio. I am tired lol Sax tomorrow for sure. Thanks Neal

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Zig June 27, 2013 at 8:27 pm

Hi Neal how do we submit the challenges and since I am a beginner with you I start with this challenge 8? Last thing is there music to this Italian Aria or play it with metronome. I do have Skype but I don’t have your Skype name I have to ad to the contacts. Thanks

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Neal June 27, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Hey Zig,
Make a recording and email it to me. Or you can use something like dropbox.

Let me know if you have questions about how to do that. Seems like since you are able to upload videos on youtube and all you should be all right.

Play it without a metronome or background music.

Challenge #8 isn’t necessarily harder than #1, it just was made later on. Challenge #7 happens to be the ‘simplest’ on the surface.

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Brooks July 4, 2013 at 4:42 am

I’m having a little trouble figuring out the key to this one. Can anybody help?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbPZM_ufC8o&feature=youtu.be

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Neal July 4, 2013 at 10:52 am

What have you done to try and figure out the key?

Seems to have concert Bb as the root, but it also doesn’t sound like it will be as simple as figuring out one major scale from what he plays.

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Brooks July 5, 2013 at 11:21 am

My query was somewhat tongue in cheek Neal. That Oriental music is all over the place.

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Neal July 5, 2013 at 12:12 pm

You could learn how to play it if you want to. I don’t understand your question then.

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Mary July 6, 2013 at 6:44 pm

My Old time favourite sax player is Elio D’Anna, my first inspiration to take up the sax, an Italian Jazz Funk Fusion Band formed in the 70’s Nova – album Wings of Love and Vimana link:
http://youtu.be/Om2nZEmti3g
Also amazingly plays double instruments (sax) at once in OSANNA L’ Uomo (1971)
link
http://youtu.be/cAWQVkLyv3A
Other favourites Pink Floyd Scott Page, & David Gilmour Red Sky at Night
http://youtu.be/mK9bQ-aDL2s
Big Fan of Budah Bar music and Cafe Del Mar, love the sax in the link above post for Kadri Gopinath and like listening to utube charle360z, love how he plays Halo by Beyonce & would love to learn this.
http://youtu.be/FK6I54R4wtA
& much more …………..

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Mary July 8, 2013 at 2:38 am

Hi Neil,

Do you have the notes for Mr. Saxobeat on Tenor.

Thanks

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Neal July 8, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Yes, the notes of an E major scale. 4 #’s. Do you know that scale?

First note on tenor is a C#.

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Mary July 9, 2013 at 2:06 am

Hi Neil,

I have practiced the scale but don’t know off by heart. Also, I do not understand how I would play this song. what I meant to say is I have seen your recording of this for Alto on saxstation. Could you possibly do the same for Tenor sax.

Thanks

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Neal July 9, 2013 at 11:17 am

Practice the scale some more.

It would be better if you learned it by ear. To do that, you need to listen to it more than once.

Have you learned anything by ear before?

I narrowed down the choices for the notes and gave you the first note. So one thing you might do next is figure out if the second note is higher or lower than the first note.

And you listen for other things like articulation and rhythm. How many notes you play. The spacing between. Whether they’re long or short, etc.

Here’s the first part:
C# G# E C#
G# E C#
G# E C#
G# E C#
G# E C#
G# E C#

Get that part first and try working on the next few pieces by ear, let me know if you get stuck.

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Mary July 9, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Hi Neil,

Learning to play by ear seems rather daunting for me. I will give this a try sometime and let you know. At the moment I have been focusing on the lessons i just sent to you 5-7.

Thanks

Michele Pippen August 25, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Gee, I just wrote a bunch here and ‘lost it’ – disappeared. :-/ — the Indian Kadri Gopinath – great stuff – and noted that ?Brookes said ‘it’s all over the place’ – ha. – but actually for most of what he improvises, as far as I could work out and hear, is the scale based on the ‘jewish scale’ or ‘spanish scale’? – bit similar to a ‘mosque call’ in it’s progression. I used to listen to the mosque call and try and play what they sung, it’s a very alluring scale, ummm can’t think of the official ‘name’ of the scale, example is –
C Db E F G Ab Bb C
So it’s lower 2, 6 and 7. then go to the 9th after that octave C.
The sax greats I listen to include most of the players of the 50’s and 60’s, including Coltrane, Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins, Kirk Whalum, Roland Kirk, and too many other.
I ‘discovered’ Joshua Redman by accident in the 90’s. At a music store, was going through the ‘on special’ table, cassettes those days – and picked up his album; my friend who was/is jazz guitarist said’ never heard of him’. Ha, so I bought the cassette album, and absolutely loved it. Not too long after he was awarded Jazz musician of the Year, or something like that from Blue Note?. Reminds me to go seek some more of his latest playing out.
Found another ‘live performance’ of the Indian Kadri playing with other traditional instrument musicians, and another alto sax player and other ‘western’ band instruments. : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GF8fQGCHqW0
Here’s a Roland Kirk (Rahsaan Roland Kirk) – Misty – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvAUDHCJV6Q
I like his stuff/thinking/madness at times. Great.

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Neal August 26, 2013 at 12:02 am

Sounds like you’re talking about the altered Phrygian scale, more info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phrygian_dominant_scale

Have you seen Joshua Redman live? If not, I would recommend it.

Thanks

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Michele Pippen August 26, 2013 at 2:18 am

Yep, that’s it ‘altered Phrygian – name of it doesn’t exactly stay in forefront of mind — I found the name too on a search, later after writing the post. Neal, Let me know when Joshua Redman is doing gigs in Malaysia – or even in Thailand, or even in Singapore – I’d travel outside of Malaysia to see him live for sure! but there’s no USA trips planned for me, it’s sooo far away and really expensive to get to. :-/

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Brooks August 27, 2013 at 10:07 am

Joshua Redman recently played in Minneapolis and had great reviews. He has a white beard and looks like Sonny Rollins.

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Neal August 27, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Crazy, he’s only 44.

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michele August 27, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Crazy indeed, he was a young dude when I bought that cassette, which was about 15/16 years ago I suppose. So late 20’s? So I’ll have to settle for youtube listen and watch for Joshua.

Brooks August 30, 2013 at 1:27 am

My mistake, it was not Joshua Redman but Pharoah Sanders in the review. Sorry

michele August 27, 2013 at 9:42 pm

Actually, it was 1995 that I bought that tape. So 18 years ago, Gee. That would make sense, remembering the name of the album was Moodswing. So that he released in 1994. Ha.

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Brooks September 19, 2013 at 10:35 am

Stopped at Cheapo Records in St. Paul and for $20 picked up used CD’s by David Sanborn, Branford Marsalis, Kirk Whalum and an unopened John Coltrane. I did well.

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Brooks September 28, 2013 at 3:06 am

I ran across a 43 min. youtube program dedicated to the life and works of John Coltrane. I recommend that you take the time to see and hear it. The guy was possessed by his music and the saxophone.

Go to: “Saint John Coltrane” on youtube

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Brooks September 30, 2013 at 6:12 am

Anyone serious about listening and learning that opening lick from Careless Whisper, go here for the lick looped for 10 hours!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kas6akz1jWU

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Kelly Dacey October 24, 2013 at 11:38 am

Hi Neal,
I listen to Boney James(who i’ll be seeing this Saturday in concert), Dave Koz, Steve Cole, Nelson Rangell, Najee(who i’ll be seeing in concert in December), Euge Groove, Darren Rahn, Eric Marienthal, Richard Elliot, Marion Meadows, Andy Snitzer,Everette Harp,Tom Scott(my favorite song from him is Down to the wire)

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Neal October 26, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Cool, a couple of my friends saw him (Boney James) not long ago.

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Henry November 18, 2013 at 12:34 pm

I have read some of your fellow Sax Tribe followers and my problem has been that because I hadn’t played or learnt to read music until 16 mths ago I have listened and was encouraged to listen to Parker, Coltrane, Getz a lot of the greats I decided to take myself off to Ronnie Scotts in London to see groups Roller Trio, GoGo Penguin, Alex Wilson, Bill Evans and Mike Stern I saw at the Cheltenham Jazz festival, Gascoyne and O’Higgins Quartet I saw at The 606 Club Chelsea (UK), Brandon Allen, when I heard these guys play I thought I could never even get near to them in the skill and musicality so considered giving up before getting too frustrated.
Its pretty hard when you know what you want to sound like but realise maybe I’ve left it to late. I think if I can learn to fraise music like Stan Getz and Chet Baker maybe I could be happy with that, thats hopefully where you come in to help us. Maybe some day I can do some of those Flowery bits with confidence Ha!!!

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Ron W. June 20, 2014 at 9:29 pm

I love how Johnny Hodges plays classic jazz ballads. My favorite is his cover of April in Paris. I also like the soulful sound of David “Fathead” Newman and Stanley Turrentine. I saw Vincent Herring in person and he was pretty amazing. In terms of pure sound and energy the best show ever was Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band. I saw them at the Point Loma Nazarene University. They were a special guest at a jazz competition.

We listened to several very good HS jazz bands, then the Point Loma Univ Jazz Band who were great. But then the Big Phat Band…The music was like a wall of sound blowing over the crowd. My eyes watered and my the spine tingled with quality and skill of those musicians. The best I’ve ever seen.

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Neal June 21, 2014 at 9:57 pm

Thanks Ron.

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Henry August 12, 2014 at 2:30 am

Hi Neal
I have been thinking about getting a Mic for my Tenor Sax, is it better to get a clip-on to the Bell or, Mic on a stand. Is it true when they record on most Saxes that most of the sound comes from the side or key openings, but when your projection for sound its better to aim Mic into the bowl.
So basically where does most of the sound come from?
If it is from the sides what does the bell do?
The reason I asked is because I saw something on YouTube and was wondering what your thoughts were on Mics.
Thanks

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Neal August 12, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Hello Henry,
Great question. The sound on the saxophone comes out of different places depending on what note you are playing.

If you just played on the mouthpiece, the sound would come out of the end of the mouthpiece. If you attached the mouthpiece to the neck, the sound would come out of the end of the neck.

Then you connect the neck to the body of the saxophone. Think about the airflow through the horn. If you play the note ‘B’ then there is a closed path until beneath the key that you would press down for ‘A’. So much sound will come out of the top part of the horn as soon as it can. Though some of the sound will also come out of the bell.

If you play a ‘G’, the sound will come out right below your left hand where it can.

The sound also comes out of the bell, but less so depending on what note. If you play a low Bb, all the sound comes out of the bell.

So some sound comes out of the bell, more or less depending on what note.

About microphones- it’s easy to adjust a clip on mic to the right place and not worry about it. If you always have a clip on mic (and it’s a good one), that could be a good option.

However, if you can only use it sometimes, you want to know how to use a microphone on a stand. Where your saxophone should be in relation to the microphone, how to adjust, etc.

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Vincent Gaglio November 2, 2014 at 8:16 am

In my short time playing I have not listened to anyone due ti the fact that I am still developing. I know I want to be able to play in my Church band, and be able to play in a jaxxy, bluezy??? Sort of way if that makes any sense at all. Vinny

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Neal November 2, 2014 at 11:13 am

Hey Vinny,
I would highly recommend listening to some saxophone players.

Maybe check out Cannonball Adderley, he’s one of my favorite alto players.
-Neal

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Vincent Gaglio November 2, 2014 at 1:14 pm

I will do that. Thank you Vinny

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Vincent Gaglio May 31, 2015 at 12:54 pm

Sometimes I listen to coltrane, cannonball adderley, but mostly, when I love a melody, I will Go to u tube a lot of times and see if someone has played it on the Alto

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David Isaacs June 14, 2015 at 3:41 pm

Neal,
Igor Butman,
Miles Davis,
Dexter Gordan,
Chet Baker,
Charlie Parker,
Bobby Keys,
G. Ammonds
to name a few.
Dave

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Rodney Hamler July 18, 2015 at 5:54 pm

Hey Neal:
you and i have some what the same taste i like listen to Grover Washington Jr.,George Micheal, Kenny G, Jason Delrulo, and i have listen to some of the other saxophone players on you tube.

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Rosemary Matos-Idiarte August 18, 2015 at 12:22 pm

I love to hear the music of 2 cultures Jazz and Latin.

Here is my list.
Cannoball Adderly (real name Julian)
Joe Henderson
Ornette Coleman

Latin
Gato Barbieri
Paquito Rivera

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Philip M September 23, 2015 at 6:20 am

Mindi Abair is fun…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BS1zGrL6z2w

Ike Quebec on Nature Boy, a song I am working on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJou_YPgbgI

Julian Smith, a deserving Britain’s Got Talent star https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJPFq0WcR7E https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqzbWSVYkCI

But love John Coltrane….and Paul Desmond playing Take Five

And lots more!

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Calvin Comer November 8, 2016 at 2:43 pm

Wow I must be the baby of the group. Recognize some of the people you guys are talking about. there’s a lot of them never heard of.
I really enjoy Kenny G which was the first saxophone person I heard of .I enjoy Grover Washington and Dave Sanborn Gerald Albright was one of the persons who influence me to want to play the saxophone. Angella Christie and Antonio Allen are some of the newest gospel saxophone players I’ve been listening to

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Neal November 8, 2016 at 2:53 pm

Cool, seems like you like the smooth jazz quite a bit. I’ll check out the two gospel players you mentioned, haven’t heard them.

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Y. Rideaux November 14, 2016 at 9:50 pm

Hi, Neal and Saxophone Tribe. I listened to: Miles Davis, Chris Boney, Boney James, Cannon Ball Adderley, Phil Woods, Dave Coz, Kenny G (was my first), and Marion Meadows. Many more. My favorite is Miles Davis. I really enjoy him because I can hear his story clearly.

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Neal November 15, 2016 at 12:19 am

Cool, thanks for sharing!

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Y. Rideaux November 14, 2016 at 9:53 pm

Red Clay

This is only the second time I heard this song but today I really took my time and listened to it. It is very colorful and exciting. A song I would love to learn how to play.

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Neal November 15, 2016 at 12:18 am

It’s a good one to learn and the chords to solo over are simple.

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Y. Rideaux November 19, 2016 at 12:55 pm

Hi Neal, how does one go about learning a song?

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Neal November 19, 2016 at 9:03 pm

There are different approaches. I would say, learn it in sections. So a phrase at a time. You can start with just knowing the first note. What song do you have in mind?

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Arron Humber January 29, 2017 at 7:45 am

My favourite is the New York jazz lounge the saxophone player is exactly how i want to play smooth, airy just something about it

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Neal January 30, 2017 at 11:24 am

Thanks Arron

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Larry Webb February 15, 2018 at 8:05 pm

My tastes run more to very soft jazz applied to popular songs of the 50s, 60s 70s. So it is no surprise that I was drawn to Kenny G. But he plays alto only occassionally.
Just found Tom Colclough. Has a great sound, but doesn’t play the songs I want, like Moon River, Unforgettable, Unchained Melody, Desperado.
I see you guys rolling your eyes, but when you get to be 70, you may tend to look back on the good old days, too. I just have no interest in jazz, but I really like to hear a sax singing a good old tune with moderate improvization. That is my goal.
Any suggestions of sax players that I might check out would be appreciated.

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Neal February 20, 2018 at 4:36 pm

Hey Larry,
Kenny G definitely knows how to play a melody very well, better than most.

Will have to check out Tom Colclough.

Have you listened to much Stan Getz?

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Neal August 30, 2013 at 11:35 am

Got it, that makes more sense with the beard. Both players are pretty big in the jazz world, but fairly different.

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Brooks August 31, 2013 at 9:04 am

Joshua and Pharoah are pretty close in the Bible; Exodus I believe. Probably the reason for my confusion.

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