📚Talking through woodwind🎷
Taking a look at some of the best saxophonist players
The roadhouse blues saxophonist Lee Allen.
Probably best known for being apart of the rock n roll Fats Domino, Lee Allan’s part is often overlooked.
The New Orleans sound is iconic. From the early development of Jazz beginning in the 1890s to then being the spark of a major centre of blues rock ’n’ roll throughout the 40s/50s. The Fats Domino band was at the head of the blues rock ’n’ roll revolution; and along was Allan’s saxophone playing.
The tenor saxophonist brought a release and ecstasy to the bands sound; with the bouncy and infectious groove of ‘I’m walkin’ and the slow, R&B magic on ‘Ain’t that just like a woman’.
Listen to the saxophone master blaster here:
The ultimate swing of New York City; Cannonball Adderley.
From contributing to ‘Kind of Blue’ by Miles Davis to ‘Something Else’ by Art Blakely, Cannonball Adderley has gained a cult following through his late career. Similar to Lee Allan he is often overshadowed by who he played for, but that doesn’t put his playing abilities aside.
His alto saxophone ignited the soul jazz world, lustering dizzying synths with an adagio feel. There are several examples of this through his live albums. Bringing the New Yorker sound to the west coast in “Live at The Club” plus his turn in Kind of Blue, displaying a monument of creativity.
Listen to him playing in 1959 here:
Mr. Ziggy stardust isn’t a name you would tie down to solely being a saxophonist, but his performance on Soul Love is nothing short of exceptional. A little backstory to Bowie, he grew up wanting to be Little Richard’s saxophone player.
His childhood dreams has shown throughout his career, he was one of the few post-blues rockstars to incorporate a saxophone in their music. With Hunky Dory’s Changes as well as Low’s ’Sound and Vision’. But the star of the show; Soul Love.
Through layered harmonies and faultless moves, Bowies alto saxophone turns the track into something else.
Listen to Soul Love here:
Speaking of rockstars who incorporated a saxophone? Walk in the E street band.
In the scope of saxophone players in rock; Clarence Clemons stands supreme. His bond with Springsteen produced some of the best heartland rock ever. From the bands Asbury Park roots all the way to the weave of Born In The USA. But what is best known to every Clemons fan; the two minute solo on Jungleland.
The sprawing sax solo is a bridge for Springsteens storytelling. Ultimately the solo took Clarence over 16 hours to record, but big man eventually got it right.
I would recommend listening to the studio version first, but then once digested take a listen to live version, recorded in 2001.