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The Saxophone

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1 he ïaxophone, 3 record set, impulseABC ASH-9253-3 The saxophone is closer in timbre (i.e. tonal quality) lp the human voice than any other Western instrument. Now here's a 3 record set from Impulse with cuts from some of the high-rollers down through the swinging 30's, the bopped-out 40's, the scintillating 50's, the Sandoz 60's, right up to June, 1973. It says here on the liner notes that the sax first came tojazz when soldiers returning from the Spanish-American War pawned their instruments in New Orleans before returning to the interior: then, all the local clarinet players picked tip on saxes, cheap. The sax never really made it in the symphony hall (maybe beca use the tone is too expressive), however Adolphe Sax's brilliant invention (1846) did become a major sound in world music. How? Well, one reason is that the early geniuses of the hom, almost all of thom black, were into exploring all the colors and range of the sax tone, as well as false fingerings and other funky techniques for puttin Uie pots on. You can hear this riglit off the bat with Coleman Hawkins, who developed a screaming cry to contrast hls more regular vibrato, and Ben Webster (who recently went out), a pioneer of mellow, sub-tones in the tenor saxophone's sometimeslugubrious low register. Then another 2 big reasons for the sax getting over so good were Lester Young (tenor sax) and Charles Parker (alto). Lester ai me first with a mellifluous way of takin' on a talking melody. And Parker, who listened VERY close to Lester, when he was coming up, added some notes and spaces of his own. From this point on, the Standard for blowing sax is to sing thru the hom, no matter how sophisticated the hurmony or rhythm of the tune. Of course this is truc for any instrument, but on sax especially it's hard to blow without getting to know the instruments as these guys did. John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Archie Shepp, Pliaroah Sanders, Dewey Redman, Eric Dolphy, Gato Barbieri, Albert Ayler and others (unfortunately, Wayne Shorter is absent) are all-.given space here. This record set will offer you hours of listening and learning enjoyment, for the casual listener and for anyone who lias ever picked up a saxophone,'blown into it, and said, "Oh, fuck it." Saxophone Radio King & His Courtof Rhythm