The Fly Trio Performing a Tune Called Child’s Play

Watch this video with the Fly Trio. This trio counts with Jeff Ballard on drums, Mark Turner on tenor saxophone and Chris Lightcap on accoustic bass. The song is a composition by drummer Jeff Ballard, however, some people think it is kind of a remake of Billie’s Bounce, the famous song by the legendary alto saxophone giant Charlie Parker.
The composition might be influenced by Charlie Parker’s original melody, but the drummer’s introduction is very original: Jeff Ballard playing the drumset with his bare hands. Later he plays with one bare hand and one stick and finally plays the conventional two drum stick style.
This kind of trios require excellent musicians, there are only three instruments in charge of the interpretation. In this case it is especially heavy work for the bass and tenor saxophone players since the band does not include an instrument like the piano or the guitar which can play simultaneously sounding chords. Here the bass player has to perform bass lines that fill the space.

Scott Hamilton Quintet Performing the Jitterburg Waltz by Fats Waller

Watch this video with the famous tenor saxophone player Scott Hamilton playing the tune Jitterburg Waltz composed by Fats Waller. In this take Scott Hamilton presents us some very tasty saxophone playing. His sound is very warm and heats up the soul of the listeners.
Here he is accompanied by other great musicians, namely Jon Wheatley on guitar, Paul Schmeling on piano, Chuck Riggs on the drumset and Marshall Wood playing the accoustic bass. After the tune’s theme is presented, Paul Schmeling plays his swinging solo on the piano, then Scott Hamilton comes back with his tenor saxophone solo followed by a the electric guitar solo performed by Jon Wheatley. All solos are great examples of excellent jazz playing.
Scott Hamilton’s style is very cool, he is not playing thousands of notes, he rather plays what he is not playing, if this makes any sense. I mean, he makes rests, he waits befor he enters with a melodic line, achieving his personal style of playing jazz and tenor saxophone and one cannot do anything else than admire this cool personality. Surely nobody would say the guy cannot play the sax. And he has not to overfill the space with hasty notes, instead his relaxed playing gets to the sould of the listeners and fills his heart with warmth.
You might also want to participate in our poll about the best tenor saxophone player ever and vote for Scott Hamilton, or any other one, but go and vote!

Tenor Saxophone Giant Sonny Rollins and Guitar Legend Jim Hall Performing The Bridge

Watch this video with the great jazz tenor saxophone player Sonny Rollins playing his composition The Bridge and being accompanied by Jim Hall on guitar, Bob Cranshaw on bass and Ben Riley on drums. This tune is written and performen in up tempo which is a challenge for all musicians. However, these giants here have no problem with the speed and it’s a delight to listen to them and watch them executing the most difficult passages without hesitation …
Sonny Rollins is one of the greatest saxophone players ever and we invite you to participate in our poll regarding the best saxophone player known to mankind. Of course we know that it is very difficult to decide who is the better player when you have to choose between Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Michael Brecker and other tenor saxophone legends. More than establishing the better player, our poll is about taste and preferences of our readers, you even might consider some unknown or not mentioned sax player as the one you like best … Go and vote!

Saxophone Robot Performs Giant Steps Solo by John Coltrane

Watch this video here with a saxophone robot playing John Coltrane’s famous solo over his bebop tune Giant Steps. The song is in up tempo bu you might feel that this solo could be played a little bit faster. Well, there is another version of Giant Steps at a higher speed, 350 bpm to be exact.
Some people say that this solo sounds cold and unpersonal. While this can be admitted it is still amazing that a machine can actually play a saxophone and with a high grade of accuracy. This is not simply a synthesizer or a computer’s sound card that synthetically imitates the sound of a certain music instrument, instead it is a machine that produces an air stream which is directed into the mouthpiece of a tenor saxophone while some artificial hands move the keys of the instrument.
You might want to listen to Giant Steps with John Coltrane’s original sound from the Blue Note record Blue Train on the soundtrack while a computer generated video animation shows the melody written out as sheet music in real time.
Of course there is a difference in interpretation and John Coltrane sounds as human as a musican can sound. We like this video because it helps to illustrate the point of slight tempo variations throughout the performance of a song. This sould be considered by all the ‘musicians’ who insist on the objectivity of a metronomes pulse. Yes, it is true that some sheet music indicates a certain number for the beats per minute the piece should be performed with. However, the japanese robot does exactly this while in real musicians’ interpretations there might be slight variations of the speed. Of course we don’t want to encourage the musicians to play ‘easy’ parts with the indicated speed and slow down during the ‘difficult’ parts, but we want to encourage the performers to put their personal style into an interpretation and that this style should be ruled by the sense of balance and freedom.
We don’t think that this robot qualifies as a suggestion for our poll about the greatest tenor saxophone player ever heard, but it´s up to you to decide now..

Ben Webster Performing the Song Perdido along with the Oscar Peterson Trio

Watch this video clip with the great tenor saxophone player Ben Webster improvising over the chord changes of the song Perdido. Some time ago, we have posted the same song performed by another jazz legend: Sarah Vaughan, go and listen to this version too, then compare and try to find out who you like better.
The group Ben Webster is playing with here is the Oscar Peterson Trio.
Ben Webster was born in Kansas City, Missouri. He started playing the saxophone in the early 20s of the past century and learned a lot from the inmortal Coleman Hawkins. Ben Webster has played with the bands and groups of Bennie Moten, Cab Calloway, Fletcher Henderson, and many others. Ben Webster’s favourite pieces are the jazz ballads, despite his excellent performances with the Duke Ellington Orchestra where he frequently performed up-tempo compositions with great improvisations. Ben Webster passed away in 1973.
As always when we present an important tenor saxophone jazz player, we invite you to participate in our poll and vote about the most important tenor sax jazz musician.

Joe Henderson Performing Take the A Train on Tenor Saxophone

Jazz music fans know that Joe Henderson is one of the most important tenor saxophone players ever. In this video you can watch the jazz legend performing the classic jazz composition Take the A Train by Duke Ellington. Joe Henderson is the band leader and plays the tenor saxophone while Bheki Mseleku is on piano, George Mraz on bass and Al Foster on drums.
The tune they play is a well known theme and thousands of jazz piano players and other jazz musicians have played it and improvised over the changes. Among the people who have performed or recorded this song are Ella Fitzgerald, Dave Brubeck, Oscar Peterson, Charles Mingus, Anita O’Day and many others. It also is one of the first pieces that jazz music students are using for developing their improvisation skills. If you like to listen to different versions of this song, feel free to visit this page with videos of famous jazz musicians performing Take the A Train.
As always when we post about a tenor saxophone player, we invite you to participate in our poll about the greatest tenor sax player ever. There you can vote for one of our candidates or suggest your own candidate. It’s a tough competition, but who knows?

Sheet Music Animation Giant Steps by Tenor Sax Legend John Coltrane

This video is an excellent didactical approach to the tenor saxophone solo playing of John Coltrane. It shows the musical notes pregressively appearing on the screen as they are played by John Coltrane. The synchronisation between images and sound is marvellous and helps the saxophone student to learn the phrasing of this solo. In our opinion, this is the best didactical method we have ever seen, not only for the saxophone learners but for all musicians. Of course, if you are talented enough to learn such a solo just by ear, you have an enormous advantage, but we are sure that there are only a very few musicians out there who can achieve this.
The piece itself is regarded as difficult to learn, especially because of the up tempo speed and the unusual distance of a third of the tonal centers in the structure of the piece.
In the future we will also post a video clip that shows a robot playing this legendary solo. Look out for this post and if you like watch more videos with John Coltrane and listen to more of his music, you can visit the fiesta-musical.com site. On this blog we have also posted an interview from 1960 with John Coltrane, the legendary jazz giant.

Branford Marsalis Quartet Performing Yes and No by Wayne Shorter

Watch this video with the Branford Marsalis Quartet performing the song Yes or No, an original composition by Wayne Shorter that appeared on the LP JuJu on the label Blue Note Records in 1964. Branford Marsalis is one of the greatest tenor saxophone players ever. Whenever he plays you will notice the influence the legendary Bebop sax player John Coltrane has caused over the following generations of jazz musicians, especially over the tenor saxophonists.
On this record Branford Marsalis is accompanied by Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts on the drums who is really heating up things and provides a solid speedy base for the solos of Branford Marsalis on tenor saxophone and Kenny Kirkland on piano, while Robert Hurst is playing the accoustic bass. Our personal point of view almost always rates original recordings higher, so you might want to check out the mentioned Blue Note Records LP JuJu with the composer of this song called Yes or No, Wayne Shorte, on saxophone and accompanied by piano legend McCoy Tyner on piano, Elvin Jones on the drums and Reggie Workman on bass. Notice that McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones belonged to the original John Coltrane Quartet.
We have no doubt that the original version is ‘better’, but who cares? This is a live performance of a really good and hot jazz quartet and sounds very cool, see how the musicians enjoy their working. We just want to give the credit for composing this song to Wayne Shorter, but that doesn’t mean we greatly enjoy this version by Branford Marsalis and his band.
As always when we post about a tenor saxophone player, we invite you to participate in our poll about the greatest tenor sax player ever.
Branford Marsalis comes out of a family of important jazz musicians and began to play with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers as well as with his brother’s band, the Wynton Marsalis Quintet. In the meanwhile he has played with a lot of jazz ‘monsters’ including Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Herbie Hancock. We strongly recommend you to watch out for more videos and records of this modern jazz legend.

Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Ben Webster and Billie Holiday playing the blues

Watch this video with some of the greatest jazz musicians ever playing and singing the blues. Listen to Coleman Hawkins sweet mellow tone and enjoy Lester Young leaping in on this song.
At the beginning of the video, Billie Holiday is talking about the blues music, dividing it into sad blues and happy blues and stating that everything she sings is part of her life.
The lineup is an all star band with the following personel in order of appearance: Ben Webster – Tenor Sax, Lester Young – Tenor, Dick Dickenson – Trombone, Gerry Mulligan – Baritone Sax, Coleman Hawkins – Tenor and Roy Eldridge onTrumpet. It’s interesting to look at Billie Holiday’s face while the cats are soloing, she really is with them. And of course, listen to her voice when she is singing.
We know that the video’s sound quality isn’t the best, but this was recorded around the mid fifties, so please be indulgent… As always in these cases, we believe that it is much better to know and listen to the original versions even though they have less sound quality than listening to perfectly dolbey stereo recorded sound with poor content. If you can’t enjoy the music because of the sound impurities, we feel sorry for you but we suspect you also like studio made porn pictures better than an original photograph showing an american indian at the beginning of the 20th century, just because the porn pic is very well produced while the grain and contrast of the photo from the early days of photography is relatively coarse.
As always when I post about saxophone players, I like to mention our poll about the best tenor saxophone player ever. Go there and speak up.

John Coltrane interview from 1960

John Coltrane talks about his favourite musicians and what he likes most of his own work. This video is a jewel since it presents John Coltrane in an interview expressing his ideas about the music he is performing instead of playing his saxophone or flute. The pictures of the movie are the front covers of John Cotrane’s records.
John Coltrane talks about the instrument tone he would like to improve and on getting things to the lyrical level, about his favourite musicians Sonny Rollins and Dexter Gordon, about Blue Train as his favourite album, about tradition, about his work with the Miles Davis Quintet, the group John Coltrane was playing in when this interview was recorded.