Philly Joe Jones Performing a Drum Solo

In this video you can see and listen to a drum solo performed by one of the early jazz drummers named Philly Joe Jones. The occasion this solo was played was on a concert of the Miles Davis Group. Philly Joe Jones has also played with the Sun Ra Orchestra.

Walk Spirit Talk Spirit Performed by McCoy Tyner Trio Plus Sax

This video clip features bandleader McCoy Tyner on piano, Eric Kamau Gravatt on drums, Gerald Cannon on the accoustic bass and guest saxophone player Gary Bartz on the alto saxophone.
McCoy Tyner is one of the most impressive jazz piano players with a musical background that includes playing with the legendary tenor saxophone master John Coltrane. The John Coltrane Quartet with McCoy Tyner on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass and Elvin Jones on drums has recorded some of the best known jazz standard tunes of music history, among them My Favourite Things.
In this video, McCoy Tyner is an old guy who plays with maturity and taste while providing an interesting harmonic base for the imporvisations of Gary Bartz on the alto saxophone. The double bass solo by Gerald Cannon is also very interesting. Funny, it reminds me the classic hard rock song Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple in some parts.
This video only shows the first nine and a half minutes of the song, you can go to youtube and look for the second part which lasts about another four and a half minutes and includes a drum solo by Eric Kamau Gravatt.

Straight No Chaser Jazz Guitar Lesson Fingerstyle Solo

This video features a jazz guitar lesson where people can learn how to play chords and melody of the Thelonious Monk tune Straight, No Chaser in what is called fingerstyle. The guitar plays chords and melody simultaneously. According to the author of this video clip, this piece is pretty easy to learn. However, easy is a relative term and of course it is not thought for a beginning guitar player. I think it requires intermediate guitar playing skills.
Thelonious Monk is one of the most important jazz piano players and composers and has contributed to the repertoire of standard jazz tunes with several compositions like Epistrophy, Blue Monk, Well You Needn’t and others. His style is very particular and sure includes rhythmic and harmonic challenges for the average jazz musician.

A Saxophone Quartet Performing A Night In Tunesia

This video clip shows a saxophone quartet performing the Dizzy Gillespie bebop tune A Night in Tunesia at Palmer Square in Princeton, New Jersey, on Aug 11, 2007. This saxophone quartet consists of Rob Stasolla on one of the alto saxes, Scott Grimaldi on the other alto saxophone, Frank Elmo on tenor saxophone and last but not least Tom Makoviecki on baritone saxophone.
The song was originallly written for another group with different instruments, first of all it was conceived for the trumpet of the great Dizzy Gillespie on the solo parts. The art of adapting a musical piece written for a certain combination of instruments to another combination of different instruments is called arranging. This tune had to be adapted for the saxophone quartet and the resulting arrangement sounds interesting. Of course, there still are solo parts for improvisation where the musicians can play whatever they feel fits into the chord changes, a process that Bill Evans once called the creative process of composing jazz music.

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!

The Elvin Jones Trio Performing A Night in Tunesia – Jazz Standard by Dizzy Gillespie

Elvin Jones is one of the most significant jazz drummers of all times. He became famous while playing with the John Coltrane Quartet and in some occasions he has played duets with John Coltrane, for example on the album Interstellar Space which is an entire album dedicated to this saxophone-drums duet.
In the video clip featured here, Elvin Jones is playing with a guitar player and a hammond organ player: Bireli Lagrene and Joey Defrancesco. This is a relatively unusual combination of musical instruments.
The song they perform is the well known jazz standard tune A Night in Tunesia which was originally recorded by Dizzy Gillespie and his orchestra.
This recording of the song lasts about nine minutes and of course there is enough space for soloing on all instruments. Watch how Elvin Jones beats the drums, there are very few drummers out there who play with this energy and feeling.

Trumpet Player Dizzy Gillespie Performing A Night in Tunesia in a Show from 1958

This is a video clip showing the great jazz trumpet player Dizzy Gillespie performing the song A Night in Tunesia. The drummer on this recording is Kenny Clarke.
The song earned this title after Earl Hines suggested it to Dizzy because the melody sounded exotic and because of World War II battles, Tunisia was a well-known city in the news at the time.
Dizzy Gillespie plays a trumpet with a special form which was custom-made for him because he liked the sound he perceived when playing it. There are many legends and stories about the rare form of Dizzy’s trumpet among which the story that relates it to an accidental footstep of a guy on a birthday party seems to be one of the most believeable ones.
However, the form of Dizzy’s trumpet is not the most important thing when the conversation goes about jazz musicians and trumpet players. Nobody can have doubts about the excellent skills Dizzy shows on the trumpet. I think he is the world’s best trumpet player ever, even though I know that it is difficult to ‘proove’ this but after all it’s just a matter of taste. Some people might like Miles Davis better and still others mention Arturo Sandoval or Rafael Méndez. I would say that all of these guys are fabulous trumpet players but I like Dizzy Gillespie the best. Listen to his improvisation! You decide for yourself.

Cannonball Adderley Performing Round Midnight on His Alto Saxophone

In this video clip you can watch alto sax player Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley perform the tasty jazz ballad Round Midnight written by Thelonious Monk, another significant jazz piano player of the bop era. In fact, this video is part of an educational television series about jazz (The Subject Is Jazz) where the present clip focusses on bop. The music comes with some comments about Charlie Parker and the way he played the horn (and how it influenced Julian Cannonball Adderley, which you might clearly hear when the band performs Jeannie, a composition of Cannonball Adderly that includes some phrasing that strongly remembers Charlie Parker).

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.