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.

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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.

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?