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!

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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..

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.