Who’s the best tenor sax player?

This is a poll to find out who our readers think is the best tenor saxophone player of all times. It is a difficult choice, we have listed only a few of the most significant sax players of the past and the last option of the poll allows you to vote for a saxophone player that isn’t in our listing. We thing that the sax players we’ve listed are without doubt candidates for winning the poll, however, if the open option obtains more weight within the poll, we might write out the names suggested so that other voters can opt for your candidate.


  1. […] Who’s the best tenor sax player? […]

  2. […] Who’s the best tenor sax player? […]

  3. […] Who’s the best tenor sax player? […]

  4. […] Who’s the best tenor sax player? […]

  5. […] Who’s the best tenor sax player? […]

  6. […] Who’s the best tenor sax player? […]

  7. […] Who’s the best tenor sax player? […]

  8. […] Who’s the best tenor sax player? […]

  9. Joshua Redman and Scott Hamilton are great tenor players, but where’s Joe Henderson, or for that matter DEWEY Redman? Especially since Joe Henderson was a major influence on Michael Brecker and every other saxophone player of the last 30 years.

  10. Yes, you’re absolutely right, Joe Henderson is a very important tenor saxophone player and might have influenced any serious tenor sax player for the last 30 years. Thank you for your comment, as a result, We’ve now included Joe Henderson in the list. Let´s see how fast he can catch up with John Coltrane. As far as Dewey Redman is concerned, I will dig into his playing and might include him as well …

  11. I don’t see many votes for Jug (Gene Ammons). I think he was as mellow as they come, if you like mellow.

    Any Comments?

  12. For the body and purity of his sound, the speed and precision of his execution, the perfect phrasing of his melodic constructions, Sonny Stitt was the master (not necessarily the best, but the “most perfect”). Every player should start with him, the textbook tenor player. And he led over a hundred recording sessions under his own name–no small achievement for jazz’ “Lone wolf” and redoubtable “road warrior.” As a player who could not play a bad note between 1955 and 1965, Hank Mobley sounds good every day of the week. Throw a chord at him, and he instantly composes music on the level of Jerome Kern or Jimmy Van Heusen. A purely “reactive” in-the-moment player with freshness and soul in every note. As the player who was on every Roach-Clifford Brown album except one (with Rollins), Harold Land was a physically diminutive musical giant who stayed right with Clifford, then got even better with Curtis Counce. Finally, no one could have saved Duke Ellington from threatening extinction in 1956 except Paul Gonsalves. His marathon solo–causing the first outdoors musical riot–is remarkable for its restraint, he stays in the pocket, teasing each nuanced variation, refusing to go for the impressive statement, and has the crowd inside his horn for the whole journey. (He scarcely made a single album, but couldn’t care less.)_Then there’s “Glass Bead Games,” Clifford Jordan’s miraculous mid-70s session (with Spike Lee’s dad on bass). It’s even better than the Nobel Prizewinning novel that inspired it.

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