View Full Version : Sax anybody?

11-26-2008, 08:48 AM
This thread is intended to talk about saxophonists.

I can hardly remember that saxophonists and their instruments have been mentioned here.
Saxophons can be played so differently. They fit very fine with horn speakers even with the poorer ones.
And they can sound so erotic. ;)

Now on tour:

Sonny Rollins

26.11. Alte Oper, Frankfurt
28.11. Musikhalle, Hamburg
01.12. Philharmonie, Berlin
04.12. Tonhalle, Düsseldorf
06.12. Philharmonie, München
09.12. Tonhalle Zürich


11-26-2008, 09:43 PM
Peter, great topic. But huge. Did you want to discuss living musicians we can still go see, or all sax players past and present?

I have posted and read about some players in "What's Playing" type threads, but a devoted thread excites me. Europe and America both have so much to offer. Any other Jan Garbarek fans out there? The ECM catalog is a gold mine of sax talent. How about Andy Sheppard?

As a self confessed Jazz head, I love the work of so many saxophone players... my head spins thinking about it! I think it is a foregone conclusion that Saxophone is the premier instrument in modern Jazz. And that Jazz players in general are required to work at a higher level than musicians in most other fields. To hear Coltrane, Dolphy, McLean, Brecker, Gilmore, Young, Coleman, Kirk, etc, etc is to hear the best that music has to offer. Jazz players are by nature more inventive than the average bear, and for many years the sax greats have broken new ground the most. That improvisational thing goes way beyond what mere interpretation of the written score can accomplish.

Can you tell I'm high on Jazz? :) If there are addiction treatment places to detox from Jazz, I want no part of them. Were great sax a pill, it should be the most prescribed medicine on Earth.

Sonny Rollins is a god! If players no longer with us count, the list of sax gods from the USA is very long.


11-27-2008, 06:45 AM
2 words:

Zoot Sims

11-27-2008, 10:26 AM
Two more -- Wayne Shorter. Also, Ravi Coltrane is amazing. Right on about Sonny Rollins. There are so many, but these two popped right up after reading this thread.

11-27-2008, 12:33 PM
... great topic. But huge.

thank you for your respond, I did not know what I was doing. I am still a Jazz newbie, and there seems to be a universe ahead.

I simply saw the announcement of the Sonny Rollins tour, and they wrote that he is an important musician. I switched to YouTube to get an impression, and only a few beats later I knew he is amazing. Than I switched to Amazon and ordered a CD, and afterwards I posted in this forum.

And all started a short time ago with a colleagues request for a LP to CD transfer , he is a Jazz lover. I still see his face when I said, John Coltrain is ok.

I have no special idea for this thread, every info will be new for me.

11-27-2008, 04:52 PM
I see, Peter. I should explain, or at least complete, the names I mentioned. They would be John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Jackie McLean, Michael Brecker, John Gilmore, Lester Young, Ornette Coleman and Roland Kirk.

Although some of these men were multi-instrumentalists, the tenor saxophone was the main instrument of all but Jackie McLean. He played an alto but had as much tone as a tenor player. McLean is the reason why I like alto as much as tenor playing. A monster.

Sax as a serious lead/solo instrument in jazz probably began with the tenor man Coleman Hawkins in the 1930's. The modern Jazz era began with the alto playing of Charlie Parker ("Bird"). By that I mean he figured out a new way to play music, not just his instrument.

Later, John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, and Ornette Coleman also pioneered new ways to play. They were heavily influenced in this by virtue of familiarity with and admiration for Sun Ra, a bandleader and keyboard player. John Gilmore and Marshall Allen (alto) were the very advanced and groundbreaking sax players in Sun Ra's band, the Arkestra. But it was Sun Ra himself who insisted that everyone associated with him look not only back but relentlessly forward to find style and inspiration. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arkestra

(Rahsaan) Roland Kirk was a one of a kind musician - skillful, inspired, eclectic - and taken to playing two or three horns at once!

Who was Lester Young? Prez - President of the Saxophone. Always listed as both one of the best ever and one of the all-time favorite Jazzmen. If you don't like Lester Young you probably won't ever seriously like Jazz. I should add that I have never met a Jazz musician who did not think Prez was great. New listeners may find Prez easier to grasp and enjoy than most of the others named here. You can often hear him behind Billie Holiday, who admiringly named him Prez. Most tenor players of the mellow persuasion would very much like to be able to play like Lester Young, but they can't. He did it better than anybody.

Michael Brecker was the one tenor man who worked and practiced as hard as Coltrane. Read that insanely hard. While he did not invent a new way to play, his constant practicing and exploration, and great talent, brought him to be as good or better a technical player as Coltrane had been, a stunning achievement.

I am not saying that you would like all of these musicians or even one of them. I mention them because they are important to the development of Jazz in general and Jazz saxophone in particular. Heavy players are generally into heavy Jazz styles. Only Lester Young, of those named here, was gentle enough to consistently play behind vocalists. Bird did, but it was often like a storming sax intro and breaks sandwiched around the singer. Vocal performers are still rare in heavy Jazz styles. Most singers can neither keep up with nor compete with these fantastic instrumentalists. Well, Sun Ra employed singers but that was a different universe. (Or planet at least. He claimed to be from Saturn.) I am not saying it wasn't done, I don't know, but I can not imagine anyone singing with Eric Dolphy.

Wayne Shorter is as rewarding to listen to as any of these guys, as is Sonny Rollins. There are so many great ones.

Each of these guys deserve a post or ten at least, if anyone would like to step up. I know I'm not the only horn loving Jazz freak here!

Since you mentioned their instruments, we will have to discuss a Paris firm that stamps the name "Henri Selmer" on their horns.


11-27-2008, 09:37 PM
If you're into high-res audio, there's quite a few good re-issues still floating about on SACD/DVD-A.

Zoot Sims and Al Cohn: Either Way (24/96 DAD)
Time Out, Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond (SACD)
Zoot Sims and the Gershwin Brothers (SACD)
Getz/Gilberto (SACD)

All are re-masters with outstanding quality, and amazing bands. There's quite a few more around too.

11-27-2008, 10:55 PM
Try this list for a ton of great talent. The fan favorites below the list correct many omissions.


11-28-2008, 09:07 PM
Here is something for you, one of the most famous moments in Jazz. All of these players backing a soon to die Billie Holiday are great - and I mean great - but listen to what an also soon to die Lester Young plays for Billie. He is the hat-less man who stands up and plays the second solo immediately after the first. Everyone else in the session is on, playing true and strong, but listen to what Prez does with a few soft, perfectly put together notes. In the thirties and forties he played strong and boldly, but in the end it came to this. And this was no less than what came before. It takes so much control to play that softly and put so much into it. Genius. Beautiful.

It was kind of like the Gettysburg Address where the main orator spoke for well over an hour and President Lincoln then gave forth with "a few appropriate remarks."

The back story is written if you click (more info) on the right.



12-06-2008, 01:23 PM
Just got Charlie Parker "In a soulful mood" (starting with Moose the Mooche) ... :)

thank you for your comprehensive introduction! There is still a lot to explore and to listen to. :thmbsup:
Lester Young's last solo for Billie is awesome!

Kindest regards

12-07-2008, 04:40 AM
Pepper Adams! Bop master partner with trumpeter Donald Byrd (Detroit native). Straight ahead, snarling, fun, none better on the baritone jazz saxophone. :applaud:Mike

12-09-2008, 09:40 AM
I make a motion for Jan Gabarek. All of his music.


12-09-2008, 10:02 AM
I make a motion for Jan Gabarek. All of his music.


I have a number of his albums, but this weekend I listened to the album with the Hilliard Ensemble,
and frankly, the sax is mixed too loud and just floods over top of the vocal harmonies ... its piercing in places!

But I love "Runes" and much of his other work ...



12-09-2008, 11:01 AM
[quote=hjames;231349]I have a number of his albums, but this weekend I listened to the album with the Hilliard Ensemble, and frankly, the sax is mixed too loud and just floods over top of the vocal harmonies ... its piercing in places!

But I love "Runes" and much of his other work ...

I agree, the Hillard was a big hit. The sound quality could be better.
I sounds allright with smith horns and 2445 drivers. Little sharp on the 2344 in my 4435. The voices could use more dynamics.

All other albums ( that I heard ) are good sound quality.


12-09-2008, 08:01 PM
Still my favorite Garbarek sessions. ECM 1060 & 1095.



Recorded in 1974 and 1977, a young Jan Garbarek was part of Ralph Towner's Solstice pickup group. Bass legend Eberhard Weber and brilliant ECM drummer Jon Christensen brought the group to a quartet. The music is first rate and Jan was such a young lion. Compared to his later work, Jan's playing is downright fierce.

Sound And Shadows is by far the darker of the two and probably has a more melancholy appeal.

I really enjoy Jan's dry, keening tone. Some jazz musicians I have known run the other way, as he deliberately plays a tone most avoid producing at all costs. They want warmth and breath in it, as if everyone still wants to be Coleman Hawkins. If you do not like Jan's tone, his opposite was Paul Desmond (alto, not tenor like Jan) and you might enjoy Paul's playing with Dave Brubeck and later as a leader.

To this day, I believe Garbarek has recorded only for ECM.


12-17-2008, 08:36 PM
I don't know if it is currently available, but Art Pepper's Among Friends (1978) is a pretty nice take on the alto sax. An electric bass instead of acoustic and the drums being featured forward in the right channel are unusual touches. Pepper didn't sound like any of the guys mentioned so far and this recording in particular is a lot of fun to listen to if you like Jazz. All in all a rather joyous outing.


12-30-2008, 12:16 PM
This 1957 recording is for, in addition to any Jazz fan, those who are not pleased with Coltrane's later avant-garde work. While low key, this is one killer CD.

Everyone's playing is superb, the music is satisfying and the mood intimate. If you don't get some pleasure out of hearing this music, I will be very surprised. I bet most of you will be nuts about it.

Highly recommended for late night listening.


12-30-2008, 01:11 PM
Highly recommended for late night listening.

Clark, thank you for your recommendation.

This reminds me of a regular radio transmission "Bei Scotch und Candlelight" by the WDR (Westdeutscher Rundfunk) at the end of the sixties.
It was still the time of glowing valves ... :) ... for some with Scotch and candlelight.

12-30-2008, 01:29 PM
Hi, Peter! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful memory.

It is still the time of glowing valves and candlelight here. I substitute green tea for scotch. I can't afford Lagavulin 16 Jahre and don't feel like settling for anything less. (Actually, the tea sharpens my senses for listening, the opposite of alcohol. The music gets me high, drunk on it.)

I have a radio station as well. Public Radio (no advertisements) WGLT has Jazz all week and Blues on the weekends. My old Kenwood tuner pulls it in. The hours would probably be all wrong for DE but they do stream. There is a 24/7 Blues stream. They have listeners all over the world, I am told.

Sure beats arguing with Romy! ;)


12-30-2008, 02:19 PM
Sure beats ;)

Oh ja!
"The hours would probably be all wrong for DE but they do stream"
Please tell more about streaming. I have absolute no experience with it. But I have DSL 24/7 :).

12-30-2008, 02:52 PM
It is easy, Peter. You simply go to a website, click on which player you want to use (I prefer Winamp, and it is free software. It is made for music, not video. Avoid Real Player, it is full of adware and - unless you get it from the BBC - spyware.), hear a short message encouraging you to donate to the station, and the music starts. DSL 24/7 will be perfect.

The bad news is that the streams are 128 mp3, but music is music. If you hear something you really like, at least you can buy it as a CD somewhere.

This is the web page for the station's stream, which includes all the programming live (non-music like news included).


This is the 24/7 Blues stream.


Below is the station's main page. The streaming links are at the upper left. At the upper right are links to podcasts and HD Digital radio feeds. Those are a little more complicated. Podcasts go through software like iTunes, and I have not tried that. Most podcasts are past programs. HD is received by Digital radios, a new thing here. WGLT has several HD stations.

The current HD music stations duplicate the streams. My friend who has heard them says that, despite the hype to the contrary, the analogue station sounds better. I suppose listeners with ordinary (not very hifi) radios and stereos would benefit from the newer technology. I need to mention that WGLT has had a pretty high quality analogue broadcast, not like the typical sludge quality found in the USA. Not like the 1970's, but better than most today.


The Monday through Thursday Jazz from 9PM to 5AM should be pretty good. You are, I think, seven hours ahead of us. That would be 4AM-11Am your time? 12-5AM Sunday night (7AM-11AM? DE)


12-30-2008, 06:39 PM
Thanks Clark!
For what its worth - I've got a PowerMac - I clicked the links and it defaulted to playing them in iTunes. For me, thats a good thing - I can stream iTunes over my wireless network to receiver units on my main stereos - AppleTV downstairs with the biAmped 4341s, a little Airport Express on the Yamaha and the L200 3ways ... nice music!

Have to give them a better listen over the weekend - thanks for the links 128 or not, its very nice to have a cool DJ with a library!

It is easy, Peter. You simply go to a website, click on which player you want to use (I prefer Winamp, and it is free software. It is made for music, not video. Avoid Real Player, it is full of adware and - unless you get it from the BBC - spyware.), hear a short message encouraging you to donate to the station, and the music starts. DSL 24/7 will be perfect.


01-19-2009, 09:44 PM
Another late night pick for those who love great Jazz but are in a mellow mood, the Charles Lloyd Quartet, Fish Out Of Water on ECM. A 1989 release, this about as good as it gets in this genre, whatever this genre is. It evokes for me times in front of the fireplace with friends as much as it does sitting in on a great club date.

It is relaxing yet stimulating, and could not be further from "smooth Jazz" (which few would listen to if they knew music like this existed). I understand this was sort of a coming out after years of contemplative time away from public playing.

A review:

Fish out of Water was the first in a string of recordings Charles Lloyd made for ECM throughout the '90s and into the next century. As such, this album ended a long reclusive period for Lloyd and re-established him as a major post-Coltrane tenor stylist. Joining him and his new piano partner, Bobo Stenson, are Palle Danielsson on bass and Jon Christensen on drums -- the players who comprised the rhythm section of Keith Jarrett's famed European quartet. There's a serene, haunting quality to much of the music, particularly "Haghia Sophia" and "Tellaro," both of which feature Lloyd on flute (possibly alto flute on the former). The quartet picks up the pace on the swinging "Eyes of Love" and locks into a Coltrane-esque slow burn on "The Dirge." The title track contains some parallel major sevenths that recall "Forest Flower," Lloyd's most famous song. While some may find the disc a bit too placid overall, there's much to be said for Lloyd's unruffled, effortlessly bluesy playing. ~ David R. Adler, All Music Guide

If all this seems way too sleep inducing, try his Voice In The Night from 1999. With Billy Higgins, John Abercrombie and Dave Holland.

01-20-2009, 11:10 PM
Charles Lloyd's The Water Is Wide from about 2000 is even more classically late night. Perhaps it should have been my original recommendation. I think you can hear samples on the web.


02-11-2009, 11:53 AM
Joshua Redman

I have just listened to the Rolling Stones DVD "Bridges to Babylon" where there is played "Wating on a friend". It is finished with a fantastic solo by Joshua Redman. Looking at Amazon showes me quite a few disks with high ratings.

Any specific recommendations?

03-16-2009, 05:12 PM
.Tom Scott and the LA Express..........

04-04-2009, 09:13 AM
Here's another saxophonist for your list: Pete Tex.

Listen to Slow Motion some night with the lights down low (and a martini).

My system has horns (511's) -- and there's something magical about playing horns through those horns -- great stuff.

16hz lover
04-09-2009, 07:05 AM
My favorites are:

Eric Kloss- what a technician

Sal Nestico- Smokin Hot Speed Demon

Lenny Pickett- Soul coming out of his rear-end.

09-21-2009, 10:43 PM
Hell, saw the great one.

Three friends and I made the drive to St Louis last Saturday. It was a long way but we all agreed the first song alone was worth it. Any guesses who? The greatest living tenor man, Sonny Rollins! At least one audience member drove in from the coast and he was overjoyed. The audience could have been divided into those who 1) were in awe 2) now love the man 3) went nuts, and 4) my group, all the previous.

He is so incredible I really don't know what to say. Yes the big mouth from Peoria is at a loss for words. Don't miss a chance to hear him/see him live. I will say that even the best recordings I have heard do not do justice to his tone, power and dynamism. He played numbers lasting about twenty minutes, constantly improvising. I quote Stanley Crouch:

Over and over, decade after decade, from the late seventies through the eighties and nineties, there he is, Sonny Rollins, the saxophone colossus, playing somewhere in the world, some afternoon or some eight o'clock somewhere, pursuing the combination of emotion, memory, thought, and aesthetic design with a command that allows him to achieve spontaneous grandiloquence. With its brass body, its pearl-button keys, its mouthpiece, and its cane reed, the horn becomes the vessel for the epic of Rollins' talent and the undimmed power and lore of his jazz ancestors.

By the way, he is the last remaining living connection to the other great figures of Jazz history and the Golden Age. He walked onto the stage with difficulty, but any frailness disappeared the moment he put the reed in his mouth. He moved constantly the entire performance, whether he was playing or not. He is so into the music. Now I don't feel so bad for never having seen Sun Ra live. I've experienced Sonny and I can die satisfied and without regret. Krunchy and Peter, I so wish you could have been there.

His new live CD, Road Shows Vol. 1, is really nice. It sounds great.


09-21-2009, 10:46 PM
Joshua Redman

I have just listened to the Rolling Stones DVD "Bridges to Babylon" where there is played "Wating on a friend". It is finished with a fantastic solo by Joshua Redman. Looking at Amazon showes me quite a few disks with high ratings.

Any specific recommendations?

I find Compass and Back East, his two most recent, different and rewarding. The recording quality rewards good systems, too.


09-22-2009, 11:58 AM
My favourite saxophonist has always been Michael Brecker.

Other saxophonists I like a lot include:

Bob Berg (also sadly deceased)
Bob Mintzer
Joe Lovano
Greg Osby
Wayne Shorter
Chico Freeman
Bill Evans

I've seen all those guys except Chico Freeman and Bill Eavns.

Other saxophonists I've seen in London over the years include:

Jackie McLean
Jane Ira Bloom
Candy Dulfer
Barbara Thompson
Steve Williamson - what happened to him?
Charles Lloyd
Chris Potter
Jan Gabarek

10-12-2009, 02:19 PM
This is the web page for the station's stream, which includes all the programming live (non-music like news included).

This is the 24/7 Blues stream.

Hi Clark,
a late answer but right from the heart: Thank you for your detailed instructions!

Finally this late summer I made it, it is such a joy to listen to GLT :) . I have tried it with Windows and with my new Nokia N810. It is a small Internet Tablet which makes me listen to GLT everywhere in the house or in the garden by WLAN (*). This makes the distance to Illinois very short in some aspects ;).

You once wrote if we were neighbors, than we could compare John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" on SACD against LP. Well, I have an SACD only version, there is no CD track. And I have bought an LP from 1968 in a German Analog Forum. For me the LP seems to be pretty well.
To make the comparison short the sound from the LP is better than from the SACD player - due to its inferior analog section! Simple but convincing :banghead: .

(*) In a final stage the Nokia N810 is intended as a VNC client (Virtual Network Computing), so it will be a wireless remote control for a PC based music server. Than I can control the music from the garden when lying under a tree. The music will be played from an "augmented" tractrix horn which has been left from the XXL project.

10-12-2009, 04:27 PM
I am very glad you like it, Peter. That is a nice device. Right now the only way I can listen to WGLT is on the web, too.

Our transmitter suffered a lightning strike on October 1. Working around the clock to repair...

Main transmitter still down. Broadcast limited to McLean County. HD chanels off the air. Hope to more know week of Oct 12. You can still listen to GLT, Blues Radio 24/7 and News&Ideas streaming at wglt.org. If you want to be notified when we are back to full power, email pat@wglt.org. The emergency transmitter is too weak to reach where I live. I think it is 500 watts and I am 45 miles away.

I wonder how much someone would have to pay for an SACD player that has a decent analogue section. If only a digital out was present. But no way, as the real intent of SACD was anti piracy. All very sad, as the Sony/Philips DSD recording technology is so superior.


10-18-2009, 02:04 PM
And the great ... Stan Getz

10-19-2009, 01:18 PM
Our transmitter suffered a lightning strike on October 1. Working around the clock to repair...

Main transmitter still down. Broadcast limited to McLean County. HD chanels off the air. Hope to more know week of Oct 12. You can still listen to GLT, Blues Radio 24/7 and News&Ideas streaming at wglt.org. If you want to be notified when we are back to full power, email pat@wglt.org.

I'm lucky, I have 3 transmitters and two transmitter sites.
Transmitter are very expensive to repair.
Last year my antenna was struck, it took out the iso-coupler. I stayed on the air but the AM station went off. The next day we put in my spare iso-coupler and the AM station was able to back on the main antenna. The iso-coupler costs $6000 to rebuild.:blink:

10-19-2009, 09:21 PM
I've been listening to WGLT a bit, too. What a great station!


I'm told that the Scandinavians take their internet radio seriously and enjoy many great programs and live performances, often streamed at 320 kb. Norwegian NettRadio is supposed to be one of the better networks. I've listened to their jazz program a bit and have liked what I've heard--


Under "NRK NettRadio" scroll down and click on NRK Jazz...another window opens and the audio begins after a few seconds.

This link might take you directly there--


10-20-2009, 10:34 PM
I am listening to the the live stream of WGLT right now (just after midnight central time - GMT-6:00) and it is outstanding late night Jazz. A very nice mix, highly recommended. In just the last few minutes I discovered two new (to me) great sounding artists, pianist Jon Mayer, and Jamie Ousley, who's entire band is super.

Listened to the Blues 24/7 stream earlier and it got me high from the first note!

It makes me happy to know that this can be heard around the world, not just in my little corner of it. :) It would make WGLT very happy if some of you could email them how much you enjoy their programming.


PS: just this hour's playlist

00:05 Easy Living Rahsaan Roland Kirk Early Roots
00:10 Both Sides Now Sarah Corman Happy Little Tune
00:13 Born to Be Blue Grant Green/Ike Quebec The Best Blue Note Albu
00:18 Blues Junction Jon Mayer Nightscape
00:24 Here's That Rainy Day Barbara Streisand Love Is The Answer
00:29 Helen's Song Jamie Ousley O Sorriso Dela
00:35 Nature Boy Miles Davis Debut Original Jazz Cla
00:41 'Round Midnight Betty Carter Jazz Vocal Classics
00:45 I Hear A Rhapsody Scott LaFaro Pieces of Jade
00:52 I Was Doing Alright Diana Krall From This Moment On
00:57 Almost Like Being In Lo Lester Young/Oscar Peters With The Oscar Peterson

11-04-2009, 06:31 PM
Hell, saw the great one.
Krunchy and Peter, I so wish you could have been there. Clark
So do I !:(, sounds like it was a hell of a show Clark :applaud:
Next year I think I'll have more time to devote to my beloved music.:)

11-14-2009, 08:26 AM
A bunch of recordings made at the Newport Jazz Festival will be available at Wolfgang's Vault (Bill Graham=Wolfgang, by the way).

Here's an excerpt from the NYT article on Wednesday:

"...if you want to know why the Newport Jazz Festival has been so important to American music, it’s easy: you just have to hear the recorded evidence. Bits and pieces have emerged over the years, in live recordings by Ellington, Coltrane and others. Now Wolfgang’s Vault, the online concert-recording archive, intends to fill in the gaps. The company, based in San Francisco, bought the archives of the Newport festivals from the Festival Network last year....

Bill Sagan, founder and chief executive of Wolfgang’s Vault, says the archives include many, many tapes: 1,000 to 1,200 individual performances, dating at least to 1955, the festival’s second year, and continuing to the end of the century. It is not a complete audio record — certain years contain only a small number of performances, or are missing completely — but it is a major one nonetheless....

On Wednesday the company will begin posting free streams of a handful of performances from the 1959 Newport Jazz Festival, at wolfgangsvault.com: the first offerings include Count Basie, Dakota Staton and Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. By next Tuesday, when more are added, there will be 27 sets from that year’s jazz festival, including some by Ahmad Jamal, Joe Williams, Thelonious Monk and Horace Silver. The plan is to have hundreds more online in the coming months, from other years of Newport Jazz and from the Newport Folk Festival as well....

For jazz fans, this is serious business. There are chillingly good performances in the 1959 crop, from half-inch three-track tapes mixed for stereo, made with stage microphones that pick up the nuances of the drums and the growls of the band members. They’re strong enough in some cases to deepen our understanding of canonical artists, like Basie, or restore the reputation of nearly forgotten ones, like Staton....

(The concerts can also be downloaded for $10 to $13 in higher-quality audio.)...

But there is uncertainty over who made the recordings... Fifty years ago, according to the jazz historian Phil Schaap, only record companies were generally willing to lug high-quality gear to a concert site. (It’s fair to assume, also, that the 1959 tapes were not made by the Voice of America, which did record a great deal of the festival, but made its tapes in mono.)...

...we have great and vivid jazz: Staton’s blue wails; the gruff, excited shouts of the Basie band’s brass section during an aggressive solo by the trombonist Al Grey; the masterful attack-and-release of the Ahmad Jamal trio on “Poinciana.”

11-14-2009, 10:34 AM
David Sanborn. Whether you care for it or not he created a whole new sound for the alto sax and you will hear his influence in many of today's players.


I've always enjoyed Ernie Watts distinctive and very capable tenor playing.


11-14-2009, 09:04 PM
Here's a direct link to the Newport Jazz Festival archive at Wolfgang's Vault:


I'm listening to the Jazz Messengers right now....great stuff!

08-24-2010, 09:17 PM
Some very good news--

[the pdf is too large to upload, so here is the text, and a link at the end to some samples]

August 16, 2010
Museum Acquires Storied Trove of Performances by Jazz Greats

By LARRY ROHTER (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/r/larry_rohter/index.html?inline=nyt-per)

For decades jazz cognoscenti have talked reverently of “the Savory Collection.” Recorded from radio broadcasts in the late 1930s by an audio engineer named William Savory, it was known to include extended live performances by some of the most honored names in jazz — but only a handful of people had ever heard even the smallest fraction of that music, adding to its mystique.
After 70 years that wait has now ended. This year the National Jazz Museum (http://www.jazzmuseuminharlem.org/) in Harlem acquired the entire set of nearly 1,000 discs, made at the height of the swing era, and has begun digitizing recordings of inspired performances by Louis Armstrong (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/a/louis_armstrong/index.html?inline=nyt-per), Benny Goodman (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/benny_goodman/index.html?inline=nyt-per), Billie Holiday (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/h/billie_holiday/index.html?inline=nyt-per), Count Basie, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Bunny Berigan, Harry James and others that had been thought to be lost forever. Some of these remarkable long-form performances simply could not fit on the standard discs of the time, forcing Mr. Savory to find alternatives. The Savory Collection also contains examples of underappreciated musicians playing at peak creative levels not heard anywhere else, putting them in a new light for music fans and scholars.
“Some of us were aware Savory had recorded all this stuff, and we were really waiting with bated breath to see what would be there,” said Dan Morgenstern, the Grammy (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/g/grammy_awards/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier)-winning jazz historian and critic who is also director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/r/rutgers_the_state_university/index.html?inline=nyt-org). “Even though I’ve heard only a small sampling, it’s turning out to be the treasure trove we had hoped it would be, with some truly wonderful, remarkable sessions. None of what I’ve heard has been heard before. It’s all new.”
After making the recordings, Mr. Savory, who had an eccentric, secretive streak, zealously guarded access to his collection, allowing only a few select tracks by his friend Benny Goodman to be released commercially. When he died in 2004, Eugene Desavouret, a son who lives in Illinois, salvaged the discs, which were moldering in crates; this year he sold the collection to the museum, whose executive director, Loren Schoenberg, transported the boxes to New York City in a rental truck.
Part of what makes the Savory collection so alluring and historically important is its unusual format. At the time Savory was recording radio broadcasts for his own pleasure, which was before the introduction of tape, most studio performances were issued on 10-inch 78-r.p.m. shellac discs, which, with their limited capacity, could capture only about three minutes of music.
But Mr. Savory had access to 12- or even 16-inch discs, made of aluminum or acetate, and sometimes recorded at speeds of 33 1/3 r.p.m. That combination of bigger discs, slower speeds and more durable material allowed Mr. Savory to record longer performances in their entirety, including jam sessions at which musicians could stretch out and play extended solos that tested their creative mettle.
“Most of what exists from this era was done at home by young musicians or fans, and so you get really bad-sounding recordings,” Mr. Schoenberg said. “The difference with Bill Savory is that he was both a musician and a technical genius. You hear some of this stuff and you say, ‘This can’t be 70 years old.’ ”
As a result, many of the broadcasts from nightclubs and ballrooms that Mr. Savory recorded contain more relaxed and free-flowing versions of hit songs originally recorded in the studio. One notable example is a stunning six-minute Coleman Hawkins performance of “Body and Soul” from the spring of 1940; in it this saxophonist plays a five-chorus solo even more adventurous than the renowned two-chorus foray on his original version of the song, recorded in the fall of 1939. By the last chorus, he has drifted into uncharted territory, playing in a modal style that would become popular only when Miles Davis (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/d/miles_davis/index.html?inline=nyt-per) recorded “Kind of Blue” in 1959.
Glimpsing the Jazz Hierarchy
Asked if the Savory recordings were likely to prompt a critical reassessment of some jazz musicians or a reordering of the informal hierarchy by which fans rank instrumentalists, Mr. Morgenstern responded by citing the case of Herschel Evans, a saxophonist who played in the Count Basie Orchestra but who died early in 1939, just before his 30th birthday. Evans played alongside Lester Young, who was one of the giants of the saxophone and constantly overshadowed Evans on the Basie group’s studio recordings.
“There can never be too much Lester Young, and there is some wonderful new Lester Young on these discs,” Mr. Morgenstern said. “But there are also some things where you can really hear Herschel, who is woefully under-represented on record and who, until now, we hardly ever got to hear stretched out. What I’ve heard really gives us a much better picture of what he was all about.”
The collection has already shed new light on what is considered the first outdoor jazz festival, the 1938 Carnival of Swing (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbubFSgUTlM) on Randalls Island. More than 20 groups played at the event, including the Duke Ellington (http://www.nytimes.com/info/duke-ellington/?inline=nyt-per) and Count Basie orchestras, and though newsreel footage exists, no audio of the festival was believed to have survived — until part of performances by Count Basie and Stuff Smith turned up on Mr. Savory’s discs.
Other material consists of some of the most acclaimed names in jazz playing in unusual settings or impromptu ensembles. Goodman, for example, performs a duet version of the Gershwins’ “Oh, Lady Be Good!” with Teddy Wilson on harpsichord (instead of his usual piano), while Billie Holiday is heard, accompanied only by a piano, singing a rubato version of her anti-lynching anthem, “Strange Fruit,” barely a month after her original recording was released.
“The record is more like a dance tempo, whereas this version is how she would have done it in clubs,” Mr. Schoenberg, a saxophonist and pianist who is also the author of “The NPR Curious Listener’s Guide to Jazz,” said of the live Holiday recording. “You have the most inane scripted introduction ever, but then Billie comes in, and she drives a stake right through your heart.”
Because Mr. Savory liked classical music, the discs also include a few performances by the Norwegian soprano Kirsten Flagstad, taken from one of her very early tours of the United States, and several by Arturo Toscanini’s NBC (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/nbc_universal/index.html?inline=nyt-org) Symphony Orchestra. There are even speeches, by Franklin D. Roosevelt (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/r/franklin_delano_roosevelt/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and Pope Pius XII, and a broadcast of James Joyce (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/j/james_joyce/index.html?inline=nyt-per) reading from his work.
The collection also provides a glimpse into the history of broadcasting, thanks to the presence of Martin Block, a WNEW announcer who hosted a show called “Make Believe Ballroom,” on many discs. Walter Winchell coined the term “disc jockey” to describe Block, whose citation when he was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame gives him credit for being “the first radio disc jockey to become a star in his own right.”
Mr. Savory himself played piano and saxophone, and his choice of what to record reflects a musician’s refined tastes. “We’re lucky that he was such a jazz fanatic, because he really knew who was good and who wasn’t,” Mr. Schoenberg said.
According to his son Eugene, Mr. Savory was born William Desavouret in June 1916 aboard the ocean liner Mauretania, where his parents were passengers immigrating to the United States from France. (Mr. Desavouret, Mr. Savory’s son, said he did not know why his father changed his name.) He grew up in New Jersey and Southern California and showed an early fascination with technology, which led, while he was still a teenager, to his entry into the recording business.
A Mysterious Man
As best as can be reconstructed, Mr. Savory went into a Manhattan recording studio to make a demo for a group he played in, found that the equipment was not working and offered to repair it. That led to his being hired to maintain the gear and eventually to a contract with a studio that specialized in transcribing live performances off the air for radio networks and advertisers.
“He was doing these air checks, he told me, to get the balance in the recording, and recorded the shows on his own,” said Susan Schmidt Horning, a historian of technology and culture who teaches at St. John’s University (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/s/st_johns_university/index.html?inline=nyt-org) in Queens and who interviewed Mr. Savory several times. “I think he was just interested in recording and loved music. He did it because he could do it. He knew the value of these recordings, artistically and commercially, and wasn’t going to let them go. “The recordings that the museum acquired end around 1940, when Mr. Savory moved to Chicago to work for Columbia Records and CBS. During World War II he was initially assigned to the Naval Research Laboratory, where, Mr. Desavouret said, he helped develop radar for all-weather fighter aircraft, but later also served as a test and combat pilot.
At war’s end, Mr. Savory went back to work for Columbia, where he was part of the team that invented the 33 1/3-r.p.m. long-playing record. In the 1950s he moved to Angel Records, EMI’s classical label; engineered or produced numerous albums there under the name W. A. Desavouret; married Helen Ward, a former singer in the Goodman band; and eventually moved to Falls Church, Va.
“As an engineer, Bill was remarkable, the guy who developed the technique for cutting the masters” of 78-r.p.m. recordings that were being transferred to the new format, said the jazz record producer George Avakian, 91, who worked with Mr. Savory at Columbia in the 1940s. “He was an all-round character, a humorous, delightful guy who never got as much credit as he deserved, and he did so much.”
Mr. Avakian said he remembered hearing a few songs from the collection in the late 1950s, when he visited the Savory home, and still recalled the excitement he felt then about the quality of the music on the discs. “I asked him once, ‘How much more have you got?,’ and he said, ‘I don’t know,’ ” Mr. Avakian said. “He was really vague about it.”
When he moved to suburban Washington, Mr. Savory took a job with a defense contractor, working, Mr. Desavouret said, on electronic communications and surveillance devices designed to pick up audio and data signals. His son also said his father told him that he was “a spook, connected with the C.I.A. (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/c/central_intelligence_agency/index.html?inline=nyt-org),” an assertion he is inclined to believe because “when I’d come for Thanksgiving, we’d go out with six retired C.I.A. guys,” and because, on retirement, his father was given a memento calling him “the master of mysterious projects.”
After Mr. Savory’s death, his lawyer and heirs were not sure what to do with the meticulously annotated collection. Some of the boxes with discs had been sealed in 1940 and never opened again, and others had been damaged by exposure to water or were covered with “50 years of mold and gunk,” as Mr. Schoenberg put it.
Mr. Desavouret, a musician and retired computer scientist who lives northwest of Chicago, said, “When he died, I felt overwhelmed,” because “there was a danger it was all going to be thrown away.” In fact, he added, “Dad’s lawyer hired a couple of people to clean things up, and they dug through everything and threw away some stuff that they thought was not useful. So I had to issue instructions to preserve all the recordings and writings until we found out what the hell it is.”
Eventually, Mr. Desavouret had the recordings shipped to his home in Malta, Ill., where Mr. Schoenberg, who had been trying to track him down, finally heard them this spring and immediately realized that “we have struck gold.”
From Disc to Digital
“This has been on my mind for 30 years,” Mr. Schoenberg said. “I cultivated and pestered Bill Savory, who never let me hear a damn thing and wouldn’t even tell me what was in the collection besides Benny Goodman,” for whom Mr. Schoenberg, 52, used to work.
But because of deterioration, converting the 975 surviving discs to digital form and making them playable is a challenge. Mr. Schoenberg estimates that “25 percent are in excellent shape,” he said, “half are compromised but salvageable, and 25 percent are in really bad condition,” of which perhaps 5 percent are “in such a state that they will tolerate only one play” before starting to flake.
The transfer of the Savory collection from disc to digital form is being done by Doug Pomeroy, a recording engineer in Brooklyn who specializes in audio restorations and has worked on more than 100 CD reissues, among them projects involving music by Louis Armstrong and Woody Guthrie (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/woody_guthrie/index.html?inline=nyt-per). The process involves numerous steps, beginning with cleaning the discs by hand and proceeding through pitch correction, noise removal, playback equalization, mixing and mastering.
“As fate would have it, a couple of the most interesting Count Basie things are so badly corroded that it took me two afternoons and 47 splices just to put one of them back together again,” Mr. Pomeroy said while working on yet another Basie tune, a shuffle featuring Lester Young on clarinet rather than saxophone, his main instrument. “In almost every case I’ve been able to get a complete performance, but it can be very fatiguing to hear the same skip over and over again and have to close the gap digitally.”
Initially, Mr. Pomeroy was reluctant to take on the project, saying he had too much of a backlog to accept new work. But as Mr. Schoenberg recalled their initial conversation, standing in Mr. Pomeroy’s studio one morning last month, “when I said ‘It’s Bill Savory,’ he said, ‘I’ll see you tomorrow morning.’ ”
Mr. Schoenberg said the museum planned to make as much as possible of the Savory collection publicly available at its Harlem home and eventually online. But the copyright status of the recorded material is complicated, which could inhibit plans to share the music. While the museum has title to Mr. Savory’s discs as physical objects, the same cannot be said of the music on the discs.
“The short answer is that ownership is unclear,” said June M. Besek, executive director of the Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts at the Columbia University (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/c/columbia_university/index.html?inline=nyt-org) School of Law. “There was never any arrangement for distribution of copies” in contracts between performers and radio stations in the 1930s, she explained, “because it was never envisioned that there would be such a distribution, so somewhere between the radio station and the band is where the ownership would lay.”
At 70 years’ remove, however, the bands, and even some of the radio networks that broadcast the performances, no longer exist, and tracking down all the heirs of the individual musicians who played in the orchestras is nearly impossible.
In the meantime Mr. Pomeroy is plunging ahead. He has digitized just over 100 of the discs so far, and knows that additional challenges — and delights — await him.
“Every one of these discs is an unexpected discovery,” he said. “It’s an education for me. I can hardly wait to transfer some of this stuff because I am so eager to hear it, to find out what’s there and solve all the mysteries that are there.”

some samples--


08-25-2010, 12:55 AM
Thank you! Peter :)