Saxophone Forum

by AllieAbabwa
(2 posts)
8 years ago

Best Saxophonists & Recordings

Hi! I'm not sure if I've put this in the right place, but I have a question for anyone who may be able to help. I'm about to be a senior in high school, and next spring/summer, I have an audition to become a musican for the United States Marine Corps. I've been playing for 8 years, and my audition will be on alto.

Before my audition, I need to get a taste of some professional sax players so I can try to better my sound. Who should I listen to?

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  1. by Saxquest
    (420 posts)

    8 years ago

    Re: Best Saxophonists & Recordings

    Hi Allie-

    Welcome to the web site.

    I'm glad to hear you say listening because the first key to getting a good sound is to already have a good sound concept in your head. The best way to get an internalized sense of a good saxophone sound is to listen to great players and to transcribe what they are playing.

    Also, check out the book "Developing a Personal Saxophone Sound" by David Liebman. This book is great for both jazz and classical players to go through.

    For Jazz alto, I'd listen to a variety of players with different sound concepts. The Marine Corp will be looking for well rounded musicians who can play in all styles. Listen to:

    1. Jonny Hodges with the Duke Ellington band (be sure to check out Isfahan on the Far East Suite recording). 

    2. Dick Oatts with the Thad Jones Mel Lewis big band and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.

    3. Cannonball Adderly - for straight ahead jazz

    4. Sonny Stitt - for straight ahead jazz

    5. Sherman Irby - for straight ahead jazz

    5. David Sanborn - for contemporary & pop

    For classical saxophone, be sure to listen to the greats of the past:

    1. Sigurd Rascher

    2. Claude Delangle

    3. Marcel Mule

    4. Eugene Rousseau

    5. for players today, check out James Bunte, Nathan Nabb and Tim McAllister

         Mark Overton


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    1. by AllieAbabwa
      (2 posts)

      7 years ago

      Re: Best Saxophonists & Recordings

      Thank you very, very much! This was extremely helpful!

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      1. by Adrianne
        (2 posts)

        7 years ago

        Re: Best Saxophonists & Recordings

        Hi Allie, 

        You may also want to check out recordings of the standard repertoire performed by some of the artists Mark mentioned, but also some other players.  For example:

        Arno Bornkamp's recording of the Sonata by Paul Creston
        Claude Delangle or Debra Richtmeyer's recording of the Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra by Glazunov
        Delangle's recording of the Concertino da Camera by Jacques Ibert
        Any of Kenneth Tse's albums
        Any recording by Jean-Marie Londeix (very important!)
        Dr. Fred Hemke
        Donald Sinta

        Listening to great saxophone quartets is also beneficial.  Check out the Prism, Oasis, Zzyzx, and Capitol quartets.

        Let me know if you have any additional questions.  Best of luck to you!


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