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My son plays Alto sax in HS band. I would like to get interested in listening to great sax players, in the hopes it will get him to aspire to be a better player, and to do it for fun.

What artist do you recommend that he should listen too? Who are your favorites? I hope to get a mix of the old time great masters and maybe some newer, "hipper" alto sax artist.
 

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For the hip stuff try: David Sanborn (any album) and Grover Washington Jr. (Winelight - he does play some tenor and soprano on that album but plenty of alto)
 

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Strangely, alto isn't as prominent in my collection as tenor is. But, some that you should suggest to your son (imvho) are:

Art Pepper
Charlie Parker
Arthur Blythe

There are lots of others, but those come to mind at this moment. If you want to be able to sample a lot of different stuff relatively cheaply you can download quite a variety of stuff from e-music. At least this way you're not having to buy a lot of CDs that may or may not be listened to very much.
 

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For some hipper stuff still firmly in the straight jazz genre, I'd recommend both of Kenny Garrett's recent albums (Standard of Language, Beyond the Wall) and Vincent Herring's most recent (Ends and Means).

Those 3 are great jazz albums that include some nice grooves that could make them more accessible to a young musician.
 

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A few more possibilities would be Sonny Criss, Sonny Stitt, Johnny Hodges and, of course, as mentioned, Paul Desmond.

Phil Woods and Paquito D'Rivera would be worth listening to as well.
 

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Maceo Parker

Nolzman said:
My son plays Alto sax in HS band. I would like to get interested in listening to great sax players, in the hopes it will get him to aspire to be a better player, and to do it for fun.

What artist do you recommend that he should listen too? Who are your favorites? I hope to get a mix of the old time great masters and maybe some newer, "hipper" alto sax artist.
Jazz is too heavy for kids just getting into the music (like Kenny Garrett, Phil Woods, etc). Start with funk and blues. Maceo Parker, Candy Dulfer, etc. FUNK...that's what kids his age love hearing.
 

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Why not get his feet wet early? Some blues from Cannonball Adderly or Charlie Parker couldn't hurt. Heck, I couldn't imagine where I'd be if I had heard Charlie Parker or Cannonball before college!

Of course, if the child is into hip-hop kind of stuff, I suppose some Boney James and Mike Phillips stuff could fly. But I dunno... I'm not sure how quick most kids are to appreciate that kind of stuff.
 

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Now if you want the kid to know that an alto can have a big fat almost tenor-like sound, get him some Earl Bostic.
 

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rbur said:
great classical player:
Elliot Riley, Raschèr Saxophone Quartet
Important to include some good classical sax role models as well, particularly so as a "classical" sound is at least as important, if not moreso, for concert band. Part of being a good musician is learning to discriminate what "sound" is appropriate for which setting and genre of music and to produce that sound as required.
 

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CountSpatula said:
Mike Phillips plays some pretty hip stuff haha. Albright is killer too! Eric Marienthal always sounds great to me.
Take a look at the avatar for Count Spatula and you'll probably see one of the people in this forum your son might relate to. Whether of not anyone considers Mike Phillips "hip" or not, he is definitely contemporary in terms of what today's youth listen to, AND he has a very nice alto sound to boot. Marienthal is good, but he may sound like an "old" guy to a teen ager. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Mike Phillips as a motivation for today's teen-ager to stay interested in alto sax. I'm an old, old, guy, but Mike Phillips plays some hip-hop genre of (excuse the expression) "jazz" that your son might just find interesting.
 

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I'm also only 17, and appreciate and adore jazz music to the fullest, and I try and replicate it as well as possible.


I do like me some funk though! :D


Good luck to him, just make sure you don't PUSH it upon him. Let him make decisions; I personally just drifted into deeper music, don't prod him to accept it as inevitable that that's the stuff he will end up listening to even if he doesn't want to.

Good luck!


Oh, and personally I'm a big fan of:

Gerald Albright
David Sanborn
Sonny Rollins
Ronnie Cuber
John Coltrane
Boney James
Lenny Pickett
Pepper Adams
Charlie Parker


And many, MANY more. Some of those aren't alto players though, so I apologize, but don't limit his listening to just one instrument either. Some good trumpet or good bari sax playing can give someone an entirely different idea of what they might want to listen to altogether, you know?
 
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