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Number of the "Four Saxophone Stars" I've Heard Of

  • None

    Votes: 25 80.6%
  • One

    Votes: 2 6.5%
  • Two

    Votes: 3 9.7%
  • Three

    Votes: 1 3.2%
  • Four

    Votes: 0 0.0%
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Discombobulated SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 201
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I may not be as well up on my jazz saxophonists as I thought. Theo Wanne mentions on his website that the mid-30s Otto Link 4* model was named after the four saxophone stars of the era, Charles Strickfaden, Henry Wade, Pat Davis, and Ross Gorman. I've heard of none of them. Am I missing something? Who were they?
 

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I said none, but I may have hear of Pat Davis. Maybe. But probably not.
 

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I know where martinman is coming from. If you Google the names you posted along with "sax" you'll see them listed as sidemen for some of the big name bandleaders of the 20's and 30's, and you can even find links to some reissue recordings on CDUniverse where you can listen to some sound clips. It appears that the dearth of liner notes available from the era, doesn't lend itself to determining who took which solos. Furthermore, since the technology of the era kept the length of recordings of individual tunes to a couple of minutes, most of the "glory" went to the band leaders and not the sidemen. While Count Basie and Duke Ellington showcased their musicians, it appears that Paul Whiteman and Glen Grey were documented imbedded in movie clips where they were highlighted as leaders, but sidemen were typically just in pan shots. I'm sure their contemporaries were very familiar with the sidemen, as probably were every kid with a horn who stood next to their bandstands... it just didn't seem to translate as well historically as things do today. Thanks for the post. It was kinda fun finding the sound clips. You too can probably hear them that way, even if you can't determine which sax guys are which.
John
 

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tjontheroad said:
You're not, but at the same time, you could name a mouthpiece (or whatever) today after four current no one's ever heard of great current players.
I might have missed something in the translation ;), but if I understand you correctly, note that the namesakes were four "saxophone stars" of the 1930s, hence the name 4*. "Stars" suggests to me that they were well known.

I do take some comfort in this. Maybe 50 years down the road there will be a poll "Have you every heard of Kenny G?" and everyone will answer no. :D :D :D
 

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Forum Contributor 2015, SOTW Better late than neve
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chitownjazz said:
I might have missed something in the translation ;), but if I understand you correctly, note that the namesakes were four "saxophone stars" of the 1930s, hence the name 4*. "Stars" suggests to me that they were well known.

I do take some comfort in this. Maybe 50 years down the road there will be a poll "Have you every heard of Kenny G?" and everyone will answer no. :D :D :D
You're right... How long does it take for a "star" to fade???

You may have now answered a mistery for me though. I always wondered where they got the " * " thing from for mouthpieces. Or, was that used earlier?
 

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chitownjazz said:
I may not be as well up on my jazz saxophonists as I thought. Theo Wanne mentions on his website that the mid-30s Otto Link 4* model was named after the four saxophone stars of the era, Charles Strickfaden, Henry Wade, Pat Davis, and Ross Gorman. I've heard of none of them. Am I missing something? Who were they?
Interesting question. Of this group, the only one I'm familiar with is Charles Strickfaden, and the only reason I know his work is because he recorded a good deal with Bix Biederbecke. Strickfaden played both clarinet and saxophone with Bix. I have a feeling he may have so to speak "vanished" into the Paul Whiteman orchestra, though about that I'm less certain. The Whiteman orchestra, surely, was a sort of Bermuda triangle for section men. . . .
 

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Doing a little homework, I find that Pat Davis is mostly associated with Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra, which is a late morph of the Goldkette Orchestra. Bix played with Goldkette too, of course, but Davis joined long after Bix had died.

Ross Gorman had his own orchestra, and fronted a group called The Virginians:

The Virginians were a satellite studio band of the Paul Whiteman Orchestra under the direction of Ross Gorman. [This from a web page.]

Henry Wade played reeds with Paul Specht and His Orchestra, and with The Georgians, was was a satellite of Specht's orchestra.

Surely "star" is a relative term here.
 

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I could be wrong, but....

Wasn't the 4**** model named such, because, presviously, the Otto Link mpcs were only available in "number" facings like 2,3,4,5, but then Link introduced the "Star" facing nomenclature, to signify a facing which is between a number, ie.., 2, 2* , 3, 3*, 4, 4*, 5, 5*, four NEW "star" sizes, hence the "4****" model.

Look at the old ads.

If it were for named for four sax stars, then it would be probably be called "Four Stars" or "Four Star", with the word STAR write n out, right?, but the named stamped on the mpc is 4****.

Sometimes, if we sit and think too much about something, we can think of all kinds of complicated answers to a question, when the answer is right in front of our nose.

my 2 cents
 

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AdrianMolina said:
Wasn't the 4**** model named such, because, presviously, the Otto Link mpcs were only available in "number" facings like 2,3,4,5, but then Link introduced the "Star" facing nomenclature, to signify a facing which is between a number, ie.., 2, 2* , 3, 3*, 4, 4*, 5, 5*, four NEW "star" sizes, hence the "4****" model.
The Four**** (not "4****") was named after the four "stellar" sax players of the 1930s, i.e. Charles Strickfaden, Henry Wade, Pat Davis, and Ross Gorman. It has nothing to do with facing numbers.
 

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So I've read, on Theo's Web site, however, although I think he is a smart fellow, where is he getting his information?

Theo puts info up on his site, TO THE BEST OF HIS KNOWLEDGE, but that doesn't mean its 100% accurate.

I've heard that it was about the facings from a number of reputable people, I mean, it could be that, to promote the four new "star" facings (sorry I used asteriks, but, c'mon, Im just typing), Link's ad man PICKED 4 Otto Link endorsers ("Stars" of their day), as a cross-promotion. (4 New "star" facings, 4 "Star" players??)

Then again, why am I even bothering to post or argue about this, does it really matter?

This is a weird place. I need to turn off the computer & go to bed.
 
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