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Hey guys. I am just really curious to know which is you favorite soprano saxophonist ever. The person does not have to be only a soprano saxophonist. It can also be a person that doubles on alto or tenor or soprano, anyway, somebody that plays the soprano.

Please Specify why you like your favorite soprano saxophonist. I don´t just want a list. It´s kinda boring :)
 

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Well, I could tell you. But then I would probably get banned from SOTW for life. Let's just say this guy has way more hair than I do and uses an initial for his last name... ;)
 

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Kenny G, because of the new tone he got out of the soprano.
He got rid of the ducky, goaty and oboe-like inflections in the timbre of the straight soprano and showed one could produce something else.

As a result, he got many young folks interested in playing the sax.. it created many jobs in China...;) it boosted the revival of the curvy soprano (and the interest in soprano sax in general)... and many people tried (with various degrees of success:shock: ) to imitate him.

(I don't care if many people are jealous about the money he made, I just love his tone, and a few of his tunes as well).
 

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Enviro
we posted at the same time. Let's see if we get banned from SOTW...

BTW my favorite FEMALE sop saxophonist is Mindi Abair.... but didn't she take her cue tone-wise from Kenny?
 

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I like Coltrane, because he was, well, Coltrane.

I also like Branford's sound-he played a nice solo on Little Wing-a live recording with Sting and the Gil Evans orchestra.

I also think Jan Garbarek has a nice, haunting sound on soprano.

I don't care for Kenny Gorelick because I find his tone edgy, with very little core, and he is a mediocre saxophonist at best. It's amazing what the right amount of reverb/echo can do for perception. Commercial success is never a gauge of artistry. David Bowie is probably just as skilled.
 

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Sidney Beschet is my choice.. sorry guys, I am not a fan of modern soprano sound..
Branford is indeed great in soprano, I prefare it over his tenor playing
 

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I'd also add Lucky Thompson, based on him playing "In a Sentimental Mood". Beautiful. To me his playing there is like a precursor to the contempory jazz soprano that came on the scene over a decade later in players like Grover Washington Jr.

I'd also mention Zoot Sims for an alternative to the modern soprano sound. He plays soprano like he plays his tenor and I liked that.
 

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hakukani said:
Commercial success is never a gauge of artistry.
Amen, brother. Truer words are seldom spoken.

Anyway, I'd have to say Steve Lacy. He had a very open, vocal, and kind of moody sound and style that I have loved since I first heard it. He was a great player as well, and successfully created a unique voice on soprano.

As for a modern player, I'd say Kirk Whalum, as on Into My Soul. Breathy (but not airy - there is a difference), expressive, soulful. I'm convinced that it would sound great in a straight ahead context as well.
 

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Back in the 70s, Wayne Shorter set the bar extremely high for artistry and tone on the small sax, a level which IMO no one has come close to matching.
 

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Swingtone said:
Back in the 70s, Wayne Shorter set the bar extremely high for artistry and tone on the small sax, a level which IMO no one has come close to matching.
I just changed my mind. I've been listening to Shorter on tenor too much lately. His sop playing is breathtaking.
 

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Branford is always great on soprano.
 

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I'm not an old school jazz fan at all, but you have to tip your hat to Mr Bechet. For modern soprano players (away from the 'jazz' arena and no less relevant for being so), Kirk Whalum is superb when it comes to expression. You don't have to squeeze a thousand notes into a twenty second interval to be sheer class.

It would be easier to tell you whom I hate....and why....
 

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Paul Taylor. I just enjoy his tone and playing style........isn't that enough?
 

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Two of my favorites (regarding tone, phrasing, and general innovation) would have to be Joshua Redman and Jay Beckenstein. I just wish Jushua would play soprano more often...
 

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OH, and did I forget to mention Chris Potter? Add him in too. Another darker, kind of moody sound and style.
 

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Branford.
 

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And Chris Potter came in third on last season's "Last comic standing"! Talk about multi-talented!!;)
 
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