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i was scanning through the "favorite quotes" from musicians and saxophonists on the main page, when i came across Phil woods quote

"It's bad enough we're graduating so many lawyers from colleges, now we're graduating too many tenor players"

i myself agree to this "as no disrespect to tenor players on this site"
but what do most of you think about this quote?
 

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Spooky! I was thinking along similar lines only a few days ago. Not that there are too many tenor players, heaven forbid, but what is the ratio of tenor players to alto? Most of the players I know play tenor exclusively, or as their primary instrument.

Any dealers out there who can reveal which they sell more of and whether trends are changing?

'Cos obviously, tenors rule :D
 

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I think is has to do with the flexible nature of the tenor. Big Band, Rock Band, Horn Band - Usually paired with a trumpet and can play the same lead sheets. It's a practical instrument choice. I love the alto but play maybe 2 gigs a year that require alto.:(

I can say that most of the smooth solo jazz stuff is still dominated by altos. Koz, Sanborn, Etc... althought soprano is quickly caughting up.
 

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I think the key word in his quote is "graduating". I'm not against education or anything, but I wonder when kids will have take the saxophone bar exam to become a licensed practitioner :scratch:

Whatever happened to the school of hard knocks? Seemed to work for many a good player.
 

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As a tenor player I will whole-heartedly endorse Phil's comments. I would love to find more work. ;)

All kidding aside. I suspect this just has a lot to do with who the "heroes" are out there. Tenors also seem to be the choice of guitar oriented bands as well. I know that one band I play with won't let me play anything on stage higher pitched than an alto. Though a often play a lot of altissimo in that band, I tried breaking out my alto on a couple of songs and they were immediately cut fom the set.

We need more real sax sections.
 

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Adderleysfasthands said:
"It's bad enough we're graduating so many lawyers from colleges, now we're graduating too many tenor players"...
but what do most of you think about this quote?
Lawyers graduate from law school.
 

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I wouldn't have posted the quote if it was gonna be taken so seriously... I think Phil was having a laugh guys! The qoute is taken from his album 'music de bois' (spelling???)

here's aouther phil woods quote/story:

A trumpeter who played with Benny Goodman at the same time as Phil wrang Phil up and told him: 'the good news is benny goodman has died, the bad news is he died in his sleep!
 

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I heard a story that while playing on the tonight show (well, on a commerical break) Phil took a violin bow and put it in Trigger's "behind". (Trigger was the horse belonging to Roy Roger's). Anyway, I haven't a clue as to its truth. But stranger things have happened.

Also, there is usually some skin of truth or honesty in comments like those. Even when meant in jest. It's still quite funny though.
 

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I've also heard (from a reputable source who plays in a band with a number of former Tonight Show band members.) that a few of them had special accessory shelves built into their music stands for the purpose of ducking down behind the Manhasset for a quick sniff of Columbian sugar....
 

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The reason there appear to be more(way too many?:) ?) tenor players than alto is due to changing of the times and economy. In the old days, it was very common to see a big band as the source of entertainment, which usually required 2 alto/2 tenor/1 bari.
Those days are long gone.
Today's environment is combo oriented, with at most one sax, which is most likely to be tenor, as tenor is better for combo work(key of Bb), and tenor usually works better for jazz(flexibility of tone, fits into tonal key structure better, etc.).

So, while I'm a big Paul Desmond fan, I expect to see fewer and fewer sax people using alto as their main ax. Too bad, really, cuz both alto & tenor have something to offer.
 

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Phil's iconoclasm knows no bounds. As a lawyer, judge, and tenor player (MM and MMEd) I am acutely sensitive to the intent of his diatribe.
But then, he has yet to hear me play (or appear before me in court)!
 

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I think Phil's statement isn't really about just tenor players. From other comments I've hear from him, his beef is with the idea that there are so many music programs churning out so many players that want to play jazz (as opposed to going through the old school apprenticeship process of learning on the bandstand). I know Phil spent time at Julliard, but that was for traditional music and clarinet. He didn't learn jazz at "school."

There's a classic quote from Woods (couldn't find it just now) about jazz education. I'm completely paraphrasing here: If you really want an education about what the jazz business is, put the students on a bus and drive around for ten hours. Get off the bus, set up the bandstand, put on your band uniform (ill-fitting gray suit). DON"T PLAY A NOTE. Take off the uniform, tear down the bandstand and load the gear back onto the bus. Get back on the bus, drive another ten to twelve hours and do it all again. Repeat that for six or eight months, and if you still want to play for a living, go ahead.

So that comment kind of puts the "too many tenor players" thing in context.
 

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Glenn, as I recall the context of his statement, he was aiming at musical academia and not at tenorists. But I wonder, tongue in cheek, why Bruce, Dennis and you (Maynard's bari players) are all doing college gigs now? OR has it become that this music is now the "bait" for the program in general.
 

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Adderleysfasthands said:
i was scanning through the "favorite quotes" from musicians and saxophonists on the main page, when i came across Phil woods quote

"It's bad enough we're graduating so many lawyers from colleges, now we're graduating too many tenor players"

i myself agree to this "as no disrespect to tenor players on this site"
but what do most of you think about this quote?
Ah Phil...I love that guy. When I first started at Berklee (91...I was 33) they had a presentation by Phil and his band at the time at the performance center. After blowing the place apart for a while, they opened it up to QandA. There were the usual "what mouthpiece do you use?" questions and such. Then a little baby faced 18 kid asked Phil what he thought about the current state of jazz education and places like Berklee....

His answer was "if I ran a school like Berklee, there would be a course called Music 101 that everybody HAD to take and PASS. This course would consist of rehearsing for a week with a large band -- all sax players would double and triple, brass players would double and play the full complement of mutes and such. After a week of 6 hour a day rehearsals, the band would load all of their equipment onto a bus with the windows spray painted black. For the next month we'd unload the bus, place a concert, load the bus, drive 11 hours, sleep for 4 and do it all over again. After a month, anybody who could still play and wanted to study music got to stay. The rest would go to business school."

I about lost a kidney laughing. I don't think a lot of the 'kiddies' knew what the hell he was talking about....=:)

bigtiny
 
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