Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 46 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
192 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
OK this is a light-hearted troll, but for the sake of argument: I find I can listen to recordings of tenor players back-to-back for several hours at a time. But after two CDs of Bird I'm reaching for the remote. Don't get me wrong, I worship Bird's musicianship and his music. I study the Omnibook and his recordings with awe and aspiration (and perspiration!). I just wish he'd done it all on tenor. Must be a pitch thing (Altos, small children's voices, fingernails on chalkboard... )

There, I've said it.

[flees for cover...]

S.
 

·
SOTW Administrator
Joined
·
26,208 Posts
I find your comments misguided, but not necessarily offensive.

If you want to listen to Bird on tenor, he did a few tunes on the Savoy label. It was actually Miles's first recording session as a 'leader'. There are some wonderful tunes on it--Half Nelson, Sippin' at Bells, the original 'Milestones' and a couple of others. You might check them out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
hakukani said:
If you want to listen to Bird on tenor, he did a few tunes on the Savoy label.
cool. learning stuff here every day.

while i'm sure those bird-on-tenor cuts are terrific (i mean, c'maaahn, it's charlie freaking parker!), in my ears, i associate the range (i.e. the alto) as as big and important part of his voice as were his mind-numbing licks coming at you in flurries.

similarly, some of coltrane's early (and obscure) stuff on alto is certainly interesting, but it never gripped me personally. 'trane was just meant to play the Bb horns.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
192 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Yeah I've got them. He's much more impressive on alto. I posted these thoughts because I started listening to a 4-disc compilation of all Bird's Savoy, Verve and Dial recordings. I had ear fatigue I guess you could call it by the end of disc two and I switched out to listen to a four disc set of Tubby Hayes. Followed by a four disc set of early Getz.

So I guess there's a not-so light-hearted conundrum for me at the heart of this. I love Bird, and I am blown away every time I listen to his recordings, but I can't do an overdose like I can with my favourite tenor players.

S.
 

·
SOTW Administrator
Joined
·
26,208 Posts
Guess you'll have to listen to Stitt and Dex.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
192 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Guess I should stop buying 4-disc sets.

S.
 

·
SOTW Administrator
Joined
·
26,208 Posts
slobberchops said:
Guess I should stop buying 4-disc sets.

S.
Maybe try not to OD on Bird, anyway.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013
Joined
·
11,501 Posts
I guess when it comes to bop, I actually like the alto sound better than tenor. I'm probably one of the few that think Sonny Stitt sounded even more awesome on alto than tenor, if only because the voice of bop just sounds right on alto. Besides, as hakukani said, there's always Stitt and Dex, and even Getz on the JJ Johnson and Stan Getz concert album where the flavor is definitely Be Bop. If you think you might like to listen to some bop tenor, I highly recommend the Jazz Icon DVD with Dizzy Gillespie. The first concert (of two) on the DVD is with Diz and Sonny Stitt, and if you aren't a Stitt fan already, you will be after this DVD. For those out there that think it's difficult to switch between tenor and alto or vice versa, Sonny puts down his tenor and picks up his alto and immediately blows the roof off with that huge sound of his. You have to see it (hear it) to believe it. Maybe it's not the alto sound that's so hard to take, maybe it's a problem with bebop overload.:D
 

·
Forum Contributor 2008/Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,295 Posts
It's often been said that Sonny Rollins is the closest to Bird on tenor. Don't know if I'd agree, but, he is the other tenor on those early Miles dates with Bird.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,393 Posts
jrvinson45 said:
Maybe it's not the alto sound that's so hard to take, maybe it's a problem with bebop overload.:D
That's a very good point, 4 CDs of all fast paced bebop is a lot (for me anyway). One of the old sound engineer adages is that you have to take breaks to rest your ears, that's not a comment on the music, it's our abilities to continue processing such a lot of data at such speed...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
192 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
jrvinson45 said:
Maybe it's not the alto sound that's so hard to take, maybe it's a problem with bebop overload.:D
I knew you guys would be able to help. Perhaps I concentrate more when listening to bird than a tenor hard-bopper like Mobley. More going on per mile with Bird, so my brain fries quicker. I still think the pitch thing is not insignificant (I play tenor by preference, after all), though perhaps less significant than I first thought.

hmmm.

S.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Tech/Forum Contributor 2007
Joined
·
983 Posts
most of the bird stuff sounds terrible on CD, if you can check out some of the 50's verve lp reissues of the 40's stuff (trumpet label i think) the sound is much more listenable.

i'm not talking about the music, or bird's sound just the sonics of the discs. who knows what the source material is for most of these sets.

the best bird remasters i have heard are the naxos ones and they are not available in the USA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,442 Posts
FWIW, Bird did play tenor when he was first starting out, in the Earl Hines band (which I think is where he met Diz for the first time). But I think there's only a couple of very rare recordings of them, and none on CD. This was back in the early forties, before he and Diz "invented" bebop.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Do you have any more of that stuff your smoking:bom:

I guess I just can't fathom not liking alto or tenor. Or a ukelele if it's played right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Swampcabbage said:
It's often been said that Sonny Rollins is the closest to Bird on tenor. Don't know if I'd agree, but, he is the other tenor on those early Miles dates with Bird.
I think Wardell Gray is closer to Bird in spirit than Rollins. One of the things I love about Wardell, is that like Bird, he would often quote >himself<, and those quotes have become part of the bop lexicon for other players too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,525 Posts
I can understand someone not wanting to listen to Parker on alto for hours on end. For me, I would much rather listen to Cannonball for hours on end. I think it is the style, not the instrument.

I am not trying to judge which music is better; I am just saying what I like to listen to.

Many people may not want to listen to Coltrane's playing on Tenor for hours on end, either. For example:

Jimmy Cobb gave an interview for a TV special on PBS in the 1990s., when he was the only surviving artist of the "Kind of Blue" recording session. Cobb claimed that Cannonball could not stand the way Coltrane was playing during the "Kind of Blue" sessions, that Cannonball's solo on "Freddie" was an angry response to his dissatisfaction with Coltrane's playing, and that after the recording sessions were over Cannonball checked himself into a hospital with a migraine headache. I don't have any other proof of this, but after I heard Cobb's interview, I listed to "Freddie" again, and it does seem that Cannonball's solo has a little bit of the "NO, THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT" in there.

By the way, the TV special I refer to here was on the making of Jon Hendricks' vocallise cover of "Freddie the Freeloader". This version uses Bobby McFerrin, Al Jarreau, Jon Hendricks, and George Benson for the 4 solos, and it is truly marvelous.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009
Joined
·
4,567 Posts
There is some good Bird on tenor with Miles. These cuts are available On the complete Prestige Sonny Rollins. Sonny and Bird Solo side by side both on tenor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
255 Posts
mike_s said:
most of the bird stuff sounds terrible on CD, if you can check out some of the 50's verve lp reissues of the 40's stuff (trumpet label i think) the sound is much more listenable.

i'm not talking about the music, or bird's sound just the sonics...
YES! A couple of weeks ago I bought the Norm Granz Jam Sessions Box Set, and I find myself playing the Bird solos (from disc 1) over and over... very nice recording quality on this session, and you can really hear the Super 20 sonic signature...
 

·
SOTW Administrator
Joined
·
26,208 Posts
JCBigler said:
FWIW, Bird did play tenor when he was first starting out, in the Earl Hines band (which I think is where he met Diz for the first time). But I think there's only a couple of very rare recordings of them, and none on CD. This was back in the early forties, before he and Diz "invented" bebop.
Errr.... Jay McShann's band.
 

·
SOTW Administrator
Joined
·
26,208 Posts
altobeginner said:
I think Wardell Gray is closer to Bird in spirit than Rollins. One of the things I love about Wardell, is that like Bird, he would often quote >himself<, and those quotes have become part of the bop lexicon for other players too.
"I often quote myself", said hakukani, in an attempt to show how utterly cool he really is.;)
 
1 - 20 of 46 Posts
Top