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Hi all,

I'm more a tenor guy then an alto guy, but regularly hear great tenor players doubling on alto. So I thought it would be a good idea to make a thread here where you can post your favourite clip of a great tenor player performing on alto.

So let me start with Illinois Jacquet. I recently listened to some old cassettes I recorded years ago from radio broadcasts and tried to recover some of it on MP3. One of the tunes contains a great solo of Illinois on alto in "Bubbles". It was recorded on 11/01/1996 in The Netherlands at Nick Vollebregts Jazzcafe in Laren and broadcasted by the famous Dutch radio program TROS Sesjun (a weekly program that featured live jazz from 1973 to 2004). Decided to put it on Youtube with a picture-movie. I really love this alto solo because of the bluesy feel, the great sound (more a tenor then an alto sound IMO) and the great intro at 2:18. Here is the link:

- Illinois Jacquet on alto in "Bubbles": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rv1FymOlZJ0

Looking forward to other posts :)!
 

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Hmmmm... famous, eh? Well I don't know about that part. But I'm known primarily as a tenor player. Here's an old video (1985) of me on alto. I'm the taller of the two alto players and my solo starts at 2:08. The other altoist and clarinettist is the late Bob Gilbert who can be seen obsessing (as he always did) about my tuning!

 

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Thanks for posting that, Peter. I don't have a tenor player playing alto to contribute, so please allow me to comment on the Jacquet post.

I was in the band on this take of Bubbles. I think it's Jacquet's tune with the arrangement by Wild Bill Davis. For those who aren't familiar with Wild Bill, he made the legendary "One More Time" arrangement of 'April In Paris' for Count Basie.

I also played this very same arrangement tonight with the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra and I get to take the alto ride. Of course I play Jacquet's famous solo break, and I have to tell you...... IT'S BIG FUN!!! (goes up to a high F#) We have been gifted with much of IJ's band book by his wife Carol, and we are using it to carry on his legacy as well as we possibly can. I'm very proud to be the musical director of this project, and I feel that the HRO is doing a fabulous job.

IJ played alto every night on 'On The Sunny Side of the Street.' Man, his sound was really gorgeous on that one, and he featured his alto on 'Sophisticated Lady' some of the time. All the alto players in the band that I knew, Jesse Davis, Joe Caveseno, and Dave Glasser, we all really coveted Jacquet's alto sound. It really was a thing from a past era, a beautiful sound like the old steam train whistle in the night, you hear it, then it's gone. The man really had a sound.

ps. Check out Joshua Redmond in the Harvard jazz band that Jacquet's fronting in the video.

pss. I'm pretty sure that trumpet solo is by Benny Bailey. He made a European tour while I was in the band. I got to 'Meet Benny Bailey.'
 

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Hmmmm... famous, eh? Well I don't know about that part. But I'm known primarily as a tenor player. Here's an old video (1985) of me on alto. I'm the taller of the two alto players and my solo starts at 2:08.
Famous enough for me :bluewink:. Nice video, nice solo (heared some Hodges in it). Also liked the trumpet and piano. Thanks for sharing.
 

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Thanks for posting that, Peter. I don't have a tenor player playing alto to contribute, so please allow me to comment on the Jacquet post.

I was in the band on this take of Bubbles. I think it's Jacquet's tune with the arrangement by Wild Bill Davis. For those who aren't familiar with Wild Bill, he made the legendary "One More Time" arrangement of 'April In Paris' for Count Basie.

I also played this very same arrangement tonight with the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra and I get to take the alto ride. Of course I play Jacquet's famous solo break, and I have to tell you...... IT'S BIG FUN!!! (goes up to a high F#) We have been gifted with much of IJ's band book by his wife Carol, and we are using it to carry on his legacy as well as we possibly can. I'm very proud to be the musical director of this project, and I feel that the HRO is doing a fabulous job.

IJ played alto every night on 'On The Sunny Side of the Street.' Man, his sound was really gorgeous on that one, and he featured his alto on 'Sophisticated Lady' some of the time. All the alto players in the band that I knew, Jesse Davis, Joe Caveseno, and Dave Glasser, we all really coveted Jacquet's alto sound. It really was a thing from a past era, a beautiful sound like the old steam train whistle in the night, you hear it, then it's gone. The man really had a sound.

ps. Check out Joshua Redmond in the Harvard jazz band that Jacquet's fronting in the video.

pss. I'm pretty sure that trumpet solo is by Benny Bailey. He made a European tour while I was in the band. I got to 'Meet Benny Bailey.'
Thanks for the additional information Mr. sideC, really appreciate that :). Would be nice to know more about Mr. Jacquet's alto mouthpiece. From the pics it seems to be a metal (modern) Otto Link.

I think I also have some alto versions of IJ on 'Sunny Side' on one of the old cassettes. Will try to convert it to MP3 soon and post it here, when I find some time.

Benny Bailey lived in Holland in that time (1996) and played regularly with visiting USA jazz musicians, so you could be right about that.
 

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I've heard people on here saying that Chris Potter sounds great on alto. Has anybody got any links to him playing one?
He does sound great on alto. I couldn't find any links at the moment, but you can hear his alto on a couple of tracks from the Dave Holland Quintet's Extended Play two-disc live album. Make Believe and Claressence and maybe High Wire too, I remember there being a particularly fierce alto solo on one of them.
 

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I saw Chris play alto w/Red Rodney years ago in Denver. He sounded great, I wish he had continued alto as his main axe. Just a beautiful young player at that point, very inspiring, watching someone that talented deal with standing next to a guy that at his age, had stood on the bandstand next to Bird! A nice pass down through the generations kind of thing!
 

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Thanks for the additional information Mr. sideC, really appreciate that :). Would be nice to know more about Mr. Jacquet's alto mouthpiece. From the pics it seems to be a metal (modern) Otto Link.

I think I also have some alto versions of IJ on 'Sunny Side' on one of the old cassettes. Will try to convert it to MP3 soon and post it here, when I find some time.

Benny Bailey lived in Holland in that time (1996) and played regularly with visiting USA jazz musicians, so you could be right about that.

Yes, Jacquet's alto mpc was a metal Link, one of the later models. It was a 7 or a 7* facing originally, but it had been worked on by a guy in Paris. I had the same mouthpiece with the original facing, it was stuffy to the point of being unplayable, so IJ's guy must have done a good job on his.
 

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Thanks for the additional information Mr. sideC. I won't tell how my alto Link STM 9* sounds (playing alto only once a year) :bluewink:.

Back to the thread now: another favourite (bluesy) tenor player of mine who regularly doubles on alto is Red Holloway. I found two clips of him on Youtube playing alto.

The first clip is with an European group in which the tenor player seems to take the term 'Jump' jazz very literally. I'm not sure if Red plays here on his own alto. He normally sounds stronger and plays on a metal alto MPC, but in this clip he play's on a HR MPC:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQlro1vy9ko

In the second clip he plays tenor and alto in "Now's The Time". His solo and sound on tenor are killing, his alto (on a metal MPC now, starting at 7:20) sounds stronger then in the previous clip, but he seems to have some intonation problems:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FgwW72_B1o

Anyhow, I always like to hear this great master of the saxophone (tenor or alto) :).
 
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