Distinguished SOTW Member
Alto: YAS-62S Conn Trany 6M Jupiter JAS-868 JAS-769 / Tenor: YTS-23 & 52 P. Mauriat 66R Holton 241
That's true! I play first alto saxophone since more than 20 years and I think the second saxophone parts are way more challenging than the first alto parts, I the mood is a clear example of that. Also, it's very difficult to make these parts to sound nice far more difficult than to make the first alto parts to sound nice.And if you play "In the Mood", the 2nd alto part is the hardest of all the parts.
I remember a couple times being 3 altos the director preferred to duplicate alto 2 instead alto 1, that's because the importance of the alto 2 part in the section voicing/colour.
Playing alto 2 you can have "your moment" when playing themes with improvised solos. The trumpet 2 player is usually who plays the improvised solos, while the trumpet 1 player has a better register and a more solid playing.