Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,313 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I grew up on Dixieland. The styles that first influenced me were the Condon New York recordings of the 1950s and the west coast studio sounds of Matty Matlock et al, most notably the Pete Kelly's Blues recordings.

Tenor sax was often used in those days, but it seems to have fallen out of favor in contemporary Dixie bands, which tend to favor the traditional cornet, clarinet, trombone front line—and sometimes soprano sax instead of clarinet.

It got me thinking about the prominent Dixie tenor players from that era and beyond, and I am trying to list them strictly from memory.

Eddie Miller
Bud Freeman

...at which point my memory shuts down. CRS. Surely there are many more.
 

·
Forum Contributor 2010, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
5,076 Posts
I know he was primarily a clarinetist, but didn't Jimmy Strong play tenor sometimes? And with Beiderbecke: Jimmy Hamilton. Others with Beiderbecke too, and others with early Armstrong: I'm blanking at the moment, but I'll dredge up another name or two.
 

·
Forum Contributor 2010, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
5,076 Posts
How about this (Canadian dixieland!):

Jimmy (James Douglas) Davidson, 'Trump' after ca 1936. Cornetist, singer, arranger, b Sudbury, Ont, 26 Nov 1908, d there 2 May 1978. A pioneer and popularizer of jazz in Canada, he played trumpet at 12 with the Canadian Legion Band in Sudbury and ca 1925 formed the Melody Five, one of the earliest jazz-styled groups in Canada. Moving to Toronto, he worked 1929-36 with Luigi Romanelli (first as a singer, then as a cornet soloist and arranger, and occasionally as a baritone saxophonist) and briefly in 1935 with Rex Battle's dance band.

Ted or Teddy (Frank Sterling) Davidson (b Sudbury, 21 Jun 1914, d Toronto 7 Aug 1983) also played tenor saxophone and sang with his brother's chief competitor, Bert Niosi, in Toronto. In the years after Trump's death, he enjoyed some celebrity as one of the city's veteran jazzmen, playing at the club Bourbon Street alongside his US contemporaries Vic Dickenson and Yank Lawson in 1979 and 1980 respectively.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,313 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
baylistenor said:
Bud Freeman was the Brecker of 1933 .
Miles mentions Freeman favorably in Miles's autobiography. I think more than once. I got to play piano with Freeman in a jazz festival many years ago. It was captured on video and I have a DVD of it somewhere around here. A very nice man.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
624 Posts
Bud Freeman is one of the greatest jazzers who ever lived, imo. Buds tenor playing just defies categorization. It swings so much, I love his gritty tone and brilliant ideas, and his facility on tenor sax is phenomenal. I have a cd called "California Session" recorded in 1982 where Bud is playing his 10M at the ripe age of 76! He sounds just as confident and swingin' as when he played in the 30's and 40's.

I guess unfortunately no one attempted dixieland on tenor sax like Bud did, like with Eddie Condon. Eddie Miller is good too but I think he sounds pretty similar to Bud.

It is interesting though that the tenor (and alto) sax was more relegated to big band and swing in that era. Perhaps sax was reserved more for the ballroom type events with it's smoother, more refined quality compared with the more squirrelly jazz clarinet tone that more defines the original dixieland sound?
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top