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Actually upon further reflection I agree that all of this is meaningless horseback riding since Jazz is dead for all intents and purposes.

Yeah, I was thinking about this lately, and it's deader than it ever was now that jazz fusion, the last real historical progression of jazz on the timeline that wasn't a revival, is essentially dead, too--with nothing else replacing it on the continuum.

While at the library recently I was looking at this coffee table book called Photography of the Jazz Greats, or somesuch, which was published in the late 80s or early 90s. And in addition to photographs of the usual suspects (Miles, Bird, Trane, etc.) this book was also apparently a vehicle for and showcased many of the top fusion acts of the day, with many pics of Metheny, Chick Corea, etc.--apparently done I suppose to sell more books.

But who would be the exciting young lions in such a book published today that a sufficient percentage of the populace would have even heard of and that would make such a book more economically viable (not that too many books like this are even being published anymore period--which goes along with my point)? And that's when it dawned on me--at least up until the early to mid 90s, jazz fusion was still alive and could be traced in a straight line all the way to Armstrong in that it was an outgrowth of innovations of traditional jazz artists like Miles in the late 60s.

And as such, it appears that most of the jazz being consumed today is essentially one big revival (i.e. museum piece) composed of different varieties of earlier styles rather than a direct extension from the original historical sequence--whether it's the Scott Hamilton/Harry Allen crowd or the guys in NYC clubs still carrying the torch for Coltrane with their overuse of split tones and altissimo, etc.

Kind of like baseball has become--not really something that people watch that much anymore but like to keep around for nostalgia and to make everyone feel good about not abandoning what once made this country great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
And as such, it appears that most of the jazz being consumed today (what little of it there is) is a revival (i.e. a museum of sorts) of earlier styles and traditions moreso than an extension stemming from the original historical sequence.
I don't know... Does everything have to be "consumed" exponentially in order to be meaningful ? I just enjoy listening to the stuff, playing whatever my skills are up to, and maybe developing somewhat. Success does not necessarily equal sales to me. I like a lot of records that never topped the charts. Of course to those making a living on jazz, it's a different thing, and I very much look up to anyone actually pulling this off.

Europe has its tradition of classical music. It doesn't have to sell in order to be meaningful. To me, neither does jazz, although I wish it sold more.
 

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If you're saying that jazz has become like classical--another music that is essentially dead in that it is mostly retrospective in terms of its composers and works (perpetually in revival status)-- than you've just proved my point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
If you're saying that jazz has become like classical--another music that is essentially dead in that it is mostly retrospective in terms of its composers and works (perpetually in revival status)-- than you've just proved my point.
Music is never completely dead as long as a living person is playing it. Persons and egos are a different thing.

Also, similarly to age racism, there is an analogy in appreciation of music and arts - if it has a history, it's worth nothing. Right ? Wrong. But now, I'm pretty far from the original topic. BTW, the term "classical" is elusive. Things once modern are turning more "classical" as we speak, there's a continuum and and an audience...
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
It'll take me some time to check all of these out, but, for one, that was a nice Love Supreme from Frank Fontaine, one of the better ones I've heard lately...
 

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If you're saying that jazz has become like classical--another music that is essentially dead in that it is mostly retrospective in terms of its composers and works (perpetually in revival status)-- than you've just proved my point.
Music is never completely dead as long as a living person is playing it.
That sounds really cool and idealistic on paper, but at the end of the day the music industry is a business like any other, and considering that jazz CD sales have fallen 80 percent since 2001, there has to be a profit there or the industry will pull the plug on it. As warm and fuzzy as your statement may make some on here feel, companies do not produce CD's out of the goodness of their hearts to keep the music we all love alive--they need to make money to survive.

And historically it has been recordings that have created the heroes/idols that attract new blood to the field on a widespread basis. Without that component, I'm afraid the descent would be even swifter. Even now it seems like New York is about the only place in the U.S. where you could say that jazz has even close to a healthy pulse. In Chicago, for example, Joe Segal's Jazz Showcase--in business for 50 years--had to move because it could no longer afford the rent at its pricey River North location, and though the new S. Loop location is nice, I can't imagine they're making much of anything and have noticed that they're not getting the top acts like they used to (perhaps because the Potters and Redmans decided that they couldn't fill enough seats there anymore--again, that old detail called money seems to get in the way sometimes ;)).

It could be that you are too close to it, as they say, so maybe you don't see the full extent of the decay.

But on a side note, I think all of this kind of underscores that I had some difficulty even coming up with 20 Top jazz sax players; whereas if asked to do this in 1964 it might have been challenging to edit the list down to 20 names. ;)
 

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. . .
2. Age racism ? Nah. The reason I asked about younger-gen players is that I've long been convinced by Golson and Lateef & co and they're in my shelf and shuffle list. Younger ones I just haven't heard of. Respect and more gigs for the veterans.
. . .
PS. Do you guys really read the posts before you reply to them with a rant ? . . .
I read the posts rather carefully IMO before replying with what you may regard as a rant. Now let me ask you a question: Do you always disavow responsibility for your own words and denigrate polite and reasonable criticism so rudely?

I'll stand by my words. How about you?
 

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Just to add a couple more names (not participating in any sort of "rant") ...

Miguel Zenon
David Binney
Vincent Herring
Eric Alexander
Walter Smith III
Jon Gordon
Tim Green
Jon Irabagon
Quamon Fowler
Antonio Hart
Jaleel Shaw
Jim Snidero
Dave Pietro
Seamus Blake
Chris Cheek
George Garzone
Jason Marshall
Luis Hernandez
Tim Ries

....... I could go on for DAYS. Those were just some names that popped into my head. I had limited myself to 20 seconds to type those names, just to keep myself from typing all night long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
. . .
I read the posts rather carefully IMO before replying with what you may regard as a rant. Now let me ask you a question: Do you always disavow responsibility for your own words and denigrate polite and reasonable criticism so rudely?

I'll stand by my words. How about you?
My only intent was to find some new music to listen to, not to put myself or anyone else on trial. Sorry if I insulted someone's feelings, and thanks for the interesting names and nice music you all posted.

I think I did explain myself on the point that you read as age racism. At 41 and doing a day job dominated by even younger yuppies, I can't be much of an age racist :D .

And maybe the "rant" was a bad choice of words not even directed at yourself. Maybe people took the playful topic too seriously labeling it "stupid". I wasn't looking for scientific facts, but just music. Everyone has his own "list".

And as Swingtone pointed out, it's not an easy task suddenly coming up with even 20 maybe lesser known names these days....

Peace,

TuneUp
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Just to add a couple more names (not participating in any sort of "rant") ...

Miguel Zenon
David Binney
Vincent Herring
Eric Alexander
Walter Smith III
Jon Gordon
Tim Green
Jon Irabagon
Quamon Fowler
Antonio Hart
Jaleel Shaw
Jim Snidero
Dave Pietro
Seamus Blake
Chris Cheek
George Garzone
Jason Marshall
Luis Hernandez
Tim Ries

....... I could go on for DAYS. Those were just some names that popped into my head.
Thanks Andrew.

I had limited myself to 20 seconds to type those names, just to keep myself from typing all night long.
You got it.
 

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Trad jazz is pretty much withering on the vine--even moreso than it was 5 or 10 years ago, or any other earlier time when it was proclaimed dead. Jazz CD sales are down 80 percent since 2001...and since those who remain are doing their own non-trad things (e.g. Potter's Underground, etc.) it's hard to define anyone as "mainstream" (unless you're talking smooth jazz of course. :D).

But on the sax I'd say it's still the same top guys that it's been for a while:

1. Branford Marsalis
2. Joshua Redman
3. Chris Potter
4. Ravi Coltrane
5. Eric Alexander
6. Joe Lovano
7. Donny McCaslin
8. Kenny Garrett
9. Eric Marienthal
10. David Sanborn
11. Benny Golson--yeah, at age 80, he's got a new CD out....

http://www.amazon.com/New-Time-Tet-...=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1255734813&sr=8-1

So if pressed to name the best, my money's on Golson....
So what about Sonny Rollins, Jan Garbarek, Yusef Lateef, Steve Coleman, Jerry Bergonzi, Steve Grossman, Ernie Watts, and, and, and...
Just think about how many great players there are and you'll realise how stupid these lists are.
If that's the way you feel, if you're going to imply that anyone's stupid then why not reserve that term for the person who asked for the list of top players? In any field of endeavor, TOP implies the highest level of success, which almost always implies those who are both 1) the most famous and 2) earn the most. This isn't rocket science. :TGNCHK:

But since someone brought up golf, here's an analogy for you. When looking at records and other accomplishments (earnings, etc.), Jack Nicklaus may very well have been the top pro golfer of all time. But even though he is still alive he would not be considered among the TOP pro golfers in the year 2009 because he is no longer active on the pro circuit in the big tournaments that matter.

Likewise, even though many of the pro saxophonists you mentioned who are still with us may have been at the top of their game back in the 1960s, they are not as active today and so no longer at the TOP of their profession in terms of actively touring, CD sales, etc. Now if you had asked this question back in 1965, then yes, many of them would have been considered top performers for all the reasons given, but not in the year 2009.
Read my post again. Nowhere did I say anyone is stupid. I said making lists like this is stupid.
Also, some players that we regard today as great were not necessarily the most famous or making a lot of money in their time. But today we rank them as top players. There's no easy definition for succes in art.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Your personal top list of practicing, maybe lesser known jazz sax players?

Renamed the topic :D
 

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Just to add a couple more names (not participating in any sort of "rant") ...

Miguel Zenon
...
Tim Ries

....... I could go on for DAYS. Those were just some names that popped into my head. I had limited myself to 20 seconds to type those names, just to keep myself from typing all night long.
Thanks for the names. Several I don't know of. Please add some more. A few more minutes of your time would be much appreciated.
 

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. . .
I read the posts rather carefully IMO before replying with what you may regard as a rant. Now let me ask you a question: Do you always disavow responsibility for your own words and denigrate polite and reasonable criticism so rudely?

I'll stand by my words. How about you?
My only intent was to find some new music to listen to, not to put myself or anyone else on trial. Sorry if I insulted someone's feelings, and thanks for the interesting names and nice music you all posted.

I think I did explain myself on the point that you read as age racism. At 41 and doing a day job dominated by even younger yuppies, I can't be much of an age racist :D .

And maybe the "rant" was a bad choice of words not even directed at yourself. Maybe people took the playful topic too seriously labeling it "stupid". I wasn't looking for scientific facts, but just music. Everyone has his own "list".

And as Swingtone pointed out, it's not an easy task suddenly coming up with even 20 maybe lesser known names these days....

Peace,

TuneUp
TuneUp,

Thanks very much for that. I really appreciate it.

Peace to you too.

LampLight
 

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Maybe I missed something? Where is Charles Lloyd? I know he isn't dead... As far as living 'greats' he would have to be in this list. Or maybe the list you are looking for are "smooth jazz" artists. ???
 

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"Mainstream" ?

I must be missing something. Most of the names mentioned so far wouldn't (and many haven't) even come close to filling Yoshis -- the premier jazz venue in the San Francisco Bay Area with an audience capacity of under 300...........
 

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"Mainstream" ?

I must be missing something. Most of the names mentioned so far wouldn't (and many haven't) even come close to filling Yoshis -- the premier jazz venue in the San Francisco Bay Area with an audience capacity of under 300...........
What does filling some club have to do with being the greatest mainstream jazz musician???
Kenny G can fill a concert hall but that doesn't make him the greatest ever does it?
 
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