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We've all listened to great jazz musicians, but which one had the biggest influence on your playing? My biggest influence was Paul Desmond. He was very melodic and had he most beautiful sound. What impressed me the most about his improv's was what he didn't play. He was like a sculptor but used an alto sax instead of chisel. Every solo sounded like a masterpiece to me.
 

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I'd have to say everyone of them. I couldn't pick one out in particular because each of the greats - Coltraine, Bergonzi, Gordon, Young etc has something to say to me.
 

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Both directly and indirectly Charlie Parker. Without question.

Bird was one of the first cats I listened to along with Maynard Ferguson (live at Jimmy's), Count Basie, Brecker, Wynton/Branford Marsalis, and Grover. Still listen to all of them quite a bit, and got really into Rollins and Trane, but Bird is the biggest influence.

Rollins, Trane, Dexter, Ammons, Cannonball...a lot of Bird influence in all of their playing.....
 

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Don Kubek
 

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odysseus, do you realise this is already some kind of SOTW record? This is the longest I have seen a thread go that specified a singular answer that didn't already have several posters give a laundry list of their favourite whatevers. Amazing.

Miles
 

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WOW! Tuff question,... I mean real tuff. I'm just gonna list the top six Jazz musicians who has had an impact on my short life. Here goes: Antonio Hart (Alto), Maceo Parker (Alto), Joe Farrell (Tenor), Eddie Harris (Tenor), and Mickey Fields (a Tenor giant from Baltimore, MD). Oh yeah,... Charlie Covington, another Baltimore grown influence for me. For those not familiar, Mr. Covington is just a monster Jazz Pianist,... a real and honest genius. Geez, that's seven! Oh well! No where near really answering the question I know!

More on Covington: http://www.kennedy-center.org/explorer/artists/?entity_id=9960&source_type=B
 
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