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mikeweil

Tenor Saxophone Poll

Who was the most greatest so far?   118 members have voted

  1. 1. Who was the most greatest so far?

    • Coleman Hawkins
      16
    • Lester Young
      15
    • Ben Webster
      1
    • Don Byas
      0
    • Lucky Thompson
      2
    • Dexter Gordon
      5
    • Sonny Rollins
      12
    • John Coltrane
      36
    • Stan Getz
      4
    • Joe Henderson
      1

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42 posts in this topic

Who was, in your opinion, the most influential, innovative, in short: the greatest tenor player of them all? Not necessarily your favourite, but the greatest?

Edited by mikeweil

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Probably the Hawk (just as you would have to say Louis Armstrong on trumpet), simply because he transformed the tenor from being a novelty instrument into a serious solo instrument in jazz. He has never been my favorite tenor, and never will be, but his importance could never be over-exaggerated. He was a real pioneer. I also greatly admire the fact that he did not become a "moldy fig" when the modernists came on the scene.

A close second would have to be Pres.

Without those guys, there would never have been the Tranes, Getzes etc.

My personal favorite from your list is Trane, but his importance transcends the saxophone of course.

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Lester is my favorite. If the poll concerns "influence and innovation," Hawk and Trane need to be considered along with Pres. Which of those three was more influential and innovative? Hard to say.

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Lester is my favorite.

Me too. :tup

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Only because the poll asked who was the "most influential & innovative", I had to vote for Coltrane.

But Joe Henderson is my favorite of the bunch, by a long-shot, and it was very hard not to vote for him in this poll -- but I have to give props to Trane.

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Lester Young. Who happens to be my favorite player.

Hawkins and Coltrane are very close but Lester is the ONE for me!

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I don't think there will be a lot of votes in this poll. It's too damn difficult. Hawk deserves all the praise in the world for introducing the tenor sax as a solo instrument. Prez deserves praise for showing that there's more ways of playing it than just like Hawk. Trane and Newk deserve a lot of praise for stretching the boundaries immensely.

And Lucky Thompson because I "discovered" him not too long ago and haven't heard a bad note coming from his horn. And if it is for showing the world the whole wide range of the tenor, the myriad possibilities you have with that horn when you know how to express an emotion, then Roland Kirk probably comes first of all. But what do I know, and tenor not being his sole-first instrument, nobody would ever put Kirk up in a poll like this.

Very well said John!!!

You don't know how hard it was for me to leave off Sam Rivers, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Hank Mobley, Illinois Jacquet ........

I was just curious. I like to put the hard questions ... :g

I too think that without Hawk and Prez all others wouldn't be the same. I simply think that Lester is so much more enchanting and inventive than Hawk.

Glad you like Lucky, he was my favourite before I really started to dig into Prez' work. Right now my very subjective top would be Lester Young, followed by Lucky Thompson, but during the last months I listened to Paul Quinichette a lot. But there were times when I listened to Coltrane, Mobley, Kirk or Henderson every day.

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For me, it's Pres versus Hawk. Without these two, would the others even exist?

Pres may be my favorite, but I'm inclined to go with Hawk as the greatest. Without him, I fear the saxophone may have been relegated to life as a novelty or circus amusement, like the trombone. (JUST KIDDING!)

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For me, it's Pres versus Hawk. Without these two, would the others even exist?

Pres may be my favorite, but I'm inclined to go with Hawk as the greatest. Without him, I fear the saxophone may have been relegated to life as a novelty or circus amusement, like the trombone. (JUST KIDDING!)

I'm a great believer that things happen. Had Hawk not " happened" someone else would have made music via the saxophone and it would still be a major Jazz instrument.. perhaps different in some respect, but still there . So to state that without Hawk the saxophone would have remained a novelty instrument( as most Jazz critics do ) may be a bit romantic but it is a bit silly.

BUT

Hawk was the first and had the musical ability not only to introduce the horn to the world of Jazz but to dominate its use for many years, playing alongside, and to good effect with a wide range of musicians from traditional environments to bebop and beyond.

Therefore although I prefer to listen to others Pres, Thompson etc..( maybe Hawk is too much for me :g ), he is the only one that fits the poll parameters set out by mikeweil.

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Nino Tempo.

But only with April Stevens.

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Not to be too difficult, but where's Bird? I know, I know, start my own poll B)

My favorites from the list are Joe and Prez. My picks for most influential from the list are Trane and Hawk

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Not to be too difficult, but where's Bird? I know, I know, start my own poll B)

Make that an alto sax poll, I'll vote for Bird anyway ...

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I put in my vote for the Pres. I really dig all of 'em but I was recently listening to some Lester Young while reading the short story in the book "But Beautiful" by Geoffrey Dyer and it really got to me.

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Make that an alto sax poll

OOPS, probably should have read the question a little closer. For me though, I just associate Bird as the ultimate sax player. Tenor, Alto, or whatever.

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One of those "impossible" lists (I dig 'em all) but I voted for Lester. :tup

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"Most greatest?" Ouch! the liberty taken with the grammar hurts the ear! ;)

Impossible to pick just one from this bunch. Like Rooster, my favorite is Joe Henderson, but I had to go with Newk.

Sonny Rollins was the most gifted tenor player I have ever heard. Hawk never impressed me that much.

Coltrane was pure genius. Figured he'd get all the votes, but this hasn't proven to be the case.

To me, Sonny handled the instrument with a facility that no one else has ever matched.

Joe Henderson is just pure class on the instrument.

Edited by connoisseur series500

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I'm also a big Joe Henderson fan, but I decided to pick between Trane and Sonny for the heavyweight title.

I have to admit I reach for Sonny more often than Trane, so I went with Newk. I've been listening to the RCA box lately, so maybe that swayed me- the long version of 52nd St. is amazing!

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Very easy poll for me. Coltrane by a wide margin.

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You don't know how hard it was for me to leave off Sam Rivers, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Hank Mobley, Illinois Jacquet ........

If anything, I think too many names were listed. As several others have already said, the competition for me is between Hawkins, Young, and Coltrane. I went with Hawkins only because he came first.

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"Most greatest?" Ouch! the liberty taken with the grammar hurts the ear! ;)

Blame it on my headache .... I asked B3-er to edit, but he found out he can't do it: now here's the first flaw in this brilliant board software.

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Who was, in your opinion, the most influential, innovative, in short: the greatest tenor player of them all? Not necessarily your favourite, but the greatest?

Most Influential & Innovative - in that category, I would only consider 3 - Hawkins, Young and Coltrane. I voted for Hawkins, because he was first. Yes, somebody else might have come along made the saxophone into a genuine jazz instrument, but the fact remains that he was the one who did it. Plus he continued to play so well throughout most of his career. Hawk is the man! (Had the poll been limited to the '50's and later, Coltrane, for sure. Much as I like Rollins, for every upcoming tenor player who plays in his style, there's got to be at least 10 'Trane clones.)

As far as the greatest tenor player goes, has anyone ever played the tenor better than Stan Getz? I listened to several Getz CD's on vacation, and my goodness, that man could play the tenor, flawlessly, melodically, beautifully. I think his very consistency has sometimes made me overlook his brilliance.

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I picked Hawk as well....JSngry made a very interesting point, on this, or that other board(Not BB) about how Coleman Hawkins didn't really have a "sensitive" side, which if you think about it(I hadn't til he mentioned it) makes what he did all the more amazing! :blink:

Why no Bud Freeman on this list? If this was a poll of your fav player right now, he would be my choice.... :o

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"Most greatest?"  Ouch! the liberty taken with the grammar hurts the ear!  ;)

Blame it on my headache .... I asked B3-er to edit, but he found out he can't do it: now here's the first flaw in this brilliant board software.

Who cares anymore? I'm just going dizzy watching your avatar go round and round and round! :P

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