Dan Gould

Overlooked Saxophonists

154 posts in this topic

Juhani Aaltonen, especially for his recent work on TUM

 

Good call. I recently picked up Arild Andersen's ECM box that collects his his 1970's quartet albums.  Aaltonen is on a couple of them, and he really impressed me.  I'll have to check out those more recent TUM recordings. Is there a particular one that you've enjoyed most?

 

His quartet recording 'Conclusions' is excellent as is the sextet 'To Future Memories'. Both on TUM

Thanks!  I'll check 'em out.

There's also a recent duo with overlooked Finnish pianist Heikki Sarmanto on TUM that's really excellent.

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Cleveland, Ohio's Ernie Krivda

Absolutely! Like Bennie Wallace, a truly distinct stylist who can play "in the tradition" as well as uniquely outside -- or, like, parallel to -- it.

 

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A couple of Canadians who aren't well-enough recognized:  Mike Murley and Phil Dwyer.  Oh, and Perry White and Kelly Jefferson and Alex Dean and Rick Wilkins and....  geez.  You Yanks should look up North now and then.  :D

...and Art Ellefson.

 

Attended a saxophone master class by Dave O'Higgins at which he named Phil Dwyer as one of his favorites, along with more obvious choices like Eric Alexander. Subsequently listened to this by Dwyer, which is great:

Phil-Dwyer-and-Don-Thompson-Look-For-The

Ellefson I saw when a very young man (both of us) when he was living in the UK and playing with John Dankworth.

 

Edited by BillF

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Some tenorists:

Hadley Caliman (so many years, so much being there, so much overlookedness)

Willie Maiden (so many sweetsweetSWEET tender tenor solos in Maynard's band, the one on "Come Rain Or Come Shine" is practically an invitation to weep freely)

Hugh Brodie (with Cal Massey on candid, who else was into Trane like that at that early date?)

Prince Robinson (thanks, chuck!)

Big Nick Nicholas (oh HELL yeah, big Nick BRUNG it!)

Oliver Nelson (arguably, the most arresting solos on Blues and The Abstract truth are his own)

George Garzone (not an "obvious" player, outward appearances to the contrary)

BILL BARRON

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I also very much liked George Harper with Doug Carn, Marvin Cabell with BJP and on his own solo album, and hey, how about Rudolph Johnson in general (look for him on some latter-day Ray Charles records).

Wilton Felder, not at all overlooked, but definitely under-appreciated as an individual player...or is that a different thing altogether?

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Definitely agree that Canadians Mike Murley and Phil Dwyer are overlooked / underrated.

I was in Toronto about 4 years ago and heard a set by Mike Murley and he sounded magnificent on tenor.

back when I lived in Rochester, NY I had numerous opportunities to hear Joe Romano when he would come

home to visit his mother. He played both alto and tenor at a few different clubs. i particularly thought his tenor work was outstanding.

Romano can be heard on a couple of Xanadu records led by Sam Noto. He is also on an Art Pepper 2 CD set called Live at Donte's on the Fresh Sound label. Not too many years before he died Joe put out a very fine Quintet CD titled  "This Is The Moment".

Fresh Sound released a quartet LP with Joe as leader. It also featured Frank Strazzeri on piano. Unfortunately I never have heard or even seen that album.

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Another one I just thought of is Rich Perry. He plays in the Vanguard Orchestra. I have his "So In Love" CD. I enjoy it a lot.

So in Love

Edited by Hardbopjazz

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Bill Barron is unreal.

I feel, though, like the moment one mentions an 'overlooked' player someone will come in and say that 'they' didn't overlook that player or that doesn't happen in their country, so... I'm a little unsure about who I can rightly mention except for maybe John Park.

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Definitely agree that Canadians Mike Murley and Phil Dwyer are overlooked / underrated.

I was in Toronto about 4 years ago and heard a set by Mike Murley and he sounded magnificent on tenor.

back when I lived in Rochester, NY I had numerous opportunities to hear Joe Romano when he would come

home to visit his mother. He played both alto and tenor at a few different clubs. i particularly thought his tenor work was outstanding.

Romano can be heard on a couple of Xanadu records led by Sam Noto. He is also on an Art Pepper 2 CD set called Live at Donte's on the Fresh Sound label. Not too many years before he died Joe put out a very fine Quintet CD titled  "This Is The Moment".

Fresh Sound released a quartet LP with Joe as leader. It also featured Frank Strazzeri on piano. Unfortunately I never have heard or even seen that album.

Here's a link, Peter:

RomanoJFSR108bd.jpg

Edited by marcello

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Bill Barron is unreal.

I feel, though, like the moment one mentions an 'overlooked' player someone will come in and say that 'they' didn't overlook that player or that doesn't happen in their country, so... I'm a little unsure about who I can rightly mention except for maybe John Park.

Whoa...Tony Campise perhaps, as well, but Park left less of a trace.

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22684123dz.jpg

Such a great musician. I think this might have been before he came to Europe. I remember he once showed that album someboy in the club, he had another album then with some young musicians from Germany, "Just Friends" I think was the title, more in the bop groove. I love his sound, the way he improvises , the creativity, all of it. And he's a great composer

I used to play some gigs with him when I was still very young.

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Another one I just thought of is Rich Perry. He plays in the Vanguard Orchestra. I have his "So In Love" CD. I enjoy it a lot.

So in Love

 

 

Rich Perry is a very fine player, but I don't see him as overlooked. Almost man of the moment in view of his work with the Maria Schneider Orchestra!

 

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Maybe, but as with Niehaus  (I know you love his music!), when do you ever read about him.  It would really help indeed to have some kind of definition when such threads are started, so we all could at least try and be on the same page.

 

 

And funnily the Dutch  (I think?) seem not to underrate anyone ;)

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I always think of these as akin to the old Downbeat "Talent Deserving Wider Recognition" poll question.

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John Park made that one record as a leader recorded in part at a nightspot in Texarkana, AR / TX, correct? Kenton guy?

Joseph Jarman seems to me a somewhat overlooked figure in context, especially given the trajectory of the other reed players with whom he was associated in his most active years: Roscoe, Braxton, Threadgill.

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John Park made that one record as a leader recorded in part at a nightspot in Texarkana, AR / TX, correct? Kenton guy?

Joseph Jarman seems to me a somewhat overlooked figure in context, especially given the trajectory of the other reed players with whom he was associated in his most active years: Roscoe, Braxton, Threadgill.

Yep. Park was Kenton's lead alto and soloist in '73. He had to leave because of heart problems.  He can be heard on all the Kenton CD's from '73 (including a multitude of bootlegs). He had many solos.  I have that one record he made and to me he sounds more like Cannonball on that record than he did with Kenton. Actually he might have been a little more adventurous with the big band. Apparently he was going to appear on a Stan Getz record but before it could happen he died in '79 at the age of 45.  His son Kim Park is a saxophonist as well and nearly as good as his father.

 

Speaking of Canadian players we shouldn't overlook tenor man Kirk MacDonald.

Another tenor player who I like is Pete Gallio from Texas.  

Kirk and Pete are actually quite similar - both strong Coltrane guys.

Speaking of Coltrane guys - Pat LaBarbera.

And did anyone mention Grant Stewart?

 

 

Edited by John Tapscott

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John Park made that one record as a leader recorded in part at a nightspot in Texarkana, AR / TX, correct? Kenton guy?

Joseph Jarman seems to me a somewhat overlooked figure in context, especially given the trajectory of the other reed players with whom he was associated in his most active years: Roscoe, Braxton, Threadgill.

Yep. Park was Kenton's lead alto and soloist in '73. He had to leave because of heart problems.  He can be heard on all the Kenton CD's from '73 (including a multitude of bootlegs). He had many solos.  I have that one record he made and to me he sounds more like Cannonball on that record than he did with Kenton. Actually he might have been a little more adventurous with the big band. Apparently he was going to appear on a Stan Getz record but before it could happen he died in '79 at the age of 45.  His son Kim Park is a saxophonist as well and nearly as good as his father.

 

Speaking of Canadian players we shouldn't overlook tenor man Kirk MacDonald.

Another tenor player who I like is Pete Gallio from Texas.  

Kirk and Pete are actually quite similar - both strong Coltrane guys.

Speaking of Coltrane guys - Pat LaBarbera.

And did anyone mention Grant Stewart?

 

 

Thanks. My family roots reach deep into Texarkana, and, Park's worthy playing aside, that record (IF WINTER COMES...) has always exerted a certain intrigue on me.

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Agreed; I remember seeing the cover image on here years ago and it looked really heavy. Took a while to find a copy but was glad I did - fantastic player.

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Pete's living in Seattle now, so you Pacific NW-esters, take advantage!

I saw Park a few times with Kenton, and the best I heard him play was on a dance gig (the only dance gig I ever saw a "name band" play, and a look into a world that still existed as sustenance even as it was being eradicated as statement. Sometimes there were charts, and sometimes Kenton would simply call on a player to meet a crowd request and the number would be soloist + trio. And sometimes, the Dick Shearer led trombones would chime in with improvised pad chords, with some of the players aiming towards altered tones rather obviously, and that was big fun to hear unfold, because they were all listening on the fly, big time.

Anyway, they got a request for "Stardust", Kenton called on Park, and Park grabbed a tenor. Four choruses, maybe five, of some of the damndestly fluid tenor playing I've ever heard. Not necessarily an original vocabulary, but...not always important. Just clear, lucid ideas flowing from the horn, on and on. Linear development like a mofo. Magnificent.

And then I realized, hey this was a dance date, not even advertised outside of the organization that put it on, who knows how many of these type gigs how many of thee type bands were still doing in those days, and who knows how much playing like this - wonderfully spoken delineations of familiar themes and variations that will not be recorded or enthused about because of the arena in which it was occurring - is going off into the ether?

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Brilliant recollection - glad you got to see something like that. I never did see any of those famed touring bands (a little young).

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Yeah, first live jazz I ever saw was Basie w/Lockjaw. Big Bands DID come back, and they came through as well! I was lucky enough to be around for the last breaths of several key continuums, traveling big bands being one of them. The only one I missed was Ellington, and there was an opportunity for that that fell through at the last second, dammit. But Basie, Herman, Rich, they were still touring,as real,living bands, no ghost or tribute bands, the real deals. Whole 'nother world.

another 70s ex-Kentonite who had something strong going on was Tony Campise. Exponentially more flamboyant than Park, but equally personal, if you can allow for a personal variant on Rahsaan, which I think you can, because past Kirk's multi-horn world (or more accurately, deep at the roots of it) was a unique phrasing and harmonic sense made possible by the circular breathing, all of which Campise picked up on and took to heart. His flute playing was overtly mimicry, but his sax work...it would take a while to sink in where this guy was coming from, but once it did, it was oh, wow, nobody else is really hearing things like this, through this lens, ain't that a bitch! There's some YT clips of Campise playing with local bands in his later days, and they are "nice", but with Kenton...he was fired up with Kenton, let's put it that way. RIP.

Another seriously overlooked player is John Board. As far as I know, the only jazz record he made was with Sonny Stitt, that DJ's Lounge side. But holy shit, this cat...just a BEAUTIFUL player in every regard, one of the most beautiful, really. Chops and FLAYVA,, lots of flayvah, Lots.

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I have heard of Campise but never really done the homework. Don't know Board at all. In fact, I probably need to listen to more Sonny Stitt; love him on that Art Blakey Quartet on Impulse, and Salt & Pepper is solid too. I had one with Robin Kenyatta and Rufus Harley at one point, but it wasn't really what I was looking for musically at the time.

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