Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Teasing the Korean

SNL Sax

38 posts in this topic

Who invented the sub-genre of sax playing that I refer to as "SNL sax," and why would anyone choose that sound?  It is the sound of square white guys who wear stupid hats yet think they are cool.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're talking about Lenny Pickett https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenny_Pickett,

then I don't know what your problem with his sound is but you should quit posturing with your head up your ass, you'll hurt yourself.  And if you're not talking about Mr Pickett, WTF are you talking about?  It's not even that I like his playing all that much, but he's a professional player who no doubt has any number of reasons for sounding the way he does, and you're being a troll.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, danasgoodstuff said:

If you're talking about Lenny Pickett https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenny_Pickett,

then I don't know what your problem with his sound is but you should quit posturing with your head up your ass, you'll hurt yourself.  And if you're not talking about Mr Pickett, WTF are you talking about?  It's not even that I like his playing all that much, but he's a professional player who no doubt has any number of reasons for sounding the way he does, and you're being a troll.

Considering the fact that I started a thread on one topic and you changed the topic to attack the OP, I would consider you the troll, but don't think twice, it's alright. 

 

And to clarify:  I am talking about a genre or sub-genre.  Not a particular player.  Because I don't listen to this style of music, I associate the style with SNL.  I doubt that anyone associated with that show created the sound. 

Edited by Teasing the Korean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

David Sanborn

"Sanborn performed with blues musicians Albert King and Little Milton at the age of 14.[4] He continued playing blues when he joined Paul Butterfield's band in 1967.[5]

Although Sanborn is most associated with smooth jazz, he explored the edges of free jazz in his youth, studying with saxophonists Roscoe Mitchell and Julius Hemphill. In 1993, he revisited this genre when he appeared on Tim Berne's Diminutive Mysteries, dedicated to Hemphill. Sanborn's album Another Hand also featured leading avant garde musicians."

And he played with Gil Evans. Anyone good enough for Gil is good enough for me. (Or do you think Gil is a square white guy with a funny hat too?) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, medjuck said:

Anyone good enough for Gil is good enough for me. (Or do you think Gil is a square white guy with a funny hat too?) 

I've never seen Gil Evans wear a hat, good or bad.

The hat reference comes from guys I've seen at jam sessions who play SNL sax.   And then I ask myself why I bothered to show up. 

I've never owned a David Sanborn record, and if that is what he sounds like, I will be sure to avoid him. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with TtK. Not enough time left in this life to waste it listening to David Sanborn. No matter who might have hired him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sanborn also worked with Prince Lasha and Odean Pope, not to mention being involved with the Night Music television program, which broke a lot of interesting artists to mainstream audiences. I have very little interest in his commercial pap but am not entirely willing to throw him out either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, clifford_thornton said:

Sanborn also worked with Prince Lasha and Odean Pope, not to mention being involved with the Night Music television program, which broke a lot of interesting artists to mainstream audiences. I have very little interest in his commercial pap but am not entirely willing to throw him out either.

Well, I don't want to discount what else he may have done, I just hate that one particular style and sound.

It is like bad jazz clubs that use a saxophone graphic for the letter "J."  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lenny Pickett can play, as can David Sanborn (who has made a few perfectly lovely Hank Crawford inspired ballad albums).

But for the record, Lenny Pickett was already a fully formed voice long before "Lenny Pickett" came on to SNL. What he plays there is just as often as not a self-caricature (or worse), but don't be fooled, the man has paid full dues and has got full cred from his TOP days, and then that side he did, Borneo Horns, whatever. Lenny Pickett put it out there for a good while, so whatever kind of coast/working- retirement thing he's doing on SNL, hey, go ahead and do that then.

Once they got past Howard Shore, SNL seems to have enjoyed having bandleaders as caricatures, who was that guy, G.E. Smith and his bass player, what was his name. Those guys both had plenty of skills, but you'd not know it by watching them on that show.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like anything, there's a whole world of experience beyond the obvious cliches. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And ok, some people might say Tower Of Power, big whoop, just a funk band, and, no, not really, but even if so for the case of argument, Lenny Pickett created his own voice within that workld that was uniquely his - and was very adept at playing long, extended solos that worked within that voice at all times. This is no small feat, trust me. anybody can play a few bars of a solos spot, anybody can play jazz licks over funk beat, but not very many people can start with Maceo Parker & then grow it out from there into other vernaculars & then end up sounding like nobody but themselves and then playing really longass solos of no small structural integrity while maintaining full contextual consistency . Plus, the cat was one helluva dancer, quite apart from all that.

"SNL Sax", yeah, fuck that. But Lenny Pickett, hey, Lenny Pickett can play.

Music is always more interesting - and generally makes more sense - when it involves people doing real things in real worlds and not just bullshitting around being dead-brained placeholders. I don't care what kind of music it is. "Lenny Pickett" as "SNL Sax", buuuuuurrrrrrrrrppp. Lenny Pickett as real world gonzo TOP tenor dancist, EX-cellent. Superior life experience even.

What happened for one to turn to the other, I don't know. But if a cat's proven his worth and then decides to go actually make the money...not always a good reason for that, but very seldom a purely bad one either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://revive-music.com/2014/07/10/masterclass-lenny-pickett-pt-1/#.V0NoS-TnX1o

Lenny on where he's coming from.  Elsewhere he's credited King Curtis and Jr Walker as influences, but who doesn't?  As for his fondness for extreme altissimo playing, well maybe just because he can.  I don't see much enuff similarity between him and Sanborn to make a sub-genre.  What he plays at the start of SNL fits that context.  Some local playing that at a jam, maybe not so much.  But ultimately, I still think TtheK is making a thing out of no-thing. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What Lenny had with TOP that he doesn't really show on the SNL bits is that real Maceo-esque ability to develop a melodic kernel through rhythmic fragmentation (and as for the content of those fragments, I hear Maceo as coming out of Fathead, and Fathead as coming out of Stitt, so...this stuff runs deep, or should/could). But the SNL band is not playing TOP fragmented grooves either, so...oh well, times change. But I'm not ever gonna be genre-shamed into minimalizing the very real love and respect that I have for Lenny Pickett.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

maybe this could be an example. 

http://picosong.com/Bxcq/

Gil Evans Orchestra 
February 20, 1984 Seventh Avenue South, New York, Ny

Shunzo Ohno, Miles Evans, Lew Soloff tp; Tom Malone tb; 
Gary Joynes ts; David Sanborn, Chris Hunter as
 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread has the potential to become ugly, but the last few posts have restored sanity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, if it's insanity that is to be the order of the day, somebody post one of those vintage videos of TOP where Lenny has the bigass 'fro and is doing that hyperactive aerobic leapdancing with a tenor in his hand.

That is not just insane, but also beautiful. That man should probably not be alive today, yet, here he is! Maybe an element of "you had to be there", but...I was.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

k2-_40ac2852-4931-4e6d-9e11-3b5b67081c00

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking if SNL, funniest skit in years...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is my favorite. 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

not a big fan of Pickett, find the music extremely dull, but the lineage, prior to King Curtis, is Jack McVea and all the old honkin' tenors from Illinois Jacquet to...well, all the old honkers, on a million records from about 1946 on.

my mind is a bit blank, but there's Sam Butera....as I said my mind is a blank, but the sound was about as common as air.

Big Jay McNeely, Hal Singer....the whole honky tonk thing with Bill Doggett (Percy France played on some of his records).

 

Edited by AllenLowe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, clifford_thornton said:

Sanborn also worked with Prince Lasha and Odean Pope, not to mention being involved with the Night Music television program, which broke a lot of interesting artists to mainstream audiences. I have very little interest in his commercial pap but am not entirely willing to throw him out either.

To be honest, I can find his alto sound to be grating at times, but not all of his stuff is smooth.  Another Hand has Charlie Haden, Jack DeJohnette, Mulgrew Miller, Joey Baron, Don Alias, Bill Frisell, Greg Cohen and Marcus Miller, among others.  Even if you have no interest in Sanborn, it's an album well worth having.  I do like Closer, which has musicians like Russell Malone, Alex Sipiagin, Bob Sheppard, Gil Goldstein. Christian McBride, Steve Gadd, Don Alias, Mike Mainieri and a solid vocal by LIzz Wright, even if there is a certain amount of slickness in the production.  I am a sucker for the song 'Tin Tin Deo', and it has compositions by Abdullah Ibrahim and Horace Silver as well.  His discs tend to pop up in the bargain bin (I got the two mentioned above for a buck each, I believe), but I wouldn't pick up one of his discs without looking at the personnel and material and gauging the schlock potential.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Advocating here for a consideration of how significant the Maceo rhythmic thing was. He didn't honk or scream or worry too many notes, what he DID do was come up with a way to play over Brown's fragmented beats that was organic to it and not just play straight line 4/4 R&B licks over it. To trace it back to Fathead, here's a good comparative sequence of his solos to follow.

  1. Funky Drummer from everywhere in the uni-damn-verse
  2. Spinning Wheel from Sex Machine
  3. That's My Desire from Soul On Top

That's moving from hard funk to jazz-funk to straight jazz, and all the while the notion of fragmented phrasing is intact, although the funkier the background, the more obvious the fragmentation becomes, and the more germane to the group rhythm it becomes.

Also, when you hear the more directly jazz things, the closer you get to Fathead, who was more hardcore eighth note jazz phrasing when playing straight-ahead, but who would have no problem playing all these little burst-phrases when it got more away from that. And similarly, the more Maceo gets into the funkier beats, the more you can hear a sort of deconstructed Fathead. Their interior dynamics of accents with those phrases share a lot as sell.

This becomes another tributary to the stream, this notion of playing off of the beat rather than honking and moaning and squealing your way all the way over the top of it. And that's an element that I hear Lenny bring to his solos in the TOP days that I really don't hear him doing now on SNL, mainly because there's not reason or place where it would make sense.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Justin V said:

To be honest, I can find his alto sound to be grating at times, but not all of his stuff is smooth.  Another Hand has Charlie Haden, Jack DeJohnette, Mulgrew Miller, Joey Baron, Don Alias, Bill Frisell, Greg Cohen and Marcus Miller, among others.  Even if you have no interest in Sanborn, it's an album well worth having.  I do like Closer, which has musicians like Russell Malone, Alex Sipiagin, Bob Sheppard, Gil Goldstein. Christian McBride, Steve Gadd, Don Alias, Mike Mainieri and a solid vocal by LIzz Wright, even if there is a certain amount of slickness in the production.  I am a sucker for the song 'Tin Tin Deo', and it has compositions by Abdullah Ibrahim and Horace Silver as well.  His discs tend to pop up in the bargain bin (I got the two mentioned above for a buck each, I believe), but I wouldn't pick up one of his discs without looking at the personnel and material and gauging the schlock potential.

Thanks - yeah, as I said, not willing to throw him out entirely but also haven't investigated too deeply. I know he knows the music and decided on a commercial path. Hearing or watching footage of him, certainly it's clear that on a certain level he "gets it" and can play.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.