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Milestones

Today's tenor players

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It seems like ever since Hawk and Lester Young emerged, the tenor sax has held the triumphant position.  Certainly we've had oodles of tenor sax players since Trane and Sonny.  Sometimes I give up for a while on the tenor.  There are just so many players out there.

But I would like to know which of today's players are most admired.  Bear in mind, I'm not much of an avant garde guy, but if that's what you want to pitch, then do it.

At the top for me these days would be Joe Lovano and Chris Potter.  But there are others that intrigue me--guys like Mark Turner, Ted Nash, and George Garzone.  I'm even starting a renewed interest in Joshua Redman, whom I set aside a long time ago, believing that it was all hoopla.

In any case, recommendations please.

 

 

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Off the top of my head, my two favorite tenor players who are still active are Billy Harper (age 75, but playing as well as ever, last I heard him maybe 2 years ago).  And Gary Thomas (age 57), who was somewhat active in the Baltimore/Washington DC area the last 15 years or so (and I've heard him live about 6 times total, but always as a sideman on other people's dates).  And he doesn't record anywhere near enough, not even as a sideman -- maybe 2-3 times in the last 15 years (unfortunately).

Far as younger guys go, I have to confess that I haven't kept up nearly as much the last 10 years, as I did the 20 years prior -- and I'll be curious to see what other names are mentioned here (good idea for a thread topic).  Ravi Coltrane is one I've enjoyed, but haven't heard enough of.  He seems (or at least seemed) to come somewhat out of the sound of Joe Henderson (more than his father), which certainly accounts for my interest.

 

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The last thing I heard from Billy Harper was on the duet album with Randy Weston, which I felt was sterling work from both men.

Ravi has intrigued me a bit, and I have enjoyed the fairly recent DeJohnette record: In Movement.

 

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Eric Alexander is my guy from the younger generation.  Harper doesn't count, he reaches back to the golden era, though it's obvious how I feel about his music :-).

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Garzone is 68!

Lovano is 65!

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I feel foolish for saying so, but I like Donny McCaslin in small doses. He's only 52.

And I'd like to see James Carter (only 49!) make up his mind.

Really, in the immortal words of Tom Waits(?), everybody I like is either dead or not feeling well.

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Age is a good thing in jazz.  Speaking for myself, there's hardly anyone under 50 that I listen to.  But a lot of jazz artists remain healthy and active at advanced ages--the late Randy Weston, Roy Haynes, Jimmy Heath, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, etc. 

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Really, it's a quandry - playing the old(er) vocabularies leads nowhere of real interest to me, and too much of today's "free" stuff sounds to me like more of the same as well. Cleaner playing, but still...

I'd like to hear a tenor player who can rattle the roof with their sound like Ayler, be as harmonically nimble as Warne Marsh, phrase as slippery as Lockjaw, and...you get the picture. Somebody who puts it all together. They gotta be out there somewhere, but if they are, I'm either waiting to hear them or else, quite plausibly, have heard them and am not remembering them right now.

But, you know, this is 2018. Life has changed in some pretty basic ways, even if the eternal truths remain so, they get manifested differently today. If I want to hear rote recitation of days past...hey, I was raised Lutheran, so, been there, done that. :)

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Silke Eberhard - but she's an alto player!!

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Billy Harper, of course. I saw an impressive tenor recently with Louis Hayes - Abraham Burton. Someone to keep an eye on, for SURE. David Sánchez can bring it, too!

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7 minutes ago, BFrank said:

Billy Harper, of course. I saw an impressive tenor recently with Louis Hayes - Abraham Burton. Someone to keep an eye on, for SURE. David Sánchez can bring it, too!

I also enjoy Abraham Burton.  Someone to keep an eye on?  He is already 46. :)

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Grant Stewart

Scott Hamilton 

Scott Robinson

Harry Allen

And as for an European tenor, primarily avant-garde but all-rounder, I would strongly recommend my fellow countryman Ernesto Aurignac.

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Eric Alexander

Grant Stewart

Scott Hamilton

Harry Allen

 

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33 minutes ago, BillF said:

Eric Alexander

Grant Stewart

Scott Hamilton

Harry Allen

 

Great minds think alike! :)

I didn’t include Alexander because he had been mentioned before, but for sure he is in my list!

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I have a fairly lengthy list of living tenor players I listen to these days. (probably forgot a few others)

Grant Stewart

Scott Hamilton

Harry Allen

Eric Alexander

Pete Christlieb

Ralph Lalama

Jerry Weldon

Mike Murley (Canadian)

Scott Robinson

Joel Frahm

Rick Perry

Bob Rockwell (American living in Europe)

Ferdinand Povel (Dutch)

Sjoerd Dukhuizen (Dutch)

Seamus Blake

 

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14 hours ago, Milestones said:

Age is a good thing in jazz.  Speaking for myself, there's hardly anyone under 50 that I listen to.  But a lot of jazz artists remain healthy and active at advanced ages--the late Randy Weston, Roy Haynes, Jimmy Heath, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, etc. 

I saw Benny Carter give a good concert in his nineties. 

Edited by medjuck

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Sonny Rollins was 25 when he recorded Saxophone Colossus.

I know, different world, different times. But that's the point, isn't it?

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13 hours ago, JSngry said:

Really, in the immortal words of Tom Waits(?), everybody I like is either dead or not feeling well.

😎 ....

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Well, Joshua Redman raised made noise (or at least got some serious attention) at a very young age.  A couple of decades of experience have turned him (I think), into somebody really worth hearing.

I guess we take David Murray for granted.  He's been around for ages, but he can be deep in the tradition and be very fiery and distinctive.

 

 

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Ingrid Laubrock

Tony Malaby

Ellery Eskelin

They too, IMO, "can be deep in the tradition and be very fiery and distinctive" (—Milestones).

Edited by bluenoter

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4 hours ago, Peter Friedman said:

I have a fairly lengthy list of living tenor players I listen to these days. (probably forgot a few others)

Grant Stewart

Scott Hamilton

Harry Allen

Eric Alexander

Pete Christlieb

Ralph Lalama

Jerry Weldon

Mike Murley (Canadian)

Scott Robinson

Joel Frahm

Rick Perry

Bob Rockwell (American living in Europe)

Ferdinand Povel (Dutch)

Sjoerd Dukhuizen (Dutch)

Seamus Blake

 

Grant Stewart and Seamus Blake are also Canadian, along with Murley.  We in Toronto have more than a few others who aren't as widely known as they should be:  Kelly Jefferson, Perry White (excellent on bari, too), Kirk MacDonald for example...

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56 minutes ago, Ted O'Reilly said:

Grant Stewart and Seamus Blake are also Canadian, along with Murley.  We in Toronto have more than a few others who aren't as widely known as they should be:  Kelly Jefferson, Perry White (excellent on bari, too), Kirk MacDonald for example...

Re talented Canadian tenors I'd also mention Ralph Bowen and Phil Dwyer.

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1 hour ago, bluenoter said:

Ingrid Laubrock

Tony Malaby

Ellery Eskelin

They too, IMO, "can be deep in the tradition and be very fiery and distinctive" (—Milestones).

Good list. Ingrid Laubrock has impressed me every time I heard her.

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