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Ten Most Influential Jazz Saxophonists!

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  • Ten Most Influential Jazz Saxophonists!

    When Adolphe Sax made the first saxophone in 1841, he could never have imagined how popular it would become.  As the guitar is the main instrument of rock
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor,

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  • #2
    I don’t know how you define and measure influence but I don’t know how Dexter Gordon isn’t on that list.
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    • #3
      No Stanley Turrentine either. Tough list - I guess I forgot how many greats there were (including Dexter Gordon).


      • #4
        I don’t believe any names are needed after Lester Young and Johnny Hodges because they literally created the styles you hear in every tenor and alto player who came later. That doesn’t mean I don’t love others it just means I recognize where those later great players went to “school.”
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        • #5
          You include Grover Washington Jr but leave off Joe Henderson? This is a click bait list.

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          • 1morerecord2clean
            1morerecord2clean commented
            Editing a comment
            If influence is the criteria I stand by what I said Kenny Boy. Ask any player with some years behind him. I think they will echo my thought. Even the great Ben Webster said his biggest influences were Young and Hodges

          • MylesBAstor
            MylesBAstor commented
            Editing a comment
            Read Norman Granz's biography to find out why The Prez was Webster's biggest influence! But I certainly have no issues with Parker and Coltrane and Coleman.

        • #6
          It's a good list. Five (maybe six) of them would be on my top ten for sure. I think I would replace,
          Getz, Bechet, Dolphy, Washington...with
          Hodges, Turrentine, Webster, Shorter

          Last edited by tom_hankins; 11-17-2017, 04:54 AM.
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          • #7
            Stan Getz, really? For going latin to sell records?
            I'd include Paul Desmond for his unique style that I've heard from no one else. But then the key word is 'influential' and he may not have influenced those who came after. I just liked that alto sound that seems to flow so effortlessly.

            And I suppose we are limited to those on record. I don't get how Grover Washington Jr. got on the list. I thought he was a hack.
            As noted above, Stanley Turrentine should be on it.

            Wayne Shorter,,,,,there's a sax player that could keep up with M. Davis. And I still can't get 'footsteps' out of my head to this day.

            Who is this Nathaniel Hood anyway. Must be a youngster.



            • #8
              Didn't realize how young most of them were when they died. Not a big jazz fan, but I am beginning to realize how important the saxophone has been to jazz. Larry
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              • #9
                Thanks for sharing this Myles. Being a Rollins guy, it was nice to see him on the list. I have to agree with many of the above comments. Hard to limit to just 10.


                • #10
                  Certainly my favorite 10 jazz sax men differs somewhat from that list, as many people’s will. But as for influential - I can’t really argue with the picks. Some I don’t know quite well enough to argue against. I certainly PREFER Ben Webster, Paul Desmond, and Dexter Gordon to several on that list...but that’s just me.
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                  • #11
                    I would have made the list 15 or 20 members long. I don't think Grover Washington was one of the top 10, but hey, it's all subjective.


                    • #12
                      A list of influential saxophone players should be done by saxophone players. I am aware of Sonny Rollins respect for Coleman Hawkins but was surprised by Kenny G being influenced by Grover Washington Jr. For that reason alone Washington Jr. should be taken off this list. My opinion of course. Also I don't play the sax but I have struggled with the guitar and play poorly.