Sam "The Man" Taylor. Anything with his name on it.
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Here are a few of my favorites, all of which are/were great players that have been overlooked to varying degrees by today's listeners. I have not included some players on the list below -- for example, Ben Webster, Art Pepper, Phil Woods, Dexter Gordon, Gerry Mulligan, Cannonball Adderley, Joe Lovano, Branford Marsalis, etc. -- since I think their names are reasonably well known.
Here's a partial list of lesser known "giants of sax", with names are listed randomly as I think of them:
Sonny Stitt; Wayne Shorter; Don Byas; Don Lanphere; Johnny Hodges; Paul Gonsalves; Zoot Sims; Al Cohn; Warne Marsh; Lee Konitz; David Murray; Frank Morgan; Lucky Thompson; Bud Shank; Chu Berry; Paul Quinichette; Ricky Ford; Paquito D'Rivera; Ike Quebec; Steve Lacy; Jane Ira Bloom; Chico Freeman; Von Freeman (Chico's father); Kenny Garrett; Johnny Griffin; Jackie McLean; Richie Cole; Stanley Turrentine; Gene Quill; Hank Mobley; Jan Garbarek; Oliver Lake; Hamiett Bluiett; Frank Wess; Pharaoh Sanders; Charles Lloyd; Rahsaan Roland Kirk; and probably another 30-40 that I can't think of right now.
Byfo, was that Bob Mintzer playing on the Yellowjackets album Four Corners? Whoever that was, I liked their sax work A LOT.
I liked Paul Carman's work on Sandy Owen's Themes in Search of a Movie.
Although he's well known, I liked Branford Marsalis' work on the soundtrack for the movie The Russia House.
And, Coltrane is one of my all time faves.
SDcampbell that's a pretty good list. David Liebman is a giant. Benny Carter should be considered a giant. Ernie Watts is the most underrated player on my list. Joshua Redman is a great player but he's already highly rated. Vincent Herring and Antonio Hart sounds like Cannonball but they're great players. Lenny Pickett plays up high better than anyone I've heard. Greg Osby I appreciate for his unique play. There are many players that are enjoyable to listen to.
Some of these might be less than lesser known, but they've all done some **&%$##!!!!! great stuff:
Carlo Acto Datis
Ron Aspery, (Back Door)
Peter Brotzmann (sometimes kinda harsh)
George Cartwright, (Curlew)
Klaus Dapper, (Kollektiv)
Elton Dean, (Soft Machine)
John Gilmore (Sun Ra)
Kurt McGettrick (Zappa)
Scott Rosenberg (Red, Owe cd)
He's only got a handful of CD's out but I believe we'll be hearing a lot more of him. I picked up a CD of his in a bargain bin, 'Journey Together'. He does a version of "We'll Be Together Again" that absolutely turned me into an instant fan. Extremely lyrical musician. Worth every bit of the $7 I gave for it.
Duane took most of the good ones, but I thought of another few
Patrick Cress (bay area local)
Rudresh Mahanthappa (plays with Vijay Iyer)
David S. Ware
ALBERT AYLER (last but probably most important)
Ejlif.. whoa that's some great stuff!!
Here's some more to throw on the fire:
Aaron Bennett, (Go Go Fightmaster)
Edgar Hoffmann, (Embryo)
Kalaparush Maurice McIntyre
Tobias Delius (The Heron, w/Han Bennink !!!)
David Jackson, (Van der Graaf Generator)
Co Streiff, (Qattara is a good start)
Claudio Fasoli, (Perigeo)
Klaus Doldinger, (early Passport)
Johannes Pappert, (Kraan)
George Khan (Mirage, Solid Gold Cadillac)
Mark Harris, (Thinking Plague)
Gilbert Artman, (Urban Sax)
Jindra Dolansky, (Uz Jsme Doma)
Diego Marion, (Trio Poursuite)
Phil Bancroft, (Trio AAB)
Mark Gilbert, (Chainsaw Jazz, Vector)
Skerik, (Critters Buggin')
This could cause a vessel to bust. It's already chewed up some listening time, but really shouldn't leave out:
Dick Heckstall Smith, (Colosseum)
Pablo Garcia, (Kre')
Yves Duboin, (Dr. Nerve)
Edward Capel, (Blast)
Naruyoshi Kikuchi, (Tipographica)
Dave Newhouse, (Muffins)
Tore Brunborg, (Jon Balke, Masquelero)
One of my favorites over the last 50 years is Lennie Niehaus. Made some excellent recordings for Contemporary Records in the 50s which have been released on CDs. Lennie lead small groups and spent some time as the Alto Saxophone lead with Stan Kenton. Lately, he composed the sound track for "Bird" and other films.
Here are some from Africa:
Bheki Mseleku--South Africa
Kippie Moeketsi--South Africa
Basil `Mannenberg` Coetzee--South Africa
West Nkosi--South Africa
Dudu Pukwana --South Arica
Some others overlooked:
Pee Wee Ellis--UK
Many more,but these are the ones that come to mind.
Great stuff! Of these lesser knowns, which are seminal recordings? Don't relist more than a half dozen with titles for the rest of us to check out... Here are a few more sax fiends with a recommended title:
Jimmy Giuffre - Fusion
Buddy Tate - Texas Twister
Pony Poindexter - Gumbo!
Bill Perkins - Journey to the East
Arnett Cobb - Jumpin' at the Woodside
Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis - Trane Whistle
Anymore and I'm entering into the arcane...
Seems like a good idea Islandear, recommendations/ descriptions of recordings probably are a little more useful than a simple listing of sax players names.
Kollektiv- Kollektiv: Mostly floating hallucinatory jazzrock, some of my favorite electric sax is on track 2, there's a fair amount of flute here too. All the tracks have very memorable riffs and melodies.
John Coltrane/Archie Shepp- New Thing At Newport: For me the Shepp on this one is a real landmark. The way the Sax, Bass, Vibes and Drums fit together is very satisfying. Alot of excellent jazz records just aren't as good as this one, (at least 4 bobbing heads).
Evidence-Musique de Thelonious Monk: Sax, Electric Bass, Drums may not be the most conventional line up to take on Monk, but the players are all very well informed and sensitive to what the compositions offer. This disc makes it obvious that Monk was a giant.
Ken Vandermark-Design In Time: One reed player/two drummers,(Roberet Barry from Sun Ra is one of them) cover tunes by Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler, Monk and Vandermark. Amazingly some of the writing that will stick with you the most is by Vandermark.
Back Door-Back Door: A Sax, Bass and Drums trio from the early 70's. Beautifully put together compositions w/ lots of interlocking parts. Some tunes have a cool military cartoon vibe that won't let go of yer' head.
Charles Papasoff-Papasoff w/Carroll/DeBriano/AkLaff: A fantastic (baritone, soprano sax and flute) test disc, but more importantly the playing is really inspired. If you see that Debriano (Bass) and AkLaff (drums) are on the disc it's gonna be good.