Pick your favorite, and tell me why...

I am searching for artists/recordings to add to my library. I love the sound of the tenor sax. (I played in high-school) Presently, I only have CD as a source, so let's not explore vinyl options because I have no extra $$$ to spend on an analog front end right now. I am leaning towards blues/jazz .

Norris Turney - Big, Sweet, & Blue, Mapleshade is the label.
Charles Lloyd *All my relations* Would be a very nice place to start. This guy lights up a sax and smokes it for sixty minutes or so.
Coleman Hawkins encounters Ben Webster (Verve Master Edition) with Oscar Peterson, Herb Ellis, Ray Brown and Alvin Stoller. You want blues/jazz, this 1957 recorded cd is what it's all about!
An XRCD2 by Jacintha "Autumn Leaves"-- The Music of Johnny Mercer, is the best CD recording I have ever heard, and the music is great too. My new "standard" for female vocals. Cheers. Craig
Tenor saxophone is a pretty broad category. Ben Webster, Illinois Jacquet, Dexter Gordon, Stan Getz, Zoot Simms, Sonny Stitt, Gene Ammons, Johnny Griffin, Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson, Charles Lloyd, John Coltrane, and about a hundred more excellent musicians. Kind of like asking for recommendations of piano players. Where do you start? I would recommend picking up a Jazz guide from a local bookstore and picking up a few of what they recommend. You can then expand your search based on whether you agree or disagree with their tastes.

My personal favorite saxophone player is Art Pepper. Of course, he was a master of the Alto Sax, but I don't think you want to limit yourself to the tenor. He also played a mean clarinet. Let me reiterate, Art Pepper was a musical genius and you should seek out any and all of his recordings.
Thanks for the suggestions so far, and Herman, I am in fact waiting for the book suggested by sdcampbell in the Jazz primer post. Looking forward to exploring it all, but am really a sax fan.
norah jones 'come away with me' blue note records

check out mosaic records website, they reissue classic jazz recordings in cd format, also vinyl but not as much it seems. just received miles davis 'complete plugged nickel' on 180g vinyl from analog masters and it is stunning. i think their cd reissues will be of equal caliber, albeit digital.
As already noted, there are a lot of fine tenor sax players, and I could supply a list of 100 or more. However, I have a recommendation for a player that is new to me, who was mentioned on a post several days ago. His name is Bob Kindred, and he is featured on an excellent new Mapleshade release with pianist Larry Willis. The album title is "Gentle Giant of the Tenor Sax" (09032). Kindred has a superb tone -- very reminiscent of Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins, but with overtones of more modern players such as Coltrane, Joe Henderson, and Joe Lovano. The audio quality on the recording is also first-rate. If your buy 4 or more recordings online directly from Mapleshade, their CD's sell for $9.60 each. For more info, go to Mapleshade's Web site: www.mapleshaderecords.com
Illinois Jacquet "Birthday Party"
If you don't have the Johnny Hartman/John Coltrane Cd.....well, you should.

Best, Jim
Monk/Trane 2 LP set on Fantasy. Yes, John Coltrane and Thelonius Monk. Nuff said.
"Turning Point" album of John Mayall. Best sax I've heard...
Why? 'Cause it's so damn cool...
Rosstaman, spent the day listening to that Hawkins encounters Webster CD and all I can say is Wow! I am really loving that smooth sound and want more if I can find it. I can't seem to get the disc out of the CD player! Thanks so much. As for some of the other suggestions, I am ordering from Mapleshade in the morning, I just need to pick a few others so I can order over 4 discs. Is this fun or what? Oh, are you all getting these XRCD's in a regular store like Tower Records, or are you ordering them on the net?
Yes, it is a classic. There's a compilation cd called Saxophone Anthology on BMG (RCA Victor) label. It's not an audiophile quality recording, but it gives you a great variation of sax players such as:Sidney Bechet, Benny Carter, Paul Desmond/Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz, Coleman Hawkins, Johnny Hodges, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, Zoot Sims, Ben Webster, Lester Young and other great sax players of yesteryear. This cd can give you a good taste of some of the great sax players. You can then decide on which ones you'd like to pursue. As for current sax players, you may want to check out, Austin Backalley Blue by Sweetman with his South Side Groove Kings, on the Wildchild (Mapleshade) label. Stepping away from saxophone players, one of my very favorite jazz cd's is Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington: The Great Summit on Roulette Jazz (Blue Note) Label. This 1961 remaster is incredible. The music is great and the recording quality is excellent.
Happy listening.
Dexter Gordon "our man in paris".
As a tenor player myself Dexter is my favorite player for his tone and feeling. This particular record (er CD) is full of great tunes. If you buy this CD and don't like it I'll eat my sax (I'm so confident you'll love it).

Another great player is Sonny Rollins. Try to pick up his first blue note album ... I think it's self titled.
Check out Over The Rainbow XRCD. It's only a floor bass and tenor(?) sax. Very dynamic. There's a spot or two where you'll almost jump out of your seat if your system has good dynamic headroom.

I think you can still find this cd on fimpression.com

How about Antholoygy of/to(?) Grover Washington. For a 20+ year old recording, you should be pretty impressed with it's sound quality.
Check out Eric Alexander, whether it's his CD's or other folks. He plays on many others albums.
QUESTION: What's the difference between a saxophone and a lawn mower?

ANSWER: Vibrato.

QUESTION: What's the definition of a gentleman?

ANSWER: Someone who can play the saxophone....and doesn't!
Thanks so much Will for your informative and constructive suggestions.

Always happy to oblige, Mike.