Tag Archives: Playlists

Michael Brecker’s Pop Sax

The late, great Mike Brecker is regarded by many, (including myself) as probably the greatest virtuoso on the saxophone. Brecker’s contribution to the jazz cannon is well noted, but it was his work as a session musician throughout the 1970’s and 80’s the arguably allowed him to explore jazz saxophone later in his career.

Mike didn’t release a solo album under his own name until he was 37, (Charlie Parker was dead at 35 and Coltrane died at 40) and whilst we also lost Brecker too young, (Mike died aged just 57 in 2007) – his over 700 recording credits are a testament to his outstanding skill as a musician. We’ve briefly covered Brecker’s music in this Vlog post from my ‘Sax Advent Calendar‘ but here is a more focused pop music playlist.

Enjoy the playlists, share them and be inspired!

John Coltrane ’58

1958 was a pivotal year in John Coltrane’s development as one of the most important ‘voices’ in jazz. In 1957 he had undergone what was in his own words a ‘spiritual awakening’ which had led him to getting REALLY serious about his music and saxophone playing.

In March this year, all of Coltrane’s Prestige recordings were collected into a new 8 x LP set – click here to purchase (watch Ashley Kahn’s unboxing video below). The box-set is set out in chronological order from January to December 1958, so you can really hear Coltrane’s development during the year. 1959 was a year when Coltrane made two of the most seminal albums in jazz, his own Giant Steps and Kind of Blue for Miles Davis.

Coltrane ’58 features 37 tracks, all of which have been remastered from the original tapes, such as ‘Lush Life’, ‘Lover Come Back to Me’, ‘Stardust’, ‘Good Bait’, and ‘Little Melonae’, plus first recordings of ‘Nakatini Serenade’, ‘The Believer’, ‘Black Pearls’, ‘Theme for Ernie’, ‘Russian Lullaby’, ‘Sweet Sapphire Blues’ and ‘I Want to Talk About You’.

All of the recordings took place in New Jersey at Rudy Van Gelder’s home studio, created during a series of 3-hour sessions…

Enjoy!

2019 Cambridge Saxophone Playlist

As part of my goal to get my students to do more listening, here is my 2019 Cambridge Saxophone Playlist.

There is a good mixture of old classics and new players, so get listening and GET SHARING!

Naturally as I’m a jazzer and primarily a tenor player, it’s going to be biased towards those, but please feel free to add your own and share your playlists back with me via the forum. 

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1959 The Year Jazz Changed Playlist

2019 marks 60 years since the most important year in jazz history, 1959.

In 1959 Miles Davis released Kind of Blue (the best selling jazz album of all time), John Coltrane (who plays tenor sax on Kind of Blue) recorded his seminal Giant Steps album and Ornette Coleman pointed to the direction of jazz in the 1960’s with The Shape of Jazz to Come.  One also must not forget the contributions of Dave Brubeck and his Time Out album, (featuring Paul Desmond’s ‘Take Five’), Charles Mingus with his amazing Ah Um & amazing contributions by Cannonball Adderley, Coleman Hawkins, Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, Oscar Peterson, (who released 8 albums in this year!)

1959 also saw the death of two of the most important artists in the development of jazz both before the Second World War and after it, Billie Holliday and Lester Young, great friends off the band stand, an amazing partnership on it and died within weeks of each other.

So listen to the playlists below and be sure to come along to one of our concerts celebrating this amazing year in jazz history.  We’re at the Cambridge Arts Theatre on Sunday, 3rd March and the Cockpit London on Monday, 15th April with more dates to come!

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Dan’s Advent Saxophone Calendar #6 – Stan Getz

‘Stan Getz is a great bunch of guys’*

Stan Getz was born Stanley Gayetski in 1927 and became one of the most important post-war tenor saxophonists.  His music became widely known and his sound became ‘the sound’ of the saxophone for many people after his successful collaboration with Charles Byrd and later Anton Carlos Jobim during the Bossa Nova craze of the 1960’s.

But Getz was no commercial sell-out.  He had some serious jazz chops and worked with the likes of Oscar Peterson, Chet Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman and Dizzy Gillespie.

Enjoy the video, the playlists and share some Getz with someone today!


*attributed to Zoot Simms

Dan’s Advent Saxophone Calendar #1 – Mike Brecker

Michael Brecker, in my opinion is the greatest virtuoso on the tenor saxophone.  He took the baton from Coltrane and moved what was technically possible on the instrument to new heights.

In my new series of Vlogs for December 2017 I am opening a new saxophone player each day, (like an Advent Calendar, but not chocolate!) Today, on Friday, 1st December I talk about the phenomenal Michael Brecker, who recorded on over 700 albums!