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Is the sax shunned by prog bands?

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Davesax1965 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 15 2018 at 06:08
Just incidentally, for those wanting to try sax but without massively deep pockets, google "Xaphoon". Or "pocket saxophone". 

There are several versions available, but basically, most are a bamboo tube with an (alto) sax mouthpiece attached. No keywork and pitched, generally, in C (rather than Bb or Eb, so you can play with other instruments without having to transpose.) These are pretty cheap, by the way. 

The fingering is somewhat different from a conventional sax, but given the simple construction, they don't sound bad and it's an easy starter instrument. Although you'd have to re-transition to sax if you bought one as a result of playing one of these. 

The world needs more sax players, basically. ;-) 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ForestFriend Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 16 2018 at 14:18
Can your sax player play flute? It's a very common doubling as the instruments have similar fingerings. That'll open you up to some Jethro Tull and Moody Blues at least. I think Ian Anderson had been playing flute for about 6 months when he did the first JT album, so I'm sure your sax player can manage something even if they're just picking it up. Just have them do some blues scale licks while screaming into it and they'll get the Jethro Tull sound.

There actually is a Genesis song with sax on it - No Reply At All features a horn section.

I wouldn't say sax is shunned in prog any more than any other wind or non-traditional rock instrument (maybe flute's more popular - although most of the prog flutists I can think of played sax too). I don't think Frank Zappa or Maxophone have been mentioned yet, but they've got plenty of sax going on.


Edited by ForestFriend - June 16 2018 at 14:19
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dellinger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 16 2018 at 21:37
Or perhaps parts that were played with flute on some songs could be adapted to be played with sax, as Steve Hackett has done with "Firth of Fifth" on his recent interpretations of the song this decade.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 16 2018 at 22:01
Hi,

Tangerine Dream, for a large period of their music, had Linda Spa doing saxophone, flutes and keyboards. In one sad interview, Jerome Froese said he thought it sounded too much like musak, and he didn't really care for it, which I felt was not a kind remark. 

Probably one of the nicest to listen to, but difficult because he takes it to heck and back sometimes in the early jazz albums, listen to Jan Garbarek. In his experimental phase it got more interesting and worked nicely with some Hindu folks and such. And his mixes with Egberto Gismonti, defy the definition of "jazz" and the quality of music they put together was outstanding. MAGICO is a truly beautiful album as is FOLK SONGS, and the saxophone is super nice.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BaldJean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 03:02
Originally posted by moshkito moshkito wrote:

Hi,

Tangerine Dream, for a large period of their music, had Linda Spa doing saxophone, flutes and keyboards. In one sad interview, Jerome Froese said he thought it sounded too much like musak, and he didn't really care for it, which I felt was not a kind remark. 

Probably one of the nicest to listen to, but difficult because he takes it to heck and back sometimes in the early jazz albums, listen to Jan Garbarek. In his experimental phase it got more interesting and worked nicely with some Hindu folks and such. And his mixes with Egberto Gismonti, defy the definition of "jazz" and the quality of music they put together was outstanding. MAGICO is a truly beautiful album as is FOLK SONGS, and the saxophone is super nice.

"Dis" is my favorite album of Jan Garbarek from the experimental phase. very atmospheric


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mascodagama Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 03:28
Originally posted by BaldJean BaldJean wrote:

Originally posted by moshkito moshkito wrote:

Hi,

Tangerine Dream, for a large period of their music, had Linda Spa doing saxophone, flutes and keyboards. In one sad interview, Jerome Froese said he thought it sounded too much like musak, and he didn't really care for it, which I felt was not a kind remark. 

Probably one of the nicest to listen to, but difficult because he takes it to heck and back sometimes in the early jazz albums, listen to Jan Garbarek. In his experimental phase it got more interesting and worked nicely with some Hindu folks and such. And his mixes with Egberto Gismonti, defy the definition of "jazz" and the quality of music they put together was outstanding. MAGICO is a truly beautiful album as is FOLK SONGS, and the saxophone is super nice.

"Dis" is my favorite album of Jan Garbarek from the experimental phase. very atmospheric
Or for those that dig the avant/noise/skronk thing Afric Pepperbird is a great pick. Check out Blow Away Zone

Edited by Mascodagama - Yesterday at 03:29
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 10:44
Originally posted by BaldJean BaldJean wrote:

...
"Dis" is my favorite album of Jan Garbarek from the experimental phase. very atmospheric

EVENTYR for me ... and some of its music, along with Terje Rypdal and others was used on a film about a Turkish family trying to get into Europe, that won an OSCAR. "Journey of Hope" by Xavier Koller in 1990.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Saperlipopette! Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 hours 44 minutes ago at 11:22
Originally posted by Mascodagama Mascodagama wrote:

Originally posted by BaldJean BaldJean wrote:

Originally posted by moshkito moshkito wrote:

Hi,

Tangerine Dream, for a large period of their music, had Linda Spa doing saxophone, flutes and keyboards. In one sad interview, Jerome Froese said he thought it sounded too much like musak, and he didn't really care for it, which I felt was not a kind remark. 

Probably one of the nicest to listen to, but difficult because he takes it to heck and back sometimes in the early jazz albums, listen to Jan Garbarek. In his experimental phase it got more interesting and worked nicely with some Hindu folks and such. And his mixes with Egberto Gismonti, defy the definition of "jazz" and the quality of music they put together was outstanding. MAGICO is a truly beautiful album as is FOLK SONGS, and the saxophone is super nice.

"Dis" is my favorite album of Jan Garbarek from the experimental phase. very atmospheric
Or for those that dig the avant/noise/skronk thing Afric Pepperbird is a great pick. Check out Blow Away Zone
A desert Island disc for me. Pepperbird and its quieter "twin album" Sart are the Garbarek-albums for me really and not much more I'm afraid. But I do love his playing on Terje Rypdal's selftitled 1971-masterpiece and with Esoteric Circle. Ok I guess I can include Triptykon and Witchi-Tai-To as well but that's about it. From 74 and onwards Jan's approach to playing his instrument just rubs me the wrong way. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mascodagama Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 hours 16 minutes ago at 13:50
Originally posted by Saperlipopette! Saperlipopette! wrote:

Originally posted by Mascodagama Mascodagama wrote:

Originally posted by BaldJean BaldJean wrote:

Originally posted by moshkito moshkito wrote:

Hi,

Tangerine Dream, for a large period of their music, had Linda Spa doing saxophone, flutes and keyboards. In one sad interview, Jerome Froese said he thought it sounded too much like musak, and he didn't really care for it, which I felt was not a kind remark. 

Probably one of the nicest to listen to, but difficult because he takes it to heck and back sometimes in the early jazz albums, listen to Jan Garbarek. In his experimental phase it got more interesting and worked nicely with some Hindu folks and such. And his mixes with Egberto Gismonti, defy the definition of "jazz" and the quality of music they put together was outstanding. MAGICO is a truly beautiful album as is FOLK SONGS, and the saxophone is super nice.

"Dis" is my favorite album of Jan Garbarek from the experimental phase. very atmospheric
Or for those that dig the avant/noise/skronk thing Afric Pepperbird is a great pick. Check out Blow Away Zone
A desert Island disc for me. Pepperbird and its quieter "twin album" Sart are the Garbarek-albums for me really and not much more I'm afraid. But I do love his playing on Terje Rypdal's selftitled 1971-masterpiece and with Esoteric Circle. Ok I guess I can include Triptykon and Witchi-Tai-To as well but that's about it. From 74 and onwards Jan's approach to playing his instrument just rubs me the wrong way. 
I saw him several times live at the end of the eighties and start of the nineties and they were all memorable gigs - then again with the likes of Eberhard Weber, Nana Vasconcelos and Jon Christensen in the band, they couldn't really fail to be. I agree the records got a lot less interesting, though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RoeDent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 4 hours 51 minutes ago at 05:15
Theo Travis is a fine player of flutes and saxophones, and presumably clarinets, as they have very similar fingering to saxophones. In modern orchestral music, the clarinets are often asked to double on saxophones.

The sax (with its various sizes) is probably one of the more-often-used of the wind instruments in prog. Some examples:

The Watchmaker - Steven Wilson
A Place in the Queue - The Tangent
The Bridge That Binds - Southern Empire
Berlin - Marillion
Another Day - Dream Theater

And on the subject of cheap fun saxophone alternatives...how 'bout a kazoo? 


Edited by RoeDent - 4 hours 50 minutes ago at 05:16
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 3 hours 34 minutes ago at 06:32
Clarinet fingering is different to saxes, believe me. 

Oboe is about the closest you'll come to sax fingering. Or recorder, for those of you who didn't pay attention in UK music lessons. ;-)

Clarinet doubling happened during early jazz / big band days as, frankly, the more instruments a sax player played, the more hireable they were. 

Kazoo my ar$e. ;-)

I worked with an idiot once (I've worked with many) who decided to tell me "what a good sax solo there was in "Karma Chameleon". I pointed out to her (a) it was a terrible solo (b) in a dreadful song and (c) it was actually being played on a harmonica. ;-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 3 hours 32 minutes ago at 06:34
PS Forest Friend is 100% correct, flute fingering is broadly similar to sax. Got a flute as well.  

Flutes are pitched in C, saxes in Eb or Bb depending on whether it's an alto or baritone, or tenor or soprano. This makes any flute piece potentially difficult to transcribe for sax. 

Edited by Davesax1965 - 3 hours 11 minutes ago at 06:55
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 3 hours 14 minutes ago at 06:52
Current collection, thinned down somewhat. I used to have a 1936 (?) Sioma Bb baritone, a curved soprano, a 1922 Conn Chu Berry transitional alto and a Buffet Crampon S2 tenor. 

Actually, thinking about it, there is no such thing as a "standard sax fingering chart". Some early models (and I have one or two 1930's and earlier saxes) had all kinds of weird trill keys and alternate ways of playing Bb or Eb or doing, say, B to C trills. Add in altissimo fingering - playing really high notes - where some fingerings work for some players (and most don't) and it all gets a bit complicated. I also have a Yamaha WX7 wind synth from about 1987 and used to have a WX11, back in the mid 90's.

L-R King flute, 1960's, modern Japanese soprano, 1970's La Fleur (Weltklang alto), 1933 Buescher Aristocrat transitional alto, 1926 Elkhart (Buescher stencil) C melody, Conn 16M Director tenor (1956), Berg Larsen tenor (East German stencil, 1950's.) 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 2 hours 17 minutes ago at 07:49
Hi,

Just caught some BENT KNEE in concert in the tube, and it was so fine to even see them with parts of an orchestra of kids, and the music did not suffer. It sounded even better, and they are already, a magnificent group of musicians and the variety of instrumentation, just fit the whole thing so well.

I find it strange for someone/anyone to think that an instrument sounds different/bizarre and does not fit a certain type of music. Maybe it will take another 100 years before we wake up from our slumber to appreciate a saxophone, or some other oddball instrument. 

Gosh ... PDQ Bach made use of KAZOO's extensively in his pieces of music and satires of a lot of classical music, and in each and every case, it sounded magnificent ... that it makes it really hard to not think that it is the person that does not like that instrument ... etc ... etc ... etc ... and it has nothing to do with a prog band, or a rock band.

Even TD used many of the orchestra instruments, sometimes so synthesized that they were beyond recognition ... and it did not hurt anything ... and perhaps that is something along those lines that has to happen with the instrument for it to be appreciated on a wider range, and not be considered the crap in progressive music.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 1 hour 51 minutes ago at 08:15
One of the most striking sax solos I've heard in prog rock actually doesn't contain any notes. 

Killer - off H to He by Van Der Graaf Generator. Dave Jackson (who I've exchanged a few mails with, really nice bloke) basically overblows a tenor sax whilst vaguely playing. This is more difficult than it sounds. ;-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ExittheLemming Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 1 hour 33 minutes ago at 08:33
Originally posted by Davesax1965 Davesax1965 wrote:

One of the most striking sax solos I've heard in prog rock actually doesn't contain any notes. 

Killer - off H to He by Van Der Graaf Generator. Dave Jackson (who I've exchanged a few mails with, really nice bloke) basically overblows a tenor sax whilst vaguely playing. This is more difficult than it sounds. ;-)


'vaguely playing' is clearly a bitch to master but unlike your royalties, Dave's contain a few notes for the coffers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote siLLy puPPy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 1 hour 33 minutes ago at 08:33
Almost everything that falls into the category jazz-rock fusion has sax so the answer to this one is clearly NO

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 1 hour 23 minutes ago at 08:43
Originally posted by ExittheLemming ExittheLemming wrote:

Originally posted by Davesax1965 Davesax1965 wrote:

One of the most striking sax solos I've heard in prog rock actually doesn't contain any notes. 

Killer - off H to He by Van Der Graaf Generator. Dave Jackson (who I've exchanged a few mails with, really nice bloke) basically overblows a tenor sax whilst vaguely playing. This is more difficult than it sounds. ;-)


'vaguely playing' is clearly a bitch to master but unlike your royalties, Dave's contain a few notes for the coffers.


Um, yes. I got told that basically "we don't pay royalties" by some charming Belgian radio station. ;-) 

Dave's a nice bloke, as his Soundbeam website shows. Music technology for special needs. Good on him. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Nogbad_The_Bad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 1 hour 8 minutes ago at 08:58
That's a really nice looking collection.
Ian



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 46 minutes ago at 09:20
Thanks, Nogbad. The one sax I regret selling is my old baritone. I'd buy one again, but I can't justify the price if I'm not actually gigging. 
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