A reader and fellow baritone saxophonist, Larry Dickson, recently sent us a copy of his new album, “Second Springtime”. Larry seems to have a vast knowledge of the baritone saxophone and its various practitioners and it shows through the varied song selection on the album. There is everything from original music, to a Pepper Adams composition, some Ellington, and even a beautiful ballad that you may have heard Mulligan and co perform on the album “What Is There to Say?”.
Baritone saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist Brian Landrus has recently released a new album titled “The Deep Below”. It features him on the low range of woodwinds, baritone sax, bass sax, bass clarinet and bass flute. This release comes shortly after Brian’s tie with Chris Cheek for Rising Star in the Downbeat Critic Polls.
Glenn Wilson is a long standing proponent of the baritone sax with multiple albums as a leader and an extensive discography He is adding onto his already impressive collection with a new quintet album titled, Timely. Its a live recording – It swings like crazy and has a really interesting line up of tunes. Check out Glenn’s website here, the album is out today, so be sure to pick up a copy!
Baritone saxophonist Adrian Barnett has released a new album called “It’s About Time”. Its got a lot great arrangements of original composition, mostly swinging but in a variety of different feels and approaches. And of course, lots of great solo work on the baritone.
With him are also a few other horn players, alto/tenor, trumpet and trombone and a nice rhythm section that does well in both a straight ahead set up and different configurations with organ and electric bass as well.
Claire Daly’s Mary Joyce project is full of great music, and an incredible back story to boot.
“Saxophonist Claire Daly has always been a true original and, as it turns out, part of that is in her DNA. Mary Joyce Project: Nothing To Lose is a musical/genealogical journey through the life of Daly’s father’s first cousin, Mary Joyce, who lived her life the way she wanted to, rather than succumbing to societal expectations for women during the ’30s and beyond. As the press materials note, “She satisfied a restless and courageous spirit with a wide range of adventurous exploits—Hollywood actress, nurse, stewardess, bush pilot, and bar owner. She was the first non-native Alaskan to dogsled the 1000 mile run between Juneau and Fairbanks (in 1936), the first ham radio operator in the Alaskan Territories, and the only woman to run supplies for the Allies by dogsled in World War II.” ” Read the rest of the description on AllAboutJazz.com
Saxophonist and transcription contributor, Ryan Middagh has a new album out which features him on the baritone saxophone as well as well known saxophonist Jeff Coffin (Bela Fleck, Dave Matthews) and his drummer Tom Giampietro.
The title is “Colorado Brew”, an homage to the huge selection of wonderful craft beers to come from that state.
It offers a rare tenor/baritone front line that shouldn’t be missed. Its available on iTunes, Amazon, and CDBaby – go check it out!
Many baritone saxophonists use a harness or an elaborate saxophone stand to help cope with the sheer weight and size of the big horn. There are a number of harnesses and special neck straps out there, and each has its own set of drawbacks. Using a saxophone stand while playing has some obvious problems. Awkward to handle, difficult to move, extremely inconvenient to transport, and lacking the option to play standing up are among them. Many traditional harnesses force you to hold the saxophone dead center instead of to the side as some people prefer. And even with some adjustment to get the horn in the right place players may find that they can’t move the saxophone without adjusting several straps. Placement aside, the next big concern is breathing constriction. Some harnesses fit well until the player takes in a large breath and then they find that the harness is constricting their lung expansion, or worse, their diaphragm. On a big horn that needs a big sound this is one of the worst handicaps a player can face. A number of players that use harnesses don’t actually prefer them, but find they need to use something other than a neck strap for physical reasons, either neck pain, or lower back pain.
New Solution, what is it?
FRONT – Vandoren Saxophone Support System Harness
Vandoren, the renowned reed, mouthpiece, ligature, and accessory maker has jumped into the fray with a new solution. Their offering is unlike most harnesses and neck straps out there now and features some very new and exciting solutions. For a full rundown of all of the features and a demonstration, check out the video from Vandoren below. The harness works by transferring the weight of the saxophone up through the shoulders, and uses a counter-lever system to absorb much of the weight to the belt where it unlikely to cause injury. The harness is adjustable in front just like a neck strap, and the slats in back automatically adjust for the player’s height. The belt strap is also adjustable and comes with an optional extension.
The harness folds up very impressively, and fits in its sleek carrying bag that will easily fit in to the bell of a baritone, and even a tenor saxophone.
BACK – Vandoren Saxophone Support System Harness
Does it work?
In a word, yes. The way the harness suspends the saxophone allows just as much freedom of motion as a traditional neck strap, if not more, since weight distribution is not an issue. You can play with he horn in the front, to the side, lifted up, sideways… whatever. As for the weight distribution, the harness was very comfortable to use. I recently had a chance to use it on a 4 hour gig, standing the whole time and was pleased with how well I felt at the end. But the benefit really hit the next day when I put my horn together for rehearsal. As soon as I put my old neck strap on and clipped into the horn I immediately realized how much more comfortable the harness was.
The production manager of Vandoren explains and demonstrates the new harness:
JazzBariSax.com curator, Andrew Hadro takes the new harness out for a spin:
If you ever have a hankering for the baritone saxophone in a bit of a denser more rock oriented setting, here is your fix. Morphine (Dana Colley) is just dandy, but if sometimes you need something with just a little more.. power, here you go.
Saxophonist Matt Rippetoe’s new album “Willamette” prominantly features himself on the baritone saxophone in a setting probably most closely described as metal.
Baritone saxophonists often find difficulty in escaping the paradigm that the only place for them is anchoring a big band. So for baritone saxophonists with ambitions of improvisation and making creative music in a small group setting they often must set out and create groups and recordings for themselves. We are happy to announce two new such ventures from the baritone saxophone community.
The first is a new album co-led by Aaron Lington, from the BiCoastal collective titled Chapter Three.
“Sparkling solos in a decidedly post-bop setting. The music throughout this enjoyable CD keeps revealing new facets with each hearing.” –All Music Guide
The next album comes from baritone saxophonist Shirantha Beddage. This is Shirantha’s second CD as leader, entitled “Identity”. It features a set of his original compositions on baritone sax (and a special bonus track on bass clarinet), with a stellar group of musicians from Toronto and New York.
Please visit his site (www.shiranthabeddage.com) for more information and sound samples from the CD. Physical copies are currently available, and Itunes and other online distribution will be up in a few weeks.