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.
Click here to listen to a track from the CD on YouTube!
“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.
It’s so nice to find sites specifically addressed to the baritone sax. The sound I personally des-
cribe of the baritone sax is that it has two distinct personalities. It’s tone can be a smooth mellow pussycat, eg Sadie’s “Kiss of Life” and take on a personality as a raging beast, e.g. Leo Porter
and certaininly other players. To me looking a such a large intrument as the bari sax, it could
be decieving as to how this instrument can be so mellow then very very very dynamic. The bari
sax has it’s own sound, no other sax, and probably, no other instrument can fully duplicate.
From rock, soul, funk, gospel. jazz and last but not least, Classical (Mark Watters), where would
the listeners be without that distinct sound of the BARITONE SAXOPHONE? THIS PARTICULAR
SAXOPHONE HAS IT’S OWN MAGIC!!!! Please forgive me if I’m a little too extreme.
There are simply fewer people that master a bari sax. So much responsiblility rests on the
player because the part played is usuallly so dominant and is meant to be heard. For my
$0.02, many and probably most sax players just can’t handle a bari sax. The main reason is
because they never developed any mastery of tone production of the alto and tenor saxes.
The bigger bari sax only brings out this weakness even more let alone the intimidation of its
Reading the sites and the opinions of pro bari players, I admit, I’m not a pro. Studied privately
from age 13 to 17. Majored in music a college for a few year and never got a grip on Improvi-
sation. Sometimes our dreams don’t pan out as we wish but to get to the point, a person has
to just love music. Yeah, the vintage bari saxes might have some advantages as sound. That
Conn bari I played in high school was a free blowing beast with a huge sound. The Selmer
Mark VI was a much more refined instument with it’s key work and even engraving. The newer
Selmer, Series II, is a much more streamlined and lighter instrument, that I mean that minus the
big fat width of size, still kicks out a respectable sound. Selmer has been making the Series II for the past, I believe, 26/27 years. Being an owner of a Selmer Series II, I have to say technology
has produced a quite impressive instrument. I have no knowledge of the newer Series III
bari saxes. Perhaps at my skill level I can’t be as discerning but no matter how much the accomplieshed/established pros express their pro and cons or older and newer saxes, the
manufaturer’s are going to employ the most advanced designs they can create.