NDR Big Band Accepting Applications for Baritone Saxophonist

The NDR big band is a long-standing fantastic big band that works with many of the world’s best jazz soloists. Based in Northern Germany but touring around the world, it is made up of some of the best players.

They recently announced they are searching for a permanent baritone saxophonist to play in the band. Doubling on Bass Clarinet is required.

The deadline for the application is April 30th, 2017!

More info here:


Help Support Hamiet Bluiett’s Recovery

Hamiet Bluiett is one of the most original baritone saxophonists in the history of the instrument. He’s been a part of many famous musical movements and groups. In the last few years he has begun to struggle with his health, and has recently been hospitalized but is recovering. His family has put together an online fund-raiser to help cover the funds needed for his care especially now that he can no longer work to support himself. Please take a moment and if you’ve appreciated his contribution to music, see if you can help support him. All the details are on the GoFundMe page started by Anaya Bluiett:


Harry Carney’s last saxophone to be gifted to Berklee

cover170x170Some very exciting news in the world of the baritone saxophone has developed. Harry Carney was a longtime member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, and by longtime I mean from age 17 until his death at 64 (just months after Duke passed). In addition to his work with that band his sound is considered one of the most beautiful and richest of all baritone sounds, and I personally have never encountered a baritonist who didn’t admire Mr. Carney’s playing.

Carney was an artist for Conn saxophones and endorsed and played their horns throughout his entire career. Towards the end of his career Carney actually played a low A Conn – they are somewhat rare but do exist. They have a somewhat different design than most modern low A horns and a much bigger bell. Carney performed on this horn on his last recording, Continuum, which featured him with the Duke Ellington Orchestra led by Mercer Ellington. You can even see Carney holding the horn in the album cover. (See image to the left).

The really interesting bit of baritone related history is that Deval Patrick, the former Governor of Massachusetts is actually the son of Pat Patrick, the famed baritone saxophonist often heard with the Sun Ra Arkestra. Through a series of events Deval has ended up with Carney’s horn and will actually be gifting the horn to the Berklee school of music in Boston. A brand new book about his father is just being published: Pat Patrick: American Musician and Cultural Visionary (African American Cultural Theory and Heritage)

Danny Harrington with Harry Carney's horn, standing in front of a photo of Pat Patrick

Danny Harrington with Harry Carney’s horn, standing in front of a photo of Pat Patrick

Longtime Berklee faculty member and fantastic baritone saxophonist, Danny Harrington will actually be performing on Harry Carney’s horn in the reception to celebrate the gifting of the horn this week in Boston. Check out this great photo of Danny holding the horn! He has had the opportunity to play the horn and speaks highly of it. Check back soon for a full interview with Danny about the horn, how it plays, its history and where its going.

I’m glad to know that Harry Carney’s final horn will be finding a great permanent home in Boston.

Vapors of Morphine to go on tour

14449741_1254986214534516_2802479123305617815_nFans of the somewhat underground low-note based band Morphine that included baritone saxophonist Dana Colley have something new to be excited for. The band is going on tour, including a few dates in the US and a number of dates in Europe. Including Saturday October 15th in Brooklyn NY!

This band is the most authentic Morphine cover band possible since it includes 2 of the 3 original members. Check out their tour page for a complete list of shows.

Larry Dickson produces another excellent album

LD_SummergoldPromises_coverCincinnati based baritone saxophonist, Larry Dickson sent us another album, . Much like the first one, this album has an excellent mix of songs. About half originals and a mix of standards, lesser known composers, and a Strayhorn-Ellington piece. The arrangements are very swinging and tasteful, the band’s playing and the recording quality is quite professional. I especially enjoyed Larry’s originals compositions. They have the feeling of classic swinging tunes, but are completely new to the ear.

Trombonist, Bill Gemmer has a number of really great solo moments as well, with an excellent mix of beautiful tone and plenty of agility on the trombone. Larry’s playing at times reminds me very favorably of Ronnie Cuber, especially on Weep. Mulligan fans will recognize this tune as one of the more memorable from the Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz Band. And other times I am reminded of Gary Smulyan’s deep edged tone, but really what we’re hearing is Larry’s sound that has been honed through years of dedication to the baritone saxophone in a jazz setting. And for that we are grateful. If you get a chance, I’d recommend getting a copy of “Summergold Promises” for yourself and any fan of the jazz baritone sax.