If you’ve checked out the Brands and Horns page here you know there are a lot of options our there to pick from when looking for a horn. Three of the most sought after vintage horns are the Conn 12M, Selmer Mark VI, and Selmer Balanced Action (SBA). Brian Landrus has put together a nice video comparing them – he also includes a Low A in the mix that really demonstrates how the Low A somewhat alters the sound of the whole horn.
Tag: Bari Sax
The folks at ErgoBrass recently sent me their newest product to check out. Its a support system for baritone (and bass!) saxophone. It is made to replace or even work in tandem with your neck strap or harness. I was really impressed with this product. I reviewed a similar product some time ago called SaxSupport and this is somewhat of a similar idea, but I think better executed and more flexible.
Any baritonist with back or neck problems, or anyone with a bass saxophone could definitely benefit from this product. I have made an in depth video explaining how it works, demonstrating it, and trying it with various instruments (baritone sax, both low A and low Bb, bass sax, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet and more). Check out the video for my full review:
Here’s the video from the company on the product:
If you’re interested you can purchase it directly from their website (sold and shipped from Europe):
Low Blow Music is continuing its presentation of concerts featuring and promoting the baritone saxophone. On Saturday December 1st they will present 6 hours of music dedicated to different musical milestones of the great Ronnie Cuber who passed away just over a year ago.
There will be four groups, one with music from Ronnie’s early playing on George Benson’s great albums, a latin jazz band dedicated to Ronnie’s long time association with afro-cuban music, a group featuring music that Ronnie Played in his long association with the Mingus Big Band, and finally a performance featuring music from Ronnie’s Three Baritone Saxophone Band.
The event will be live in Brooklyn at the Ornithology Jazz Club. The event will not be live-streamed but some footage will be captured and shared.
If you want to support Low Blow Music in its production of concerts, and get lots of great lesson content, free album downloads, exclusive historical photos and more – check out the membership options: https://www.lowblowmusic.com/membership
Greatly sorry to report Ronnie Cuber has passed away.
Ronnie Cuber. 1941-2022
Undoubtedly among the greatest baritonists of all time.
This is the biggest news I’ve been able to write about I think since launching this site 15 years ago.
Some time last year Gary Smulyan called me to propose a crazy idea to promote the baritone saxophone. Though we have planned and scrapped those plans a few times we are finally at the point where we can announce a new organization devoted to the baritone saxophone. Low Blow Music was formed by Gary Smulyan in conjunction with the council of baritonists – Frank Basile, Claire Daly, Andrew Hadro (myself), Brian Landrus and Jason Marshall – with the purpose of promoting the baritone saxophone.
We’re hoping to make this a world-wide phenomenon, and to kick things off we are celebrating Pepper Adams’ birthday on October 8th, 2022 with a BARITONE MARATHON. 12 hours of baritone and a jam session to boot. In addition to performances from groups led by Gary as well as each of the council of baritonists, we have additional performances from Lauren Sevian, Dave Schumacher, Roger Rosenberg and Carl Maraghi! The day will start at 12pm with Gary Smulyan and end at 12:30pm with an open Jam Session! Click here to see the full line up and schedule.
But perhaps the even more exciting news is that we have launched LowBlowMusic.com – this is a site that offers exclusive baritone content for a very affordable yearly membership of $25. Membership will get you all of the following:
-Access to the live stream of the October 8th event!
-Council of baritonists videos – conversation and mini lessons from Gary Smulyan, Claire Daly, Andrew Hadro, Jason Marshall, and Brian Landrus!
-Rare photos from Gary Smulyan’s career and travels
-Free download of the album “Marcescence” from Andrew Hadro
-Custom altissimo fingering chart from Andrew Hadro
-Rare photos from Claire Daly’s career and travels!
-Free download of the album “Mirage” from Brian Landrus
-Access to unreleased live Frank Basile performance in France
And more to come soon.
You can also support this organization by joining as a Gold Member or becoming a Sponsor of one of the live sets!
I hope to see you at the Ornithology Jazz Club in person, and look forward to sharing all of the forthcoming baritone goodness with you.
NPR has produced an excellent piece on the father of the jazz baritone saxophone, Harry Carney.
And while we’re on the topic of Harry Carney, check out this interview with him from Crescendo magazine in 1966!
As the curator of JazzBariSax.com I often have the pleasure or sharing music by all of the great baritonists out there. Today, Friday December 24th I am releasing a single and would like to share a bit of my own music with the world. Perhaps you are curious as to what the person who runs this site chooses to pursue artistically.
Here’s a bit about the singe. Follow this link to find it on the streaming platform of your choice or YouTube.
‘Regarding the Moon’ is a new composition by Greek bassist Petros Klampanis, commissioned and performed by Andrew Hadro, baritone saxophonist in New York City. Hadro began working on the concept in the early days of the pandemic as a way to give work to composers during the global performance outage. It is written for double string quartet (four violin, two viola, two cello), bass, piano, drums and features the baritone saxophone. It utilizes the extreme upper register of the baritone saxophone, a range and timbre rarely used by composers.The title is both a reference to the extreme upper reaches of saxophone range and a nod to composer Claude Debussy’s ‘Clair de Lune’. The piece is so technically difficult that Hadro spent months re-learning the altissimo range of the baritone saxophone, while the recording took nearly 18 months to complete on two continents with sessions months apart.According to Petros, ‘Andrew asked me to write a tune that features the high register of the baritone, a sound which I find especially beautiful and surely not what someone expects to hear from a bari. I tried to integrate the roles of the different ensembles, within the whole group (strings on the one hand and a jazz quartet on the other) and create a musical story that allows the leading instrument to shine but not overshadow the colors of the group.’This piece is the first in a series of compositions commissioned to feature the baritone saxophone with strings as part of Andrew Hadro’s ongoing project, ‘For Us, The Living’. Subsequent works will debut in 2022.
Continuing with the recent theme of Pepper Adams (appropriate since his birthday was recently) there are two new transcriptions in the repository thanks to Noah Pettibon! More Pepper Adams news coming soon too.
The first is on the classic Monk blues “Straight, No Chaser” from a live TV broadcast in Sweden, and the second is from the great album “Jazzmen Detroit”. Enjoy them both below!
UPDATE 10/18/2021: Frank’s presentation has been archived and is available on YouTube. See below to watch!
On Sunday, October 17th at 3pm EST Frank Basile will be giving an online presentation on 6 of the most important jazz baritone saxophonists:
Harry Carney, Leo Parker, Cecil Payne, Pepper Adams, Ronnie Cuber, and Gary Smulyan!
In addition to being one of the best baritonists alive, Frank is a great historian and is incredibly well versed in the history and lineage of the baritone saxophone. So this is a great opportunity to see him delve into a topic that he knows more about than almost anyone.
The presentation will be available on the njjs.org website as well as on the NJJS Facebook page and YouTube channel. Attendance is free, but donations are suggested. If you can’t watch it live, it will be archived on njjs.org and the NJJS YouTube channel.