Alto Essentials—Nine More Saxists List the Must-Hear Albums

A JazzTimes bonus feature from our June issue

200504_045_depth1
1
Paul Desmond
Leekonitz2_rolffreiberger_depth1
2
Lee Konitz
Phil-woods_depth1
3
Phil Woods

1 of 3      Next



For our June issue, we asked more than 20 prominent saxophonists to list for us five to 10 alto sax recordings that they feel are important. Several of those lists appeared here last month. The others are now presented here.

We provided our contributing saxists with the following criteria: an album can fall into any genre of jazz from any era and the alto player can be a leader or sideman. The recordings simply needed to be “great performances that helped shape the jazz alto saxophone tradition.”

For albums on which the altoist is not the leader, we’ve listed the name of the leader first, with the altoist’s name in parentheses. The lists are not necessarily ranked in any order.

We hope you enjoy these lists!

JAY BECKENSTEIN (SPYRO GYRA)
The Quintet (Charlie Parker, alto) Jazz at Massey Hall
David Sanborn Taking Off
The Cannonball Adderley Quintet Mercy, Mercy, Mercy! Live at “The Club”
The Dave Brubeck Quartet (Paul Desmond, alto) Time Out
Charles Mingus (John Handy, alto) Mingus Ah Um
Oliver Nelson Sound Pieces
Billy Joel (Phil Woods, alto on “Just the Way You Are”) The Stranger
Kenny Garrett Triology
Lee Konitz The Lee Konitz Duets
Bud Shank/Bob Cooper Blowin’ Country

KENNY GARRETT
Charlie Parker Charlie Parker With Strings: The Master Takes
Johnny Hodges Passion Flower: 1940-46
Cannonball Adderley Nippon Soul
Ornette Coleman The Shape of Jazz to Come
Eric Dolphy Out to Lunch!

GRACE KELLY
Duke Ellington (Johnny Hodges, alto) Far East Suite
Paul Desmond/Gerry Mulligan Two of a Mind (RCA Victor, 1962)
Charlie Parker Charlie Parker With Strings: The Master Takes
Miles Davis (Cannonball Adderley, alto) Kind of Blue
Lee Konitz Live at the Half Note
The Phil Woods Six “Live” From the Showboat

RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA
Charlie Parker The Complete Savoy and Dial Studio Recordings 1944-1948
Benny Carter 4 Montreux ’77

Bunky Green Places We’ve Never Been
Ornette Coleman The Shape of Jazz to Come
Strata Institute (Steve Coleman & Greg Osby, altos) Cipher Syntax
Steve Lehman Octet Travail, Transformation, and Flow

Cannonball Adderley Somethin’ Else
Herb Geller & His All Stars Herb Geller & His All Stars Play Gypsy

DAVID SANBORN (favorite alto solos)
Charlie Parker “Just Friends,” from Charlie Parker With Strings
Cannonball Adderley “Easy to Love,” from Nippon Soul
Kenny Garrett “I Only Have Eyes for You,” from Bobby Hutcherson’s Skyline
Eric Dolphy “Out to Lunch,” from Out to Lunch!
Hank Crawford “Stoney Lonesome,” from From the Heart
“Please Send Me Someone to Love,” from The Soul Clinic
David “Fathead” Newman “Hard Times,” from Fathead: Ray Charles Presents David Newman
Phil Woods, almost any solo
Johnny Hodges, almost any solo, especially with Duke Ellington
Benny Carter, almost any solo

JALEEL SHAW
Bobby Watson & Horizon The Inventor
Charlie Parker Live at St. Nick’s
The Cannonball Adderley Quintet Mercy, Mercy, Mercy! Live at “The Club”
Johnny Hodges with Billy Strayhorn and the Orchestra Johnny Hodges With Billy Strayhorn and the Orchestra
Lee Konitz Motion

STEVE WILSON
Charlie Parker The Complete Savoy and Dial Studio Recordings 1944-1948
Charlie Parker Charlie Parker With Strings: The Master Takes
Ornette Coleman The Shape of Jazz to Come
Miles Davis (Cannonball Adderley, alto) Kind of Blue
Johnny Hodges with Billy Strayhorn and the Orchestra Johnny Hodges With Billy Strayhorn and the Orchestra

PHIL WOODS
Charlie Parker Charlie Parker With Strings: The Master Takes
Cannonball Adderley with Bill Evans Know What I Mean?
Lee Konitz Quartet Jazz Nocturne
Johnny Hodges Everybody Knows Johnny Hodges
Jon Gordon Along the Way

MIGUEL ZENÓN
Charlie Parker Quintet Complete Live at Birdland: May 17, 1950
The Cannonball Adderley Quintet The Cannonball Adderley Quintet in San Francisco
Lee Konitz Motion
Steve Coleman and Five Elements Def Trance Beat (Modalities of Rhythm)
Kenny Garrett Triology

Originally published in June 2014

Add a Comment

You need to log in to comment on this article. No account? No problem!

  • Email E-mail
  • Share Share
  • Rss RSS