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A Brief History of Jazz Saxophonists

By November 4, 2009

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It all started with Adolphe Sax, a Belgian instrument inventor. In 1842, he attached a clarinet mouthpiece to a brass creation that he named the saxophone. Because of its metal, conical body, the saxophone was capable of playing at volumes much higher than other woodwinds. It was used in military bands in the 1800s, but it took a while for it to be taken seriously by musicians.

Here is a brief history of jazz saxophonists, structured around the stories of the musicians who changed an odd invention into one of the most iconic instruments in jazz. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but a rough sketch of the involvement of the saxophone in jazz.

Image of Ornette Coleman © Juan Carlos Hernandez

Comments

November 5, 2009 at 3:30 pm
(1) Charlie Christenson says:

Sonny Rollins…

November 15, 2009 at 10:23 am
(2) Rick says:

Jacob, you have the very best music web site. I enjoy receiving your emails loaded with a wealth of information. I spend hours reading the many items that your web site provides. You are doing an outstanding job for all of us who play music and enjoy the past and present items that you post in reference to the music that I enjoy playing and listening to. Thank you.

December 4, 2009 at 9:45 pm
(3) Miles says:

I agree that the Sonny Rollins omission is a significant one. That was my first thought when I read your article. Otherwise, its a good basic list.

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