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  1. #1
    Saxophonic79's Avatar
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    Default Things Ain't What They Used To Be: where are today's titans?

    Without wanting to sound the usual moan that today ain't as good as the past (but then doing just that), I have been asking myself, honestly, who are today's jazz sax titans? I think there are some great jazz saxes out there, such as Joshua Redman, Christopher Holiday and Vincent Herring, but to these ears, there are just not many players that truly blow me away in the way that so many of yesteryear's greats did, the likes of Lockjaw, Griffin, Cannon, Marsh, Gonsalves, Webster, Golson, Coltrane, Berg, Brecker to name but a few. Even some of today's supposed greats focus too much on dazzling technique, without developing their own tone, sound and overall concept. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Forum Administrator and Contributor 2009 drakesaxprof's Avatar
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    Potter, Lovano, Oatts, Garbarek, Tabackin -- to name a few.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Things Ain't What They Used To Be: where are today's titans?

    Some people like movies from the 30's to 50's. They don't seem to care if they never watch a new movie ever again for the rest of their lives. Some say you're a fool if you turn your back on the present. Some say you're a fool if you turn your back on the past. Some say you're a fool if you turn your back on what you consider to be the best available quality, whether it be from the past , or the present.

    You gotta draw your own line now, dontcha? Me, I keep drawing from the "well" that was made in the 50's and 60's when it comes to Jazz. It never will go dry for me as long as I live. I'm kinda glad about that!

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    Saxophonic79's Avatar
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    Default Re: Things Ain't What They Used To Be: where are today's titans?

    I agree, I constantly draw from a well, which for me, goes from the 30s to, say,the 90s, and for me two reasons why it can never go dry is because, firstly, I listen to the things I like repeatedly, and secondly, there is always that jazz lover's joy of discovering 'new' or unreleased recordings...always a wonderful surprise.

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    Saxophonic79's Avatar
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    Default Re: Things Ain't What They Used To Be: where are today's titans?

    Potter, Lovano, Oatts, Garbarek, Tabackin -- to name a few.
    I think Lovano is great, but this is my point - the others do not blow me away. Maybe this comes down to the usual debate about taste and subjectivity...but I think there's more to it than that.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Things Ain't What They Used To Be: where are today's titans?

    Superstars of all genres seem to be dwindling

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Things Ain't What They Used To Be: where are today's titans?

    Joshua Redman, Courtney Pine and James Carter.
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    Default Re: Things Ain't What They Used To Be: where are today's titans?

    Joshua Redman, Chris Potter, Eric Alexander, Seamus Blake, Marc Turner, Dick Oatts, etc
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    Default Re: Things Ain't What They Used To Be: where are today's titans?

    Don't forget Bob Mintzer, in addition to the aforementioned heavies.

  10. #10
    Forum Contributor 2011 thadnoland's Avatar
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    Default Re: Things Ain't What They Used To Be: where are today's titans?

    Wayne Shorter

  11. #11
    Saxophonic79's Avatar
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    Default Re: Things Ain't What They Used To Be: where are today's titans?

    I do like James Carter, but I fear he is a little too derivative, as similarly is Scott Hamilton...I think Scott is good but then when you listen to Scott's heros, ie Zoot Sims, Al Cohn and others of that style, you realise that he isn't actually adding much - and I'm the first to say that by 'adding' I think it is sufficient to contribute your own voice - no need to evolve the music necessarily a la Bean, Pres or Trane...a lot of the greats merely interpret/ed the music their way and that is more than enough. To take an example, Sonny Stitt was phenomenal, I listen to him almost daily, but he hardly developed jazz to a new level...

  12. #12

    Default Re: Things Ain't What They Used To Be: where are today's titans?

    Step 1: Buy plane ticket to Boston on Sunday.
    Step 2: See the Fringe play on Monday night in Cambridge.
    Step 3: Sleep/recover on Tuesday. Remember to drink plenty of fluids, as you're probably exhausted and dehydrated from the Fringe show the night before.
    Step 4: See Bergonzi play on Wednesday night in Acton.
    Step 5: Repeat steps 2 through 4 until thoroughly convinced.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Things Ain't What They Used To Be: where are today's titans?

    Branford marsalis
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Things Ain't What They Used To Be: where are today's titans?

    Chris Potter, Josh Redman, Sameus Blake, Don McCaslin, Mark Turner,
    still around: Dave Liebman,Joe Lovano, Sonny Rollins

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    The most prolific Distinguished SOTW poster, Forum Contributor 2014 gary's Avatar
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    Default Re: Things Ain't What They Used To Be: where are today's titans?

    I think some of that feeling is framed by the social and musical context of the times.

    Not to sound too academic, but the context really is different. The masters of, say the mid-50s to the mid 60s, just as an example, performed in a social environment very different than today. The entire feeling was different. The language was different among musicians and their true fans. Attitudes were different. Things stood out in a different kind of way. I might suggest that they are even remembered in a different kind of way. We process what we hear in a different kind of way.

    I personally don't absorb the music now like I did 45 years ago. Now, this is going to be very hard to put into words. But I grooved. The ride cymbal stayed in my being, night and day. i walked differently. The music stayed with me. I don't see that happening today. It seems to me that people seem to come and go to musical events a bit differentsly. Maybe that's it - they come and go. Maybe we never left.

    I will add this caveat: I really do believe that these last few generations are not as innovative and risk-taking as the generations we're looking back to. And this certainly has to have an effect on how some jazz lovers, at least, view the relative artistic value of the current generations, in comparison.

    But generally speaking, how one processes - and therefore gives importance to - today's generation of players might be done with less conviction and completeness as in the past. And that's on the fan and doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the quality of the players' musicianships.
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Things Ain't What They Used To Be: where are today's titans?

    Chris Potter, Mark Turner, Jerry Bergonzi, George Garzone
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Things Ain't What They Used To Be: where are today's titans?

    I will continue to say as others and second Chris Potter
    http://vimeopro.com/accordion/jmg-4-...video/39362616
    Watching this video has truly shown me how far jazz has develop
    I recommend watching the whole movie, but at least watch the first 5 min
    That is some seriously amazing groove

  18. #18
    Distinguished SOTW Member mascio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Things Ain't What They Used To Be: where are today's titans?

    Quote Originally Posted by gary View Post
    I think some of that feeling is framed by the social and musical context of the times.

    Not to sound too academic, but the context really is different. The masters of, say the mid-50s to the mid 60s, just as an example, performed in a social environment very different than today. The entire feeling was different. The language was different among musicians and their true fans. Attitudes were different. Things stood out in a different kind of way. I might suggest that they are even remembered in a different kind of way. We process what we hear in a different kind of way.

    I personally don't absorb the music now like I did 45 years ago. Now, this is going to be very hard to put into words. But I grooved. The ride cymbal stayed in my being, night and day. i walked differently. The music stayed with me. I don't see that happening today. It seems to me that people seem to come and go to musical events a bit differentsly. Maybe that's it - they come and go. Maybe we never left.

    I will add this caveat: I really do believe that these last few generations are not as innovative and risk-taking as the generations we're looking back to. And this certainly has to have an effect on how some jazz lovers, at least, view the relative artistic value of the current generations, in comparison.

    But generally speaking, how one processes - and therefore gives importance to - today's generation of players might be done with less conviction and completeness as in the past. And that's on the fan and doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the quality of the players' musicianships.
    This is a pretty thoughtful post Gary. There is maybe a couple of things that resonate for me, but i have given your post some thought and it mostly feels right on.
    Swing hard Daddy-O

  19. #19
    Distinguished SOTW Member piwikiwi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Things Ain't What They Used To Be: where are today's titans?

    Quote Originally Posted by gary View Post
    I think some of that feeling is framed by the social and musical context of the times.

    Not to sound too academic, but the context really is different. The masters of, say the mid-50s to the mid 60s, just as an example, performed in a social environment very different than today. The entire feeling was different. The language was different among musicians and their true fans. Attitudes were different. Things stood out in a different kind of way. I might suggest that they are even remembered in a different kind of way. We process what we hear in a different kind of way.

    I personally don't absorb the music now like I did 45 years ago. Now, this is going to be very hard to put into words. But I grooved. The ride cymbal stayed in my being, night and day. i walked differently. The music stayed with me. I don't see that happening today. It seems to me that people seem to come and go to musical events a bit differentsly. Maybe that's it - they come and go. Maybe we never left.

    I will add this caveat: I really do believe that these last few generations are not as innovative and risk-taking as the generations we're looking back to. And this certainly has to have an effect on how some jazz lovers, at least, view the relative artistic value of the current generations, in comparison.

    But generally speaking, how one processes - and therefore gives importance to - today's generation of players might be done with less conviction and completeness as in the past. And that's on the fan and doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the quality of the players' musicianships.
    For me it's almost like there isn't anything to innovate anymore. Especially with harmony
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Things Ain't What They Used To Be: where are today's titans?

    Quote Originally Posted by piwikiwi View Post
    For me it's almost like there isn't anything to innovate anymore. Especially with harmony
    .
    Please explain. When did Harmony stop evolving?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDYS5e7fD3E

    Also note that Lester Young said the same thing back in the 50ies about the then young players:
    “The trouble with most musicians today is that they are copycats. Of course you have to start out playing like someone else. You have a model, or a teacher, and you learn all that he can show you. But then you start playing for yourself. Show them that you're an individual. And I can count those who are doing that today on the fingers of one hand.”

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