Before the Fab Four turned on my aspirations to play guitar, my instrument of choice was always the saxophone. To my ears, in any tune that utilises it, the sax always appears to be breaking free from the rest of the band. Yet at the same time, lifting the other musicians and of course the listener to somewhere transcendent. John Coltrane wasn’t canonised for the fun of it!
My folks were big fans of Jr Walker & The All Stars, so the sound of sax made sense very early on. When my sister and I occasionally slept the night at my Aunt’s house, we were allowed to stay up and watch Cagney & Lacey. The solo sax break at the start of the theme tune, made my head spin! Unfortunately, we couldn’t afford for me to have a gleaming tenor of my own and the schools I went to didn't offer lessons on the curriculum.
It’s occurred to me a few times to perhaps look at what’s going on Marketplace, pick one up and maybe start learning. I could find a bridge and rekindle the myth of Sonny Rollins for Northamptonshire....In the meantime here’s some of my fav tracks with sax to indulge and immerse yourself in.
Sonny Rollins - Strode Rode
Ray Warleigh - At The Chime Of A City Clock (Nick Drake)
Jr Walker & The All Stars - Shotgun
Ben Webster - Sophisticated Lady (Billie Holiday)
Brian Travers - Food For Thought (UB40)
Nubya Garcia - The Message Continues
Lester Young - Ad Lib Blues
Tommy McCook - Silver Dollar (The Skatalites)
Kamasi Washington - Leroy & Lanisha
Chelsea Carmichael - Want Me (Puma Blue)