If you are a fan of jazz, then you will be familiar with the essential role the sound of the saxophone played in its success. The saxophone has been called the heart and soul of jazz music and has millions of enthusiasts worldwide.
Yet would the instrument have reached these heights without the musicians who mastered it? We’re not sure that it would have and as a result we have compiled who we think are the top three saxophonists of all time.
We believe that the top two musicians on our list can be placed interchangeably as the greatest saxophone player of all time. So, without further delay, here are (in our opinion!) the top three saxophone players of all time.
He is the most prolific saxophonist on our list because he lived a long life and played in front of generations of loyal fans. He is the greatest improvisational saxophonist who ever lived, and his body of work reflects it. Playing from his twenties into his eighties, he left us recordings of improvised solos which were like snowflakes; no two were alike. He stands as one of the most influential and beloved saxophonists of all time.
Number two on our list is known lovingly by his legions of fans as Bird. Parker is considered the greatest saxophone player by many and even though he takes the number two spot on our list, this does not play down the level of his accomplishments.
He has been credited with transforming jazz from just music one could dance to, into high art and a unique display of artistic expression. Like John Coltrane, he reached virtuosity through years of long practice sessions which took the endurance of a long-distance runner.
But it was not hard work alone that helped him to reach his stature in jazz history; it was also a natural genius that resulted in the creation of a completely unique musical language known as bebop.
Coltrane had a massive influence on both tenor and soprano saxophones during his all too short life. Coltrane was continually honing his technique and practised all day for days at a time. He established himself as the greatest virtuoso saxophonist.
His album, Giant Steps, was an unequalled hit with fans and critics and was considered his greatest achievement. A few years later his album, A Love Supreme, would match Giant Steps and exceed it in the opinion of some for its creation of a "musical language" that has been copied by many but never duplicated.
Coltrane's influence has stretched across the decades, up to today, drawing in new fans and saxophonists who seek to achieve his level of perfection. Like Parker's death at a young age, Coltrane was taken from the world by cancer at the age of 40.
Are You in Need of a Saxophone Player?
Whilst our Saxophonists may not be on such acclaimed halls of fame – we believe that they are amazing musicians nonetheless! If you are planning an event such as a wedding, corporate event, office party, pub gig or other type of gathering you can see just how talented our saxophonists are by hiring our Essex Saxophonist.
Contact us on 020 8088 0945 or complete our contact form and someone will be in touch right away!