[Dixielandjazz] Easiest instrument

Don Ingle dingle at baldwin-net.com
Sun Feb 23 13:08:32 PST 2003

I think that some tenor sax men play in a manner that makes it seems so
easy...just flows like there's no work to it. My prime favorite in this
regard were Eddie Miller and the Prez. Seemingly effortless flow of ideas,
sound, basic simplicity (or so it seemed) that made you relax and swing
along vicariously.
Even my own father, more noted for his comedic skills than his tenor sax,
was very much in the Eddie Miller mode, and on baritone sax he was linked to
the hip with Ernie Caceres. For any one lucky enough to have the Ted Weems
recording of Running Wild with Orm Downes' terrific drumming, there are a
few half choruses of solo Red Ingle tenor sax to hear -- though Weems was
not big on featuring saxophone solos - usually featured
clarinet solo's by Rosy McHargue or Don Watts earlier.
In the right hands, the tenor sax is a wonderful axe -- in the hands of a
R&R honker it is the instrument of the Devil. At such times one might cry
out -- "Where are you Bud Freeman when we need you?"
Don Ingle
----- Original Message -----
From: "Charlie Hooks" <charliehooks at earthlink.net>
Cc: "djml" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Sunday, February 23, 2003 12:29 PM
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Easiest instrument

> on 2/22/03 10:24 PM, Rob McCallum at rakmccallum at hotmail.com wrote:
> > If one singles out any one instrument as easier, let's say tenor sax,
> > anyone really think that they're going to sound anything like Coleman
> > Hawkins without at least a decade of continual practice and
> Doubt they'll sound like Hawk even WITH such dedication.  But I must agree
> with tenor sax as the easiest by far of all the instruments.  To play it
> well, that's always another matter.  But anyone with reasonable finger
> dexterity can learn to play a simple tune or two in a few minutes.   Try
> that with any brass instrument.  Or clarinet.  A good brass player,
> up a tenor for the first time, will be astounded to find, "Hey!  That's
> there IS to this?"  Tenors are easier than the smaller saxes because the
> tenor needs less embouchure support.  They will yield more satisfaction
> quickly that other instruments.
> On the other hand, I'm sure you agree that anyone who chooses a tenor for
> its ease is dead in the water anyway.
> Charlie
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