The clarinet and the saxophone are first cousins—both produce their sound using a single reed, and so are classed as “single-reed woodwinds.” Before 1920, early jazz bands took their instrumentation from military bands where the clarinet was the important high voice. The saxophone was rarely heard, but most first-generation New Orleans jazz clarinetists—including Lorenzo Jnr Tio
Orchestra of 1925. The stunning, cohesive precision of the sax men in this band would give rise to the driving sax section" sound of the Swing Era ten years later.
By the 1930s, the saxophone sound had become so popular in jazz that the clarinet was almost totally edged out of the front line in most jazz bands. It was the tenor sax that took over as the dominant reed solo voice in jazz with the rise of great swinging innovators such as Coleman Hawkins
added a tenor sax to the front line in the '30s. While many fans prefer the purity and simplicity of the traditional three-horn front line—trumpet, trombone and clarinet—the addition of the saxophone voice gives the ensemble sound a new dimension, depth and color.