StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Six St. Louis saxophonists you should know


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When talk turns to saxophonists from St. Louis, many knowledgeable music fans will associate our city with David Sanborn and World Saxophone Quartet founding members Hamiet Bluiett, Oliver Lake and Julius Hemphill.

Sanborn, Bluiett, and Lake all grew up in this area, and Hemphill, though not a native, made an important contribution to the Black Artists Group here, and first gained national recognition for his album Dogon A.D., recorded at Oliver Sain's Archway Studios on Natural Bridge Rd. in north St. Louis.

Going beyond those well-known names, though, there definitely are more saxophonists with roots in the St. Louis area who are enjoying noteworthy careers in jazz and creative music, and today StLJN is featuring videos from six of them that every local jazz fan should know. After you've sampled their sounds here, check out their respective websites for more info.

Leading off is Greg Osby, who can be seen in the first video up above doing a spontaneous duet with bassist Christian McBride on the standard “The Song Is You," recorded in July 2014 at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

After the jump, it's Marty Ehrlich, playing a duet with pianist Myra Melford on her composition “Be Melting Snow," recorded in 2015 at The Stone in NYC.

That's followed by Eric Person doing a full set with his band Meta-Four, recorded in November 2016 at the Blue Note in NYC. Along with Person, the group includes guitarist Freddie Bryant, keyboardist Adam Klipple, bassist Adam Armstrong, and drummer Shinnosuke “Shin" Takahashi.

Next up is East St. Louis' own Andre Delano, seen here working the crowd on a version of Prince's “Adore," recorded in 2016 at The Tavern at Fire Station 1 in Silver Spring, MD.

The fifth video features Chris Cheek with his quintet performing his composition “Pelican Blues" in a show last month at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Along with Cheek, that's James Fernando on piano, Francois Chanvallon on guitar, Max Gerl on bass, and Tyson Jackson on drums.

In the final clip, Butch Thomas plays “La Belle Dame Sans Regrets," written by his former employer Sting, at a gig 2011 in Tampa FL, backed by Frank “Third" Richardson (drums), Tim George (bass), Ron Reinhardt (keyboards), and Peter Mongaya Hogsholm (guitar).

You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...

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This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved.


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