I’m prejudiced against the smaller saxophones. Compared to the tenor sax, the smaller version just do not live up to the expectation. Let me show you what I mean.
Here is my friend Monty Sanders illustrating the beautiful warmth and tone of the jazz tenor sax:
Show Me Your Ways from The Brooks Brothers Quintet, Almost Live
And here is a clip of an alto sax. Now, so you don’t think I’m stacking the deck here, I’ve chosen one of the premiere alto saxophonists of our generation, playing very recently under very good recording circumstances (tv studio). Can you hear the pinched, nasal whine of this instrument? It is not at all like the “Vha Fha Vha” sexy sound of the tenor sax!
Next, we have the ever popular curved soprano sax. One of the best tones and players out there is a guy named Dave Koz. His tone is not necessarily brash or harsh, but after a short time of hearing this sound, my ears feel fatigued. Do yours?
But by far the worst offender is the Kenny G “straight soprano” sound. It’s tone is an ice pick in my eardrum. I never want to hear this sound ever again.
What do you think?