The Tenor Battle

This writing and performance project is inspired by the the legendary tenor saxophonists of the 50’s and 60’s of the last century. I have been arranging pieces that either were played by saxophone greats (such as Sonny Stitt, Gene Ammons, Dexter Gordon, Harold Land) or are tunes I would really like to perform live with a rhythm section and 3 tenor players. The arrangements are somewhat uncomplicated and relatively easy to perform. They are meant to be a jumping off point for 3 tenor players to celebrate this musical genre. One-upmanship and joyful competition in the service of lifting the music and the excitement of the audience is the order of the evening. Below are demos I have prepared to showcase the arrangements. To keep the recordings brief there is only one solo but the solo section is meant to be opened up. In these recordings the rhythm section parts are programmed by me. Specific grooves, bass lines and piano voicings that make the pieces work are noted in the written parts.

Big Foot – Charlie Parker

Bernies Tune – Bernie Miller

Blues Up And Down – Gene Ammons & Sonny Stitt

Pennies From Heaven – Arthur Johnston

Ugetsu – Cedar Walton (Art Blakey version)

Stringin’ The Jug – Gene Ammons

Candy – Sonny Stitt version, comp. Alex Kramer

Coppin’ The Haven – Dexter Gordon

Limehouse Blues – Philip Braham

Simone – Frank Foster

The Countdown – Mulgrew Miller

Xocias Dance – Harold Land

Tanya – Dexter Gordon

*Music is for educational purposes only