Project Inspiration: Start a Sax Quartet

When I started to play saxophone again after a 25+ year hiatus I started looking for ensembles to perform with. I started with a community band to find connections into the local music scene. I really love big bands but found that most played the same old music, and it became rather boring. So I created my own, 20 years later called the Seattle Solid Gold Big Band. I also started a sax quartet called the Dissonance, now called the Seattle Solid Gold Sax Quartet. Check out their many ensembles here:

The nice thing about starting a sax quartet is that I get to pick the music. I can select pieces that take advantage of our strongest players. I can pick music that I adore. Also, it is so much easier and fun to pick the performers who will stay with the ensemble for more than one season. During the 20 years of my sax quartet there have been a *lot* of musicians sit in.

Developing a book of favorite charts as taken some time but my tenor player Gary has helped me tweak our listings with charts he has arranged and/or penned. I now have a rather nice list of charts to select from for almost any performance and venue.

The best part about playing in a quartet is that every musician is soloing the whole time, there is no place to hide like there is in a community band or big band. So you get to work on your fluidity and sound in an almost perfect solo-like setting.

I now recommend this method of finding groups to play with to my musician friends with some management skillz. YMMV.

About Gandalfe

Just an itinerant saxophonist trying to find life between the changes. I have retired from the Corps of Engineers and Microsoft. I am an admin on the Woodwind Forum, run the Seattle Solid GOLD Big Band (formerly the Microsoft Jumpin' Jive Orchestra) a GOLD sax quartet, and enjoy time with family and friends.
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1 Response to Project Inspiration: Start a Sax Quartet

  1. Jim Collins says:

    A quartet is such a great idea. I agree that small group playing makes us better musicians.

    Jim Collins

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