50 Greatest Saxophonists

Anthony Braxton
Anthony Braxton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over at Burning Ambulance, they have spent all week counting down their top 50 saxophonists. The results are here: 50-41, 40-31, 30-21, 20-11, and 10-1.

If I were to list my top ten favorite saxophonists, judged not just on playing skill but also on compositions, it would look something like this:

10. KEN VANDERMARK
9. DAVID S. WARE
8. ERIC DOLPHY
7. JULIUS HEMPHILL
6. JOHN COLTRANE
5. ALBERT AYLER
4. JOHN ZORN
3. HENRY THREADGILL
2. TIM BERNE
1. ANTHONY BRAXTON

Of course, my lists are always inexact, off the top of my head, and I left off a number individuals of whom I am a big fan (Ingrid Laubrock, anyone?).

Feel free to post your list in the comments section.

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2 thoughts on “50 Greatest Saxophonists”

  1. 10. John Butcher
    9. Joe McPhee
    8. Mats Gustaffsson
    7. Colin Stetson
    6. John Coltrane
    5. Anthony Braxton
    4. Pharoah Sanders
    3. Ornette Coleman
    2. Evan Parker
    1. Peter Brötzmann

    And about a dozen variations on that! And I couldn’t figure where to put Sonny Rollins so I left him out.

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