Influences

Caliente! album cover, Gato Barbieri, tenor sax player, tenor saxophone, flames, male musician with hat
Although as musicians we tend to become a collection of all those who we have listened to, I would say that there are a few very clear influences in my musical styles.

Gato Barbieri has been a favourite of mine since the first time I heard his Caliente! album. I have always loved his melodic playing, growl tone, and phrasing. In my mind he is, without a doubt, one of today’s most dynamic horn players.

My love of R&B has resulted in my having a great deal of respect for all those baritone players who toiled away in obscurity behind the classic Motown sounds of Martha & the Vandellas, Diana Ross & the Supremes, and countless other acts. Echoes of those bari players can definitely be heard in my R&B bari playing.

Boots Randolph, tenor saxophone, male musician, tenor sax player

Boots Randolph Source: bootsrandolph.com

Another R&B (early rock) player who has influenced my playing is Rudy Pompelli from Bill Haley & his Comets. In general I would say that all those early R&B tenor players like King Curtis, Eddie Shaw, Big Jay McNeely, Lee Allen, and a bit more recently guys like Boots Randolph, are definitely influential in how I play today.

My last biggest influence has to have been Rindy Ross, from Quarterflash. Being a sax player who loved rock and went to high school during Quarterflash’s time in the charts, Rindy Ross definitely influenced my decision to pursue playing rock. It was her unique sax riffs and solos that showed me that it was possible to be a female sax player in a rock band.

Rindy Ross, female musician, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, microphone, singer

Rindy Ross Sept. 2006 Photo by Redgum Source: Flickr

Rindy Ross, female musician, alto saxophone, rock 'n roll, microphone

Rindy Ross of Quarterflash circa ’82-’83 Photo by Oliver Monroe Source: woz.org