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.
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.