Saxophone Forum


by apoc7k
(20 posts)
10 years ago

About Multiphonics....

Okay... I may sound dumb here (not sure) but bear with me on this. What possible use can us saxophone players have with multiphonics? I mean really... more than anything I guess I can't picture how to fit it into anything. I guess I haven't been accustomed to hearing solos with such a harsh, nasty sound before. Maybe if theres a recording or anything that I could listen to for getting an idea. Anyways thanks a million guys...

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  1. by golferguy675
    (600 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: About Multiphonics....

    No, not dumb at all. Not a lot of sax players use multiphonics in solos, and here's why. They can't ull it off and make it neat and have the effect it need to have without the audience walking out. You've got to have guts. The best multiphonics example I can think of is David Leibman. He is the apitomy(spelling) of saxophone techniqe and tricks. Listen to some live recordings of him, he does it more in those. You have not heard crazy multiphonics in a solo until you've heard Leibman. Also, sometimes classical player use them, but it's not as fun to play or listen to in that setting, because they're trying to be all legit about it.

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    1. by jazzax
      (30 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: About Multiphonics....

      Well, it's like a lot of effects on the sax, a little can go a long way. I can't remember the tune off the top, but Coltrane used some multiphonics in the melody of a tune that was pretty interesting because the split tones fit the harmony of the tune (I think it's on Coltrane Plays the Blues if memory serves...which it does less and less these days). Brecker likes to split his altissimo G almost every time and he does some nice things with multiphonics (Check out Chick Corea's Four Quartets...the one dedicated to Coltrane...I've probably listened to that solo several hundred times since it came out). Lovano likes to split a lot of his altissimo notes, probably to fatten them up a little. It is possible to play multiphonics in a musical way. They don't always have to be so outside. There is an excellent book I purchased some years ago on multiphonics by a guy in Portland, Oregon (John Gross perhaps?). It's very comprehensive. If anyone is interested, I can get info on it. For my taste, multiphonics can be a nice spice for intensity in a solo, but can be pretty hard to take as a main course (ala Pharoah Sanders when he played with Coltrane...did he ever just play a straight line? Maybe Coltrane said, that's for me, you stay out in the stratosphere brother).

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