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Sax Solos

Sax Solos

Sax solos feel incredibly personal to listeners for good reason. The saxophone is the closest in timber to the human voice. It speaks to us and we are moved, especially when we hear a sax solo take flight. The ability to solo feely — to go where inspiration takes you — is an art developed through a lifetime of practicing. Doing so builds muscle memory and develops the physical embouchure — the use of the lips, facial muscles, tongue, and teeth in playing a wind instrument. Woodshedding fires up the synapses required to elevate sound. It is how saxophonists master those crazy high notes — reaching far beyond the saxophone’s two-and-a-half octave range. Those squeals that fall outside of the horn’s normal range are derived from the natural harmonic overtones of the sax. In other words, you can only go so high on a saxophone. At that point, to reach far beyond that . . . well, it is high art.

Crispin Cioe Sax Solo on VH1

Saxophonist Crispin Cioe lights it up with a featured tenor sax solo on the VH1 series “Buster’s Happy Hour” in the song, “Breakin’ Up the House”. Cris music directed the series and performed with the Uptown Horns in the house band for the show, hosted by David Johansen, formerly of the proto-punk band the New York Dolls and, of course, his alter ego, Buster Poindexter.

“French Kissing in the USA” by Debbie Harry

The hit song by Debbie Harry (Blondie) entitled “French Kissing in the USA” features an alto sax solo by Crispin Cioe. The hit song was produced by Seth Justman.

Scissor Sisters “Laura”

The Scissor Sisters’ song “Laura” features Crispin Cioe on doubled saxophone tracks. The sound is addictive. You’ll hear his sax solo in the outro when Jason “Jake Shears” Sellards sings “This will be the last time I ever do your hair” (Brilliant line). To connect with the Scissor Sisters, check out their Facebook page. They are so gifted as artists they inspired Sir Elton John to mentor and work with them. Elton co-wrote the songs “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’” and “Intermission” with Scissor Sisters for their second studio album Ta-Dah.

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