Converging paths: Classical articulation study and the jazz saxophonist
Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications
This article examines the numerous challenges faced by jazz saxophonists in developing an effective articulation technique, and investigates classical saxophone pedagogy to address the apparent gap in knowledge and proficiency. Furthermore, the paper seeks to expand the reader's creative potential by uncovering a range of articulation techniques, many of which are borne from the classical tradition and have proved compatible with jazz styles. As will be demonstrated, numerous esteemed saxophonists such as George Garzone, Michael Brecker, Branford Marsalis, Kenny Garrett and Eric Dolphy have sought classical tutelage during their careers, often recognizing that the classical diction can inspire fresh creative devices in jazz improvisation. By examining the teachings of Joe Allard, Jean-Marie Londeix, Larry Teal, Marcel Mule and others, the reader gains an overview of the most prominent classical pedagogy in the field, and may discover ways in which these techniques can be applied to their own jazz performance. By considering the saxophone as a “case study,” this paper also provides wider implications to non-saxophonists looking to expand their technique and creative potential by delving into the classical diction.