Sam Newsome

Sam Newsome
"The potential for the saxophone is unlimited." - Steve Lacy

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Soprano Sax and Drums Duo: The Sounds of Interstellar Dialogue

The first soprano saxophone and drums recording I ever heard was "Breathe If You Can," an adventurous and hard hitting outing by soprano saxophonist Heath Watts and drummer Dan Prell on Leo Records. It stayed in high rotation on my playlist for several days. I was very intrigued by the great chemistry Heath and Dan had together. After I heard it,  I knew that I one day wanted to do something along those lines.

I then discovered Clangs, a recording by Steve Lacy and Andrea Centazzo on Ictus Records, which was very different from Breathe If You Can. Their interaction on Clangs was more spacious and textual, whereas, the Watts/Prell duo was very edgy and in your face. What both recordings do share, however, is proof that the sax and drums format is not exclusively tenor saxophone domain, which was kind of my impression before discovering these two recordings.

On Saturday, January 16, 2016, at Cornelia Street Cafe, I'm going to humbly throw my hat into the ring and pair up with legendary jazz drummer Andrew Cyrille. Unlike myself, Mr. Cyrille has been quite prolific in the sax and drums format. He’s played duo performances with Anthony Braxton, Jimmy Lyons, Peter Brotznmann, and my man Greg Osby. Each of these encounters resulted in nothing less than astonishing.

So if you happen to be in West Village this Saturday near Cornelia Street, we'd love to have your company. I’ll be going on an adventurous ride the C-Train. 

In closing, here's a short interview with Andrew that appears on the CD, The Albert Ayler Story where he's talking about being possessed by the music. I hope we can get to some of this at The Cornelia Street Cafe. 


  1. Thanks for posting, great stuff. That Lacy is ridiculous.

    1. Andy, you have to hear the entire recording. I haven't heard another recording where he plays like this. Looking forward to March. Will I get a chance to hear you play?

  2. Thanks for your kind words about "Breathe If You Can".


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