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08 Mar

The Dirty Sax Playlist

There is a lot of saxophone out there that I can live without.  The smooth jazz stylings of Kenny G come to mind, as do many sax solos of the 80’s (think Sade’s Smooth Operator).  What I can get with though, is some dirty, gritty, growling sax.  I am fairly certain that “dirty sax” is not a technical term, but in my estimation of things it is the perfect description.

One Step Beyond, Madness (1979 )

“One Step Beyond” is a song built for the sole purpose of showing off just how dirty you can get with your sax.  And as always, bonus points for the narrative intro and spoken word chorus throughout.


Comanche, The Revels (1964)

This may be the very dirtiest of all dirty sax songs.  Thanks to Quentin Terrantino, I imagine that men the world over involuntarily tighten their butt cheeks when they hear this song (remember “Bring out the gimp?”). 


Mess Around, Ray Charles (1957)

What a great song, also associated with a classic movie scene.  John Candy does some wicked air-piano and air-sax in Planes, Trains and Automobiles while this song is playing, nearly careening off the road several times in the process.  I dig the call and response between Ray and the sax, pure genius.


Jam Up, Tommy Ridgley (1954)

 “Jam Up” is classic Atlantic Rhythm and Blues.  I dig that this is an instrumental with nothing but some “yeah man’s” and “ain’t it good’s” from Tommy.  I’ve been trying to listen really hard, and I think there are at least 3 saxes, maybe four in this song, making most definitely the dirtiest, saxiest song on the list.

P.S. This song is worth a listen with better sound quality.  You can find it on the 4TT Dirty Sax Playlist  on Spotify along with all the other 4TT playlists.

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