Home » Search Center » Results: Big Jay McNeely

Results for "Big Jay McNeely"

Advanced search options

Results for pages tagged "Big Jay McNeely"...


Big Jay McNeely


Big Jay McNeely brought the tenor sax to prominence in the golden age of R&B, known as the “King of the Honkers,” for his wild style and outrageous showmanship.. Tenor saxophonist Cecil "Big Jay" McNeely was born in Watts, California, on April 29, 1927, he formed his own band with jazz legends Sonny Criss (alto sax) and Hampton Hawes (piano) while still in high school. But in late 1948, when he was asked to record for Savoy Records, he abandoned jazz for something more raucous and struck paydirt when his second release, a honked-up instrumental called "Deacon's Hop," went to #1 on the national R&B charts in February 1949


Article: Album Review

Christopher Kunz & Florian Fischer: Die Unwucht

Read "Die Unwucht" reviewed by Chris May

Saxophone and drums duos--usually that means tenor saxophone and drums--got serious in the mid 1960s, when pianist McCoy Tyner and bassist Jimmy Garrison would lay out during performances by John Coltrane's classic quartet to allow Coltrane and drummer Elvin Jones to pursue their mutual shamanistic muse together. One such occasion is preserved on One ...


Article: Building a Jazz Library

Saxophone Colossi: An Alternative Top Ten Banging Albums

Read "Saxophone  Colossi: An Alternative Top Ten Banging Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Miles Davis once said you could tell the history of jazz in four words: Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker. You might want to add John Coltrane, you might even want to add Davis. But however you cut it, saxophones and trumpets have been the flag bearers of the music. Trumpets got things rolling and saxophones came into ...


Article: Year in Review

In Memoriam: Jazz Musicians Who Passed in 2018

Read "In Memoriam: Jazz Musicians Who Passed in 2018" reviewed by Maxim Micheliov

As 2018 comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to remember the extraordinarily gifted musicians who made an indelible mark on jazz. With sadness, we bid farewell to NEA Jazz Masters Bob Dorough, Nancy Wilson and Cecil Taylor as well as trumpeters Hugh Masekela, Tomasz Stanko, Jerry González and Roy Hargrove.

News: Obituary

Big Jay McNeely (1927-2018)

Big Jay McNeely (1927-2018)

Cecil “Big Jay" NcNeely, the father of the R&B tenor saxophone whose stamina and extravagant stage act starting in the late 1940s included playing on his back, setting the tone for rock 'n' roll and soul artists who followed, died on Sept. 16. He was 91. Big Jay had several significant R&B hits in the late ...


Article: Album Review

Nancy Wright: Play Date

Read "Play Date" reviewed by James Nadal

When Paul Williams released “The Hucklebuck" in 1949, it not only became a national dance craze, but also started the popularity of the tenor sax players, or the “honkers," during the golden age of rhythm and blues. The honkers had incredible chops and technique, developing a certain style and sound, that was raucous and raw; appreciated ...

News: Recording

Big Jay McNeely: 'Life Story'

Big Jay McNeely: 'Life Story'

The history of R&B and rock and roll would be incomplete without mentioning Big Jay McNeely—father of the honking tenor-sax sound. Incredulously, Big Jay still has not been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. If he were British or white, I suppose that would have happened a long time ago given who has ...


Article: Book Review

Bob Willoughby: Jazz - Body and Soul

Read "Bob Willoughby: Jazz - Body and Soul" reviewed by Chris May

Jazz: Body and SoulBob Willoughby176 pages, hardback, slipcaseISBN: 978 1 901268 58 4Evans Mitchell Books2012To the wider world, Bob Willoughby is the Los Angeles photographer who took a raft of iconic photographs of movie stars such as Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe ...


Article: Album Review

Jim Holman: Explosion!

Read "Explosion!" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Up-and-coming Chicago pianist Jim Holman channels all his musical influences into his debut recording without losing his own personal identity. The resulting Explosion! is an intriguing album that treads the border between hard bop and bolder styles. Recorded in two sessions, the disc features Holman in the company of more established musicians like ...


Contest Giveaways
Enter our latest contest giveaway sponsored by Mack Avenue Records
Jazz Polls
Vote for your Favorite Hammond B-3 Organists and Favorite Living Guitarists.

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.