The Hollywood Saxophone Quartet

Please send me any links you think are relevant for this HSQ website.  I envision links to other sax quartets that mention the HSQ, youtube performances of HSQ charts, reviews/writeups , reissues/discussion of their albums, etc.

  • Douglas Masek and his fabulous group, the Encore Saxophone Quartet devoted half of their Los Angeles County Museum of Art concert to an HSQ Tribute, playing 7 tunes in the second half of their concert.  We had a great turnout of HSQ kids present - Ryan, Robin, and Dawn Ulyate, John Dumont, and Candy Cornell, and their families.  Here is the PODCAST of the concert.  It was a very emotional day for many of the HSQ kids. Dawn submitted a review for me.  You can see how much our Dads' music is part of us..
Hey Ellen,
The concert was AWESOME -- and I wrote a journal entry today to remember.  I'll include it here as a review. Wish you could have been there -- you would have LOVED it!

Hollywood Saxophone Quartet LACMA Concert, July 1 2012

Went down with Ella to the Hollywood Saxophone Quartet tribute yesterday at LACMA (LA County Museum of Art).

How wonderful!!!
  There we were in the FRONT ROW – cordoned off with the other HSQ family members: Jack Dumont’s son, John; drummer Richie Cornell’s daughter, Candace; and Dad (Bill’s) contingency: Ryan, Judith and son Zennon, Robin and Alfredo, my daughter, Ella, and me, Dawn).

The music hit my very DNA.  Being there in person, the vibrations of the live instruments – so much more powerful than listening to the scratchy old album or the little CD.  I realize that a recording can’t really convey the nuance of being there first hand – especially on my funky sound system. The vibrato and rich sound of the instruments, the intonations, the interactions. The body language, glances and eye contact of the players contain a communication all their own – the little trill-like movements that signal when a note is held and then cut off. All the innuendos of a live performance that get lost on a CD.

Indescribable, really, the deep soul-affect – the teleportation that this very music creates for me.

I was afraid I’d get lost finding the place, I was afraid I’d be bored, that the playing would be bad (there’s nothing worse than a bad saxophone, really! Especially for me!). So imagine my pleasant surprise – the music was perfect, the energy astounding.

The first part of the concert was just the four saxophones, sitting. When they returned for the Hollywood Saxophone Quartet pieces, they were joined by a drummer and double bass player – and they never sat down again!  Now the action began. Now came the music of my very soul, all the quickly meshing tempos and notes that make the HSQ music so interesting.

And it all went by very quickly. And happily and wonderfully and energetically. And then, suddenly, the music ended, the crowd clapped, yipped and stood, and the auditorium, maybe 200 - 300 mostly occupied seats, began to stand up and drift away.

And a part of me leaves this experience more whole, more capable – from the inside to the out. Things have somehow been swept back in order somewhere inside my soul.

  • Stephen from the Amherst Saxophone Quartet sent me a nice mail telling me he linked to this site, and I went and visited his site and it is really beautiful.  I love the "Tips for playing in an ensemble" section - words to live by!
  • James Pybus sent me this link to the Amethyst Quartet on youtube.  They are really good.  Watch it!
  • Chrissy Vella (alto) wrote from AUSTRAILIA and purchased the Marks Jazz arrangement for her group The Thirsty Sheiks.  I'm listening to their website right now.  Very fun and entertaining.  
  • Wow!  There is No Doubt that the HSQ lives on after watching these guys!  The Hollywood Saxophone Project has outdone themselves!  Here is a very well produced video about them and the gig.
  • The Annandale Saxophone Quartet plays Forget on YouTube.  They  play it slower than I'm used to, but it still works.  And they have another sax playing the bass part.  Interesting. And here they are again, playing There Will Never Be Another You. Great Job!
  • A link to a YouTube video of the HSQ playing the Maple Leaf Rag, with photos of the group. .
  • Here is a subset of my quintet, the Avanti Winds, playing "Forget".  That's me on flute.
  • What happened?  Somehow I lost my links to the Verve Saxophone Quartet - one of my favorites!  Follow  the link to hear their renditions of HSQ standards: Autumn in New York, Fascinating Rhythm, Taking a Chance on Love, Have You Met Miss Jones, All the Things You Are, Four at Liberty (has anyone else done this one?), Polka Dots and Moonbeams, plus lots of other tunes. 
  • The Hollywood Saxophone Project has several new videos up on YouTube!  I have to link to this one - it's the one that my Dad arranged!  Ghost of a Chance.  Be sure to check out other videos from DIRKHOOGLANT - this group is really good.
  • I have been emailing with Rudy, and I think his story belongs here.  Rudy and his brothers farm 2000 acres outside of Gypsum, Kansas . Rudy wrote (excerpted):
    • I'm a guy 77 years old and a sax player (also piano).  I bought a record of the HSQ, I believe in 1956.  I was completely taken aback by the super arrangements and the musicianship of all the players.  To this date I have not heard a quartet that comes up to their standard. 
    • My dad was a sax player (Pic of Rudy and Dad).  Played for dances in the 30's. He married and had four boys. I am Rudy, the oldest of the four brothers. I play the bari.  I am a farmer by trade, as has been my whole family.  We have all been playing sax since grade school.  We played all over central Kansas for many years.
    • We desperately wanted to get the arrangements of the songs that were on the record but to no avail.  We particularly liked Autumn in New York so with my background in piano I set about writing an arrangement of the song.  It took me fully 2 full days to do it.  It lacks some things but it does sound similar.
    • I really am in a difficult position. For a while we had a quintet until Dad passed away in 86.  We continued to play as a quartet until my brother Warren passed away a few years back.  so we no longer have a quartet.  We sure do miss him.
Well, needless to say, I sent Rudy the re-released CD of HSQ jazz tunes. He sent back to me a DVD of his group's performance in 2006, with all four brothers! I spoke to him by phone and he gave me permission to tell his story and post this excerpt of the DVD for you.

So here is the Redden Brothers Saxophone Quartet playing Rudy's arrangement of HSQ's arrangement of Autum in New York  [avi video] [mp3 audio] Rudy says they were in their 70's during this performance, and he chalks up any errors to their age.

And just by the way, in the material Rudy sent to me, I found a photo of Rudy's grandson  subbing in the quartet... 
  • Jack Dumont and Don Bonnee playDark Eyes on the Lawrence Welk show.  Don Bonnee ( and Frank Chase ) joined Jack and the rest of the HSQ for the 6-saxophone tunes you can listen to on the MUSIC page. 10/30/10: Here's another Lawrence Welk Youtube video with Jack taking a solo on Soprano Sax.
  •  I'm amazed at how GLOBAL the HSQ has become!  Checkout this youtube video of "Fascinating Rhythm" by the Kiev Saxophone Quartet!  They do a great job!  I sent them an email - maybe they'll come and sign the guestbook.
  • Here is David Sherr's website,Bel Air Jazz.  David took lessons from Russ Cheever, and worked on recording sessions with Harriet Crawford, my Mom.  He's been a wonderful contributor to this website.  Thanks David!
  • Michael Keepe (soprano sax) is a doctoral candidate writing his thesis on the HSQ.  He is one of the main reasons this webpage has come together.  It turns out he also has a sax quartet, and a very spiffy webpage. You can listen to "teasers" of some of their songs:
  • The Hollywood Saxophone Project - thanks guys!
  • Simply 4 Saxes - Mike found our site and signed in the Guestbook.  I followed his link and found his saxophone group!  He even mentions the HSQ.  Thanks!
  • The Hollywood Saxophone Quartet CD - a reissue of tunes from "Sax Appeal" and "The Hollywood Saxophone Quartet" Albums:
  • Organissimo Web Forum discussion on HSQ
  •  The Utah Saxophone Quartet "Playing Tribute" to the Paris and  HSQ
  • CSUN digital lib info on "Jazz in Hollywood" album
  • The Opposite Sax's " Ready To Deliver" cd for purchase. The 5 Lennie Neihaus arrangements here were for the HSQ.  (See the Music page) Take a listen!