For the first 70 or so years after the invention of the saxophone by Adolphe Sax the instrument struggled with an identity crisis as a novelty instrument. Although featured prominently in a few classical compositions, the instrument was mostly utilized for comical effect in circus bands and the vaudeville theatre. Coleman Hawkins is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of bringing the instrument to the fore in Jazz (through his work with Fletcher Henderson’s band in the 1920’s) and by extension popular music in general. This recording from 1939 is known as his signature piece and has served as an inspiration for many a player regardless of instrument ever since.

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.