Big Frank's Sax Page
Turn up the volume! Pink is about to play.
One day I said to my wife and her friend,"Do you think if I start on the Sax I might be able to play Down In The Valley by the time I am 70?"
The very next Christmas guess what was under the Tree?
(She has no idea what she has started.)
I now have several saxophones and I have ventured into sax repair and restoration. I have restored many saxophones and sent them to countries all around the world. I have over 50
Here to the right I am playing a beautiful B&S Alto sax with nickle silver finish.
My favorite was always the one I am playing in this photo-
"A Vintage Buescher 400" It is the last of the models made
from the "Top Hat & Cane era and has the famous "Resonator Ring"
on the Bell. I sold this sax and a Gary Sugal Series III tenor to get
my dream saxophone shown below.
To the right I am sitting with the Gary Sugal Series III. I never really appreciated just how good that saxophone was until I sold it. I guess that's the way it always goes. That saxophone stood up to every promise Gary Sugal made to me. In a way I wish I still had it but how many saxophones can you play at one time? I heard of a guy that could play 3 soprano sax's at once but I won't venture to try.
Here to the left I am playing that dream horn I waited
years to be able to buy. It is a Keilwerth SX90R
Tenor Saxophone and is top of the line. It is an
expensive instrument and I really would like to be
able to play it for what it is worth someday.
It is truly a beautiful horn
the gold laquer against the
black nickel is striking.
And just check out the engraving:
Here is the bottom front of the horn
showing the detail. Quite a piece of
Above is photo that has become notorious. It has been printed in magazines and brochures and circulated all over. This is a scene from the closing song at an open mic program one summer evening several years ago. We are all doing the song "will the circle be unbroken" to end the evening. How do you like my shorts?
From left to right is Ermina Pincomb, Susan Casler, Robin Gaiser, Niel Nusbaum, Peter Betz, Gary VanSlyke and me... Frank Casler. I have a large version of this photo framed and it is on my office wall. Susan gave it to me for a birthday present.
Stanley Turrentine- MR. T...
One of the most influential sax players for me was Stanley Turentine. He was alive when I started playing but has since passed away. His version of the song "God Bless The Child" with his wife Shirley Scott on the Hammond B-3 Organ was absolutely heavenly. Listen to it if you get a chance. Actually if pink has stopped playing you can click on the player below and listen to it. The other big influence was Dave Koz. They play two entirely different styles. Dave is Smooth Jazz and Stanley is Classic Jazz. Dave is a young man and still doing his thing. Check him out!
Born in Pittsburgh on April 5, 1934
Died in New York City on September 11, 2000
While highly regarded in soul jazz circles, Stanley Turrentine is one of the finest tenor saxophonists in any style in modern times. He excels at uptempo compositions, in jam sessions, interpretating standards, playing the blues or on ballads. His rich, booming and huge tone, with its strong swing influence, is one of the most striking of any tenor stylist, and during the '70s and '80s made otherwise horrendous mood music worth enduring.
To give you an idea where Turrentine is coming from: Early on, he toured with the R&B band of Lowell Fulson (1950-1951) whose featured pianist at the time was a young Ray Charles. From 1953-1954 he worked with Earl Bostic (perhaps the greatest R&B sax player of all time), where he replaced John Coltrane. He also worked and cut his first albums with Max Roach (1959-1960). Turrentine started recording as a leader on Blue Note in 1959 and 1960, while also participating in some landmark Jimmy Smith sessions such as Midnight Special, Back at the Chicken Shack and Prayer Meeting.
His decade plus association with Shirley Scott was both professional and personal, as they were married most of the time they were also playing together. They frequently recorded, with the featured leader's name often depending on the session's label affiliation. When they divorced and split musically in the early '70s, Turrentine became a crossover star on CTI. Several of his CTI, Fantasy, Elektra and Blue Note albums in the '70s and '80s made the charts. Though their jazz content became proportionally lower, Turrentine's playing remained consistently superb. He returned to straight ahead and soul jazz in the '80s, cutting more albums for Fantasy and Elektra, then returning to Blue Note. He's currently on the Musicmasters label. Almost anything Turrentine's recorded, even albums with Stevie Wonder cover songs, are worth hearing for his solos. Many of his classic dates, as well as recent material, is available on CD.
Turrentine is an original, a one-of-a-kind. He does not fit neatly into ordinary jazz categories. What makes Turrentine great is his deep love of the roots of jazz -- blues and groove music. He never abandoned these roots to join the more cerebral set of jazz soloists. His recording partnership with Jimmy Smith has given us some of the finest funk groove music of all time, a high-water mark for both artists. This man likes to groove and play funky music! He won't be tamed!
"The Turrentine tenor displays none of the weak-kneed and frazzle-buttocked bleatings of many tenor sax deviates, but relies on the truly large tone of the big tenor sounds of the old masters. " -- Dudley Williams, reviewer for Bluenote ~ Bob Porter, Michael Erlewine, and Ron Wynn
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The url is www.saxsales.com.