Tenor Saxophone

Anthony Dean

(Note: this profile was written prior to the passing of Mr. Barnes in April, 2020) Tenor giant Bootsie Barnes has been the epitome of a “Hometown Hero” for most of his 82 years. He’s never left the city, instead becoming a cornerstone of the Philadelphia jazz scene, remaining constant even as styles and generations changed around him.

Courtesy of the artist

When it comes to the tradition of innovative Philadelphia tenor saxophonist-composers, Odean Pope is heavenly high atop that list.

Melissa Gilstrap

Hailed as one of the world’s finest jazz saxophone players, Larry McKenna is firmly rooted in his Philadelphia birthplace where he has spent over six decades showcasing a gorgeous tenor saxophone sound.

April 27, 2020. For a youngish tenor saxophonist, Ken Fowser’s recording output’s been nothing short of prodigious, leading five albums for Posi-Tone Records and co-leading another four with star vibraphonist Behn Gillece. His latest, Morning Light, is further support for the rock-solid reputation the South Jersey native has built since hitting the New York City scene 15 years ago.

Bootsie Barnes, a tenor saxophonist and bandleader who set a rigorous standard for hard bop, presiding as a master and mentor in his hometown of Philadelphia, died on Wednesday at Lankenau Medical Center in Wynnewood, Pa. He was 82.