Serge Chaloff

Chaloff #1 I take a look at the work of baritone saxophonist Serge Chaloff (1923-1957) starting with his musical influences. Perhaps best known for his work with Woody Herman, Chaloff is considered the first bebop baritone saxophonist and paved the way for other important baritone saxophonists in the 1950’s and 1960’s. He played this unwieldy instrument with the grace and fluency of the smaller alto saxophone.

Serge Chaloff - Episode 1

CompositionArtistYear
Sophisticated LadyDuke Ellington Orchestra (with Harry Carney)1956
Doggin' AroundCount Basie Orchestra (featuring Jack Washington)1938
Bird's NestCharlie Parker1947
Blue SergeSerge Chaloff Quintet1946
PumpernickelSerge Chaloff Sextet1947
Serge's UrgeSerge Chaloff Sextet1947
A Bar a SecondSerge Chaloff Sextet1947
Fine and DandyRed Rodney and his Be-Boppers1947

Serge Chaloff - Episode 2

Chaloff’s recording legacy is relatively small with his best work coming from 1948 to 1949 and then later in the mid-1950’s, shortly before his untimely death. The septet and octet recordings from 1949 bear a striking similarity to the work of Tadd Dameron and the Miles Davis Nonet (Birth of the Cool). His later work in some ways foreshadows the combining of jazz with other genres (Fable of Mabel). Known for his beautiful sound and use of the entire range of the instrument, his tone will remain as one of the most unique in all of jazz.
CompositionArtistYear
KipSerge Chaloff Sextet1955
ChickasawSerge Chaloff Octet1949
The Most!Serge Chaloff Octet1949
PatSerge Chaloff Septet1949
Easy StreetSerge Chaloff Quintet1954
Sherry Serge Chaloff Trio1954
The Fable of MabelSerge Chaloff Sextet1954
Body and SoulSerge Chaloff Sextet1955