David Mann: The Complete Saxophonist

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I first met David when we played in the saxophone section on a week-long gig backing Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga. I was aware of David’s many talents via recordings but had not actually had the opportunity to work with him. That experience was enlightening in that I not only heard his creative soloing and sensitive section playing, but also recognized his humility and interest in discussing anything and everything related to saxophone. Since then, I have become a huge fan of his and his music. As is evident in this interview, David exudes an enthusiasm for learning from colleagues that should serve as an example for all musicians. He is also one of the few saxophonists I have met who has developed distinctive sounds on both alto and tenor saxophones with the ability to fit into any musical scenario. While primarily known for his pop/rock saxophone soloing on a wide array of studio recordings, I’ve witnessed his abilities as a featured big band tenor soloist and as a member of a saxophone quartet. David has also been a successful arranger, composer, producer, and woodwind doubler in his career. Clearly, he embodies the concept of what it takes to be a successful musician in today’s highly competitive music industry.

About the Artist: Michigan native David Mann has enjoyed a diverse and prolific musical life. Initially drawn to the artistry of jazz saxophone greats Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley, he attended the New England Conservatory of Music as a jazz major. There, he studied with the legendary Joe Allard and played and toured with the big band of George Russell. Upon graduation, David joined Maynard Ferguson’s band and then eventually settled in New York. Shortly thereafter, he found himself interacting with many of New York’s elite jazz and studio musicians including Andy Snitzer, Chris Botti, Michael Brecker, David Sanborn, Lawrence Feldman, and Lou Marini. Solo albums ensued with Games (1987), Insight (1989), Mann to Mann (1994), and Touch (2001) as well as session and jingle work. After playing the tenor sax solo chair with Tower of Power during the 1990’s, David began working and recording with James Taylor, Paul Simon, Madonna, and Billy Joel. Continuing his work in the pop/rock field into the millennium, he played with The Eagles, Don Henly, Linda Eder, Christopher Cross, Michael Franks, and Steve Tyrell while still maintaining his jazz chops gigging with Chuck Loeb and Jeff Lorber, His prowess as a woodwind doubler has allowed him to be successful in other sectors of the industry. His musical theater credits include the shows Hairspray, Beautiful, and Tina and this season he has worked on the tv show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. A second career has also emerged over the past 20 years and David has worked with artists such as Nelson Rangell, Steve Cole, Wayman Tisdale, Dave Koz, among many others, as an arranger/producer. David Mann remains a first-call studio musician who can improvise memorable solos while contributing to any musical situation. He defines “The Complete Saxophonist.”


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