The saxophone is a single reed instrument that has its place in everything from pop to big band to jazz to classical. Depending on the player, it can sound mellow or strong. The saxophone's individualized sound is possible because of the variety of mouthpiece materials and designs, the range of hardness in reeds, and a relatively loose mouth position that enables the player to vary the timbre and to "bend" notes.
Available in a variety of sizes ranging from seven inches to seven feet tall, the most common saxophones are the soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones. More unusual saxophones include the mezzo soprano, bass, contrabass, Conn-O-Sax, F baritone, C soprano, and sopranino.
Legends like Charlie Parker and John Coltrane helped the saxophone become the most popular woodwind solo instrument among jazz performers and audiences. Other legendary saxophone players include Cannonball Adderly, Stan Getz, Jimmy Dorsey, Johnny Hodges, Wayne Shorter and Grover Washington, Jr. Among today's well-known names, you'll find Sonny Rollins, David Sanborn, Kenny G, Boney James, Candy Dulfer, Dave Koz and Branford Marsalis.