Lenny Pickett – “What Is Hip?”

Saxophonist Lenny Pickett was born on this day (April 10), in Las Cruces, New Mexico, in 1954. A colossally talented tenor player with a scorching altissimo range, Pickett is best known as the leader of the Saturday Night Live house band, in which he’s been playing weekly since 1995. Previously, Pickett was an essential voice in the pop-funk band Tower Of Power, lending his stratospheric saxophone solos to some of the group’s biggest hits. That includes the tune “What Is Hip?” off their self-titled album from 1973. In 2016, Pickett revisited to the song with the Finnish UMO Jazz Orchestra for his album The Prescription, released on Random Act Records. This time around, it’s Pickett’s saxophone that drives the melody, which is adorned with his characteristic bluesy asides and roof-peeling squeals. Live from JAZZIZ, it’s Song of the Day.

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