Update Big Jay McNeely + Follow

Primary Instrument: Sax, tenor

Born: April 29, 1927

Big Jay McNeely brought the tenor sax to prominence in the golden age of R&B, known as the “King of the Honkers,” for his wild style and outrageous showmanship..

Tenor saxophonist Cecil “Big Jay” McNeely was born in Watts, California, on April 29, 1927, he formed his own band with jazz legends Sonny Criss (alto sax) and Hampton Hawes (piano) while still in high school. But in late 1948, when he was asked to record for Savoy Records, he abandoned jazz for something more raucous and struck paydirt when his second release, a honked-up instrumental called “Deacon's Hop,” went to #1 on the national R&B charts in February 1949. For the next several years, Big Jay was famed for his playing-on-his-back acrobatics and his raw, hard-swinging playing. During his act he'd leave the stage, walk across the top of the bar, and sometimes walk out the door of the club, often with a line of people following him....
read more

Music

Featured recording “Swingin'”

Swingin'

Collectables
1958
  • BUY

    King Of The Honkin' Sax

    Screwgun Records
    2011
  • BUY

    Central Avenue Confidential

    Bourbon Records
    1999
  • BUY

    Blow The Wall Down!

    Screwgun Records
    1990
  • BUY

    Big "J" In 3-D

    Screwgun Records
    1988
  • BUY

    The Best Of

    Screwgun Records
    1985
  • BUY

    Loose On Sunset

    Screwgun Records
    1984
  • BUY

    Deacon Rides Again

    Screwgun Records
    1983
View Discography Page

This information is provided by the musician profile administrator or discogs.com.

Watch More Videos

Events

There are no Big Jay McNeely events at Jazz Near You. Add one now.

Push your events to your social pages. Learn how here.

Rank: 3,679
Views: 6,252
Fans: 1
Sponsor: Summit Records | BUY NOW

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

or search site with Google

Help improve the Big Jay McNeely profile

All About Jazz musician profiles are maintained by musicians, publicists and trusted members like you. Interested? Tell us why you would like to improve the Big Jay McNeely musician profile.

Please Sign Up or Log In to send your inquiry.