Track

Big Jay McNeely

Born: April 29, 1927    Primary Instrument: Sax, tenor

Big Jay McNeely

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

Source: James Nadal

Please Sign Up or Log In to send your inquiry.

Events Calendar

Sorry, there are no Big Jay McNeely events available at this time. Submit one now.

TIP: Reach multiple calendar destinations with a single post. Learn now here.

Submit Take Five Answers. We'll publish your Take Five questions and answers as an article, feature it on the home page and link to it from your musician profile.
No videos available. Add a video now.

Watch More Videos

comments powered by Disqus
Rank: 3,569 Views: 5,850
Featured recording “Swingin'”

Swingin'
Collectables (1958)

Weekly Giveaways

Matthew Shipp

Matthew Shipp
About | Enter

Matt Ridley

Matt Ridley
About | Enter

Tord Gustavsen

Tord Gustavsen
About | Enter

Alfredo Rodriguez

Alfredo Rodriguez
About | Enter

An innovative and rich resource For Jazz Musicians

The All About Jazz musician database grows daily
with the help of musicians, supportive professionals and advocates.

Musician? Plug in and promote yourself today.

Learn how