Buddy Savitt, an American tenor saxophonist and flutist, is known for his considerable contributions to the world of jazz and pop music. Born Berton Schwarz on April 8, 1931, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Savitt’s impact on the music world has resonated with saxophone professionals and enthusiasts alike.
His early career in the 1950s saw Savitt playing in big bands, an experience that significantly honed his skills as a saxophonist. He gained substantial recognition as a leading member of the Elliot Lawrence Band, where his performances notably highlighted his exceptional musical talent and versatility.
Throughout his career, Savitt collaborated with a variety of high-profile artists across multiple genres. These collaborations included stints with rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Bill Haley and his band, The Comets, where Savitt’s saxophone playing lent an additional layer of depth and vibrancy to their music. His saxophone solos on tracks like “Rudy’s Rock” and “Calling All Comets” stand as a testament to his remarkable prowess and ability to imbue pop music with jazz sensibilities.
Savitt’s versatility extended beyond the big band and rock ‘n’ roll scenes. He ventured into television and performed as part of the house band on the popular TV program “American Bandstand.” Savitt’s performances on the show not only exposed a wider audience to his talent but also demonstrated his adaptability as a musician, playing for a range of different artists and genres.
Despite his successful career, Buddy Savitt remained an under-the-radar musician, often playing in the background for more prominent artists. Yet, within professional saxophone circles, Savitt is remembered as a truly great saxophonist, whose technique, sound, and phrasing were exceptional and inspiring.
Savitt’s career was cut short due to health issues, leading to his premature retirement in the 1980s. Despite this, he left a significant impact on the music world. His unique sound and style continue to inspire generations of saxophonists, underlining his enduring influence in the realm of saxophone music.
Page last updated 7/4/2023.