Seahawks vs. Falcons begins with an incredible saxophone national anthem

In the Falcons-Seahawks marquee matchup we were privileged to be blessed with something spectacular. You hear that? That’s the melodic, silky-smooth flow of a beautiful saxophone.

Goddamn. Is that the ghost of Luther Vandross? Is that everything Louis Armstrong wanted for these United States? This is what John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins lived for.

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pic9Mike Phillips hails from Mount Vernon, NY. He became interested in music at a young age, moving through several different instruments before settling on the saxophone. By the age of 16, he decided to play professionally. He made an impromptu New York debut at Wilson’s nightclub in New York in 1993, and that led to a series of session and sideman jobs in jazz, R&B, and even rap.

“I was offstage, listening to Michael Phillips take his solo. I was thinking ‘Wow, listen to those people responding, and all he’s doing is playing a saxophone.’ They can feel that what he’s doing is real. So many shows now…they are so dead. But here’s one man breathing into an instrument, and the whole room feels alive. It made me want to rise up to that level when I came back onstage.”
Prince, Rolling Stone, 5/27/04

Mike Phillips tour dates