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R & B saxophone players - a quickstart guide

Discussion in 'Great Saxophone Players' started by Pete Thomas, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Chief of Stuff

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    This is a project I've been meaning to do for ages. It's not in any way meant to be an exhaustive study, but I do intend to include as many players as possible, with soundclips. A kind of "starter pack" for anyone interested in the genre.


    The first dozen or so are up there now:


    http://tamingthesaxophone.com/blues-saxophone.html


    Please feel free to comment, criticise, make suggestions
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  2. rhysonsax

    rhysonsax Well-Known Member

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    Great idea - I'm going to enjoy listening to the clips.

    Glad to see several of my personal favourites on the list.

    Off course, it begs the question of what is R&B ? But that's probably fun to debate too.

    Rhys
  3. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Chief of Stuff

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    Yes, what is it?

    I am of course using the old definition, but in this case it loosely covers blues, rock & roll, jump jive, funk, soul, rock, some pop maybe and probably some early ska.

    I'm not going to include jazz players who have a bit of blues influence, but it might be somewhat arbitrary. i.e. I probably won't include Bird, but I might include Lou Donaldson, Hank Crawford, Stanley Turrentine.

    Meanwhile I'll probably concentrate on the rockier players, Boots Randolph and Sam Butera next.
  4. thomsax

    thomsax Well-Known Member

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    "The major solo instrument in Rhythm & Blues is the saxophone.
    Its sound is the voice of R&B and the short, heavily structured sax-solos of R&B-songs that crossed over into Rock and Roll, and the sax riffs that built these songs are forever engraved in the hearts and souls of a generation. The encounter with wild, extroverted and totally uninhibited sax players in the early '50s predates but had a "Presleylike-effect" on white youngsters.

    The series features the saxmaniacs (Big JayMcNeely, Red Prysock), the sax-playing vocalists (Bullmoose and Cleanhead) as well as the sax-balladeers (Tab Smith and Lynn Hope). "
    (from Mr R&B catalög)

    And don't forget Freddie "Taxi" Mitchell!

    Thomas
  5. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Chief of Stuff

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    Just added some more, great fun rediscovering Lynn Hope. I'm not even half way through yet.
  6. compound

    compound Member

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    Brilliant Pete looking forward to the rest. Thomas + 1 for Freddie " Taxi " Mitchell.
    Rob.
  7. Filton

    Filton Member

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    This is awesome stuff. Really enjoying reading an listening to the soundclips!
  8. Riversider

    Riversider Member

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    What a great resource! Thanks Pete. Tied in to your pages on R&B saxophone it's the bar-walker's business!
  9. Jules

    Jules Formerly known as "nachoman"

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    May i suggest- Sam Butera, Big Jay McNeely and, the oft overlooked but absolutely storming, Clifford Scott....
  10. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Chief of Stuff

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    Yes you may. Butera is already there, Big J is on the list and I'll add Clifford Scott, thanks
  11. thomsax

    thomsax Well-Known Member

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    .... and Gene Barge, Bobby Forte, Pretson Love, Fats Noel, Jesse Powell, Wild Bill Moore, Al Sears, Lorennzo Holden, Floyd Turnham.... . Blues men ; Eddie Shaw, A.C Reed, J.T. Brown
  12. compound

    compound Member

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    Great Pete,
    May i add Jackie Kelso who often swopped recording dates with Plas, and Lou Donaldson.
    Cheers Rob.
  13. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Chief of Stuff

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    Yes, duly noted, thanks
  14. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Chief of Stuff

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    Many thanks, will do my best.

    Al Sears is added.
  15. compound

    compound Member

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    Hi Pete,
    I dont know if this guy counts, Red Price the British Tenor man with Lord Rockinghams Eleven. Remember Hootsman! He was the man who first got me interested in the sax.
    Cheers Rob.
  16. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Chief of Stuff

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    Red is on my to do list, he was actually my teacher for a while.

    The problem is finding a good sound clip, do you know of anything? Hoots Mon doesn't have a solo, and I really need a good solo to show off Red's prowess.

    Red also played the frog in Pinky and Perky
    • Like Like x 1
  17. compound

    compound Member

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    Hi Pete,
    Just been on Spotify and could only find three. One called weekend, another called Dangerman, and one with Jack Parnell, when the saints go marching in. Dangerman's the old TV theme i think, with a nice solo in the middle. I'd go with that one
    but i'll leave it up to you.
    Cheers Rob.
  18. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Chief of Stuff

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    Many thanks, I've now bought the album on iTunes: 100 rocking instrumentals
  19. Rico Vandoren

    Rico Vandoren Member

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    Just spent the whole evening on the computer Mr. Thomas- and its your fault.
  20. Nick Wyver

    Nick Wyver noisy

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    Leo Parker?
  21. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Chief of Stuff

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    OK thanks yes, I'll add him to the list, but could be more in the Lou Donadson, Hank Crawford jazzier side of things for this one, but def on the list for another page.
  22. thomsax

    thomsax Well-Known Member

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    A player that must be on the list is "Wild Bill Moore". He recorded "We're Gonna Rock, We're Gonna Roll" in 1947. Just not because he used the words "Rock" and "Roll" in the title. I think this R&B song is a Rock & Roll tune! Eight before the birth of Rock 'n' Roll. "We're Gonna Rock, We're Gonna Roll" is Rock 'n' Roll to me: the beat, easy lyrics, the rolling boogie piano, riffing saxes and Moore's beefy tenor with the necessary repetitionon. That's Rock & Roll (Saxophone) to me!?! Moore was a very good player. He used the whole range of the saxophone. And even out of the range sometimes.

    Talking of the first traces of what later became Rock & Roll; beside Wild Bill I think Hal Singer and Big Jay are also good samples of early Rock. But they are already on the list.

    Guess where William "Wild BillW Moore was born? You're right .... Texas, Houston to be more precise!

    PT - Thanks for a good side!

    Thomas
  23. altissimo

    altissimo Senior Member

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    excellent list, i've only just started seriously getting into rhythm and blues sax players, so this is very useful..
    is Clyde McPhatter on your list?
    I came across a blog called Be Bop Wino a few weeks ago which seemed to cover a lot of late 40's/early 50's r'n'b, back when r'n'b meant what it's supposed to..

    it's an interesting and neglected period of american sax playing, the post war transition from big band to rock n roll. Many of the jazz greats started off playing in blues bands until they'd payed their dues and could get a jazz gig - Coltrane learnt a lot from playing in Earl Bostic's band and Ornette Coleman toured with rhythm and blues shows. Many of the avant garde players learnt about altissimo and multiphonics as a result of early r'n'b experience.
    Most jazzers seemed to have hated having to demean themselves and play in blues clubs, walking the bar and honking and wailing when they could've been playing something complicated, cool and intellectual, but it sure sounds like fun to me...

    now where can i get a copy of Sil Austin and Red Prysock's "Battle Royal"??
  24. compound

    compound Member

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    Hi,
    Didn't know Clyde McPhatter played the Horn? One of my alltime favourites is Daddy G ( Gene Barge. ) He played with the Church St Five in the 50s & 60s. Some good stuff on You Tube.
  25. Kingsleyhk

    Kingsleyhk Senior Member

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    RE: Red Price.

    Try this

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T95IpR23awg

    The person who taped it (Steve James) and I presume put it up on YouTube is the son of the vocalist/pianist and is a DJ on the local English language radio station. If you're concerned about copyright if you choose to use it, I'm happy to talk to Steve.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2012
  26. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Chief of Stuff

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    Thanks, yes I've seen that video and love it, but I prefer to have something that is on a record. I now have two Red Price tracks up there, Dangerman (which is not quite R&B either but very cool) and now Roarin'.
  27. altissimo

    altissimo Senior Member

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    oops, I should check what I write - I meant to say Clyde “Blow Top” Lynn - but was distracted while reading various blogs about R'n'B and had just read a reference to Clyde McPhatter being "lead tenor" and was looking it up only to find that it meant lead tenor vocalist, not sax.. so I copy and pasted the wrong name by mistake..

    obviously I'm not cut out for multitasking, I have to use both hands and my mouth just to play one note and that makes me dribble a bit..
  28. spike

    spike Member

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    Don Wise - Genuine Snake
    Reggie Houston is also worth a mention.
    It's not only the old guys - the Texas R&B tenor style lives on - Don Wise is certainly a good example.
    gruss spike

    Another good example for Lionel Prevost would be his solo on Bayou Drive with Clifton Chenier

    Also the lines are hazy in this thread (R&B, R&R, Soul, Big Band) - what about David "Fathead" Newman, years touring with Ray Charles and what about Charles Neville some of his solos with the brothers are to die for.

    Let's face it Blue Lou Marini could well qualify for inclusion and didn't Michael Brecker play some out of this world R&B on some of his excursions as guest artist - "Operator" or his live solo on a Stateside TV show for instance, I've forgotten the name of the show "Leaving" was the tune title.

    My old Stevie Jobs G5 up and died a few weeks ago and I still haven't figured out a way to rescue my musical archives off've the hard drive.

    Rock on gruss - spike
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 29, 2012
  29. thomsax

    thomsax Well-Known Member

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    Great player, but I don't think PT wants contemporary saxplayers on the list. We can make a new list list! Wise played with Delbert McClinton for over 23 years. All over America and somtimes overseas as well.

    Thomas
  30. John Chmielewski

    John Chmielewski New Member

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    What about Edgar Winters; heard that he played on Meatloaf's "All Rev'ed Up and No Place to Go".
  31. Jeanette

    Jeanette Barista Cafe Moderator

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    John

    Welcome to the café why not introduce yourself in the doorbell section of the forum :)

    Jx
  32. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Chief of Stuff

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    True, but there are many many players that would need adding if we went too far beyond the main era of the database which is mostly about the 40s and 50s.

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