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A song for the Rocksax meeting: Last Night.


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I’ve been looking for suitable Rockssax songs that both the beginner/less experienced and the advanced player can play together.

Last Night (C.Axton, F.Newman, G.C.Caple, J.C.Smith, C.Moman)
This is a song that the band The Mar-Keys did in 1961. The Mar-Keys was the record label Stax session band and was based in Memphis Tennessee. From this group other groups also were formed: Memphis Horns, The Packers and Booker T & the M.G.’s. Guys like Andrew Love, Wayne Jackson, Don Nix, Isaac Hayes, Booker T, Steve Crooper, Al Jackson Jr …. are all musicians that became an important part of the Southern Soul sound. According to John Laughter (Top 40 Solos), “Last Night” reached #3 on the U.S. charts and Gilbert Caple blew the 12 bar tenor solo. The other saxmen on the recording were Charles Paxton (ts) and Floyd Newman (bs). Newman was also doing the minimalistic vocal parts, so it’s not a 100 % jazz song! :w00t:

Other great Mar-Keys recordings for a Rocksax group are “Sack O’Woe”, “Hold It”, “Morning After”, “Philly Dog” .. . As “Ebb Tide” once was the theme for the ballad of month (Your sound clips) I would also recommend listen to that song. Listen to the B3 organ (Booker T?), Wayne Jackson’s trumpet and the rhythm section (Crooper, Al Jackson and Dunn?). Less is more! If it was possible, I would like to add Charlie Barnet (saxplayer and Big Band leader) to this version.

Back to “Last Night”. It’s a fun song to do and also quite easy, so I think after a few months most players would be able to blow the hornlines. A song for all! We do it in concert G which I also think it’s the original key. So it’s A for Bb saxes and E for Eb saxes. It’s a “Surf Beat” song (what’s that?). The sax/horn players are just playing few tones and it’s rhythmical easy as well. Try to keep tones short and distinct. There is a 12 bars solo on the recording. The chords (concert) are:

D7,C7,G7, -


Hi Thomas,just read your post on Last Night. I was reading about the recording session the Markeys did and the Tenor player on Last Night ( solo) wasn't experienced on solo work. They had a really long hard session with him, and had to splice together different takes of the solo to get the finished product. In fact it was his first recorded solo ever. But back to Last Night a great tune and like you say quite easy to play and very effective. Pity they don't do stuff like that anymore.
Regards Rob.
Just a note of interest to follow up on what Rob stated;

According to Jerry Wexler, Smoochy Smith, Duck Dunn, and Estelle Axton, early versions of the song did not have a tenor sax solo featured on the released 45. Supposedly Wexley heard an early take and suggested that a sax solo be added. Gilbert Caple was given the job. This was his first solo he had ever recorded and consequently Caple was somewhat scared. “We worked so long that night that everybody got disgusted” sighed Caple. Cable states that the solo that is heard on the record was actually pieced together from several different attempts.
Floyd is the one that said, “Awww, last night”.

And I totally agree that it would be great to have this style of music return to the recording industry and jukeboxes for a few years.
Hi Colin,
Remember it well, always reminded me of the type of tunes you got in the" Carry On " films.

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