The great R n B player's.

compound

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King Curtis ,Junior Walker, Gene Barge. All great player's and improviser's, though for me it's got to be King Curtis. The guy could play anything, ballad's, jazz, RnB, Rock, he was a fantastic improviser and a session man for many year's. His ballad work was lush and vibrant, his rock and r n b work had that special sound only he could make. A much imitaited player with a fantastic command of the instrument.Knifed to death in 1971 by a drug addict, what a loss.
Rob.
 

rhysonsax

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Gene Barge is a new name to me I'm off to check him out as I love the other two.

Labelling genres is hard to do: R&B used to mean something quite different to what it means now, as did Soul.

I've been listening to a lot of Jr Walker recently and have got a couple of backing tracks and transcriptions. His altissimo playing was just great, with such a full and beautiful tone. Wish I could do that.

Rhys
 

thomsax

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A great topic.

When we are talking about R&B and early Rock & Roll saxplayers there are two who are outstanding: King Curtis and Red Prysock. I think they were differnt as persons and of course saxplayers. Both blessed with a big tones. King Curtis manged to be the "first call" untill his death. He worked with John Lennon just before his death. Prysock had a big succes with "Hand Clappin" and did some follow up songs like "Foot Stompin'" and "Head Snappin' " but they didn't do so well as "Hand Clappin' ". In the 60's the carrier faded out for Prysock. I can't understand why? If I would sudjest a saxplayer to Rolling Stones it would be Red Prysock! His "punchy tone" and his uncompromising way to play would have been perfect: So sorry, Keys, Rollins, Barge, Watts ... you wold be my second call !!!

I have "talked" to person who worked with both King Curtis and Red Prysock. King Curtis was the kind of person who shake hands and say hello everyone. Nice and fiendly. He took care of the band, fans, music .... while the real bandleader and main attraction was running the BBQ. No problem at all. I guess it was differnt with Red Prysock. He knew he was good and he was doing his thing; playing the saxophone. I think Prysock was a little bit misunderstood. "Well I hear them speak about the roots of Rock & Roll ... that was the time it started. (Red's Mercury Album "Rock & Roll" was released in 1955). I was with Alan Freed, I had the big band with him at Paramount Threatre. And I use to go out with the Irwing Feld tours. Bill Haily was on act I remember, and the Teeenagers, the Platters, The Drifters, Sarah Vaughan, Al Hibbler and the boy who sang "You Never Walk Alone" (Roy Hamilton). When I left the Allan Freed Big Band at the Paramount, King Curtis took my place. But they never call my name when they talked about the roots of Rock & Roll on TV ... " told Prysock Jonas Bernholm (Mr R&B) in an interview in 1983. In the 70's Red teamed up with his brother Arthur and they played mostly on clubs on the east coast. Red passed away in 1993.

Both King Curtis and Red Prysock was singing on stage and records. When it comes to singing, Red get my vote!!

But there are lots of other good R&B -R&R saxplayers: Big Jay, Willis Jackson, Sam "The Man" Taylor, Lee Allen, Noble Watts, Freddie Mitchell.....

Thomas
 
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Hi Rhys,
Talking about Jnr Walker what about Mutiny?, now that's a cracker, and don't we all wish we could sound like him. Regarding Gene Barge check him out on U Tube playing A Night with Daddy G, part's 1 and 2. Part 1 is the best.
Regard's Rob.
 
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