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To play in the Clarence Clemons style!?


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Right now I'm listening a lot to Clarence "Big Man" Clemons. He has been one of my saxheroes since early/mid 70's. So his sax and music a running in my CD/PA nearly every day. For some months ago we tried to rehears the song "Unchain My Heart" (Joe Cockers version). We did the song with a 3-part hornsection (trp,ts, trb or bs). There is a tenorsolo in the song that I’ve been struggle with. We are playing it in D concert , which I also think is the key on JC version, which means key of E on tenor (E major scale on tenor sax with an occasional D natural and some passings A# and G (not in the scale)?? What’s really hard is to begin the solo. To hit hard from the first tone!! To add the volume and energy to the solo!! Are there any saxplayers at CS who is playing this song/solo? We also tried with a bari solo (key of B on bari). Cool but even harder, I think.

What’s your ”relationship” to CC? Are there any other honkers who are trying to play in the same style (I don’t mean his tone) as ”Big Man”? Any tips or techniquis to share?

Interesting but can't offer much help. Our band does a version based on the old Ray Charles recording. Great soloing opportunity although I tend to do my own thing rather than follow the original. Agree you got to hit it hard from the first note though.
I used to play the solo from the Joe Cocker version note for note (it was that sort of band). I'll see if I can find the dots for it if that's any use to you. I can't remember the key but I seem to remember it finished on an altissimo F#.

<edit> Found it. Can't remember how accurate it is though.
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Watcher Thom - hope you're well,
Played this a few times over the years - last time must've been about ten years ago - should be C concert not D which would concur with the above (B flat) solo dots from Nick - in which case the best way is to think B minor (IMO) for the tenor sax solo, don't forget those last two notes are screaming altissimo D-F#+8 !!! Clarence is not called the Big Man for nothing you need to be in turbo mode from go to sound anything like him, I don't think he ever "growled" he played so powerfully he didn't need to.
Gruss - spike
presently in a "taking a rest from rock'n'roll" mode
Yes, Ray Charles did some very good versions of Unchain My Heart. And David Newman also played that song very well.

Thank you for your tips and the chart.

Hallo Spike,
Nice to hear from you. A break from Rock 'n' Roll??? You have to go back to the style of Clemons and just blow your sax. With or without the growl. Just a heavy vibrato. Unleash the animal!!!

Here is a link to the chord changes of "our version".

Thank you all for your input

I was wrong! The arrangement is in C concert, D on tenor. Clemons is often in the key of E on tenor (D concert). I just blow my sax. Less reading.

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