To run a hornsection instead of a band?

thomsax

Well-Known Member
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3,227
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Sweden
#1
Today I spend more time on a 3-piece horn section instead of running a 6-8 piece band. It's easier and we can also play with more bands. Still playing blues (B.B. King, Albert King, SRV ....), oldtime R&B (The Markeys, King Curtis, Big Joe Truner.....), soul (Wilson Pickett, Jr Walker, The Tempations .....), rock ( J.J. Cale, Chuck Berry, Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison ....). We are 5 persons to run a "3-horn section"! Two are tenor/bari players, one guy is on trumpet/tenor/bari player. Two are just playing tenor or trumpet. If everyone can make it, we double trumpet or tenor parts. We are just playing for fun and glad if we can cover the cost for gas. So it's an a real amatuer level. We try to add two new songs every month. Last month it was "Real, Real Gone" (Van Morrison) and "You Left the Water Runnin'" (Huey Lewis version).
real.JPG
 

thomsax

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3,227
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Sweden
#3
Sure. A song every rock saxplayer must know "Last Night"! In the key of G. It's an easy song. Trumpet and tenor is blowing one note althrough the song. The bari is playing two! In the end you must through in two more notes (a 12 bar blues). But when it comes to solo ... On this clip it's Joe Arnold that is playing the sax solo. The other two are are Waynne Jackson (trp) and Andrew Love that later formed "Memphis Horns". On the original recording I think it was Packy Axton (tenor & solo) Don Nix baryton sax and Waynne Jackson trp. The vocal "Last Night" was made the bari player Floyd Newman. It's hard to get the right info about this. Joe Arnold played some R&B songs on Poretta Soul festival the other year. And Joe Arnold is on a "The Martin Tenor" with BL hr mpc. In the horn section Sax Gordon is blowing a punchy bari ( Grassi to low Bb).
View: https://youtu.be/togEJm8VtMQ
 

Keep Blowing

Member
Commercial Subscriber
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733
Location
Bottesford
#4
Sure. A song every rock saxplayer must know "Last Night"! In the key of G. It's an easy song. Trumpet and tenor is blowing one note althrough the song. The bari is playing two! In the end you must through in two more notes (a 12 bar blues). But when it comes to solo ... On this clip it's Joe Arnold that is playing the sax solo. The other two are are Waynne Jackson (trp) and Andrew Love that later formed "Memphis Horns". On the original recording I think it was Packy Axton (tenor & solo) Don Nix baryton sax and Waynne Jackson trp. The vocal "Last Night" was made the bari player Floyd Newman. It's hard to get the right info about this. Joe Arnold played some R&B songs on Poretta Soul festival the other year. And Joe Arnold is on a "The Martin Tenor" with BL hr mpc. In the horn section Sax Gordon is blowing a punchy bari ( Grassi to low Bb).
View: https://youtu.be/togEJm8VtMQ
You certainly know your onion's! I'll have a listen later
 

rhysonsax

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3,268
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Surrey, UK
#6
That sounds like a lot of fun. Are you using written out horn parts / arrangements and where do you get them from ?

I have had a lot of fun playing tenor or bari in four-piece and eight piece horn sections and I'm lucky to know some fine horn players (much better than me) who can read and know the right styles for Soul, R&B, Latin, Funk etc.

In the last couple of years I have played for a wedding in a cave, hiding in a garage for an episode of Come Dine with Me, for a nice 50th birthday party and before that for an Elvis tribute act. They have all been grief to organise but brilliant to play.

Rhys
 
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thomsax

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3,227
Location
Sweden
#7
All songs are written out/arrangements and often in differnt keys as well. The singer (often also the guitarrist) decide. A guy in Rhode Island is helping me with charts. Some are "standards" (already exciting charts) but often he transcribe the horn lines from a recording . He is also writing hornlines if a song is not having any horns. The very, very easy ones , we try to do on our own.

The trumpet players are teachers and it makes life a little earsier for the rest, that are not so good at reading music. I use charts when I learn a song but I try not to read or having the charts in front of me when I'm playing. And we also try to play a solo if there is a chance.

Some songs at the "local pub", birthday party, small street festivals/fairs ... nothing big or advanced. But we get some offers from "semi-pro" bands that used to have horns. We don't replace other horn players.

A song by Taj Mahal (Ain't That A Lot of Love (Gimme Me Some Lovin' borrowed some lines! ) that was trancsribed. Concert E (Bb trp/ts F#, bari Db/C#. The singer and guitar player decide. But this is the original key as well. It's often songs like this.

View: https://youtu.be/lQYff61-41M


ain'tthat.jpg
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
404
Location
New Mexico, US
#8
So...this is an interesting concept. Sort of a 'hired hand' horn section...expanding the mechanism of a 'hired session player' to multiple players.

How does that actually work out in reality, for players like you ?

I mean...you have your repertoire. An individual, independent band (say a rhythm section and a lead) have their own repertoire.

If I am the leader of the latter....do I hire you guys and give you our set lists and y'all figure out your parts and deliver ? Or do you folks give me your repertoire and say: "you get to choose from these" ?

Or a mix of the two ?
 

dooce

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,377
Location
Daventry
#9
I sorted out the arrangements for a 3-piece horn section (trumpet/tenor/bari) for a band a few years back - spent many long evenings with headphones clamped to my ears while I tried to capture the horn arrangements on Noteflight. But very sastisfying when we got them right - surprising how simple many of those classic horn arrangements are.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,227
Location
Sweden
#10
So...this is an interesting concept. Sort of a 'hired hand' horn section...expanding the mechanism of a 'hired session player' to multiple players.

How does that actually work out in reality, for players like you ?

I mean...you have your repertoire. An individual, independent band (say a rhythm section and a lead) have their own repertoire.

If I am the leader of the latter....do I hire you guys and give you our set lists and y'all figure out your parts and deliver ? Or do you folks give me your repertoire and say: "you get to choose from these" ?

Or a mix of the two ?
You should see this as another way to use the saxophone in "rock music". We know most of the other guys in the bands we play with. So it's not a "hire hand" .... it's more a social thing. Always fun to meet fellow musicians and play. Maybe this is a way to increase the interest for playing wind instruments in blues, R&B, soul ... .? There is a young woman, that can play the trumpet, that has shown interest. Use to play in a concert band and wants to play in a Rock hornsection. I use to arrange Rocksax Workshops with differnt musicians. The interest for "Rocksax" is decreasing (IMHO). At least here in Sweden/Denamark. So to expand "Rocksax" to "Rock Hornsection" can be a way to go? More horns in Rock music !!!!!!!
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,227
Location
Sweden
#12
I sorted out the arrangements for a 3-piece horn section (trumpet/tenor/bari) for a band a few years back - spent many long evenings with headphones clamped to my ears while I tried to capture the horn arrangements on Noteflight. But very sastisfying when we got them right - surprising how simple many of those classic horn arrangements are.
Yes, many horn arrangments are easy. And that is good!
 
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