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 Post subject: Greatest Rock 'N' Roll Saxophonists
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:05 pm 
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I'm working on a new list, the "100 Greatest Rock 'N' Roll Saxophonists." Don't know why it's never been done before. Here's the names I have so far:

Lee Allen
Herb Hardesty
Big Jay McNeely
Sam "The Man" Taylor
Jimmy Wright
Red Prysock
Clarence Clemons
Junior Walker
Buddy Lucas
Louis Jordan
Danny Payton
Earl Bostic
Paul Williams
Pee Wee Ellis
Maceo Parker
Jimmy Forrest
Hal Singer
Noble "Thin Man" Watts
Rusty Bryant
Arnett Cobb
Alvin "Red" Tyler
Willis "Gator Tail" Jackson
David "Fathead" Newman
Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson
Joe Houston
Ronald Bell
Dennis Thomas
King Curtis

Suggestions welcomed. I'm thinking the top ten will be comprised of these 9 guys, in no particular order yet:

King Curtis
Ronald Bell
Maceo Parker
Earl Bostic
Lee Allen
Big Jay McNeely
Sam "The Man" Taylor
Jimmy Wright
Clarence Clemons

Several guys are in the running for the last slot.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock 'N' Roll Saxophonists
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:18 pm 
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Some more names:

Richie Cole
Raf Ravenscroft
Phil Woods
Michael Brecker
David Sanborn
Dick Parry
Lenny Pickett
Phil Kenzie
Mel Collins
Boots Randolph
Jim Horn
Edgar Winter
Michael "Tunes" Antunes
Hank "Hurricane" Carter
Gene Upshaw
Ronnie Ross
Bud Shank
Gil Bernal
Plas Johnson
Bobby Keys
J.C. Davis


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock 'N' Roll Saxophonists
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:19 pm 
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I had started a list awhile back but never got around to finishing it. Here was the rough draft.

1. King Curtis
2. Sam “The Man” Taylor
3. Lee Allen
4. Maceo Parker (The JB’s)
5. Big Jay McNeely
6. Steve Douglas
7. Andrew Love (Memphis Horns)
8. Herb Hardesty (Fats Domino)
9. David “Fathead” Newman (Ray Charles)
10. Clarence Clemons (E-Street Band)
11. “Daddy” Gene Barge (Church Street Five)
12. Rudy Pompilli (Comets)
13. Alvin “Red” Tyler
14. Willis “Gator” Jackson
15. Maxwell Davis
16. St. Clair Pinckney (The JB's)
17. Floyd Newman (Memphis Horns)
18. Hank Cosby (Funk Brothers)
19. Red Prysock
20. Big Al Sears
21. Grady Gaines (The Upsetters)
22. Jimmy Wright (Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers)
23. Heywood Henry
24. Plas Johnson
25. Charles Chalmers
26. Buddy Lucas (50’s/60’s NY sessions)
27. Gil Bernal (50’s LA sessions)
28. Clifford Scott (Bill Doggett)
29. Joe Arnold (Memphis Horns)
30. Jesse Powell (50’s NY sessions)
31. Joe Houston
32. Arnett Cobb
33. Thomas “Beans” Bowles (Funk Brothers)
34. Bobby Keys (Rolling Stones)
35. Junior Walker (All-Stars)
36. Doc Kupka (Tower of Power)
37. Gilbert Caples
38. Hank “Hurricane” Carter (Destroyers)
39. Charlie Furgeson (early “5” Royales)
40. Budd Johnson (50’s NY sessions)
41. Jerry Martini (Sly & The Family Stone)
42. Packy Axton (Mar-Keys; Packers)
43. Alto Reed (Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band)
44. Frank "Floorshow" Culley
45. Earl Bostic


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock 'N' Roll Saxophonists
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:19 pm 
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I'm thinking King Curtis is number one.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock 'N' Roll Saxophonists
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:22 pm 
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Sampson wrote:
I had started a list awhile back but never got around to finishing it. Here was the rough draft.

1. King Curtis
2. Sam “The Man” Taylor
3. Lee Allen
4. Maceo Parker (The JB’s)
5. Big Jay McNeely
6. Steve Douglas
7. Andrew Love (Memphis Horns)
8. Herb Hardesty (Fats Domino)
9. David “Fathead” Newman (Ray Charles)
10. Clarence Clemons (E-Street Band)
11. “Daddy” Gene Barge (Church Street Five)
12. Rudy Pompilli (Comets)
13. Alvin “Red” Tyler
14. Willis “Gator” Jackson
15. Maxwell Davis
16. St. Clair Pinckney (The JB's)
17. Floyd Newman (Memphis Horns)
18. Hank Cosby (Funk Brothers)
19. Red Prysock
20. Big Al Sears
21. Grady Gaines (The Upsetters)
22. Jimmy Wright (Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers)
23. Heywood Henry
24. Plas Johnson
25. Charles Chalmers
26. Buddy Lucas (50’s/60’s NY sessions)
27. Gil Bernal (50’s LA sessions)
28. Clifford Scott (Bill Doggett)
29. Joe Arnold (Memphis Horns)
30. Jesse Powell (50’s NY sessions)
31. Joe Houston
32. Arnett Cobb
33. Thomas “Beans” Bowles (Funk Brothers)
34. Bobby Keys (Rolling Stones)
35. Junior Walker (All-Stars)
36. Doc Kupka (Tower of Power)
37. Gilbert Caples
38. Hank “Hurricane” Carter (Destroyers)
39. Charlie Furgeson (early “5” Royales)
40. Budd Johnson (50’s NY sessions)
41. Jerry Martini (Sly & The Family Stone)
42. Packy Axton (Mar-Keys; Packers)
43. Alto Reed (Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band)
44. Frank "Floorshow" Culley
45. Earl Bostic


Some big names I missed. Do you want to finish the list yourself, or co-edit with me?

At least we agree on the top guy.

I would change Wright's description to Rama-Gee rather than just listing Frankie Lymon, He played on the Cleftones, Valentines, etc...and his best solo is clearly the one on "Woo Woo Train." I;d probably have to rate this as the greatest sax break in rock history:



Last edited by Bruce on Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock 'N' Roll Saxophonists
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:28 pm 
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I think Bostic has to be a lot higher. He was the most prolific of all the 50s guys as far as making his own records. He must have had like 20 albums on King. Loads of regional hits along with a few national hits, one being a number one R&B hit for 4 weeks.

Depends upon your criteria I guess.

You should finish it up yourself, you're almost halfway there. You can use this thread to get to 100 guys.

Boots Randolph played on a ton of hits.

Gene Upshaw plays that classic solo on "Come Go With Me."

Dick Parry plays on the Pink Floyd stuff.

Raf Ravenscroft plays on "Baker Street" I think.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock 'N' Roll Saxophonists
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:37 pm 
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Bruce wrote:
I think Bostic has to be a lot higher. He was the most prolific of all the 50s guys as far as making his own records. He must have had like 20 albums on King. Loads of regional hits along with a few national hits, one being a number one R&B hit for 4 weeks.

Depends upon your criteria I guess.


Bostic and Culley I had originally as early rock, or pre-rock, sax players, since both straddled the dividing line in terms of years and style, but I just threw them on at the end when I posted it here so they'd be included. I agree, they should be higher. A big question is whether to include Illinois Jacquet, who many feel invented the entire style that emerged.

In case you don't have it there's a great four disc boxed set on Proper Records called The Big Horn: The History Of The Honkin' & Screamin' Saxophone that has about a hundred tracks, arranged by the sax player's names, even if they weren't the featured artist, with a very informative booklet. Well worth picking up, though I'm sure you probably have most of the tracks, since they're 40's/50's only.

If you want me to co-edit it with you, I'd be glad to. I have so many projects up in the air now that my time is limited, but we could collaborate.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock 'N' Roll Saxophonists
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:38 pm 
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Boots Randolph

First Musician to Play Sax with Elvis including "Return To Sender" and "Reconsider Baby"

Played on 8 of Elvis' Movie Soundtracks

A Major Player in Creating the Now-Famous "Nashville Sound"

Played on Recordings such as Roy Orbison's "Oh, Pretty Woman", "Blue Bayou", and "In Dreams", Al Hirt's "Java", REO Speedwagon's "Little Queenie", and Brenda Lee's "Rockin' 'Round The Christmas Tree", "I Want To Be Wanted" and "I'm Sorry".


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock 'N' Roll Saxophonists
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:40 pm 
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Bill Justis has got to be mentioned for "Raunchy" even though he was a lousy sax player and only played on that because the guy he hired failed to show up. It was a huge hit though.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock 'N' Roll Saxophonists
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:41 pm 
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Sampson wrote:
If you want me to co-edit it with you, I'd be glad to. I have so many projects up in the air now that my time is limited, but we could collaborate.


Okay, did you already write a criteria up?


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock 'N' Roll Saxophonists
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:42 pm 
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I also forgot Wild Bill Moore, who not only had one of the first rock hits with "We're Gonna Rock, We're Gonna Roll", which helped bring the term into prominence, but years later was a Motown session cat and played on Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin' On". He's got a huge discography spanning decades.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock 'N' Roll Saxophonists
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:46 pm 
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Sampson wrote:
Bill Justis has got to be mentioned for "Raunchy" even though he was a lousy sax player and only played on that because the guy he hired failed to show up. It was a huge hit though.


Didn't know that, I thought Justis played the piano.

He couldn;t have been "lousy" if he played on "Raunchy." That's a killer record, my favorite sax instrumental of all time.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock 'N' Roll Saxophonists
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:53 pm 
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Charlie Ferguson plays on one of my favorite sax breaks, "Too Much Lovin'" but there's a second player on there. During the solo one guy picks up the break as the other guy is winding down.


Last edited by Bruce on Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock 'N' Roll Saxophonists
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:54 pm 
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Okay, I added in all the names you had that I missed and here's what we have now:

Lee Allen
Herb Hardesty
Big Jay McNeely
Sam "The Man" Taylor
Jimmy Wright
Red Prysock
Clarence Clemons
Junior Walker
Buddy Lucas
Louis Jordan
Danny Payton
Earl Bostic
Paul Williams
Pee Wee Ellis
Maceo Parker
Jimmy Forrest
Hal Singer
Noble "Thin Man" Watts
Rusty Bryant
Arnett Cobb
Alvin "Red" Tyler
Willis "Gator Tail" Jackson
David "Fathead" Newman
Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson
Joe Houston
Ronald Bell
Dennis Thomas
King Curtis
Richie Cole
Raf Ravenscroft
Phil Woods
Michael Brecker
David Sanborn
Dick Parry
Lenny Pickett
Phil Kenzie
Mel Collins
Boots Randolph
Jim Horn
Edgar Winter
Michael "Tunes" Antunes
Hank "Hurricane" Carter
Gene Upshaw
Ronnie Ross
Bud Shank
Gil Bermal
Plas Johnson
Bobby Keys
J.C. Davis
Wild Bill Moore
Bill Justis
Doc Kupka (Tower of Power)
Gilbert Caples
Charlie Furgeson (early “5” Royales)
Budd Johnson (50’s NY sessions)
Jerry Martini (Sly & The Family Stone)
Packy Axton (Mar-Keys; Packers)
Alto Reed (Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band)
Frank "Floorshow" Culley
Steve Douglas
Andrew Love (Memphis Horns)
“Daddy” Gene Barge (Church Street Five)
Rudy Pompilli (Comets)
Maxwell Davis
St. Clair Pinckney (The JB's)
Floyd Newman (Memphis Horns)
Hank Cosby (Funk Brothers)
Big Al Sears
Grady Gaines (The Upsetters)
Heywood Henry
Charles Chalmers
Clifford Scott (Bill Doggett)
Joe Arnold (Memphis Horns)
Jesse Powell (50’s NY sessions)
Thomas “Beans” Bowles
Red Holloway (Chance Label)
Clifford Davis
Mark Rivera
Tom Scott
Sonny Seals
Lora Logic (Red Crayola)
Candy Dulfer
Rindy Rossnce


Last edited by Bruce on Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock 'N' Roll Saxophonists
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:57 pm 
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This looks interesting:

We have had many updates, corrections and additions since 1999. We can still use some help to double check the credits so send an email to JSAXL@aol.com for a free 78 page list of songs and sax players. I am still looking for more international Top 40 hits.


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