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Neil Sharpe

Neil Sharpe is a SOTW Contributing Editor has extensive experience with the emotional and psychological aspects of performance, health, and well being. He is the author and co-author of three professional texts and numerous peer reviewed papers. Neil and his sax have terrified the unsuspecting since the 1950's.

More articles by Neil Sharpe:

o Anxiety, Emotions and Performing Well 1, 2, 3
o John Barrow; How NOT To Make It In The Pop World
o Jazz and The Touch of Zen: Ken Fornetran
o Johnny Ferreira: Rock n' Roll Saxophonist

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Created: September 8, 2007
Update: July 14, 2015.

In SOTW Blues, R&B, Rock n' Roll series:

Recommended Resources

Compiled by Neil Sharpe

Sound Clips/Interviews/History/General

Johnny Ferreira provides an overview of the history of the saxophone including sound clips from Rudy Wiedoeft, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Louis Jordan, Sam Butera, Big Jay McNeely, Sam the Man Taylor, and King Curtis.

George "Hound Dog" Lorenz; Alan Freed: In 1953, George and Alan Freed created a radio haven for the new music called "rock n' roll", and played a pivotal role in its ever increasing popularity, putting on shows throughout the Northeastern United States. During the 50's and 60's, with a fan club of nearly 100,000 paid members and a show syndicated around the world, "The Great George L" strongly promoted R&B and Blues artists ignored by Top 40 radio stations and charts. This is an archive from his radio show during the mid-60's as well as two radio interviews with Little Richard; the radio hour features R&B from the early 50's, rock n' roll from the late 50's, and blues and r&b from the mid-60's, with some great, sax driven, instrumentals. This link for Alan Freed (go to "Biography", "hear audio clips") provides sound clips from Alan Freed radio show from 1952-59 with a video clip from the 1957 movie "Mr. Rock 'N Roll".

Fats Domino and Herb Hardesty: Nick Spitzer of National Public Radio has a profile of Fats Domino and his 1955 song Ain't That a Shame, "one of the most influential pieces of American music form the last century", which featured Herb Hardesty on tenor. 

Maceo Parker: Interview January 2000- The Saxist- An extensive interview with a pivotal figure in the development of funk.

Sax Shed, created by Skip Spratt, although focusing primarily on jazz, also features interviews with modern Rock and R&B players including Baron Raymonde, Aaron Heick, and the "Chops Horns", Darryl Dixon and Dave Watson. 

WFMU provides an invaluable history of R&B disc jockeys and radio stations that featured R&B and Blues during the 1950's.

John Laughter and Steve D. Marshall: The History of “Top 40” Saxophone Solos: 1955-2005: An invaluable resource, listing the sax players on many Top 40 hits in North America and England. A CD set (293 pages in MS Word) with bios/photos and 17 music tracks can be purchased by contacting John Laughter @ [email protected]  

Jim Dawson: Nervous Man Nervous: (Big Nickel Publishing, 1994): A fascinating review of the flamboyant swing and jump blues saxophonists and their critical influence on rock n” roll and rhythm and blues. This book includes bios of Big Jay McNeely, Joe Houston, King Curtis, Chuck Higgins, Hal Singer, Big Al Sears, Sam "The Man" Taylor, and more.

Jim Dawson and Steve Propes, What Was The First Rock 'n' Roll Record? (Boston : Faber & Faber, 1992). An insightful review into the recordings that helped to shape rock 'n' roll between 1944 and 1956. This link reviews their list of candidates.

Liane Hansen: "Saxophone's History as the Devil's Horn": Michael Segell discusses his book, The Devil's Horn: From Novelty to King of Cool. It follows the history of the saxophone through more than 160 years as a controversial classical, jazz and rock instrument.
The live interview can be heard on National Public Radio.

David Sanborn: An acclaimed session player, who performed with such artists as Paul Butterfield, B.B. King and Little Milton, David Sanborn has enjoy a successful solo career.
David Sanborn Interview

NEW Deke McGee’s website provides some great information about player’s setups, who they played with, and recommendations for some great R&B saxophone on vinyl and CD.

Artists- Sax on the Web Discussion Threads

Clarence Clemons

Mel Collins

King Curtis

Sax Gordon

Freddie Mitchell- Unsung Giant

Johnny Paris of Johnny and the Hurricanes

Greg Piccolo

Clifford Scott

Rock And Roll Sax- The Last Ten Years-Who's Interesting

Sound- Sax on the Web Discussions

How To Get That Rock Sound- an interesting discussion including an insightful analysis of recording techniques and equipment for King Curtis

What’s Your Favorite Rock Set-Up?

Rock n’ Roll Saxophone Style

R&B/R&R Tone- Past and Present

Instructional Books

Johnny Ferreira: How To Play Killer Blues And Rockin' Sax Solos With 7 Notes Or Less [Kindle Edition]

Paul Deville: Universal Method for Saxophone (Paperback) (Appa the Association of Higher Education)

John Laughter: Rock and Roll Saxophone Hal Leonard Corporation (October 1, 2000)

Tim Price: "Hot Rock Sax- Techniques, Licks And Effects". Hal Leonard Corporation (March 1, 1995)

Boots Randolph: "Rock and Roll Saxophone": Hal Leonard Corporation; Book & CD edition (March 1, 1998)

Dennis Taylor: "Blues Saxophone- An In-Depth Look at the Styles of the Masters"- Hal Leonard Corporation (December 1, 2001)

Pete Yellin: Improvising Rock Sax ": Music Sales Corporation (June 1983)

Henri Weber: Sax-Acrobatix (a book on effects- scanned)

Steve Douglas: Rock And Roll Saxophone (video)

Pete Thomas: Jools Holland "Music Makers" Saxophone Tuition DVD for Beginners. (all proceeds go to charity).

Deke McGee: Learn to Play Rhythm 'n Blues Saxophone for Bb Tenor (2004) www.jazzwise.com


Tim Price: A Long Look At The Blues- SOTW- Parts One and Two

Pete Thomas: Saxophone Lessons and Articles
Pete Thomas: How to Play a Rock and Roll Saxophone Solo<

Saxophone Solo Transcripts, Horn Charts

Curtis Swift: If you need a solo transcribed, or if you would like to obtain a solo already done, please contact Curtis for more information at http://www.saxsolos.com/. Tune transposing and music notation services also are available.


Paul Harris, a regular contributor to Juke Blues magazine, Bristol, England, and to Now Dig This magazine, Gateshead, England.
Contact: [email protected]. Terms negotiable. Full lists of artists available can be supplied from the same address. Please state musical genre required.

Photographs of the following players are available:
Lee Allen, Hal Ashby, Sam Butera, Jimmy Cavello, Joey D'Ambrosio, Charles 'Chucky C' Elam III, Jimmy Forrest, Grady Gaines, Herb Hardesty, John Hart, Chuck Higgins, Joe Houston, Plas Johnson, Thomas Johnson, Fred Kemp, Walter Kimball, Dickie Landry, David Lastie, Andrew Love, Preston Love, Lannie McMillan, Big Jay McNeely, Jamel Mitchell, James Mitchell, James Moody, Robert Parker, Sidney 'Hot Rod' Reynaud, Chuck Rio, James Rivers, Harry Simoneaux, Hal Singer, Jim Spake, Buddy Tate, Willie Tee, Pete Thomas, Lionel Torrence, Alvin 'Red' Tyler, Junior Walker, Noble 'Thin Man' Watts, Paul Williams.

All Rights Reserved. ©2007 - 2015 Harri Rautiainen and respective authors.
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