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SOTW Interviews/Editor, Distinguished SOTW Member,
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Since we quote Ice Cube in the opening for A History Of Rock Sax: " “Rock and roll is not a guitar, it’s not long hair—that’s not rock and roll. It ain’t about an instrument, or this or that. The blues is the start of it all. You add some rhythm to that blues and you have all kind of people that’s doing rock and roll. And that develops into hip-hop. All of it is a spirit—the spirit of coming outside of the box. If you don’t see how N.W.A is rock and roll, then you really don’t get what it’s all about. (With permission of Kennedy Gerrick (2017) Parental Discretion Is Advised: The Rise of N.W.A and the Dawn of Gangsta Rap. Atria Books. Ice Cube quote at pg. 51)

I've had a couple of messages asking about hip hop. First is our far reaching interview with Chops Horns, Darryl Dixon and Dave Watson, and what became some of the most important, and pivotal, hip hop recordings."We played on all the Sugar Hill Records between 1980-82, but Gene Chase wrote the horn arrangements. We were just the hired guns to play the stuff. We were the in-house horn section and got paid $75.00 a song, no matter how well that song did; we didn’t see any residuals. Other members of the house band were: trumpets: Marvin Daniels, Bill McGee, Sly Smithers, Charles DeStefano (1 song), Bones Melvin El and Robin Eubanks. The saxes were Otha Stokes and Eric Allen. Grandmaster Flash and The Sugarhill Gang were really big in Europe. But it was in their contract that they didn’t get any overseas royalties. When we were touring with The Police, we’d go through Europe and see posters of them performing everywhere in Europe. They were great there, but it’s unfortunate that they didn’t get any royalties from it."

“Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugarhill Gang was hip hop’s first Top 40 single and a worldwide smash hit. Then came “The Message”, a song that changed the direction and nature of hip hop from primarily party music into a vital, creative, driving voice for equality and justice.


In the 1980's, hip hop and rap fundamentally reworked all that had gone before. Fueled by turntables, mixers, scratches, breaks, loops, the Roland TR-808 drum machine, digital samplers like the Fairlight CMI and E-mu SP-1200 (later followed by the AKAI MPC3000) and extensive sampling, especially from jazz sax records, swept the clubs and charts.

Nas’ brilliant masterpiece “New York State Of Mind” is just one example

Guru’s “Transit Ride” from album “Jazzmatazz” featured Branford Marsalis on tenor; other tracks in Vols 1, 2, 4 of the “Jazzmatazz” series featured Courtney Pine, Kenny Garrett, Ronnie Laws. David Sanborn, Gary Barnacle to name just a few of the sax players.

A Tribe Called Quest -“Jazz (We Got)” from the album “Low End Theory” (saxophonist Eli ‘Lucky' Thomson)

continued...
 

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SOTW Interviews/Editor, Distinguished SOTW Member,
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Digable Planets- "Cool Like Dat” (includes samples from Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers' “Stretching” and “Blow Your Head” by Fred Wesley and the J.B.’s)

“The City Is Mine”-Jay Z (Chad Hugo soprano)

Lou Donaldson’s jazz alto sax tracks on Blue Note Records were sampled by hip hop artists like A Tribe Called Quest (e.g. “Hot Sex”), De La Soul, Nas, and Dr. Dre, amongst others…

In the late 1980s, the emergence of highly controversial gangsta rap, coupled with the release of the album “Straight Out Of Crompton” by N.W.A. (with lyrics like “When I’m called off, I got a sawed-off, Squeeze a trigger and the bodies are hauled off…”), the formation of Interscope Records in 1990 and their subsequent purchase of Death Row Records, took rap to the top of record charts around the world.

In the 21st Century, hip hop ranges far and wide, including Pulitzer Prize Music winner Kendrick Lamar (often featuring Kamasi Washington on tenor sax) and The Weeknd (Wojtek Goral alto sax)


Throughout A History Of Rock Sax, John Laughter's exclusive exchanges with artists provides unique insight into their recordings, tours, and creative process, such as Wotjek's Goral email that begins "“Hi John, yes it is me playing the saxophone solo on the original version of In your Eyes", reviews his musical career and recordings, closing with " “I hope that we soon can begin playing gigs again, stay safe! Take care. //Wotjek 1/12/21"

And that's what this book is all about, why we chose an ebook format and kept the price so low, along with the interviews, instructional articles, and John Laughter's invaluable record that reveals for the first time who did the sax solos and the often unbelievable stories how they came about, this format enables you to not only read about but also to hear the breakthrough artists, singles and albums of the 20th and 21st Centuries, from blues to hip hop, from pop to metal, from country to punk, from ska to rap, from jazz to funk to techno, from r&b to rock n’ roll…


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I really enjoyed going through this - to my surprise, really. Some great music, fantastic words. Clever stuff. I will go through it again.

I remember seeing Courtney Pine as a student in a night club at the end of the 1980s. It was around his peak of fame and they were playing a real mix of stuff, including hip hop stuff. Really entertaining and fun. There was humour and some pathos as in some of the great stuff you posted above.

So thanks for this.
 

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That was super interesting and I'd love to encourage you guys and thank you for all the work that must have gone into this. I noticed that Amazon only has a kindle edition. Is it possible to buy a pdf directly from you?
 

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That was super interesting and I'd love to encourage you guys and thank you for all the work that must have gone into this. I noticed that Amazon only has a kindle edition. Is it possible to buy a pdf directly from you?
Thanks Martin. We appreciate it. The book is not in PDF format but I will ask Neil just to make sure.
 

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SOTW Interviews/Editor, Distinguished SOTW Member,
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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)

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SOTW Interviews/Editor, Distinguished SOTW Member,
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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