Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Recently i bought the 'Walking with Mr Lee' CD. I wonder if he is growling on all the tunes even when he plays slow ballads. Does anybody could tell me more about the Tenor setup Lee Allen played on?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
All of this speculation doesn't seem very helpful. Why doesn't someone just ask Steve Berlin? Isn't he the guy that's alive that played the most with Lee Allen?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,336 Posts
In an interview in Sax Journal March 2005 Lee Allen said.
" I used to use a Berg Larsen 120/0 but then I had my saxophone stolen so I went to Manny's in New York City and said I need a mouthpiece quick. I fished around in this box of old mouthpieces and guess what I'm on now? A Selmer D that's hard rubber. I don't like that cold metal in my mouth."
" On all recordings I used a Buescher 400 but I had it stolen and now I'm a Selmer man( Mark V1)"
 

·
SOTW Columnist/ Forum Contributor 2014, Disti
Joined
·
2,787 Posts
Zoot, I will send Steve an email via his band and the link to this dicussion. Hopefully he will send a response about Allen's tenor tone. Good idea.
 

·
Moderator
Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
Joined
·
28,929 Posts
Lee used a Selmer D when I knew him, but not a soloist - it was the cheaper ome that used to come with Selmer saxophones, in Lee's words "just a stock Selmer". He used this when I was playing with him on tour with Fats and also when I recorded with him. How he got that sound from it is purely because he's Lee, the band used to say that he had an amplifier in his chest.
 

·
SOTW Columnist/ Forum Contributor 2014, Disti
Joined
·
2,787 Posts
Zoot, I sent an email to Steve. His agent acknowledged the email and indicated that he forwarded it on to Steve.

One aspect that I wanted to restate; the tone that I am referring to in my initial question is the Little Richard, Fats Domino and Shirley & Lee sound. I never heard Lee Allen in his latter days and he did not, for whatever reasons, in my opinion, get that same drive and tone on his own LP. I like "Walking with Mr. Lee" but his roof raising solos on the session hits are what caught our attention in the mid 50s. What took place in that studio to cause such a fantastic r&b sound with the entire band for that matter!
 

·
SOTW Columnist/ Forum Contributor 2014, Disti
Joined
·
2,787 Posts
Early photos show a black m/p with a white bite plate. I was told by a New Orleans sax player that Lee used a Brilhardt in the early days. When I spoke to Alvin Tyler about 7-8 years ago he told me that Lee used a black m/p with a white tip and a hard plastic reed in the 50's recordings and that Lee's lip would bleed at times.

According to another source in N.O., and as Pete has stated, he used the Buescher Top Hat & Cane in those sessions. The Selmer MVI came later. Both horns were sold by his widow who needed the money after Lee's passing. Some local musicians in N.O. had contacted his widow in hopes of putting Lee' sax in a local museum. Apparently no one knows who now owns his horns.

By the way, Steve Berlin never replied or perhaps never got the email.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,030 Posts
Lee Allen with The Blasters playing "So Long Baby Goodbye"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsJ3G7Hkl_M&feature=related

Great live footage of The Blasters, featuring Lee Allen and including Steve Berlin on Bari. Enjoy!!!!

From this footage, it looks like Mr. Lee is playing a HR Berg. You also get to see where "Walkin' with Mr. Lee" came from.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
With YouTube you can stop or freeze the video. If you stop it at 1:45 he opens his mouth so you can see his MP, reed and embouchure better. Not good resolution but it looks like his lower lip is way forward. He also tilts his head and neck forward, evidently to open his throat more. By the way, where can I find sheet music for this song? I would like to loop some of those phrases.

Brian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,030 Posts
legato

I don't know where you can find the sheet music for "So Long Baby Goodbye" but you should be able to find chords and lyrics by Googling it. The riffs are pretty easy to transcribe.

"The Residuals", a band of guys I work with, played "So Long Baby Goodbye" to open our set at Fortune's 2003 Battle of the Corporate Bands at the Rock Hall. Its a great, driving tune....and we won the competition:D .
 

·
Moderator
Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
Joined
·
28,929 Posts
legato said:
With YouTube you can stop or freeze the video. If you stop it at 1:45 he opens his mouth so you can see his MP, reed and embouchure better. Not good resolution but it looks like his lower lip is way forward. He also tilts his head and neck forward, evidently to open his throat more.
See pic here:

http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?p=676724#post676724

Not sure about the forward neck opening throat thing - is that something you guessed or have from some source? There could be something to that - Lee played loud. On stage he was very loud. Guys in the fats Domino band used to say he had an amplifier in his chest. I think many people would damage themselves if they blew as loud as he did.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top