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SOTW Interviews/Editor, Distinguished SOTW Member,
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Jon R. Smith, in his interview posted on SOTW, described Lee Allen, and his landmark recordings in the ‘50’s with Little Richard, as “a relatively ‘simple’ player, but his phrasing, articulation, and ability to go to the heart of a song were perfect. He flattered the music and didn’t try to make the music flatter him. Too many players go in and try to make the solos all about them”
http://www.saxontheweb.net/Rock_n_Roll/Jon-Smith-1.html


As John Barrow recommends, “It’s not what you play but what you leave out that makes the difference”.
http://www.saxontheweb.net/Resources/JohnBarrow.html

Players like Lee Allen, Sam Butera, King Curtis, Plas Johnson, and Junior Walker could say everything that needed to be said, to really push a song ahead, with just a few notes.

Are these early styles relevant to today’s players? Very much so, including not only the many fine players who contributed to SOTW’s “Blues, R&B, and Rock n’ Roll” teaching resource- Andrew Campbell, Johnny Ferreira, John Laughter, John Lull, Joey "The Saint" St. John-Ryan, Curtis Swift, Pete Thomas- but also touring pros like Gordon “Sax Gordon” Beadle and Gregg Piccolo.

Here are four examples of solos from the early days of rock n’ roll, all played within a relatively narrow range but whose phrasing and articulation stand out. Of course, having a killer tone doesn’t hurt!

Further comments and examples from other time periods are most welcome!

Billy Ward and The Dominoes- “Have Mercy Baby” with the tenor sax solo entering at 1:07 mark
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMlYCTYMmjY

Little Richard- “Slippin’ and Slidin” with Lee Allen on tenor sax (enters at 43 second mark and again at the 1:53 mark)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rSa_IhgH4s

Duane Eddy- “Movin and Groovin’ ” with Plas Johnson on tenor sax (enters at the :43 second mark at again at the 1:37 mark)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lqFlxMiMfE

Red Prysock- “Rooster Walk”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R06nBsLx60Q&feature=related
 

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SOTW Interviews/Editor, Distinguished SOTW Member,
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1,186 Posts
Discussion Starter #2

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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28,900 Posts
Little Richard- “Slippin’ and Slidin” with Lee Allen on tenor sax (enters at 43 second mark and again at the 1:53 mark)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rSa_IhgH4s
For anyone interested, I did a bit of an article/analysis of Lee's solo here:

http://tamingthesaxophone.com/solos-lee-allen-slipping.html

I used to play with Lee quite a bit in the 80s and 90s, which was great of course, Imagine getting to play with your idol. I certainly learnt a lot.

When Lee soloed, the first note or two would say "Lee Allen here". One thing I noticed is Lee could play straight 1/4 notes on the beat and be funky.
 
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