3 Records with Killer Saxophone Solos

by Administrator 28. February 2018 21:50

The saxophone is a few decades shy of its 200th birthday, having been invented in 1842 by Adolphe Sax. That’s pretty young, depending on where you stand. Classical music as we tend to think of it didn’t begin until the Renaissance in the 1400s. For reference, many of the instruments that we are familiar with didn’t arrive until the 1700s or later, most notably the piano, which was invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori sometime around 1700.

The saxophone is best known for its role in jazz. Saxophones and jazz are woven so tightly together that you basically can’t have one without the other. However, the saxophone also features prominently in both soul and funk. This is partly because the three styles all have their roots in African American music, and also because the dividing line between the styles are often blurrier than their titles would make them seem.

To illustrate this, we’ve collected three 45s that will blast you out of your seat with their punchy sax solos.

I Found Out by Bobby Byrd – Federal 12486 (Released 1963)

Label owner: Sydney Nathan. 1540 Brester Ave, Cincinnati, OH (1955).

Side A: I Found Out

Side B: They Are Sayin’

Bobby Byrd’s claim to fame in the music industry comes chiefly through his associations with James Brown. That said, his contributions to soul are often understated. In fact, he is credited with having discovered James Brown himself. Another little known fact is that Byrd actually founded soul supergroup The Flames and has songwriting credits for many of their hits, including “Get up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine” and “Lost Someone.” All of these contributions got him posthumously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.

In fact, Brown and Byrd pioneered the funk genre as a whole, though Byrd often gets little credit for this.

If you’re expecting “I Found Out” to feature a story of negativity that’s being “found out,” you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you’re met with the opening lines of “I found out / that you really love me.” Despite not being one of Byrd’s commercial successes, “I Found Out” is a great song that shows that Bryd is more than just a good songwriter.

The B side of this 45, on the other hand, is nowhere for listening on the internet. If you want to hear it yourself, you’re best off just placing an order with us.

Out of the Pan (Into the Fire) by Al “TNT” Braggs – Peacock 1936 (Released 1965)

Label owner: Don D. Robey. 4104 Lyons Ave, Houston, TX & 2809 Erastus St, Houston, TX (1949–1968).

Side A: Out of the Pan (Into the Fire)

Side B: Joy to My Soul

It’s tough to say whether Al Braggs was a better singer or songwriter. Overall, he had much more success as a songwriter, being credited with Maxine Nightingale’s “Lead Me On” and Bobby Bland’s “Call on Me,” both of which reached gold status. He also co-wrote “Share Your Love with Me,” which enjoyed many weeks at the top of the charts. However, he also wrote and recorded his own songs. The closest Braggs ever got to a hit of his own came from his 1966 song “Earthquake,” which struck a chord with the UK’s northern soul scene, something which we’ve written at length about in the past.

After listening to “Out of the Pan (Into the Fire),” you’ll find yourself wondering how those few minutes passed by so fast. The song is very smooth, and it sounds way ahead of its time at 1965. It still retains the traditional rhythm and call and response that indicate soul music, but it incorporates an energy that takes it above many of the more generic songs of the genre. This is exacerbated because not just one saxophone, but an entire brass section seems to be backing Braggs and his backup singers.

Just like before, the audio for this 45’s B side is nowhere to be found on the web. The only way to hear it for yourself is through its printed vinyl form, which you can get through us.

Give It Up by Richard Berry – Paxley 751 (Released 1961)

Label owners: Label owners: Kim Fowley, Gary ("Alley Oop") Paxton & Bobby Rey (Note: Kim Fowley, Gary ("Alley Oop") Paxton both records records). 6365 Selma Ave, Hollywood 38, CA (1960-1961)

Side A:  Give It Up

Side B: I Want You to be My Girl

Richard Berry, not to be confused with the actor of the same name, is a soul singer and songwriter from Louisiana. His claim to fame was the song “Louie Louie,” which remains one of the most recorded songs of all time.

If you didn’t’ know what you were listening to beforehand, you might be fooled into thinking this was Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode.” We don’t know for sure whether or not Richard Berry took Chuck Berry’s hit for inspiration, but we feel pretty confident that he did. That’s okay, though. Chuck Berry himself took the iconic opening for Johnny B. Goode from a 1946 song called “Ain’t That Just like a Woman.” Give it a listen to see how similar the songs are. In fact, “similar” doesn’t do it justice. The two songs are a few notes shy of identical. Despite the similarities in openings, “Give It Up” stands up all on its own. It’s more traditionally soul-y than the other entries on our list, but it’s no less enjoyable because of it.

Even the B side of this 45 is primarily defined by it’s incredible brass section, which takes the spot that a rhythm guitar would typically occupy. While being a little less energetic than the A side, this sultry song is sure to delight.

Add Some Sax to Your Collation

Pricing, details (grade, side A/B, quantity) and sound clips for each of the above records can be found via the following links:

 

I Found Out – Bobby Byrd

Out of the Pan (Into the Fire) – Al “TNT” Braggs

Give it Up – Richard Berry (1st entry on the page)

 

We provide a simple online ordering form for all  of our records. Enter your billing and shipping information, provide details about the record you’re requesting, hit submit, and sit back.

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