I once went to see the great rock, R&B sax player Jr Walker. You may know some of his Motown hits like What Does It Take and Shotgun. Jr Walker could sing and he could play some nice riffs on his sax, and his altissimo range (super high register) was second to nobody.
At one point in his set he played a song I recognized from the rock band Foreigner. The song was called Urgent and it had a really good sax solo on it but it wasn’t until I heard Jr Walker play it that night that I realized he was the guy on the Foreigner session. I shoulda known, and I was mad (maybe embarrassed) that I didn’t!
Anyway, I’ve come across some people putting down the 80’s sax soloing to being pretty bland, typical, calculating etc but when you hear that solo forget about it! Which brings the question….
What’s a sax solo, song or even hook, from any decade that won you over, or influenced you into playing or just made you take notice?
I’ll start things off with two:
- Junior Walker with Urgent
- Edgar Winter with Easy Street
Most people who know about Edgar Winter don’t even know he is also an alto sax player besides being a great singer and keyboard player. His solo on Easy Street is a killer and when David Lee Roth recorded it on his solo record after leaving Van Halen, he brought in Edgar to lay it down on his version, except they only used 8 bars, whereas in Winter’s version it was a 16 bar solo.