The Big Horn: The History of the Honkin' & Screamin' Saxophone
Box Set, 4CD
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Audio CD, Box set, 14 Jul 2003
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Not for the faint-hearted, this 4-CD set of 106 tracks bursts at the seams with the sound of 50 hard-blowing saxophonists who, between 1942-1952, formed the nucleus of what became known as the Honkers and Screamers. Jumping from the jazz stage they walked the bars and aisles, played their horns on their backs, shattered microphones, drove their audiences to a frenzy and along the way pioneered the sounds of R&B and rock 'n' roll. From Illinois Jacquet ("Flying Home") via such lung-busters as Arnett Cobb ("Go, Red, Go"), Wild Bill Moore ("We're Gonna Rock, We're Gonna Roll"), Paul Williams ("The Hucklebuck"), Hal Singer ("Blow Your Brains Out"), Earl Bostic ("Earl Blows A Fuse"), Big Jay McNeely ("Jay's Frantic") and Willis Jackson ("Later For The Gator") to Jimmy Forrest ("Night Train"), it's a solid blast all the way. A fatter than usual 68-page illustrated booklet describes the music's development with full discographical details.
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On the cover, one man throws his head back as if he is begging for mercy and saying `set me free' or more so freedom for the sax player of that era. Another man with is fist on the stage is saying `God have mercy!' And the other man next to him is feeling the spirit. It's amazing how the sax player became one with his music. The policeman in the background have a suspicious intent. Notice that there are no Black people in the crowd, so the Big Horn is playing for the White audience of that era.
Beautifully played sax by the Big Horn himself. When I listened to it, I became entranced in the music - it was like if I was there. A beautiful box set with a very informative booklet of all the legendary greats like Big Jay McNeely, Red Prysock, Eddie Chamblee and many more! These are the greats of the 1920s who started playing sax at the tender age of twelve. Great value for money, another legendary product sold by Amazon!
Earl Bostic used a soprano sax rather than a tenor one and Flamingo became his property.
50s England meant few of these recordings would be even released here let alone played on the radio. It was still the crooner days and black music was seen to be substandard unless it was Nat King Cole.Anything in black music-until the Beatles era-never even got that much radio play .The only chance you had was a program like Jazz Club and that depended on the producer who may not have thought it represented good jazz.
Yes this was jazz snobbery at work but its a good job there's always been a streak of rebellion about jazzmen -hence the creation of Be Bop and Rhythm'n' Blues or even employing black musicians in white bands-a tradition which still remains today
Heres another of those great value Proper Boxes which sells for under a tenner,has a very detailed 86 page book included and has over nearly 120 totally zonked out zonkers which never let up-its where some kind of insanity takes over as the saxes sometimes hit notes they weren't designed to hit like some kinda spaced out messsge beamed from Mars.This is a World which came into being stright from jazz-probably Lionel Hampton began the idea of the sax star but Illinois Jacquet who covered his Flying Home was the first star of the instrument.
There'll all here in their crazed and stomped out wallbanger music-though it slows down by the time of Lynn Hope and his version of Tenderly.The song is done reggae style yet reggae was years way and its precisely this kind of music which was finding its way to Jamiaca where it was known as Shuffle
The sleeve photo shows a saxman on his back as the audience get sent-but strangely the title which comes from an Illinois Jacquet instrumental is missing.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
THE BIG HORN: The History of the Honkin' & Screamin' Saxophone. Proper Records. 2003. 4 CDs plus booklet. Var. groups led by Illinois Jacquet, Arnett Cobb, Wild Bill Moore, Hal Singer, Eddie Chamblee, Red Prysock, Earl Bostic, Joe Thomas, Harold Land, Big Jay McNeely, Eddie `Lockjaw' Davis, Sam `The Man' Taylor, Willis Jackson, Buddy Tate, Al Sears, and others.
I bought the Doggett collection and the four CD collection of saxophone honkers as trip down Memory Lane. This was the kind of music the chaperones at our high school sock hops didn't want us to listen to in the early to mid-fifties, but we listened any way. The Doggett group always included a Down South guitar player and a drummer, sounding much like a pre-show version of the wildly successful Jimmy Smith trio in the very late fifties and early sixties. On some cuts, he added a honking tenor saxist but all of the pieces are made from the same basic formula, vintage instrumental group r&b. Recorded by King Records of country western and R&B fame, the cuts are shorter -none hits the three-minute mark so they played well on the juke boxes that were ubiquitous in restaurants and bars back then. It's satisfying, if unchallenging, music, and it reminds me of my youth, so I'm glad I got it. It makes great cruising music while driving.
The Big Horn is more of the same, with many of the great names of the r&b era -from the precursor Illinois Jacquet (on one cut, with the Lionel Hampton band) to my personal favorites, Big Jay McNeely and Earl Bostic. (How can I forget dancing, my body as close as I could get it to the girl I was dancing with, to Earl Bostic's great "Flamingo." Proper Records deserves plaudits for this collection, which ranges widely, and includes many fine players who were NOT household (ore even teenager household) names -listen to Weasel Parker's "Typhoon" or, one of my favorites in the whole collection, Fats Noel's "Ride Daddy Ride," the lyrics of which are one long double entendre, and not a very subtle one at that. Still, my favorite cuts are those by Big Jay McNeely and Earl Bostic. In general, this music came from big band swing, simplifying and roughing up the beat and emphasizing the potential of the alto and tenor saxes to scream and preach like human voices, or it came straight from the blues and boogie woogie. There are 106 cuts in this collection! Again, it's great cruising music. "Ride, Daddy, ride!"
Many musical styles are covered here: swing, big band, boogie, bebop, R&B and more.
There's a huge selection of songs and artists and every track is great!
The accompanying booklet is loaded with facts about the music and the musicians.
The sound quality of this set is excellent.
Proper has come up with yet another value-packed box set!