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My Private Students

Album Notes for

Horn Band Sampler CD

CHICAGO - Easily the world's best known horn band. Originally called the Chicago Transit Company. While the band's horn section consisted of one each trumpet, trombone and saxophone, their songs were often recorded with a second trombone part added.

01 -- 25 or 6 to 4 - One of the best-known classics of horn band rock and roll. Easy bass line to figure out.

02 -- Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? -

03 -- Saturday in the Park

04 -- Make Me Smile

Tower of Power - Among musicians, this may be the most revered of all horn bands. You have heard the TOP horn section on many artists' records, and their long-time tenor sax soloist Lenny Pickett now directs the Saturday Night Live band. Visit their website for the full story. Horn section is 2 trumpets, 2 tenor saxes, and the famous bari sax of Stephen "Doc" Kupka.

05 -- Down To the Nightclub -

06 -- You're Still A Young Man - TOP's biggest single radio hit opens with Mic Gillette's screeching trumpet and features lush vocal harmonies by members of the horn section.

07 -- What Is Hip? - The band's signature song. Hard hitting, philosophical, and a real showpiece for their unbelieveable rhythm section.

08 -- Squib Cakes - A funky instrumental with a nice jazz interlude from their 1983 direct-to-disc album from Sheffield Labs. Some fabulous playing particularly from saxophonist Lenny Pickett, and organist Chester Thompson.

Blood, Sweat and Tears - The first real jazz-rock horn band, and the first rock band to play Las Vegas. This group underwent many incarnations, and versions of the band are still assembled to tour under the leadership of vocalist David Clayton-Thomas. With a rock rhythm section inspired by the Buckinghams and a jazz horn section inspired by Maynard Ferguson, BS&T has a wide variety of music to offer. The four piece horn section was generally 2 trumpets, and alto sax and a trombone.

09 -- Spinning Wheel - THE jazz-rock anthem. What more can I say? Nice straight-ahead trumpet solo. Lew Soloff?

10 -- Go Down Gamblin' - Contains the only rock and roll tuba solo that I'm aware of--courtesy of Dave Bergeron.

11 -- You've Made Me So Very Happy - Another major hit. Harmon trumpet by Randy Brecker, I think.

James Brown - The "Godfather of Soul" and the "Hardest Working Man in Show Business."  And the undisputed father of Funk. The band that recorded these classic tunes set the standard for all the funk horn bands that followed. Horn section was generally Alto & Tenor saxes plus Trombone. (the J.B. Horns)

12 -- Papa's Got A Brand New Bag - The first that we hear from saxophonist Maceo Parker, who had just joined the band. He's providing those solo bari sax notes on beat 2 of each measure. Maceo would become as important to Funk sax playing as Lester Young was to swing.

13 -- Cold Sweat - Simple, tasty horn parts. A bass groove by Bootsy Collins himself. James screaming at the top of his lungs. What more could you ask for?

14 -- I Got You (I Feel Good) -

15 -- Mother Popcorn - Great funk instrumental. Undoubtedly an inspiration for future members of Tower of Power.

Earth, Wind & Fire - The premiere show band of funk. Large, colorful, and musically refined.

16 -- Got to Get You Into My Life - EWF's version of the Beatle's hit. Fantastic playing.

17 -- Getaway - Put together with a fast, more strident groove, this piece sounds huge! EWF was a massive group on stage, and each musician had a significant role. This piece gives you an idea of the kind of orchestration that they could command.

18 -- Shining Star - Funky, hard hitting and sophisticated. This is the tune that got me hooked on EWF in my youth.

Kool and the Gang - Featuring the simple and funky bass lines of Robert "Kook" Bell, this band generally fielded a 3-piece horn section of trumpet, alto sax, and tenor sax. They started out as a jazz band, but ended up serving up some of the funkiest hits of the 1970's & '80's.

19 -- Jungle Boogie - Ever wonder what would happen if you put a bunch of dotted eighth notes together with no sixteenths to balance them out? Listen to this and you'll find out what REAL syncopation is!

Ohio Players  

20 -- Fire - Another terrific group, on par with bands like Kool and the Gang, and the Commodores.

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