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Thread started 06/20/22 8:32pm

TrivialPursuit

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That Time Prince Added Saxophone To His Music

Even as long as most of us have been Prince fans and perhaps were fans from near the beginning of his career, it almost seems normal to think about sax in Prince's music. But in reality, his first six albums didn't have a saxophone on them.

Then before Around The World In A Day comes out, he's already added Eric Leeds to the band during certain songs. He's on stage by "Delirious," the second song in the set. I'd never heard him during that long not the precedes "Delirious," but with the new remaster, you can hear him. Now, it just seems to natural to hear a sax playing the hook to that song. But on the 1999 Tour, it wasn't there.

It's interesting since the songs he gave to others did have saxophone on them. The famous Larry Williams played the sax on "The Glamorous Life." A lot of whatshername's music had a sax built in, and was certainly played in her shows with Eddie M. at the helm. Then by the time the PR tour happens, there are two sax players on stage during "I Would Die 4 U," and "Baby I'm A Star."

So it definitely seems like the most obvious and natural progression in his music around this time. And a lot of that probably came from just wanting to stretch himself and his music more, open it up and explore new things, all which landed squarely in Around The World In A Day.

I don't know if it's him watching folks like James Brown, or Earth Wind & Fire have horns, or whatever, but you almost can't imagine a Prince song without some horns in it. (Obviously not every song, but you get it.)

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #1 posted 06/20/22 9:03pm

GaryMF

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He had alrady been recording the Family album with Eric befoer the PR tour kicked off.

.

.

I was going to ask something I always wondered. On the encores of PR tour I think both Eric and Eddie are playing together sometimes. When Eddie solo, he does this thing where he's playing high notes but then you hear like a low note come out. It almost sounds like a mistake but he does it a lot.

.

.

Is that just his style?

rainbow
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Reply #2 posted 06/21/22 12:36am

TrivialPursuit

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GaryMF said:

He had alrady been recording the Family album with Eric befoer the PR tour kicked off.

.

.

I was going to ask something I always wondered. On the encores of PR tour I think both Eric and Eddie are playing together sometimes. When Eddie solo, he does this thing where he's playing high notes but then you hear like a low note come out. It almost sounds like a mistake but he does it a lot.

.

.

Is that just his style?


I know what you're talking about. Sometimes, it looked like Eddie was straining to get a high note out, too.

But what you're talking about.. not sure. I play instruments, but never brass or woodwinds. So I'm not sure.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #3 posted 06/21/22 5:39am

OnlyNDaUsa

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Didn't Prince pay sax on the original recording of "G-Spot"?
"Keep on shilling for Big Pharm!"
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Reply #4 posted 06/21/22 6:06am

lurker316

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I can't the stereotypical, smooth jazz style sax that was popular in the '80s. Generally Eric stayed away from that and played a funk style that I loved, but his solo on Nothing Compares 2 U makes me cringe because it screams 1980s' cheese.



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Reply #5 posted 06/21/22 6:31am

RJOrion

GaryMF said:

He had alrady been recording the Family album with Eric befoer the PR tour kicked off.


.


.


I was going to ask something I always wondered. On the encores of PR tour I think both Eric and Eddie are playing together sometimes. When Eddie solo, he does this thing where he's playing high notes but then you hear like a low note come out. It almost sounds like a mistake but he does it a lot.


.


.


Is that just his style?




That is just his style...Beans Bowles from Motown's house band "The Funk Brothers" would also do that alot...a good example of Eddie M. doing it is during his amazing solo on the 30 minute live version of IWD4U..maybe my favorite sax solo by anyone ever
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Reply #6 posted 06/21/22 10:14am

Milty2

In the book The Rise and Fall of Prince, (not to say that is fact but) it's Prince's relationship to Wendy and Lisa that exposes him to other kinds of music which leads him to employing brass and woodwinds going forward.

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Reply #7 posted 06/21/22 12:17pm

GaryMF

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RJOrion said:

GaryMF said:

He had alrady been recording the Family album with Eric befoer the PR tour kicked off.

.

.

I was going to ask something I always wondered. On the encores of PR tour I think both Eric and Eddie are playing together sometimes. When Eddie solo, he does this thing where he's playing high notes but then you hear like a low note come out. It almost sounds like a mistake but he does it a lot.

.

.

Is that just his style?

That is just his style...Beans Bowles from Motown's house band "The Funk Brothers" would also do that alot...a good example of Eddie M. doing it is during his amazing solo on the 30 minute live version of IWD4U..maybe my favorite sax solo by anyone ever

Yes exaclty!

.

.

It kind of sounds "sleazy" as Prince/Sheila would say tat the time. But it sounds kinda weird to me, like it's a mistake.

rainbow
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Reply #8 posted 06/21/22 12:18pm

GaryMF

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OnlyNDaUsa said:

Didn't Prince pay sax on the original recording of "G-Spot"?

Jill Jones says that he did.

rainbow
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Reply #9 posted 06/21/22 12:35pm

RJOrion

GaryMF said:



RJOrion said:


GaryMF said:

He had alrady been recording the Family album with Eric befoer the PR tour kicked off.


.


.


I was going to ask something I always wondered. On the encores of PR tour I think both Eric and Eddie are playing together sometimes. When Eddie solo, he does this thing where he's playing high notes but then you hear like a low note come out. It almost sounds like a mistake but he does it a lot.


.


.


Is that just his style?



That is just his style...Beans Bowles from Motown's house band "The Funk Brothers" would also do that alot...a good example of Eddie M. doing it is during his amazing solo on the 30 minute live version of IWD4U..maybe my favorite sax solo by anyone ever

Yes exaclty!


.


.


It kind of sounds "sleazy" as Prince/Sheila would say tat the time. But it sounds kinda weird to me, like it's a mistake.



Yes, Lol....i always thought it sounded like his saxophone farted on-beat
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Reply #10 posted 06/21/22 2:08pm

TrivialPursuit

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Milty2 said:

In the book The Rise and Fall of Prince, (not to say that is fact but) it's Prince's relationship to Wendy and Lisa that exposes him to other kinds of music which leads him to employing brass and woodwinds going forward.


Yeah, but isn't it short sighted to think that Prince wasn't aware of brass in music? He knew who Earth Wind & Fire, Chicago, Tower of Power and similar were and knew their music; bands whose sound were symbiotic with their horn sections and arrangements.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #11 posted 06/21/22 2:19pm

mb71

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GaryMF said:

OnlyNDaUsa said:

Didn't Prince pay sax on the original recording of "G-Spot"?

Jill Jones says that he did.

Jones said a lot. 99% of which was batshit bullshit

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Reply #12 posted 06/21/22 2:25pm

mb71

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The Eric Leeds days were the golden age of him having sax in his music. It sounded classy, not like the fingernails down a chalkboard-blow a single note till I explode-over the top bullshit players he had afterward.

"Maceo blow yer horn!" No Maceo....fuck off and shut up.

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Reply #13 posted 06/21/22 2:36pm

Milty2

TrivialPursuit said:

Milty2 said:

In the book The Rise and Fall of Prince, (not to say that is fact but) it's Prince's relationship to Wendy and Lisa that exposes him to other kinds of music which leads him to employing brass and woodwinds going forward.


Yeah, but isn't it short sighted to think that Prince wasn't aware of brass in music? He knew who Earth Wind & Fire, Chicago, Tower of Power and similar were and knew their music; bands whose sound were symbiotic with their horn sections and arrangements.

Definitely. It's why I said "not to say that is fact". But maybe W&L were the catalysts for him finally bringing brass into the his field of view. or maybe not. No one really knows anyway.

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Reply #14 posted 06/21/22 3:10pm

RJOrion

TrivialPursuit said:



Milty2 said:


In the book The Rise and Fall of Prince, (not to say that is fact but) it's Prince's relationship to Wendy and Lisa that exposes him to other kinds of music which leads him to employing brass and woodwinds going forward.




Yeah, but isn't it short sighted to think that Prince wasn't aware of brass in music? He knew who Earth Wind & Fire, Chicago, Tower of Power and similar were and knew their music; bands whose sound were symbiotic with their horn sections and arrangements.



Word ..not to mention P growing up on the sounds of James Brown and Sly & The Family Stone, whose horn arrangements and horn players he looked up to and even took on tour with him (Maceo Parker)
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Reply #15 posted 06/22/22 1:07am

TrivialPursuit

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Milty2 said:

TrivialPursuit said:


Yeah, but isn't it short sighted to think that Prince wasn't aware of brass in music? He knew who Earth Wind & Fire, Chicago, Tower of Power and similar were and knew their music; bands whose sound were symbiotic with their horn sections and arrangements.

Definitely. It's why I said "not to say that is fact". But maybe W&L were the catalysts for him finally bringing brass into the his field of view. or maybe not. No one really knows anyway.


Yeah, I get what you're sayin'.

Ask W&L, and they'd probably tell you yes. lol

I almost wonder if it wasn't just sort of organic, in that whatshername's band was on the road with them, and he was recording ATWIAD here and there for quite a while, and pulled Eddie M. in on at least one song, and it bloomed from there.

Although - I totally forget Eric Leeds story about how he got hooked up with Prince. Probably his brother I would imagine.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #16 posted 06/22/22 2:32pm

lurker316

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mb71 said:

The Eric Leeds days were the golden age of him having sax in his music. It sounded classy, not like the fingernails down a chalkboard-blow a single note till I explode-over the top bullshit players he had afterward.

"Maceo blow yer horn!" No Maceo....fuck off and shut up.



I agree. I feel like Eric's style better suited Prince's sound than Maceo's style. I've made similar comments here on the Org in the past. I'm sometimes shouted down for suggesting Eric is better than legendary Maceo.



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Reply #17 posted 06/22/22 3:02pm

TrivialPursuit

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lurker316 said:

mb71 said:

The Eric Leeds days were the golden age of him having sax in his music. It sounded classy, not like the fingernails down a chalkboard-blow a single note till I explode-over the top bullshit players he had afterward.

"Maceo blow yer horn!" No Maceo....fuck off and shut up.


I agree. I feel like Eric's style better suited Prince's sound than Maceo's style. I've made similar comments here on the Org in the past. I'm sometimes shouted down for suggesting Eric is better than legendary Maceo.


I agree with MB71's assessment that it was a great golden age of his music with that sax in his music. It especially shows through on Parade, Lovesexy, etc. Even if it's not Eric, the horns during the early 90s NPG era were super rich and textured.

I believe Maceo's style fit Prince's music at the time, when it became a bit homogenized. He had started to adopt that Muzak approach to his music, and Maceo fit right into that. Not that Eric didn't, but Eric just had a certain something.

They're both great sax players with rich histories in music. Its sorta apples and orange for me with them.

But in Prince's music, I'd rather have Eric.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #18 posted 06/22/22 3:19pm

mb71

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TrivialPursuit said:

lurker316 said:


I agree. I feel like Eric's style better suited Prince's sound than Maceo's style. I've made similar comments here on the Org in the past. I'm sometimes shouted down for suggesting Eric is better than legendary Maceo.


I agree with MB71's assessment that it was a great golden age of his music with that sax in his music. It especially shows through on Parade, Lovesexy, etc. Even if it's not Eric, the horns during the early 90s NPG era were super rich and textured.

I believe Maceo's style fit Prince's music at the time, when it became a bit homogenized. He had started to adopt that Muzak approach to his music, and Maceo fit right into that. Not that Eric didn't, but Eric just had a certain something.

They're both great sax players with rich histories in music. Its sorta apples and orange for me with them.

But in Prince's music, I'd rather have Eric.

Yeah, I agree with this post. Cheers, I'm not that great with wording things. I usually just jump in with my size 9's and say what I think.

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Reply #19 posted 06/22/22 3:38pm

GaryMF

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TrivialPursuit said:

I almost wonder if it wasn't just sort of organic, in that whatshername's band was on the road with them, and he was recording ATWIAD here and there for quite a while, and pulled Eddie M. in on at least one song, and it bloomed from there.

Although - I totally forget Eric Leeds story about how he got hooked up with Prince. Probably his brother I would imagine.

I think this is what happened as you say. Eddie was on tour, plus he wanted Eric for the Family.

.

.

St. Paul Peterson has a great podcast (Music on the Run) and he interviews Eric and also the whole Family (both are great episodes).

.

.

Eric definitely found out that Prince needed a sax player from his brother Alan.

.

Though I had heard earlier Eric had made a tape of him playing on the Glamorous Life to audition for Sheila's touring band but she had already picked Eddie.

In terms of W&L, I think Wendy and or Susannah was more responsible for adding STRINGS. I remember reading that maybe they were listening to a Rufus album and he liked the strings and W or Sussannah were like that's Clare Fischer and maybe their dad knew him or something and they got in touch with him and the rest is history

rainbow
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Reply #20 posted 06/22/22 3:56pm

mediumdry

just throwing my 2 cents in... personally, I don't care for sax as a solo instrument, so... with that said..

.

I love the Eric Leeds/Atlanta Bliss horn section. They had a sound all their own. For instance, just listen to "let's get satisfied" from the "smell my finger" album by George Clinton, that's no horny horns or baltimore connection there, but Eric Leeds/Atlanta Bliss, unmistakably. (and Prince on vocal hook)

.

But the best time for Prince and horns.... Vault Old Friends for Sale/Come/Exodus/Gold. I mean, that extended version of Billy Jack Bitch.... so good that cory wong lifted it (because of who he was playing with...).

.

Then again, I'm sure some people feel the 1999 era was his best use of horns. On synths smile

Paisley Park is in your heart - Love Is Here!
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Reply #21 posted 06/22/22 9:03pm

EnDoRpHn

lurker316 said:



mb71 said:


The Eric Leeds days were the golden age of him having sax in his music. It sounded classy, not like the fingernails down a chalkboard-blow a single note till I explode-over the top bullshit players he had afterward.


"Maceo blow yer horn!" No Maceo....fuck off and shut up.





I agree. I feel like Eric's style better suited Prince's sound than Maceo's style. I've made similar comments here on the Org in the past. I'm sometimes shouted down for suggesting Eric is better than legendary Maceo.





If Eric Leeds’ sax better suited Prince’s music, it’s because he largely played what Prince scripted. He has said repeatedly that he didn’t like what Prince had him play. (Verified by the fact that little if any of his independently released music sounds anything like Prince.)

By the time that Maceo was playing with Prince, he had matured enough to let others bring their own style.
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Reply #22 posted 06/23/22 5:58am

lurker316

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EnDoRpHn said:

lurker316 said:



I agree. I feel like Eric's style better suited Prince's sound than Maceo's style. I've made similar comments here on the Org in the past. I'm sometimes shouted down for suggesting Eric is better than legendary Maceo.



If Eric Leeds’ sax better suited Prince’s music, it’s because he largely played what Prince scripted. He has said repeatedly that he didn’t like what Prince had him play. (Verified by the fact that little if any of his independently released music sounds anything like Prince.) By the time that Maceo was playing with Prince, he had matured enough to let others bring their own style.


That makes sense, but I'm not sure the adjective "matured" is appropriate. If, as an auteur, he had a vision for exactly how he wanted his songs to sound, there was nothing immmature about asking an instrumentalist to actualize that vision for him.

And I'm not sure that I'd characterize it as "mature" to allow Maceo to homogenize Prince's sound.

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Reply #23 posted 06/23/22 6:06am

LoveGalore

Milty2 said:

In the book The Rise and Fall of Prince, (not to say that is fact but) it's Prince's relationship to Wendy and Lisa that exposes him to other kinds of music which leads him to employing brass and woodwinds going forward.



We know this is bullshit and just a marketing thing that has taken on a life of its own.
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Reply #24 posted 06/23/22 8:43am

Milty2

LoveGalore said:

Milty2 said:

In the book The Rise and Fall of Prince, (not to say that is fact but) it's Prince's relationship to Wendy and Lisa that exposes him to other kinds of music which leads him to employing brass and woodwinds going forward.

We know this is bullshit and just a marketing thing that has taken on a life of its own.

It's why I said "not to say it is fact". No one on here actually knows. I don't know how that can be a marketing thing. I doubt that information helped to sell books.

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Reply #25 posted 06/23/22 2:15pm

GaryMF

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W&L and Susannah did expose him to other things, but not Brass and woodwinds.

.

.

And Prince did not write out charts or hum to Eric what horn lines he wanted. He told Eric to play stuff and Prince picked what he liked. If you listen to the Paul's podcast with him he goes into pretty good detail about this.

rainbow
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Reply #26 posted 06/23/22 4:20pm

PJMcGee

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mediumdry said:

just throwing my 2 cents in... personally, I don't care for sax as a solo instrument, so... with that said..


.


I love the Eric Leeds/Atlanta Bliss horn section. They had a sound all their own. For instance, just listen to "let's get satisfied" from the "smell my finger" album by George Clinton, that's no horny horns or baltimore connection there, but Eric Leeds/Atlanta Bliss, unmistakably. (and Prince on vocal hook)


.


But the best time for Prince and horns.... Vault Old Friends for Sale/Come/Exodus/Gold. I mean, that extended version of Billy Jack Bitch.... so good that cory wong lifted it (because of who he was playing with...).


.


Then again, I'm sure some people feel the 1999 era was his best use of horns. On synths smile




You mean the album version of Billy Jack, right? Because I love when the horns take over towards the end. Is there another example of a Prince song climaxing with horns like that? You just want it to keep going, like a good climax should.
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Reply #27 posted 06/23/22 11:58pm

mediumdry

PJMcGee said:

mediumdry said:

just throwing my 2 cents in... personally, I don't care for sax as a solo instrument, so... with that said..

.

I love the Eric Leeds/Atlanta Bliss horn section. They had a sound all their own. For instance, just listen to "let's get satisfied" from the "smell my finger" album by George Clinton, that's no horny horns or baltimore connection there, but Eric Leeds/Atlanta Bliss, unmistakably. (and Prince on vocal hook)

.

But the best time for Prince and horns.... Vault Old Friends for Sale/Come/Exodus/Gold. I mean, that extended version of Billy Jack Bitch.... so good that cory wong lifted it (because of who he was playing with...).

.

Then again, I'm sure some people feel the 1999 era was his best use of horns. On synths smile

You mean the album version of Billy Jack, right? Because I love when the horns take over towards the end. Is there another example of a Prince song climaxing with horns like that? You just want it to keep going, like a good climax should.

.

the album version is only the start, the extended version takes the horns a lot further still!

Paisley Park is in your heart - Love Is Here!
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Reply #28 posted 06/24/22 1:23am

PJMcGee

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Oh wow. Must have.
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Reply #29 posted 06/24/22 8:14am

Gooddoctor23

Milty2 said:

In the book The Rise and Fall of Prince, (not to say that is fact but) it's Prince's relationship to Wendy and Lisa that exposes him to other kinds of music which leads him to employing brass and woodwinds going forward.

lol..........except Prince was listening 2 James Brown, Sly & the Ohio Players before he ever heard of Wendy & Lisa.

Stop it.

99.9% of everything u have been taught, is 99.9% B.S.
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