JazzWax List: 5 Beatles Saxes - JazzWax

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June 17, 2010


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Nick Rossi

Don't forget "Lady Madonna"! That 1968 single featured Brit Jazz legend Ronnie Scott. Scott even gets a solo spot earning him a place alongside Eric Clapton and Billy Preston as one of the few non-Beatles to solo on a one of their discs. By the way, Pete Coe was a member of Georgie Fame's Blue Flames at the time (1966) of his appearance on "Revolver." He had a solid jazz background and recorded many excellent solos with Fame during his tenure with the group. In fact, he was the soloist on Fame's hit version of "Yeh! Yeh!" , originally recorded by Mongo Santamaria and later given lyrics by Jon Hendricks. And which group did Georgie & Co. displace off the top of the UK singles chart with that single in early 1965? The Beatles.

Ed Leimbacher

Hmmm... pretty off-the-wall, Marc. Shows your breadth and depth of listening. And here we rockabillies always thought of the Merry Moptops as saxless.

Alan Hill

Other non-Beatle soloists included Alan Civil (French horn on For No One), David Mason (piccolo trumpet on Penny Lane) and Nicky Hopkins (electric piano on Revolution).

When I'm 64 gains its distinctive sound from the efforts of clarinettists Robert Burns, Henry MacKenzie and Frank Reidy.

At least one other Beatles song contains a saxophone solo but memory fades.

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of 55 More Songs," "Anatomy of a Song," "Rock Concert: An Oral History" and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax has won three Jazz Journalists Association awards.
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