Tag Archives: tenor sax

Did anyone else see Junior Walker and the All Stars at The Beacon Theater in 1989?

5 Jan

I was lucky enough to see Junior Walker and the All Stars live in concert the second night I was ever in New York City in July of 1989.  My friend and I arrived on a Friday night, I picked up a copy of The Village Voice and saw that there was a soul music concert the next night at The Beacon Theater, $25 a ticket to see Percy Sledge, Eddie Floyd, Wilson Picket and Junior Walker.  Coming from Australia, this was unbelievable to me, but it was real and that specific concert is undoubtedly one of the experiences that compelled me to find a way to live in this magical musical city.  To see Percy sing When A Man Loves A Woman, Eddie knock knock knock knock knocking on wood for around 15 minutes and Wilson Pickett resentfully churning out performances of a dozen of his hits thrilled me half to death, but when Junior Walker came out swinging with his own band, The All Stars, and literally jumped right into Shotgun I broke down and wept.  Junior Walker has been one of my favorite sax players as long as I’ve had favorite sax players and his concert was one of the best I’ve seen in my life.  I couldn’t find any lengthier snippet of live footage than this clip of him and the band playing at the Ram Jam Club in London in 1967, but you get the idea of what I experienced and why he’s one of my faves in the first 10 seconds.

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Michael Kammers presents The Claustrophobic Noise EP

25 Sep

I first met Michael Kammers on a Mackie Riverside & The StreetPushers gig, which is fun because we play 60s & 70s STAX covers. I immediately liked him and lo & behold he turned out to be a wailing tenor sax player and a GREAT team player. I was always happy to section up with him, even on wedding gigs where we had to learn Seawind Horns lines on MJ covers etc. Next I found out he also shreds on Farfisa which strikes a chord with me because we had one in my house when I was a kid and I used to play with it a lot. So when he invited me, I was more than happy to walk around the corner and lay down bari tracks on a couple of his original compositions which were crazy psychedelic prog with a sense of humor jams. He was recording The Claustrophobic Noise EP in his bedroom with most of his studio set up under a loft bed, this being one of the reasons for the name, the other being a nod to a rehearsal studio from his early youth in Syracuse. Anyway, as life tends to unfold in New York we’ve now played many gigs together and I always love playing with this guy whether he’s on sax or keys — doesn’t matter, he’s an all round great musician. I urge anyone who reads this to check out this EP and keep your ears open for more groovy sounds from Michael Kammers because he’s full of them — you’ll find his MK Groove Orchestra (14 piece big band playing all his original compositions) playing regularly in Brooklyn, the trio version of that group popping up all over the tri-state area and you’ll hear him being an asset to lots of other bands too including some I play in — Rev. Vince Anderson & The Love Choir, Meah Pace, Zoe Sundra and Burnt Sugar to name a few.