Posts Tagged ‘Jim Horn’

‘Work It Out”

September 25, 2019

The Texas Gal and I are now card-carrying senior citizens.

The other day, we joined the Whitney Senior Center about six blocks away from our place, got our cards and learned a bit about the center’s extensive programming. Some of it we’ve already begun using, some will wait until we figure out exactly what it is we want to do over there.

What drew us (besides the fact that we are, of course, on the far side of sixty)?

The exercise room, actually. For the past eight weeks or so, I’ve been heading to the medical building where our doctor has her practice, working with a couple of physical therapists to improve the functions of my back muscles, the ones disrupted in January by my spinal fusion. And as I’ve worked on that, my therapists have been adding to my routine various simple bits of a workout.

It’s been good for me, I can tell. Not only is my back feeling better, but I’ve found that I enjoy the activity (and that coming from someone who has rarely sought physical activity), and I feel better. So the Texas Gal and I began to wonder how to continue the workouts at what we hoped would be a lower cost. We knew the Whitney Recreation Center adjacent to the senior center had a workout room as well as a walking track (which intrigued the Texas Gal), so we checked that out and pondered its cost, which was something like $150 yearly for me to access the workout room and for her to access the track.

And then, as we signed up to join the senior center, the volunteer at the counter noted that the senior center had its own exercise room and that some Medicare supplementals would cover the entire cost. And it turns out that my supplemental is one of those. So we filled out applications, paid the Texas Gal’s fee, and yesterday, one of my physical therapists met me there to check out the senior center’s exercise room and put me through a workout.

(The Texas Gal walked on a treadmill and kept an eye on what I was doing, hoping to use some of my routines in her own workouts.)

This isn’t our first attempt as getting in better shape. Some years ago, we tried to become more active, joining in turn two commercial gyms. The first had limited facilities for changing clothes, and the second, well, I just never felt comfortable there, being a portly older man among younger and sleeker folks. Neither of those should be a problem now.

Here’s an aptly titled tune from sax player Jim Horn. “Work It Out” is the title track to an album he released in 1990.

Saturday Single No. 488

March 12, 2016

A while back, I wrote about the numbers of places I’d lived as an adult, and noted that I’ve lived here in the little white house off Lincoln Avenue longer than I’ve lived anywhere else. I also said that the odds were likely that there’d be another place in that list eventually and that the Texas Gal and I were going to start trimming down in order to fit into what would be a smaller space.

Well, for a few weeks, we actually planned to move from here back into the apartment complex across the back yard, the same place we lived for not quite six years when we moved to St. Cloud. And I began to sort LPs in the EITW studios. My goal is to trim the LPs from about 3,000 down to around 1,000.

There are some, of course, that automatically go on the list of those that will stay: The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Richie Havens, some single albums from many performers, the blues collection, and so on. For many of the others, I’ll make certain I have the music in digital format. Some of those I might find at the public library, but I think I will spend a fair amount of time with my turntable.

And some of the vinyl on my shelf will not be replaced digitally. It showed up – generally during the hard years on Pleasant Avenue during the 1990s – and was played once, and it will be considered non-essential as I trim the library. (The most recent of those pulled from the shelf were albums by Dan Hill and by the Holy Modal Rounders.)

As it happened, though, we’re not moving. A couple of shifts in the universe have left us here on Lincoln for the foreseeable future. But we’re still going to downsize. And we’ve been trying to figure out exactly what to do with the albums. We’re going to try to sell them, of course. Many of the LPs I’ll pull from the shelves are good work that might actually be in demand now that vinyl seems to be the hip thing among certain demographic groups in our culture. But there is no vinyl retailer in St. Cloud anymore.

That means going to Minneapolis and to Cheapo Records, the business where I got maybe two-thirds of the 1,500 albums I bought during my seven-plus years on Pleasant Avenue. But I know from direct observation that it takes some time for the record folks at Cheapo to sort through a box of albums offered for sale. If we brought in ten liquor boxes of records, how long would we have to cool our heels while waiting for the records to be sorted and graded?

It seemed impractical. But I finally called Cheapo, which has moved its main location (but is still close enough to my old digs that I know the area), and asked about the best way to accomplish the sale. The fellow on the phone said that we could at any time drop off all the boxes of records we could bring, leave our name, address and telephone number, and they’d send out a check when they were done and then dispose of the records they did not want.

That’s going to work. Now, we need to find a place to store about thirty liquor boxes full of records. (I learned long ago that liquor boxes are the most practical to use for transporting LPs.) The Texas Gal questioned the total of thirty boxes, but the math works out: I can get about 65 LPs into a liquor box, and I need to trim from the collection about 2,000 records, and the math gives me a result of not quite thirty-one boxes.

I’m not sure we’ll be able to get thirty boxes of records into the Versa at one time, but we’ll open that gate when we get to it. In the meantime, we need a place to store boxes of records that leaves me room to work. (The 800 or so records I’ve already culled – and many of those required some hard resolve – are cluttered on the floor and set aside in the stacks.) We have some room in the loft, but lugging records upstairs just to lug them down again seemed impractical.

So the Texas Gal made a decision: She’s going to move her quilting operations upstairs again. That will require some work, but it will give her some more space to work, space that’s available now that we’ve given the treadmill and the pink beanbag chair to a friend. That will allow her some room to sort out the many yards of fabric she has in her current sewing room, and it will grant me space to stack boxes of records that will eventually make their ways to Minneapolis.

I imagine we’ll start that shifting operation in the next week or so and sometime this summer, about 2,000 LPs will head out of here and re-enter circulation. But I’m finding that deciding whether some records go or stay is hard.

How hard?

Well, I did some digging this morning and found out that fifty-two years ago today, Dion recorded a cover of “Don’t Start Me Talkin’,” a blues tune written and first recorded in 1955 by Sonny Boy Williamson II. The cover was unreleased at the time and eventually came out on a 1991 box set of Dion’s work. It’s not a bad track, but it wasn’t quite what I was looking for. So I idly went to the page about Dion at Wikipedia. And I noticed that in 1989, he released a single from his Yo Frankie album that got to No. 75 on the Billboard Hot 100 and to No. 16 on the magazine’s Adult Contemporary chart.

I listened to the single at YouTube and heard something that I just hadn’t noticed in November 1999, when I bought the album and played it in my new apartment further south in Minneapolis. The move put me about six miles away from Cheapo’s, but I still did business there as well as at the Cheapo’s in St. Paul, which might have been marginally closer to my new digs: My copy of Yo Frankie still has the Cheapo’s price sticker on it.

My copy of Yo Frankie was also in the stack of records to be sold. But having listened this morning to Dion’s charting single from 1989 and having learned that the saxophone solo on the track is from Jim Horn (mentioned here in fandom many, many times over the years), I moved Yo Frankie back to the “keep” shelf.

And all of that is how Dion’s “And The Night Stood Still” became today’s Saturday Single.

Some More Of Jim’s Horn

December 16, 2011

Originally posted January 29, 2009

Went wandering on YouTube as usual and found a fascinating video posted by a performer who goes by the name of Junizon. She shared three videos – I think; I may have missed some – from a performance that took place last March at what seems to be some sort of community center or something similar. I don’t know where it was. But what caught my eye and ear was that sitting in on the performance was Jim Horn. Junizon has posted a couple of tunes – Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and a song called “Ponies” – with Horn playing flute. This one, Hoyt Axton’s “Sweet Misery,” has a fellow named Guido Bos at the keyboard and Horn on saxophone:

Video set to “private.”

Here’s a YouTube posting from someone who goes by the handle of gizzymanisla, evidently a producer. The clip, which I find fascinating, shows Horn at work in the studio:

And finally, here’s a concert clip of Duane Eddy and Jim Horn putting out a pretty good version of “Rebel Rouser.”

Video deleted.

Tomorrow, I think, we’ll be heading back, digging into the Billboard Hot 100 for the last week in January of 1972.

Some Thoughts On Jim Horn

December 16, 2011

Originally posted January 28, 2009

The first time I ever heard of Jim Horn was when I was listening for the first time to The Concert for Bangla Desh and heard George Harrison introduce the players behind him. Jim Horn and the Hollywood Horns were among the performers on stage that day in 1971, and I guess I mentally shrugged and halfway put Horn’s name on a mental list of people to someday learn more about.

And his name popped up on occasion as I began to read the fine print on record jackets and inserts. I didn’t see his name as frequently as I saw the name of Bobby Keys, who along with trumpet player Jim Price played on the recently mentioned stretch of albums influenced by the late Delaney Bramlett. Still, Horn’s name popped up often enough that when I began to seriously collect vinyl in the 1990s, a record with his name in its credits would more often than not find a place on my shelves.

I have no idea how many of my LPs include Jim Horn’s saxophone work. I took a look at his list of credits at All-Music Guide and started counting LPs I own. Of the nearly one hundred albums listed on just the first page of Horn’s credits there – covering the years from 1958 into 1974 – I have at least thirty, maybe more. (I did not count those LP’s that I have only as files of mp3s; there were at least ten to fifteen of those.) And that was only on the first of ten pages of credits for Horn.

I thought of Jim Horn recently for two reasons. First, I was rummaging through a box of LPs I’ve set aside to rip to mp3s. Three of them were Horn’s albums – Through the Eyes of a Horn from 1972, Jim’s Horn from 1973, and the 1988 album, Neon Nights. (He also released Work It Out in 1990, which I have on CD. And AMG lists four other albums: Christmas with Jim Horn, released in August 2001; and A Beatles Tribute, Tribute to John Denver and The Hit List, all of which are listed as having been released on March 2, 2001, which seems a little improbable.) So Horn’s work was on my mind as I pondered which albums I should rip both for sharing here and for my own files.

Then came the announcement of the most recent selections for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I find myself not caring much these days about the groups and individuals elected to the Hall of Fame, but that’s another post for another day. (When the list was announced, my pal JB at The Hits Just Keep On Comin’ shared a few thoughts about this year’s crop; his comments are near the bottom of the linked post, and they’re worth a read.) But I do take a look each year to see who’s been selected as a sideman.

It’s a relatively new category, with the first inductees being named in 2000. Here’s the list so far, chronologically:

2000: Earl Palmer, Hal Blaine, James Jamerson, King Curtis, Scotty Moore.

2001: James Burton, Johnnie Johnson

2002: Chet Atkins

2003: Benny Benjamin, Floyd Cramer, Steve Douglas

2008: Little Walter

And this year’s inductees will be Bill Black, D.J, Fontana and Spooner Oldham.

Two things come to mind: Why was there a five-year gap between 2003 and 2008? Is the list of sidemen who are eligible and worthy so short that the electors had to work hard to come up with Little Walter and this year’s three inductees? I kind of doubt that, and I find that gap odd. And as I pondered the list of inductees – all greatly deserving of the honor – I began to wonder if Jim Horn belongs there. And I wondered the same thing about Bobby Keys, Jim Price and – though I’ve not mentioned them in this piece so far – the Memphis Horns.

My thoughts? Horn, Keys and the Memphis Horns likely belong. Sax players King Curtis and Steve Douglas are already in, but – unless the Hall is working under some kind of quote system – that shouldn’t matter. Jim Price? As good as he was, I don’t see him in the Hall; his list of credits, compared to the others mentioned here, is brief.

Whether he belongs in the Hall or not – and I can listen to arguments either way – Horn is one of those musicians I look for. And I thought I’d go ahead and rip Through the Eyes of a Horn for today. It was released on Leon Russell’s Shelter label, and it’s a pretty good album, very much of its time, with production credits going to Horn, Russell, Denny Cordell and Larry Knechtel.

Highlights? I think the best track is the opener, Horn’s take on Canned Heat’s “Going Up The Country.” Two others that stood out were “Which Way Does The Wind Blow,” and “Sweet Motor City,” the album’s closers. Overall, it’s a good album. (There are more pops on this rip than there usually are on albums I share here. The worst noise, however, is limited to just a few tracks: The opening section of “Along Came Linda,” which happens to be the quietest song on the record, and “Rollin’ Along” and “Jennifer Juniper.” This is, after all, thirty-seven-year-old vinyl.)

Musicians on the record were: Ron Tutt, Chuck Blackwell, Jim Keltner, Jim Gordon, Earl Palmer, John Guerin and, Paul Humphreys on drums; Gary Coleman on steel drums; Jerry Scheff, Carl Radle and Max Bennett on bass; Mike Deasy, Louie Shelton, Leon Russell, Al Casey on guitar; Louis Shelton on dobro; Larry Knechtel on keyboards and mouth harp; Bobby Bruce on fiddle; Chuck Finley, Jackie Kelso, George Bohanon, Paul Hubinon, Jack Redmond and Dalton Smith on horns; and Rita Coolidge, Priscilla Jones, Kathie Deasy, Booker T. Jones, Maxine Willard and Julia Tillman on background vocals. Johnnie Horn, who I assume is Jim Horn’s son, takes a vocal turn on “Nice To Make A Friend.”

Going Up The Country
Along Came Linda
Shake N’ Bake
Brain Dance
Lulu Belle
Guerilla Love In
Nice To Make A Friend
Rollin’ Along
Jennifer Juniper
Which Way Does The Wind Blow
Sweet Motor City

Jim Horn – Through the Eyes of a Horn [1972]