Friday, April 21, 2006:

The Roots Canal: Roy Montrell

Roy Montrell -- (Every Time I Hear) That Mellow Saxophone
New Orleans Month continues at The Roots Canal with one of that city's least-known but most ubiquitous musicians. Roy Montrell was the go-to guitarist for New Orleans recording sessions and touring bands in the 1950s and 60s. He recorded with everyone from Roy Milton to Little Richard, Lloyd Price and Larry Williams. He toured with Fats Domino and helped Dr. John break into the business. This is one of just two singles he cut under his own name in his entire career. It's a fabulous record that ought to be a classic, but it's only been covered a few times and doesn't seem to be that well known.

It turns out that Home of the Groove posted the same song about a year ago. In fact, he knows a lot more about it than I do. Here's how he describes it:
The joyous, oddball lyrics by Mississippian John Marascalco, who had written several hits for Little Richard, are sung by Montrell with a hoarse hipster voice and a little scatting a la Satchmo. Meanwhile, the band cooks, rockin’ atop Earl Palmer’s locomotive syncopation, with the pumping saxes of Red Tyler on bari and Lee Allen, who turns out a signature solo, on tenor. The rest of the rhythm section is Clem Turvalon on bass, and Ed Frank on piano. Despite the song’s lyrics, there is nothing mellow about either the saxes or this tune!
That pretty much says it all.

[Creole Kings of New Orleans] (Also available on emusic.)
That's a good track.

Home of the Groove is one of many good mp3blogs I keep forgetting to visit frequently and link to.

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