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Thread started 08/14/20 7:28pm

funkman88

Prince's top 5 horn players of all time?

who do u feel were the best ever to play with Prince?here's mine:

5.EDDIE M

4.ATLANTA BLISS

3.GREG BOYER

2.MACEO PARKER

1.ERIC LEEDS-THE WINNER!

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Reply #1 posted 08/14/20 10:32pm

TRON

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Yeah, Eric Leeds by far!

I know nothing about the technical skill that goes into the playing, so I can't speak on that...

But for his contributions to Prince's sound, honestly it's one of the best things that ever happened to his music. Prince grew leaps & bounds during those years. Wendy, Lisa & Sheila pushed him hard into new directions and I think Eric is right in the mix for most influential on his overall trajectory.

The colors, flavors and shapes he gives the work are a perfect compliment to Prince's own experimental style. No other brass musician in his band even came close to the inventiveness and expressiveness Eric had. His recorded contributions are some of my highlights of Prince's entire career.

Take it a step further into the rehearsals we've heard and you really start to get a sense of how truly intuitive and locked in they all were as a band. To be so tight yet so loose is a hard balance to reach. They were all clearly sharing a collective musical mind during that time.

From Prince's early reputation as a meticulous control freak growing into one of the greatest improvisational musicians I've ever heard... Something happened along the way for him to give up some of that control and really TRUST the people he surrounded himself with. It's a beautiful transition to witness.

Prince's evolution from the "one man band" into the greatest band leader of all time really shows during Eric's tenure from '84-'88. The Prince we know and love of aftershows, soundchecks, rehearsals & one-offs was really cemented during this period. And Eric is a vital and hugely underrated part of that.

Infinite respect for him. I've been listening to The Flesh sessions, Someone 2 Call rehearsals & Munich '87 lately. Eric's work never ceases to amaze me. His wild outbursts, super funky riffing and even subtle shading are so diverse but almost always the perfect fit for what's needed.

Much discussion has been made about W&L's effect on him. And I agree. Clare Fischer gets plenty props for the orcheatral sophistication added to The Family/Parade and onward. I agree with that too. Even Sheila is a little underrated for the rhythmic complexity & genre-exploring she brought to the table. But to me, Eric might be the most underrated secret weapon of Prince's entire career.

And that's not even getting into how stunning his flute work is...

🙌
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Reply #2 posted 08/14/20 11:35pm

Nightcrawler

Nice list, but when I want Sax, I call Candy.
Just like the sun, the rainbow children rise...
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Reply #3 posted 08/15/20 6:18am

KoolEaze

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I think most horn players that Prince ever worked with, including Mr.Eric Leeds himself, would agree that Maceo Parker is number one simply because he´s Maceo Parker and a legend.

However, as far as creating a unique sound and adding to Prince´s musical palette are concerned, I´d say Eric Leeds is number one, closely followed by Eddie Minnifield.

Eric Leeds has a very distinct sax sound and I also like his flute playing a lot. I wish Prince and him had worked on more songs together, it´s too bad that they had their disagreements every now and then.

I´ve met Eric Leeds on several occasions and he´s a very friendly and humble person, too, and very talkative with the fans.

He and his brother sometimes say controversial things that rub some fans the wrong way but I think both are very important characters in the Prince universe.

" I´d rather be a stank ass hoe because I´m not stupid. Oh my goodness! I got more drugs! I´m always funny dude...I´m hilarious! Are we gonna smoke?"
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Reply #4 posted 08/15/20 6:32am

RJOrion

Eddie M...and its not even close...

the stuff he blows on the 30 minute I Would Die 4 U, is some of the greatest sax soloing ive ever heard anywhere outside of the jazz genre

[Edited 8/15/20 6:32am]

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Reply #5 posted 08/15/20 6:42am

RJOrion

1. Eddie M

2. Prince, playing horn parts on the Oberheim in the early days

3. Eric Leeds

4. Michael B. Nelson

5. Matt Blistan

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Reply #6 posted 08/15/20 9:17am

masaba

Eric Leeds is a fantastic soloist. You can tell how much Prince loved having him in the band.
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Reply #7 posted 08/15/20 2:53pm

nayroo2002

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Eric Leeds.

DONE

Maceo is a legend, but, no.

Candy Dulfer...

very nice.

"Whatever skin Ur in
we all need 2 b friends"
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Reply #8 posted 08/15/20 4:08pm

funkaholic1972

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For me Eric Leeds, no doubt about it!

RIP Prince: thank U 4 a funky Time!
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Reply #9 posted 08/15/20 4:22pm

jamescl

Eric Leeds as well for me because it brought something unique and distinct to his style, elevating it to a much higher level.

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Reply #10 posted 08/15/20 8:44pm

funkman88

TRON said:

Yeah, Eric Leeds by far! I know nothing about the technical skill that goes into the playing, so I can't speak on that... But for his contributions to Prince's sound, honestly it's one of the best things that ever happened to his music. Prince grew leaps & bounds during those years. Wendy, Lisa & Sheila pushed him hard into new directions and I think Eric is right in the mix for most influential on his overall trajectory. The colors, flavors and shapes he gives the work are a perfect compliment to Prince's own experimental style. No other brass musician in his band even came close to the inventiveness and expressiveness Eric had. His recorded contributions are some of my highlights of Prince's entire career. Take it a step further into the rehearsals we've heard and you really start to get a sense of how truly intuitive and locked in they all were as a band. To be so tight yet so loose is a hard balance to reach. They were all clearly sharing a collective musical mind during that time. From Prince's early reputation as a meticulous control freak growing into one of the greatest improvisational musicians I've ever heard... Something happened along the way for him to give up some of that control and really TRUST the people he surrounded himself with. It's a beautiful transition to witness. Prince's evolution from the "one man band" into the greatest band leader of all time really shows during Eric's tenure from '84-'88. The Prince we know and love of aftershows, soundchecks, rehearsals & one-offs was really cemented during this period. And Eric is a vital and hugely underrated part of that. Infinite respect for him. I've been listening to The Flesh sessions, Someone 2 Call rehearsals & Munich '87 lately. Eric's work never ceases to amaze me. His wild outbursts, super funky riffing and even subtle shading are so diverse but almost always the perfect fit for what's needed. Much discussion has been made about W&L's effect on him. And I agree. Clare Fischer gets plenty props for the orcheatral sophistication added to The Family/Parade and onward. I agree with that too. Even Sheila is a little underrated for the rhythmic complexity & genre-exploring she brought to the table. But to me, Eric might be the most underrated secret weapon of Prince's entire career. And that's not even getting into how stunning his flute work is... 🙌

eric defined Princes sound late 80s

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Reply #11 posted 08/15/20 10:52pm

mb71

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Leeds and Bliss by a mile.

The others are neither here nor there imo, sadly they were very often there. I'm not into all this "look how long I can hold a note before I explode" nonsense.


"Maceo blow your horn!" No Maceo, just please be quiet.

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Reply #12 posted 08/16/20 12:45am

funkman88

mb71 said:

Leeds and Bliss by a mile.

The others are neither here nor there imo, sadly they were very often there. I'm not into all this "look how long I can hold a note before I explode" nonsense.


"Maceo blow your horn!" No Maceo, just please be quiet.

maceo just seemed like James brown man...Leeds was Princes guy 2 me

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Reply #13 posted 08/17/20 5:52pm

TonyVanDam

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funkman88 said:

who do u feel were the best ever to play with Prince?here's mine:

5.EDDIE M

4.ATLANTA BLISS

3.GREG BOYER

2.MACEO PARKER

1.ERIC LEEDS-THE WINNER!

I would rank Eddie M a little higher. But nonetheless, I strongly agree that Eric Leeds is #1. cool

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Reply #14 posted 08/17/20 6:24pm

OldFriends4Sal
e

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moderator

1 Eric Leeds
2 Atlanta Bliss

3 Eddie M.

4 Dr Fink

5. Clare Fisher orchestra horn players:

French Horns - Marni Johnson, David Duke, Joe Myer, Brian O'Connor, Calvin Smith and Jim Thatcher.
Tuba - Tommy Johnson.
Trombones - Garnett Brown, Charles Loper, Morris Repass and Bill Watrous
Trumpets - Ray Brown, Rich Cooper, Bob Findley, Larry Ford, Bob O'Donnell and Al Vizutti.
.
Nothing after these had that unique Purple Music-Minneapolis Sound electricity

#ALBUMSSTILLMATTER
https://prince.org/msg/7/464433 9.24.2020
if you ever try the lotus position
Try it while you're being strangled
Do U understand what I'm saying?
#IDEFINEME
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work...
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Reply #15 posted 08/19/20 9:58am

Doalwa

Eric Leeds all the way, baby!
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Reply #16 posted 08/19/20 1:18pm

funkypixie

I've got to regisrer another vote for Hornheadz arranger Michael B.Nelson! Surely the stuff they contributed to the Symbol album and Come alone gets him in the top five??

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Reply #17 posted 08/21/20 11:35am

TheKid94

I really dug Eddie M. His solo in I Would Die 4 U 12" is so damn soulful. Also, his solo in the America video is great too. I feel like he has a really unique tone. Not to say Eric and Atlanta weren't great together, I just feel it sometimes they added a bit of corniness to the more funk driven songs. I think if Prince kept him around with Eric they would've came up with a really unique sound.

prince
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Reply #18 posted 08/21/20 11:45am

RJOrion

Eddie M. has that soulful 60s, Junior Walker, Beans Bowles, Motown sound...sounds like he grew up playing jazz clubs in Detroit with The Funk Brothers
[Edited 8/21/20 11:46am]
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Reply #19 posted 08/24/20 10:50pm

funkman88

funkypixie said:

I've got to regisrer another vote for Hornheadz arranger Michael B.Nelson! Surely the stuff they contributed to the Symbol album and Come alone gets him in the top five??

this is true Billy Jack is kust perfect

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Reply #20 posted 09/07/20 11:57pm

funkaholic1972

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funkypixie said:

I've got to regisrer another vote for Hornheadz arranger Michael B.Nelson! Surely the stuff they contributed to the Symbol album and Come alone gets him in the top five??

Damn, I forgot about the Hornheadz and Michael B. Nelson. Those contributions are fabulous! music

RIP Prince: thank U 4 a funky Time!
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Reply #21 posted 09/08/20 2:06am

ForceofNature

Maceo is a legend and loved when he was in Prince's band, however for me Eric Leeds was the greatest horn player Prince ever collaborated with and to me the proof is in how much freedom he gave Eric on things.

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Reply #22 posted 09/09/20 6:05am

LoveGalore

Eric Leeds and Clare Fischer are probably the only artistic collaborators whose input fit seamlessly with Prince's music, imo. Michael B Nelson also did really well leading the Hornheadz. No comment on the rest.
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Reply #23 posted 09/11/20 12:23pm

CAL3

Everyone forgetting the late GREAT Brian Gallagher.
.
Not saying he’s numero uno but NEEDS to be in the conversation. Monstrously talented player.
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Reply #24 posted 09/11/20 10:43pm

controversy99

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Two different lists:

Best contributors as horn players to Prince music

1. Eric Leeds ... sax on Sign o the Times album, nuff said.

2. Michael B. Nelson ... Billy Jack arrangement!

3. Atlanta Bliss ... Power Fantastic, yes!

There were others? Jk

4. Marcus Anderson ... his contributions on HnR2 are outstanding.

5. Maceo Parker ... Dear Mr. Man is a tease of what he could've with Prince.



Best horn players that played with Prince

1. Maceo Parker

Parliament, James Brown, "solo" albums, the JBs, Prince, etc. He's one of the greats. His work on Mothership Connection album alone ... wow. But his best stuff with Prince wasn't released. I like his playing on Housequake from Bataclan 2002, for example.

2. Candy Dulfer

Great career, cool albums, but didn't do much on Prince's albums despite being around for so many years.

3. Eric Leeds

He's fantastic on Prince's records, so I don't quite get why he doesn't have a better career.


4. Najee
Ok, I'm partially serious and partially joking here.

5. Greg Boyer
Really like his stage presence and playing

"Love & honesty, peace & harmony"
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Reply #25 posted 09/12/20 12:36am

LittleBigFan

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It's got to be Eric Leeds - he had his own distinct sound and style. Eddie M is great on all the Sheila E tracks but is a tiny bit more generic at times. Eric Leeds brought something else AND he played the flute on various top tracks (Gett Off, Scarlet Pussy extended version, Mountains extended, etc). [Prince should have had more flute. And more harmonica, definitely needed more harmonica].

Going a bit beyond the original topic, I'd go so far to say that Eric Leeds is a rare example of a musician with something totally of their own that Prince kept around for a long while. Mostly the musicians he had with him didn't get to shine or be distinctive. Which is fair enough, it was P's show after all but EL did both.

I think the choir wanna sing
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Reply #26 posted 09/12/20 12:40pm

SimonCharles

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It's Eric Leeds, with much love going to Atlanta Bliss, too - obvs...but, I am a huge fan of the horn section he had in the last NPG incarnation - there was something so gorgeous about that massive ensemble blasting richness in our ears! That said...Eric, all the way, for me.

Words are like shoes...
Try my shoes on...
https://simoncwilliamsblo...press.com/
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Reply #27 posted 09/13/20 12:08am

CAL3

It’s Maceo, people. Accept that and move on.
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