Saturday, April 14, 2012

Andrew Love, tenor sax for The Memphis Horns

Rest in peace.

Andrew Love, a tenor saxophonist who as half of the Memphis Horns helped define what came to be known as the Memphis sound, infusing 83 gold and platinum records with instrumental buoyancy, died on Thursday at his home in Memphis. He was 70.

The cause was complications of Alzheimer’s disease, said his wife, Willie.
Mr. Love was black, tall and laid back. His musical partner, the trumpeter Wayne Jackson, was white, short and intense. After meeting at Stax Records in the mid-1960s, they became a singular musical force, backing up label performers like Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Rufus and Carla Thomas, and Isaac Hayes. They went on to add ballast and blast to soul performers on other labels, like Atlantic’s Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett.

The Memphis Horns helped shape classic records like Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds,” Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” and Dusty Springfield’s “Son of a Preacher Man.” They backed up Stephen Stills, Rod Stewart, the Doobie Brothers, Joe Cocker, Sting, Bonnie Raitt, Peter Gabriel, U2, Jimmy Buffett, Willie Nelson, B. B. King and Robert Cray.

When Mr. Love and Mr. Jackson toured, they sometimes hired others to expand their sound. But the preponderance of their work was in the studio, where they added their artistry to recordings they had never heard before.

They worked out their arrangements spontaneously. After listening to a few bars of a recording, Mr. Love might “hear” a saxophone lick and Mr. Jackson a trumpet lick, Mr. Love told The Commercial Appeal of Memphis in 1996. They would devise lines on the spot and hum them to each other, then practice them briefly and record their parts twice, effectively doubling the instruments. The third time through, Mr. Jackson would add a part on trombone. 

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