(Clarence Clemons' saxophone solo in "Jungleland")

Today's blog headline goes out to the Indians' resident iTrac vision training specialist Jason Stein, also known in these parts as the "Master of Self-Promotion."

 

Stein and I don't see eye to eye on, well, anything, and not just because he's taller than me. One of our many arguments yesterday centered on music. He claimed that Bruce Springsteen's "Jungleland" (referenced in yesterday's blog headline) has a superfluous saxophone solo, while I claim that the solo is the greatest saxophone solo in rock history (granted, it didn't have a heck of a lot of real competition for this honor, but it's an honor, nonetheless), and, therefore, integral to the song's beauty.


clemons.jpg 

Stein's contention was that he listens to music for the lyrics, and he said the simple fact that you can't "quote" a saxophone solo in my blog postings is proof enough that the musical interludes don't matter.

 

So, out of pure spite, I'm sticking it to Stein with The Big Man's solo today, in headline form. If you close your eyes, I swear you can hear it. Or you can just watch it here.

 

If you can't tell from the above post, it's another slow day in camp. And let's face it... this is what you might call a trend. The early days of camp are always rather mundane, but at least it gives us plenty of time to bicker over Bruce.

 

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY...

 

  • Pitching coach Carl Willis said Kerry Wood looked good yesterday -- too good, in fact. Wood's stuff is way ahead of where it needs to be this time of year. "He was impressive, to say the least," Willis said, shaking his head. "By no means was he out of control, but we might have to slow him down a tad."
     
  • In the clubhouse this morning, after PFPs had wrapped up, several of the pitchers were watching a show about Game 7 of the '97 World Series on the MLB Network. Jensen Lewis said he still remembers watching that game on his couch. "I rubbed my face raw with nerves," he said.
     
  • The position players took BP for the first time on Field No. 1 this morning. That's the one with the exact dimensions of Progressive Field.
     
  • The full-squad is in-house. In fact, the addition of Tony Graffanino means an even 60 players are in camp. So each and every one of the 60 lockers in the Indians' clubhouse is spoken for. Lots of elbow-bumping going on.
     
  • Position players took their physicals. Their two-on-one meetings with Eric Wedge and Mark Shapiro have been pushed back because of Shapiro's absence due to a death in the family. When Shapiro returns this week, the meetings will be spread out over the course of three days.
     
  • One number change this year: Jamey Carroll has given up No. 7 to Mark DeRosa and taken No. 11. Carroll was hoping he might get something in return for the number (a nice steak dinner, perhaps?), but it hasn't happened yet. And Carroll is already justifying the situation by praising his new number. "It's a one for each kid," said Carroll, whose wife, Kim, gave birth to twins last year.
     
  • Josh Weir of the Canton Repository pointed out that Ben Francisco and Shin-Soo Choo each have exactly 509 Major League at-bats under their belt. What are the odds of that? (Note: Please don't conjure up some scientific formula that proves the odds were actually quite good, thereby making me look like an idiot. Please.)
     
  • You knew this story was coming, and it's a shame. Winter Haven businesses will be hurt by the Indians' absence. One estimate is that Spring Training generated $25 million in economic impact for the city each year.
     
  • Finally, it just dawned on me that Richie Cannata's sax solo on Billy Joel's "Scenes From An Italian Restaurant" is also quite good. Not "Jungleland" good, but still good.

~AC

 

UPDATE: Wedge said, in general, he was happy with the shape guys reported in. But without naming names, he said, "There's always a couple that don't look quite how you want them to." Then he added sarcastically, "It's not like you have anything to get in shape for."

 

UPDATE No. 2: Alto Reed. "Turn the Page." How did I forget that one? Yes, yes, that definitely needs consideration for top sax solo. I'm biased, of course, so I'd still list The Big Man at No. 1, but Alto's up there. And does anybody know his real name? It can't be Alto Reed, right? This has always bugged me, but I've never seen an original name. If his birth name really was Alto Reed, he had no choice but to become a saxophonist. It's the same as that old Seinfeld bit about naming your kid Jeeves and, thus, sealing his fate as a butler. Then again, if you're named Jeeves, you can also become the guy who answers everybody's questions on the Internet. OK, I'm rambling. 

19 Comments

I just got back from Winter Haven, once they lost Eric Wedge, things went straight to hell. it’s like Thunderdome! There are no rules! Oh wait, it’s just Florida.

Now I’m as big a Boss fan as anyone and I love that solo, but I don’t think it’s even Clarence’s best work. The “Born to Run” solo comes to mind. Dick Parry’s sax work in Pink Floyd’s “Money”, though… now THAT’S a work of genius. And in 7/4 time, no less.

Sorry, AC, but I have to side with Jason Stein on this one. Saxophone solos belong in the middle of rock songs about as much as rap interludes belong in rock songs although, sadly, I seem to be alone on that front.
It’s guitar solo or nothing as far as I’m concerned.

The alto sax solo in Gerry Rafferty’s ‘Baker Street’ is EASILY the best sax solo. It’s so recognizable and fits that song perfectly.

AC, c’mon. You can’t talk sax solos without at least mentioning Alto Reed’s in “Turn the Page”. I mean, not ranking it #1 is pain enough for me, but ya gotta at least give it a mention!

1. Now your even aligning the pictures? AC, you are now technologically advanced.

2. I’ve got five bucks that says Andy Marte is one of those “out of shape” players.

sorry to continue the sax discussion…David Sanborn’s contribution on Michael Stanley’s “Let’s Get the Show on the Road” is still a killer.

I did a quick google search and it says Thomas Neal Cartmell for Alto Reed’s birth name.

I have no proof – just what “they” say.

Myranda

Jungle land is a great solo – I also like the one on “Walk on the Wild Side” and “Bakerstreet” is Great. But when it comes to the saxophone the conversation begins and ends with John Coltrane and Charlie Parker. But saying it’s superfluous becuase it’s at the end of the record is rediculous. That’s like saying Jim Gordon’s piano “outro” on Derick and the Domino’s “Layla” is not needed becuase it’s the last part of the song you hear. The basis of Mr. Stiens arument is flawed. Now onto more important questions like
is Batman a real superhero (ummm NO!), Genie or Samantha (Samantha) and most important – Why would you drive your Chevy to a levy and would it even matter if the levy way dry?

I want to be the first to say that if there is ever a double play that involves DeRosa and Carroll, somebody has to drop the line about how 7/11 is ALWAYS open for business.

I did a quick google search and it says Thomas Neal Cartmell for Alto Reed’s birth name.

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