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Steve Elson's baritone sax soloing on David Bowie's CD The Next Day

Steve Elson's baritone sax soloing on David Bowie's CD The Next Day

Steve Elson's baritone sax soloing was featured on David Bowie's CD release entitled The Next Day. Here are just a few of the many articles and reviews that talk about his contributions to that recording.

It's dark and it's sexy. There's a fantastic sax solo. You know, David plays baritone sax, but he invited his friend Steve Elson to do the baritone on this album. He's a little guy, and he's got a huge baritone sax, and he plays this dirty solo in it that sounds like stripper music from the 1950s.

                                                                                                              Tony Visconti in Rolling Stone Magazine

Bowie's best work; it's no coincidence that two of the album's best moments, on the skulking "Dirty Boys" and the taut "Boss of Me", feature glorious sax solos from longtime collaborator Steve Elson.


The songs with Elson are some of the most immediately interesting. “Dirty Boys” is built on a lurching groove reminiscent of Tom Waits songs like “The Earth Died Screaming” or “Way Down in the Hole.” Alongside the farting horn, the three guitars—straight chopping chords from Leonard and Visconti, and sandpapery blues noises from Earl Slick (I’m assuming)—sear the air. Levin and Alford are a precise rhythm team who nevertheless know how to let the groove breathe. Elson is the only player who gets a real solo, but the song fades as he’s heading into an exciting, almostArchie Shepp-ish place.
He doesn’t get to do even that much on the next song, “The Stars (Are Out Tonight),” mostly growling in the background as strings that feel like an indulgence (the parts played by four live humans could easily have been punched in from a keyboard; just ask Dimmu Borgir) swoop and swoon. For much of his third appearance, on “Boss of Me,” he shadows the bassist, inserting ultra-low rumbles at the edge of the mix. But as the song progresses, he gradually rises in the mix, and in the final minute or so of the piece, he enters into a call-and-response with the vocalist, and is finally (along with the keyboards) the last sound heard, a long-held note slowly dissolving.

                                                                                                                   Burning Ambulance

The album peaks with the sax-driven, sensual Dirty Boys.

                                                                                                                      USA Today