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" The group was doing rock and roll songs they were hearing on the radio. They heard that I played sax and called me. I was terrible but they stuck with me. In what seemed like days, I was making more money playing gigs on Friday and Saturday night than my friends who worked in the mills after school every day. "I was hooked" says Don about his first gigs in a rock & roll group together with a couple of friends in 1956.

Don Wise was born in Westerly, Rhode Island, in 1942 and at the age of 12 he began playing alto-saxophone. When he turned 13 he switched to tenor. Don Wise has played everything from Country to Western, Swing to Big Band to Blues until he heard "Every Day I Hear the Blues" that became his battle cry. As a proof of his versatility, he was voted Saxophone player of the year in 1980 by the Oklahoma Country Music Association.

Listen to his tenor-sound and you will realize how much time he has spent in achieving tone-control. " I spent a lots of hours trying to achieve a sound that is acceptable in all ranges of the horn …. trying to maintain pitch through gradual volume changes, long tones and just plain working on that sax-sound I want. I´ve been playing the same saxophone since 1964, a Martin from the 50´s, and I haven´t found an instrument that comes closer for me, to the sound I want" Don tells about his sound.

Don Wise has made three CD´s, "In Wise Hands", "On the Verge of Survival" and "Genuine Snake". On John Laughter´s "Contemporary Saxophone" Don Wise gives examples of tenor-solos. Don is currently a member of Delbert McClinton Band and the long car-rides from his hometown Knoxville to Nashville to meet the McClinton band tour bus gives Don ideas and thoughts about music that can be heard on his CD´s.

Earl Bostic, Red Prysock, Sam "The Man" Taylor, Sam Butera and Red Tyler, all sax-players in the true R & B- genre, and later King Curtis and Jr Walker have all influenced Don Wise. Lately he has listen to Paquito DeRiveras clarinet-playing, which Don thinks is phenomenal.

Don Wise equipment

"The Martin Tenor" from the 50´s with Otto Link 7S metal mouthpiece customised by Doc Tenney, Cedar Falls, Iowa. Reeds Rico Regular #2½. Don also has a Martin alto and a Conn soprano. Walter Spears at Lunsford´s Music in Knoxville keeps his horns in good playing-condition.


"Gruppen spelade rock & roll låtar som de hörde på radion. De hörde att jag spelade sax och ringde mig för att spela med i gruppen. Jag spelade förskräckligt men de behöll mig. Precis som nu för tiden, så tjänade jag mer pengar på fredags- och lördags-spelningar än mina vänner som arbetade på kvarnen efter varje skoldag. Jag var fast !" säger Don om sina första spelningar i ett rock & roll band tillsammans med några vänner 1956. Don Wise föddes i Westerly, Rhode Island, 1942 och när han var 12 år började han spela altsaxofon. När han fyllde 13 började han spela tenor.

Don Wise har spelat allt från Country till Western, Swing till Big Band och Blues tills han hörde "Every Day I Hear The Blues" som kom att bli hans stridsrop. Som bevis på hans mångsidighet blev han 1980 framröstad till årets saxofonist av Oklahoma Country Music Association.

Lyssna på hans ton och du inser hur mycket tid han har lagt på att uppnå tonkontroll. "Jag lade ner många timmar för att uppnå en godtagbar ton genom hela registret på saxen …. försökte bibehålla tonhöjden genom gradvisa volymändringar, långa toner och helt enkelt arbeta med den ton som jag vill ha. Jag har spelat på samma saxofon sedan 1964, en Martin från 50-talet, och jag har inte hittat någon annan saxofon som kommer närmre den ton som jag vill ha" berättar Don.

Don har gjort tre CD, "In Wise Hands" , "On The Verge Of Survival" och "Genuine Snake". På John Laughters "Contemporary Saxophone" ger Don Wise exempel på saxofonsolo. Don är medlem i Delbert McClinton Band och under hans långa bilresor för att möta turnébussen ges Don tillfälle till musikaliska idéer och tankegångar som kan höras på hans CD.

Earl Bostic, Red Prysock, Sam "The Man" Taylor, Sam Butera och Red Tyler, alla genuina R & B saxofonister, och senare King Curtis och Jr Walker har alla influerat Don Wise. På senare tid har han lyssnat på klarinettisten Paquito De Rivera, som Don Wise tycker är fenomenal

" In Wise Hands" 
Don Wise has comlete his own musical project. For the last 15 years an unassuming mainstay in the Delbert McClinton Band performing soulful saxsolos on his Martin Committee tenorsax. During his years in music he has played in bands or shared the stage with, among others: the original Coasters, Taj Mahal, Willie Nelson, Tower of Power, Huey Lewis, Ray Charles. A true saxplayer in the geniun American R & B genre.

I Don´t Want To Start Over/Bourbon & You (Vodka And Me)/Never Been Rocked Enough/Look What Love Can Do/John Friday´s Son/Just For A Thrill - Who Will Your Next Fool Be?/Stiftin´Through The Ashes/Headin´ Home/Honky Tonk Song - Honky Tonk/Hold The Mayo/America (The Beautiful)/I´m Not Sad Tonight/Wally´s Whirled.

- ”A true master. A fantastic album” Songwriter´s Mounthly.
- ”Intentive, soulful, so sharp at times it crackles....” Lee Cotton, Rock & Blues News.
- ”... world class vocals by the likes of Delbert McClinton, Bugs Henderson, and a surprising entry into this all Texas-recording, Britt Johansen from Stavanger, Norway” Corey Wendell Smith, Caprock Sun.
- ”Stiftin´ Through The Ashes with vocalist Robin Griffin is burning hot” Mary Long, Blues Groove.

"On The Verge Of Survival"

On this project, the second on his own, Don Wise proves to us that he´s not only an exellent sax-player but also can give his music lyrics. Wise has written words and music on 6 tracks, two of them together with his wife Pamela Smith Wise. Chris Holthaus, Steve Basset, Delbert McClinton, Marcia Ball, Terry McBride, Lesly Sawyer, Geroge Hawkins Jr and Gary Bunton are vocalists on this CD.

That Same Mistake Again/Hard To Please Woman/Deep In The Heart Of Texas/Sanc-T-Flied/After The Lights Go Down Low/Blown By The Breeze/No One/Pepper In The Pocket/Just Friends/Back In The Back/Mutiny/Deep(er) In The Heart Of Texas

"...... these vocalists combined with Wise deep-rooted sax sounds that this a joy to hear." National Association of R&B DJs newsletter. "A full team of hard hitters ...... a ´who´s who of music." Blues Groove. Wise just stands back and blows great sax as his friends sings ..... bittersweet yet joyus." Blues Reviue

"Genuine Snake"

Genuine Snake is the culmintaion of Don Wise´s desire to showcase not only his own abilities of other tallents, as well. Wise proceed the tradition, from his other CD´s, to have greate vocalists. His sax sounds better than ever and the other musicians are completing this CD to be make it one of the best in it´s genre.

No Longer A Part Of your Dreams / Lots Of Flames(But No Heat) / Deeper Shade Of Blue / Lonely Island / Louisiana Moon / Shoppin´ For Clothes / He Had The Shoes / The New Is Me And You / You Come First At Last / Ride / Genuine Snake.

"... one of the coolest, tightest, groovin´est blues records I´ve heard in ages". William M Smith, www.rockzilla.com

"... a well crafted and lovingly put together piece of work by a connoissieur, Don Wise". Dave Thomas, www.mnblues.com




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