- Dec 25, 1928
- Jun 30, 2010
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Harold “Harry” Klein (25 December 1928 – 30 June 2010) was an English jazz saxophonist. As a session musician, he played on recordings by the Beatles.
Early in his career, Klein played with Nat Gonella in the late 1940s. He then played with Bill Le Sage and Kenny Baker before going on tour with Stan Kenton in 1956. Klein also worked with Stan Tracey for several years in the 1950s and 1960s. He also recorded with Tubby Hayes, Sammy Davis, Jr., Victor Feldman, Dudley Moore, and Champion Jack Dupree.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Klein began working as a studio musician for English pop and rock bands. Klein played on the Beatles’ 1968 self-titled double album (also known as the “White Album”), on the songs “Honey Pie” (clarinet) and “Savoy Truffle” (saxophone). He was also one of the four saxophonists (along with Ronnie Scott) who played on “Lady Madonna“. Other credits include playing on records by Caravan.
Laurie Gold, a session ‘fixer’ for EMI, often used by George Martin and The Beatles, was called into swift action. Harry Klein, a baritone sax player, has a vivid recollection of events. “They were in a real flap to find four musicians and called on Laurie to conjure some up for them. I was in the bath at about 6:30 in the evening when Laurie called and said, ‘Are you working tonight?’ ‘No, I’m in the bath!’ ‘Well get over to EMI as quick as you can, and how can I find a tenor player?’ I suggested he call Ronnie Scott, the chap who runs the London jazz club, and sure enough, when I got to Abbey Road, Ronnie was there, along with Bill Jackman and Bill Povey. Paul didn’t recognize Ronnie Scott until we told him who he was.“From “The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions” by Mark Lewisohn
There was no written music but we played around with a few riffs until Paul liked what he heard. And then we recorded it – 101 times! I remember there was a big pile of meditation books in the corner of the studio, like the back room of a publisher’s office, and I also recall that they asked if we wanted a bite to eat. We were expecting a terrific meal but a few minutes later someone returned with pie and chips!Harry Klein – From “The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions” by Mark Lewisohn
The session men were playing really well – there’s nothing like a good brass section letting rip – and it sounded fantastic. But having got this really nice sound George turned to Ken Scott and said ‘Right, I want to distort it’. So I had to plug-up two high-gain amplifiers which overloaded and deliberately introduced a lot of distortion, completely tearing the sound to pieces and making it dirty. The musicians came up to the control room to listen to a playback and George said to them ‘Before you listen I’ve got to apologise for what I’ve done to your beautiful sound. Please forgive me – but it’s the way I want it!’ I don’t think they particularly enjoyed hearing their magnificent sound screwed up quite so much but they realised that this was what George wanted, and that it was their job to provide it.Brian Gibson, technical engineer – From “The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions”, Mark Lewisohn
Last updated on September 19, 2021
Feb 06, 1968 • Songs recorded during this session appear on Lady Madonna / The Inner Light (UK - 1968)
Oct 11, 1968 • Songs recorded during this session appear on The Beatles (Mono)