Hey, listen! Do you hear these sweet sounds? It has an excellent tone, it plays well, it’s the very bitchin velvety saxophone solo. These sounds sink into heart and stay there forever. You’re on your own, you are that you are Duke Ellington’s band, Candy Dulfer or Vangelis Love Theme from Blade Runner. Sax will never die!
When Belgian musician and musical instrument maker Adolphe Sax made his first saxophone about 1840s, he could never have imagined how mightily popular this instrument would become. Sax experimented with the ophicleide, a large brass instrument, and the bass clarinet, so these experiments helped him to design, make and then improve his first saxophones. Adolphe Sax patented the saxophone on June 24, 1846, and this date is most commonly associated with official saxophone’s coming out.
The saxophone is considered to be the main instrument of jazz. If there were no saxophone, we could hardly enjoy Blues, Reggae, Jazz, Ragtime, Swing, Bebop and other various music styles in their current form. Saxophone players have been some of the most famous and progressive musicians, “key figures” in history of music. The names of Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Coleman “Hawk” Hawkins, Stan Getz (was known as “The Sound” because of his warm, lyrical tone), Sonny Rollins glorified not only the 20th century, but would indelibly stick in memory. It is hardly thinkable that old jazz, “the golden age” of “roaring20s” and 30s, the era of Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, “Moonlight Serenade” – all that everyone would agree “yeah, that’s jazz!” – bypass us. Saxophone is a symbol of this period, the breakout decade, the era of modernity, rapid developing of artistic and literary culture. A break of tradition – a shocking tango by Rudolph Valentino in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, a chin-length bob as the most popular hairstyle, slinky knee-length women’s dresses – and the saxophone means the spirit of Jazz Age, the epoch of prosperity, modernity and freedom.
Today jazz is the music of highly intellectual nerd or yuppi people. In fact, it’s the music of the heart, not of head. Actually, all jazz is just pure naked emotion transformed in sound. Feeling it means understanding jazz in a right way. All Russian ladies adore jazz music, some of them know much about it. And now – whist! – remember and listen to famous “Summertime, And the livin’ is easy…” by Charlie Parker.