Happy Saxophone Day!
I’d like to start off by saying that while composing this quirky holiday post, I had George Michael’s Careless Whisper in the background as inspiration. Two words: pure seduction. And 1980s gold. I secretly love this song. (Though I guess the cat’s out of the bag now.)
So today we celebrate the saxophone. From jazz, to swing, to ska, the sax is a versatile instrument. Saxophones come in nine different “flavors”. We have the alto, the tenor, the baritone… and six others. Even as a saxophone player myself, I was not aware of all nine types of saxophone.
On this day in 1814, the inventor of the saxophone, Adophe Sax, was born. 26 years later, the saxophone was created. As a self proclaimed band geek and alto sax player, I can appreciate the complexities of this instrument. Ask any sax player to explain to you the beauty of the sax and you’ll find that this woodwind wonder is a treasure, as well as the centerpiece of many a jazz masterpiece.
How to Celebrate
Put some jazz on your Pandora station. Search for Kenny G, Stan Getz, Charlie Parker… or just type in “jazz”. You’ll find yourself both relaxed and intellectually stimulated. You’ll feel like lounging, and yet unable to sit still. It is a beautiful, seductive paradox. And you can thank the good ol’ saxophone for that. Even though the sax isn’t necessarily featured in all jazz, you’re chances of catching an earful of this intricate instrument are good. There are many different types of jazz, and though you may consider yourself to not be a “jazz” person, today is your invitation to explore this genre.
If you are seriously anti-jazz, feel free to listen to swing, ska, or the many other genres that feature the sax. But I still think you should give jazz another chance.
“Don’t play the saxophone. Let it play you.” – Charlie Parker
“If you like an instrument that sings, play the saxophone. At its best, it’s like the human voice.” – Stan Getz
Featured image via ShutterStock