Charlie Parker once said, “Don’t play the saxophone, let it play you.” These words, spoken by a jazz master, perfectly describe the spirit and style of this instrument. On November 6, Saxophone Day, we celebrate its mellow, soulful tones.
Patented in 1846, it has stood the test of time. Do not be fooled by its odd appearance, this humble s-shaped horn started more than one musical revolution.
First gaining popularity in military marching bands, the powerful tones of this woodwind could cut through the roar of a full parade. Half a century later, jazz masters Parker and Coltrane set the world on fire.
DJs elevate their mixes by including live saxophone players. Rock anthems feature blistering instrumental solos. Today, we dance to the sounds of an instrument created before automobiles or light bulbs.
What’s so special about November 6?
It is special because Adolphe Sax, creator and namesake, was born on this day in 1814. Because of his creativity, we can appreciate and enjoy the soundscapes of bebop jazz, dance-club anthems and arena rock.
We can celebrate Saxophone Day in a million ways. However, the most important thing to remember is, today is a celebration of creativity.
Musical instruments give us the power to express ourselves in ways that words cannot describe. Without them, our world would be a little less colorful, a little less vibrant.
Take a moment to experience the joy, the heartache and the thrill music offers us. Then, send a mental thank-you note to the spirit of Adolphe Sax.