The saxophone is pure sex on air waves. Whether we’re talking about the exotic sounds of Kenny G or a YouTube specialist playing his heart out to the enchanting theme from Beauty and the Beast, the saxophone may very well be the most human instrument on the planet.
Sure, a string section is incredibly emotive and moving when composed correctly. But it truly wanes in comparison to the saxophone when it comes to the art of storytelling.
I described the reasons behind my affinity for the saxophone in my debut novel, The Art of Being Jonny:
While the magnetism of the brassed instrument was its ‘sax-y’ appeal, Jonny’s fondness for the saxophone was predicated on another emotion altogether. Understanding the splendour of the saxophone was like trying to explain the allure of rock n’ roll to a band member of The Jesus and Mary Chain. While it would often commence like a demure little lady seated by the exit doors of a night club, its powers would unknowingly insinuate itself into the pit of ones abdomen, sending bursts of shimmy-shakes down the spine before flowering like a bagpipe and into a cascading wail. The saxophone was a musical banshee shrieking its very soul over a hidden backbeat until the time came for it to sneak out of the way of the sunlight. In a silk dress running like a watercolour in the rain, the saxophone was both starry and magical, painting the sky with a thousand sonants as it mesmerised its awe-inspired listener.
But to Jonny, it was neither its opulence nor its charm that enticed him, but the familiarity of the instruments tonal vibrations that resonated far deeply within. To Jonny, the saxophone, for all its grace and glory, sounded just like a weeping man in unrepairable agony, begging for mercy and divine repentance as his tears waterlogged the instrument’s harmonic valves and cried for absolution.
““The saxophone was a musical banshee shrieking its very soul over a hidden backbeat until the time came for it to sneak out of the way of the sunlight.””
I mean, take Kenny G’s The Moment, for example. The millisecond I slap ‘PLAY,’ I want to cry. I want to cry tears of sorrow. I want to cry tears of pain. I want to cry tears of joy. I want to cry tears of gratitude.
Honestly, the saxophone takes you on a musical journey, down a highway of a hidden rainbow and to a district you never thought you could reach – it’s pure, soul-searching, sonic nirvana.
The very sound of the sax does something to you – something unexplainable. It touches you. It tickles your nervous system – in a very good way. The very vibration of the instrument changes your bodily vibration as you listen in. It stimulates your heart and warms your tensions. It’s relaxing, sensual and romantic, tragic and heartbreaking and yet so full of love.
There really is nothing quite like the sound of a saxophone.