By Bruce Vermazen
This day, the saxophone is a symbol of "cool" and the tool such a lot heavily linked to jazz. but now not some time past it was once derided because the "Siren of Satan," and it was once mostly neglected within the usa for good over part a century after its invention. while it was once first extensively heard, it was once frequently seen as a novelty noisemaker, now not a true musical software. in just a number of brief years, although, saxophones seemed in track retailers throughout the US and have become probably the most very important instrumental voices. How did the saxophone get from comedian to cool?
Bandleader Tom Brown claimed that it used to be his saxophone sextet, the Six Brown Brothers, who inaugurated the trend. whereas this boast was once possibly extra fable than truth, the gang was once no doubt some of the most recognized musical acts on level within the early 20th century. beginning in touring circuses, small-time vaudeville, and minstrel indicates, the crowd trekked around the usa and Europe, bringing this new sound to the yank public. via their reside performances and groundbreaking recordings--the first discs of a saxophone ensemble ordinarily circulation--the Six Brown Brothers performed an important position in making this new device usual to and enjoyed by means of a large audience.
In That Moaning Saxophone, writer and cornet participant Bruce Vermazen sifts truth from legend during this craze and tells the outstanding tale of those six musical brothers--William, Tom, Alec, Percy, Vern, and Fred. Vermazen lines the brothers' direction via minstrelsy, the circus, burlesque, vaudeville, and Broadway musical comedy. Cleverly weaving jointly biographical info and the context of the burgeoning leisure company, the writer attracts attention-grabbing pics of the pre-jazz international of yank renowned song, the theatrical weather of the interval, and the lengthy, gradual loss of life of vaudeville.
Delving into the profession of 1 of the main popularizers of the saxophone, That Moaning Saxophone not just illuminates the historical past of this novel device, but in addition bargains a witty and brilliant portrayal of those forgotten musical worlds.