Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

Registered
Joined
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wanted to share this little Canadian documentary about the saxophone, it's peculiar past and what some have perceived to be a cursed nature.
I found it fascinating to watch, I enjoyed learning about Adolphe Sax along with some of the many stories and personalities behind the instrument. Perhaps you will too.

Didn't think I'd ever see it for free, but here it is:


(couldn't find this previously posted in my search, but if it has, apologies)
 

Registered
Joined
3,762 Posts
+1 on the book. The author's story of his first time busking, and his visit to Francois Louis, really rounded out the fascinating historical sections. A great summer read--in fact, I read it while vacationing on the southern shore of Nova Scotia, when not playing my Zephyr alto.
 

Registered
Joined
1,229 Posts
Unfortunately, for me, I got so irritated by the book I never fished it... And couldn't get much beyond the opening scenes of the YouTube/film for the same reason.
The author runs three threads through the book.
- the life and times of the saxophone. Ok.
- a personal quest of enlightenment, a la Zen and the Art. Ok. It's a thing.
- a thesis that it's the sax that's the devil plays, not the violin. Or such.

As with Zen and the Art, I found myself skipping through the more self indulgent bits (this isn't an autobiography of some interesting) to the interesting interviews, history etc.

But the after almost every story he goes "...and that's why this is the devil's horn" as in, "gosh jimmeny, I've sold this to the publisher based in the catchy title, the text better live up to it.". After the umpteenth time I found the problem with kindle, you can't throw it down with dramatic irritation.
 

Registered
Joined
4,697 Posts
Watched this - it sucked. Enough said. The players in the film, with the singular exception of Jimmy Heath, are not good examples of saxophone artistry in my opinion. Meaningless fluff.

I kinda feel sorry for Mr. Heath, may he RIP, being associated with this film.
 

Registered
Joined
1,739 Posts
Unfortunately, for me, I got so irritated by the book I never fished it... And couldn't get much beyond the opening scenes of the YouTube/film for the same reason.
The author runs three threads through the book.
- the life and times of the saxophone. Ok.
- a personal quest of enlightenment, a la Zen and the Art. Ok. It's a thing.
- a thesis that it's the sax that's the devil plays, not the violin. Or such.

As with Zen and the Art, I found myself skipping through the more self indulgent bits (this isn't an autobiography of some interesting) to the interesting interviews, history etc.

But the after almost every story he goes "...and that's why this is the devil's horn" as in, "gosh jimmeny, I've sold this to the publisher based in the catchy title, the text better live up to it.". After the umpteenth time I found the problem with kindle, you can't throw it down with dramatic irritation.
I couldn't read that book, either. There are so, so many people who really know the saxophone, how to play it, its history, its place in our culture, and so many writers who can talk about those kinds of things in an interesting way without being annoyingly self-indulgent. This guy is not one of them. I'm glad if people enjoyed it--we all have different tastes, and that's to the good--but I couldn't make it through.
 

Registered
Joined
4,282 Posts
You can be irritated or you can just enjoy the bits that are interesting in the video. Jimmy鈥檚 playing, the footage in Belgium, the guy 鈥榯orturing鈥 that bass sax. It pushed me to discover Giuseppe鈥檚 (RIP) early recordings...
 

Registered
Joined
264 Posts
I'm only about 75 pp. into "The Devil's Horn" but am really enjoying it. I've known pieces of history about the sax's development, but a lot of the stories and characters responsible for popularizing the instrument in 19th century U.S. are new to me.

I had no idea there were a number of famous 19th century female sax players, or that the ability to play the sax "was often a prerequisite of landing a job. Employers even advertised their positions in music journals. 'Saxophone players, who are coal miners, tailors, or barbers,' read one such advertisement, ' please address George J. Pearson, Hillsboro, Ill."

Fun stuff, highly recommend it so far.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top