There’s something about the sound of a saxophone that reaches the depths of my soul.
It can be a wonderfully sexy drawl, like the dreamy part you hear in Dire Straits’ “Your Latest Trick” (1985) or Junior Walker and The All-Stars’ “What Does It Take?” (1969)
Or it might be the greasy, frenzied solos that drive the middle break in the Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar” (1971) or Little Richard’s “Long Tall Sally” (1956).
For me, the sax has the most uncanny ability to make me stop whatever I’m doing and take a moment to groove to whatever song in which it’s featured. It comes down to this: If a song has a sax part in it, it’s better, sometimes way better, than it would be without it.
I mean, seriously. Imagine Sade’s “Smooth Operator” (1984) without the sultry sax that winds its way through the entire song. You can’t.
Although the saxophone is perhaps best known for its contributions to jazz music, there’s no question it has made an indelible mark on rock ‘n roll as well. From the very beginning, sax and rock music have been fast friends, and it’s not hard to see why.