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The Saxophone$
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Stephen Cottrell

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300100419

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300100419.001.0001

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The saxophone in jazz

The saxophone in jazz

(p.183) Chapter 5 The saxophone in jazz
The Saxophone

Stephen Cottrell

Yale University Press

This chapter takes a look at the impact and influence that the saxophone had on jazz music. It first explores the period of early jazz, and how this genre of music sprung forth within the culture and environment of New Orleans, Louisiana. It looks closely at the relationship between ragtime—a musical style of pianists based around particular “striding” on-beat patterns and heavily syncopated melodies—and the saxophone. While the saxophone's part in ragtime was significant—such as in groups like the Brown Brothers or the Musical Spillers—it did not see the saxophone as a frontline instrument. Gradually, however, the saxophone featured more prominently within the New Orleans musical landscape. Sam Dutrey is said to be the first jazz musician to play the instrument in New Orleans, while Wilbur C. Sweatman released several sides with his band “Jass Band” that featured his clarinet being backed by a saxophone quintet. This along with many instances marks the influence and role of the saxophone within jazz.

Keywords:   jazz music, early jazz, ragtime, Brown Brothers, Musical Spillers, New Orleans musical landscape, Sam Dutrey, Wilbur C. Sweatman, Jass Band, saxophone quintet

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