The saxophone, today an emblem of "cool" and the definitive jazz instrument, was largely ignored in the U.S. for more than half a century after its invention in France in 1838. The new sound, Vermazen argues, was finally brought to the American public by the Six Brown Brothers, one of the most famous musical stage acts of the early twentieth century. Sifting fact from legend, Vermazen explores the show business world of 1895-1933, offering a cultural interpretion of blackface and minstrelsy, a history of the saxophone,and insights into the burgeoning American music business and forgotten traditions. Drawing on rigorous archival research, he shows how the Brothers stage acts and ground-breaking recordings turned an instrument once derided as the "Siren of Satan", into the crowning symbol of jazz.
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(243mm x 163mm x 26mm)
Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
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Author Biography - Bruce Vermazen
Having retired from his post as Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Bruce Vermazen is pursuing his interest in mysic, as both a cornetist and writer. He has published articles on ragtime, early jazz, and the Six Brown Brothers for journal such as Rag Times, Victrola and the 78 and Saxophone Journals. He has also co-produced and written liner notes for multiple ragtime recordings.