From the first time I heard Billy Ocean’s ‘Get Out of my Dreams’ to my infatuation with former president Bill Clinton, I’ve had a huge crush on the saxophone my whole life. I love the sheer exuberance it adds to any song, the way it invokes the spirit of old men in Louisiana swamps and Chicago jazz clubs. Lately there’s been an infusion of songs in my life containing this wonderful instrument and I thought they’d be perfect to share with you for the first long-form Music Monday in a month.
The first is the title track off Timber Timbre’s latest album, Hot Dreams. They’re a Canadian band from Bobcaygeon that’s been burning up a lot of interest in the past couple years. A somber love letter that makes you think of smoky supper clubs and red lights, it also has a truly genius saxophone solo at the end. The drum and sax combo that builds in its repetition is incredible, a beat that makes you want to slow dance with a stranger in New York.
The second is a much more upbeat track from Klingande, a french deep house producer that frequently features classical instruments like piano and sax in his songs. ‘Jubel’, which literally means ‘jubilation’ in German is just that. A breezy dance song with a fantastic sax solo woven throughout it, this is the track that’s been warming me up this past week as the weather starts to turn.
An honourable mention has to go to the current king of sax, Colin Stetson. He’s a multireedist and saxophonist that I’ve seen on tour with Bon Iver, Arcade Fire and play solo. He’s usually playing the contrabass sax, a huge upright instrument that’s usually over 6 feet tall, it requires an incredible amount of lung power. My asthmatic lungs hurt just from watching him play the first time I saw him. I’m including a small snippet of one of his shows. If you like it, his diverse body of work is worth seeking out.