Books on the Arts: Michael Segell Looks at the History of the Saxophone and Those Who Have Revered and Feared It

Classic Arts News   Books on the Arts: Michael Segell Looks at the History of the Saxophone and Those Who Have Revered and Feared It
 
The Devil's Horn: The Story of the Saxophone, From Noisy Novelty to King of Cool, a history of the instrument by Michael Segell, was published this month by Farrar, Strauss and Giroux.

His subject is the saxophone's 160-year history, from its invention (which created a sound not heard in nature) through its adoption by different kinds of music—not just jazz, by such musicians as Benny Carter, Illinois Jacquet, Sonny Rollins, Lee Konitz, Phil Woods, Branford Marsalis, and Michael Brecker, but also in ancient musical traditions that predate its invention.

Segell also looks at the instrument's identification with decadence and immorality, including its banning in Japan and an indictment by a pope.

The author is an editor at the New York Daily News. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated, and Esquire.


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