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Music Talks > 2021 Winter and Spring
Music Talk: Monday 12 April 2021
Meeting open for joining at 6:45 pm Beirut Time (GMT+3 or UCT+3)
Talk starts at 7:00 pm and until 8:30

The Battle of the Saxes
Language: English
Speaker: Akram Najjar

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Profile of the Talk

This is not really a battle, it was a process of love for this instrument that got musicians to play together and generate new schools of Jazz.
The Saxophone arrived late into the soul of Jazz, a decade or two after Jazz started. The late 20s or early 30s started with white bands competing with Black music who had migrated from New Orleans northwards. Bands needed louder sounds. They needed a variety of color. Sadly, the clarinet with its beautiful tone and wide register was replaced by the Saxophone.

Frankie Trumbauer (the partner of Bix Beiderbecke) started the revolution with his beautiful tonality on a C Melody Sax. He influenced the giants that came after him: Lester Young and Ben Wester. In parallel, Coleman Hawkins, the father of the Tenor, influenced the generations that lived through Big Bands and Bebop: Dexter Gordon, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins. The 50s produced another wave of genius performers. Sadly, we cannot go through all of them as that would take years.

The talk will show video clips of 10 - 12 great sax players: soprano, alto, tenor and baritone players such as Gerry Mulligan, Paul Desmond, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley. Most recently: Ornette Coleman and Branford Marsalis. It will also run through a brief history of the generation of the saxophone family by Adolphe Saxe (a Belgian).

Akram Najjar is a graduate of AUB in Physics and Mathematics (1966). By 1969, he completed a degree in Electronic Engineering in University of Hertfordshire, UK. His professional life was spent in Information Technology and organizational management. He spent a lot of time on reengineering business and public sector processes.
When Akram was 14, he chanced upon an evening program that presented one Jazz great at a time. He was hooked in Jazz in parallel with his love for Classical music. In our earlier Season 3 and 4, he gave 2 workshops: "For the Love of Jazz" and "Ten Great Jazz Songs". He also gave a talk on "What is the Blues?" in Summer 2017.
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