ROCK AND SAX: A POWERFUL COMBINATION
Rock music owes a great deal to the sax. Many people think that rock relies on a bass, a guitar, a drum and some vocals. But the truth is that there is rather more to it than that. You only have to think about the music created by its most successful groups to appreciate that in many cases, other instruments too make a difference. Keyboards were an important part of rock for many years, ranging from the pounding piano of Jerry Lee Lewis to the electric organs that gave the Doors’ sound such a legendary status. But keyboards weren’t the only instruments that brought such power to modern music. The sax is an instrument that possesses both power and rhythm, as has been seen in jazz. That is why it is unsurprising that it has been used by rock musicians since the dawn of the rock genre. Of course, the saxophone also has its detractors: the controversial Courtney Love once stated that: “Honestly, saxophones just doesn’t belong in rock’n’roll. They makes no sense, they’re unnecessary and they’re not helpful. In some songs, they are practically useless.” And to make matters worse, she said this in reference to the work of Clarence Clemons, Bruce Springsteen’s saxophonist and a man with more than a little fame for his work. Whatever the “widow of grunge” may feel, the tenor sax is closely associated with rock, and most people are pretty happy about that. We can hear it combined with piano on some of Little Richard’s legendary songs, or when it performs amazing solos. The origins of rock are, without doubt, in that very danceable genre, rhythm and blues music, and R’n’B groups very often had a saxophonist. The reasons for this were largely practical: the sax did not need amplification and it was easy to carry. On top of this, at the time it was very fashionable for the saxophonist to end up playing among the audience, thereby achieving greater contact with fans. In the present day, the saxophone keeps its place in these groups by virtue of its power, personality and strength. Anastasia McQueen’s musical style is somewhat different, but given her history in big band music she well understands how to reach her fans and make them dance to the rhythm of the music. She does this by establishing a wonderful mutual relationship that makes her performances something special.