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Saxit!: Saxit!

10 Sep 2015 / Opinion, Review / written by Stian Maritz

Saxit (exclamation mark optional) is a four-piece saxophone band. And when I say four-piece, I mean it. There’s no vocalist or percussionist of any kind. It’s pure saxophone music, and as such you will be relying on the baritone sax for rhythmic guidance. There are isolated sections of experimentation, but not to such an extent that they alienate the listener. Dissonance is by nature a fundamental part of jazz music, and it is another example of how Saxit uses, in classic jazz, devices in small bursts but to great effect. Overall, it’s fancier than Dixieland and slower than bebop.

The baritone sax typically bumbles along in its low register and the alto and tenor sax intertwine beautifully, as if from years of practise. Alto, soprano, tenor and baritone all pull their own weight. You can just picture the four of them, conspiratorially huddling around a microphone as they power through one take after another.

This sparse instrumentation and bygone-era cut style would be well suited for adding atmosphere at a typical Saturday morning food market event, or as the quirky background music of an advertisement. On its own, it’s music for jazz lovers in concert halls. Each song was performed from start to finish two or three times and the best takes were those that made it onto the EP. This is a recording style that seeks to capture their performance with minimum interference or alteration, so they clearly believe in the power of live performance above all else.

This six-track EP serves as a declaration of love to the saxophone in all its forms – no strings attached. In its finest moments, you can hear the keys of the saxophone clicking right after a very deep breath- testament to the raw, unprocessed sound they pursue. To that end, it’s beautifully executed and a true pleasure to listen to.

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Listen to ‘Saxit’ on CDbaby.