Music Article

Rediscovering the Joy of Sax

Hold the 'phone! After years of being consigned to the same '80s scrap heap as the piano-key necktie, the saxophone is once again a presence in pop music. Read on for a brief history, and find out who's bringing saxy back

1978: Gerry Rafferty, ''Baker Street''
The apex of super-groovy yacht-rock solos.

1985: Rob Lowe, St. Elmo's Fire
Essential bad-boy props: single cross earring, bar-band brass.

1987: Kenny G
The G stood for ''Good Lord, that is some smooth-ass jazz.''

1990: Lisa Simpson
The bluesiest, wailing-est, perpetually 8-year-old cartoon character in the sax-osphere.

1992: Bill Clinton on Arsenio Hall
Did Bubba win the youth vote in a single saxy swoop? Maybe.

2011: Lady Gaga
Gaga recruits Clarence Clemons for two (!) album tracks; Katy Perry sneaks sax into her own ''Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.).''

Originally posted Jun 27, 2011 Published in issue #1159 Jun 17, 2011 Order article reprints