The Horn Has a Heart

“The horn has a heart” describes music coming from the horn of Duane Parham. The phrase is not just a cliche. It’s a reality! When a saxophone or any musical instrument is placed in the hands of a musician, it’s just a horn. The musician is what gives it a heart…a soul. This observation describes the music of “the man with the horn,” Duane Parham.

Saxophonist Duane Parham will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from Detroit Black Music Awards in 2022.  His music exemplifies "the horn has a heart."

The Saxophone of Duane Parham

“The man with the horn” is a phrase used to describe Saxophonist Duane Parham. One reason: Parham is “lost” without that horn. It is his “key of life.” His heartfelt horn comforts moms and dads at funerals who have lost a child; generates squeals of joy from brides and grooms at weddings; and raises the level of soul-touching for ministers during church congregations. Duane’s sax has the innate ability to float between crying the blues and “shake it up baby!”

Childhood Experiences

As a kid, Duane played the trumpet, unpleasantly migrated to the tuba, but it was the saxophone that proved to be his “love child.” It is his voice–a voice that speaks with compassion and joy locally, nationally and internationally. Your Precious Love, a cover of Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell’s hit song, breathes love and companionship. However, if the mood changes, my ears pick-up enthusiasm and joy from the mouth of the horn.

"Your Precious Love" is an example of "the horn has a heart."  It amplifies just how precious true love is.

Sentiments of Joy

This writer was in the audience at two (2) of Duane’s concerts. What did I hear? A mixture of joy and soul! One moment I was embracing the sweet sounds of Your Precious Love and the next minute his latest CD My Turn. That little sassy tune made me want to “jump up and dance!” I liken the experience to the Christmas morning Santa brought me a toy stove…with an oven door that opened no less! Wow! My Turn made me shake my head and pat my foot! The room was rocking!

"My Turn" speaks to the joy a listener feels when he hears "the horn has a heart."

The Man Behind “the Horn Has a Heart”

The horn has a heart because the mouthpiece of the horn is in the “mouth” of Duane Parham. He pours his successes, failures and loss of loved ones into that sax! I see and understand Duane through his music. His music is his voice, and it has soothed souls for many decades.

Go to Parham’s Spotify Page and Youtube Video to see what I have experienced. If a “live” performance is on your calendar, reach out to his personal manager for a booking of his band: The Duane Parham Society. See and feel the heart of the horn . . . for yourself!

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