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Josef Škvorecký: Bassaxofon (The Bass Saxophone)

(Note that the English-languages edition of this work also contains Emöke and Red Music, also about jazz (and getting laid).) In the novella, The Bass Saxophone, our hero is living in Kostelec at the end of the war and enamoured of jazz. He sees a German with a bass saxophone and talks to him about it.. Before long, his love for jazz (which, we have seen, is despised by the Czechs) leads him to play jazz with an all-German jazz band. He rationalizes it by arguing that Germans playing the music of blacks makes it all right but we are not convinced. Of course, there is a girl. Fun but essentially slight.

Publishing history

First published in English by Anson-Cartwright Editions 1977
Translated by Kaca Polackova-Henley,