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King Super 20 alto! I didn't realize it was a Silversonic (before they were called Silversonic)

Is this the sax that Phil Woods had?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
King Super 20 alto! I didn't realize it was a Silversonic (before they were called Silversonic)
Is this the sax that Phil Woods had?
I have no idea. I stumbled across the article from one of my variety online magazines. It gave a reference to the huge archive the Smithsonian has just opened for a study. I stumbled across a picture of a saxophone and this is where it led me. I have not yet searched the keyword saxophone yet. Could inflict a huge case of GAS. ;)

I love it. Thank you for sharing this. The stunning technical virtuosity and amazing tonal approach he displayed during his time on this instrument--amazing.
You're very welcome. I searched all the threads on Charlie Parker. Lots of questions regarding his set ups and gear. I didn't feel right placing the link On just any old thread. I'm reasonably certain the Smithsonian authenticates any of their artifacts. It's the real deal.
 

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I wish it was mine. :mrgreen: It seems odd to me that the Smithsonian couldn't find someone with enough sax knowledge to put the mouthpiece on straight and put a new reed on it. Also, I understand not polishing it but a very careful cleaning would be in order.
 

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King Super 20 alto! I didn't realize it was a Silversonic (before they were called Silversonic)

Is this the sax that Phil Woods had?
The story goes, and I'm paraphrasing here, that Phil Woods was living with Chan Parker and her (and Bird's) kids. Phil had "borrowed" Bird's horn for a gig and Charlie Mingus saw Phil playing it and cussed him out. What Mingus was unaware of was, Phil hocked his own horn to put food on the table to feed Bird's kids.
 

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yes, I understand and I'm sure the curators know that this has to be the most significant instrument connected to Parker's legacy. i think the matching ligature to the Link mouthpiece would be more important though. I don't think this was a spare lig that Parker used, maybe I'm wrong though.

I wish it was mine. :mrgreen: It seems odd to me that the Smithsonian couldn't find someone with enough sax knowledge to put the mouthpiece on straight and put a new reed on it. Also, I understand not polishing it but a very careful cleaning would be in order.
 

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I wish it was mine. :mrgreen: It seems odd to me that the Smithsonian couldn't find someone with enough sax knowledge to put the mouthpiece on straight and put a new reed on it. Also, I understand not polishing it but a very careful cleaning would be in order.
Well, they are too stupid to know the neck is Sterling silver - they stated the 'neck is brass'. Yes, Bird played a King and Otto Link but he is seen with so many different saxes and mouthpieces that there almost is no 'standard'. This is mainly because he was constantly hocking his horns for money. Also the King Super 20 he is pictured with for the most part has a brass bell.
 

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From the fall of 1949 until his untimely death in 1955, the vast majority of pictures show him playing the S20. Internet lore has that he played all kinds of horns, which I believe to be true, but mostly earlier in his career. From late 1949 he was clearly using the S20 as his main horn with the Grafton (#10265, now in the Kansas City jazz museum) as occasional backup.
Btw, every picture I have seen of him with the S20, where the mpc can be identified, shows him playing a Selmer ff40ff Made in England mouthpiece, not an Otto Link.
Personally, I think the Otto Link that was in the case when Chan recuperated the horn in 1956 (and now is on the horn) was put there by the one who first bought it after Parker麓s death.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I don't think there is any lore that Charlie Parker played all kinds of horns. All one has to do is see the multitude of photos of Parker playing them. Bird is the one shining example that it is not the equipment, but the player the matters most. Anyway, here is some more extensive info on Parkers "lore". https://www.nicolastrefeil.com/charlie-parker-set-up-mpc
Bravo! Well said. I don't think there's a player on this form that hasn't played at least one other instrument & mouthpiece. Birds talent of using a multitude of different saxophones is testament of his ability. The fun here lies in the study of what those items were.

Thank you for your post.
 

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In Reet McVouty's link.

https://www.nicolastrefeil.com/charlie-parker-set-up-mpc

One interesting picture noted as Birds King 20 case. A Rico V2 the mouthpiece and ligature. I highly doubt the academic level of the Smithsonian is short on authenticating a item. Including the neck being made of brass. It's possible it was cosmetically silver plated to match the rest of the horn.
 

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I don't think there is any lore that Charlie Parker played all kinds of horns. All one has to do is see the multitude of photos of Parker playing them. Bird is the one shining example that it is not the equipment, but the player the matters most. Anyway, here is some more extensive info on Parkers "lore". https://www.nicolastrefeil.com/charlie-parker-set-up-mpc
Well, he certainly did, but the majority of pictures after late 1949 shows him playing the S20 as his regular horn. The Selmer ff40ff mpc even more so, as pointed out by Mr. Trefeil in the link you provided. I麓d be very interested in a picture of him showing clearly that he is playing a metal Link.
 

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Well, he certainly did, but the majority of pictures after late 1949 shows him playing the S20 as his regular horn. The Selmer ff40ff mpc even more so, as pointed out by Mr. Trefeil in the link you provided. I麓d be very interested in a picture of him showing clearly that he is playing a metal Link.
Yes, it's really hard to nail down any of Birds equipment because as previously discussed he pawned his horns a lot and borrowed many as well. I don't think it's a stretch to think that in a lot of the pictures of him he's playing someone else's equipment. Also, I read where he would get his mouthpieces stolen off the bandstand during breaks, so he was most likely playing on a lot of different mouthpieces. I'm sure like the rest of us mere sax playing mortals he had his favorites, but because of his life style he was constantly in flux. Here's a couple pics I've come across, for me, still not close enough to make a determination.
 

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actually there has been ( quoted many times before) a Japanese Site for years which has listed all the horns that could be found on pictures ( and mouthpieces)

Both these sites written parts show now " corrupted text" (or maybe was Japanese at one time and it is displayed like this)

http://www.ne.jp/asahi/jazz/jazz/horns.htm

A total of 14 different altos and one tenor ( he did also play tenor)

http://www.ne.jp/asahi/jazz/jazz/mouthpieces.htm

The Grafton as far as I know, was only used in Toronto in public performance or he would have been in contract's breech.

He played , long, on 26M and 6M too ( the king was his last horn but

 

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Not hard to find.
Well, that is clearly the Selmer ff40ff. Note how the transition from body to the shank is slanted, not straight (as it would have been if turned on a lathe). Compare with the mpc pictures at the bottom of the page in the Trefeil link above, which shows both a Selmer and a Link. The pic above is from the session with C. Hawkins in 1950, when he still had the original Selmer ligature, which is also slanted to match the mouthpiece (unlike a Link ligature). In the all-star session with Hodges and Carter in 1952 he has the same mpc but a different ligature (I believe the lowermost picture in Reet McCouty麓s post above could be from that session). Trefeil mentions at his site that the stock ligs tended to break easily. I have two but have had no such problems.
 

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yes, I understand and I'm sure the curators know that this has to be the most significant instrument connected to Parker's legacy. i think the matching ligature to the Link mouthpiece would be more important though. I don't think this was a spare lig that Parker used, maybe I'm wrong though.
I'd like to know where the Selmer England mouthpiece he played is. I have the tenor version I'd love to trade for an alto model.
 
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