No it was definitely not designed by him. The Conn wonder series of saxophones were started by Charles Gerald Conn. They were not designed by him. He started the comssion, and then a team was fromed full of engineers, and engravers, and even Adolph Sax helped Design it. Allen Loomis; Hugh Loney; Paul Hardy; Russell Kerr; Edward Gulick; and Leland Greenleaf. The legendary Santy Runyon also helped Conn with the design. A man by the name of FA Buescher.
I didn´t mean that he designed it! I think my question wasn´t as clear. the chu i´m talking about is a REdesigned one which means that f.gregory should have completely redisigned it( offline with MKVI buttons on.)
Saxophone Journal Vol 19 No. 5 (Mar/April 1995) had an article on Freddie Gregory. Here is an extract:
"A few years ago American saxophonist Bob Ackerman commissioned Freddie to change the key mechanism on two of his Conn saxophones, but Freddie's experience of this kind of conversion goes way back to when he was in Moscow. These days, Freddie has to concentrate on mouthpieces. He does not have time to repair whole saxophones, but his background in repairs has given him a unique understanding of the instrument as a whole."
Saxophone Journal Vol. 21 No. 5 had a CD of Bob Ackerman on "Using Vintage Saxophones in Jazz Improvisation". Track 4 of the CD (according to the insert in the magazine) was:
"The Freddies: A Re-mechanization of 1920s Conns in the Style of the 1960s Selmers. Bob Ackerman plays the Freddie alto Conn #223068 and Freddie tenor Conn #216291 with Wilbur Morris on bass and Denis Charles on drums."
He talks over background playing.
"Many of you have heard of my Freddie saxes. This refers to Freddie Gregory of London's re-mechanisation of a pair of late 20s Chu Berry Conns In the style of MkVIs using some of the Selmer keys . Now Fredddie did a magnificent job. He rotated the left and right hand toneholes to the offset position. Conn developed this in 1932. He did this by cutting the horns in half between G and F - and to quote Mike Brecker "don't try this at home". My feeling was that the 20s brass had a unique resonance. ...... He's a marvellous craftsman in mouthpieces and horns."
Some of the old Saxophone Journal magazines used to have a picture of Bob Ackerman in his advert for Progressive Winds, with him holding the Frediie Conn alto and you can clearly see the Selmer LH pinky cluster and palm keys.
Hope this helps - it takes a brave craftsman to try this !
Bob Ackerman showed me a couple of Conn saxes that he described as having "Selmer type mechanism" on a visit to his house in New Jersey about 15 years ago. They were for sale at that time but I neither tried them out nor even asked the price as I wasn't about to buy another sax at the full "New York price" with the Canadian dollar being worth about 70 cents on the US dollar back then. I bought a few mouthpieces from Bob and sold a few horns to him in the years before internet dealing took off.
I first visited Freddie in his worshop in London in 1996 and at that time he was working on a tenor - it may have been a Conn - that he had sawed in half transversely with RAZOR BLADE!!! in order to minimize loss of metal in the process. I played the horn when it was done (in the presence of the owner who I did not know) and it was a fantastic job. Freddie is extraordinary, it's all true.
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