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My "inherited" MK 6 tenor, from my wife's late 1st husband (also a good friend of mine), spent time on stages with Boots Randolph, he and my friend were buds (Boots was actually in his wedding), as well as logging some time in Lake Tahoe with various acts there.....it's got a way better resume than I do.....
 

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I purchased a 1926 Buescher True Tone straight soprano sax in 1978 from my friend Richard Hadlock, jazz historian (author of Jazz Masters of the 'Twenties) & excellent trad jazz reedman in a Bechet vein. It was one of a pair of nearly identical TT sopranos Hadlock had owned & performed on for quite a while -- although I'm sure he was not its first owner.

Hadlock told me that Sidney Bechet himself once briefly borrowed one of his TT sopranos -- but in the intervening years, he'd forgotten which of the two horns it was. So my beloved vintage soprano sax, loyal companion on recording sessions & dozens of tours, has 50% Bechet cred.
 

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I had a Buescher Aristocrat 135 Alto for a while that I bought locally. It was passed down from the seller's grandfather who was a professional player in the Chicago area big bands in the 40's and 50's.

Also I have a nice 1937 Conn 10M that I bought from a retired high school music teacher who sold horns on Craigslist. I asked him if he knew anything about it's history and he said it was a one owner horn and the owner recently bought it to a music shop and they contacted him so he bought it. One thing that made me smile was a bit of history alerted to me by my tech who when replacing one of the original pads found a smiley drawn on the back of the pad presumably by one of the techs in the Conn factory. It took 80 years but his message finally got a laugh.
 

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'Crown Royal bags'

Can't do without them! Now I want to get some of the black and gold ones but I don't like Canadian whiskey. I got a whole box of the purple ones years ago when I was playing outside at a mall. A lady in the liquor store spotted me getting my stuff out of a CR bag and brought out a box with about 25 of them! She was glad to get rid of them and I was dumfounded - never saw so many CR bags in one place! So, if you want to get some of them but don't want to buy the whiskey, simply go ask somebody at a place that sells it if they have any CR bags to get rid of.
BTW, in that picture of the Martin bari, the neck and mouthpiece were in a double pouch down in the bell, and I would stuff the accessories bag in there too. The case is a Pro Tech that fit the Martin, and now I carry the modern low A in it just as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 · (Edited)
I have no idea who owned my Conn tenor. I bought it on eBay about 12 or 13 years ago. The one I'd love to know more about is the antique clarinet I picked up on shopgoodwill. It's keyed to C and the joints and bell have ivory bands instead of metal. The body is tan colored boxwood. My tech tells me it was probably made around 1830. Can you imagine how many owners it may have had? I suspect they were classical players in a symphony. The first joint near the barrel had a crack repaired with four tiny screws and I believe the screws hold a new tenon in place. The barrel was messed up so bad in an attempt to make it fit the damaged 1st joint that a new one had to be made. And two keys were missing and had to be fabricated from scratch. It's French so I suspect it was probably brought to the US from Europe. How it ever survived all those European wars, the Civil War and two world wars will forever remain a mystery.

Don't ask what it's worth vs. what I have in it. I had it restored just because I'm probably the only guy on Earth with a 1830s Herouard Pere et Fils13 key C clarinet. I think that's pretty cool.

Someone asked for pics so here you go
@AddictedToSax--

WOW what a glorious instrument! (Thanks for the pix.) The color of that wood is stunning and the dimensions too make it seem even more precious.

The posts in this thread are just wonderful, full of affection for our instruments and what they represent. I find it very moving.

It's honorable--don't you think?--when players curate a historic, unusual, and lovely example such as this 1830s clarinet? Recognizing its value goes beyond resale, to invest in and preserve its unique legacy.

I also enjoy saxes that aren't carefully restored, the ones that look beat: lacquer chapping, brown brass showing through--the way the battered and worn thing reminds you of the hands that have played it, all the human connections as it passes from player to player, and those lasting metaphysical bonds of music and pleasure.
 

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My "inherited" MK 6 tenor, from my wife's late 1st husband (also a good friend of mine), spent time on stages with Boots Randolph, he and my friend were buds (Boots was actually in his wedding), as well as logging some time in Lake Tahoe with various acts there.....it's got a way better resume than I do.....
That's a great story - I idolized Boots and still love to listen to him - I once bought somebody's Boots Randolph album collection on ebay. I had some already but this was literally every one that had ever been released. I was in a band with a girl singer who did 'Crazy' and I took a 'Boots-style' solo on it. Later when I got those albums, I discovered that he had recorded 'Crazy' so I put it on the turntable - and was amazed at how much my solo sounded like his take on it. I saw Boots at a show not far from here when he must have been about 75 - he still sounded great. I was able to meet him later and chat, and he signed my record jacket for 'Hip Boots', which is my favorite boots album. Boots said it was his favorite too, but he had not been successful in getting Monument to put it out on a CD. I told this to Paul Coates, who knew Boots, and we cooked up a little surprise. We took a scan of my signed jacket and put it with a CD made from a pristine record Paul had and made Boots his CD of 'Hip Boots' which he really enjoyed.

109468
 

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'Crown Royal bags'

Can't do without them! Now I want to get some of the black and gold ones but I don't like Canadian whiskey. I got a whole box of the purple ones years ago when I was playing outside at a mall. A lady in the liquor store spotted me getting my stuff out of a CR bag and brought out a box with about 25 of them! She was glad to get rid of them and I was dumfounded - never saw so many CR bags in one place! So, if you want to get some of them but don't want to buy the whiskey, simply go ask somebody at a place that sells it if they have any CR bags to get rid of.
BTW, in that picture of the Martin bari, the neck and mouthpiece were in a double pouch down in the bell, and I would stuff the accessories bag in there too. The case is a Pro Tech that fit the Martin, and now I carry the modern low A in it just as well.
Many years ago, I was talking with my father-in-law and somehow the subject of saxophone came up, and somehow it came out that I use a CR bag for the baritone; and that I would like to have for alto, tenor, etc. At that point the good Baptist took me out to the garage and showed me a stack of a dozen or more CR bags and said "I didn't want to throw these away, they're nice little felt bags, so take as many as you want!" I about fell over. I'm thinking more went on out in that garage than just adjusting the lawnmower.
 

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When I lived in NYC I used to try MarkVI tenors at all the different shops every once in a while to see if I liked any that may be better than mine. I only came across one. It had belonged to Richie Kamuca and I was tempted to try to trade with cash but I didn’t. I didn’t really pay much attention to the serial number but it was an early one.
I’ve played a couple of famous guys saxes though. Joe Henderson’s and Steve Grossmans when he was playing a BA. As I remember I think Joe’s sax may have been re-lacquered but it was bare brass. I was a student at the Aebersold camps and he played mine and let me try his. He sounded like himself on mine but I sure didn’t sound like him on his.
 

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@AddictedToSax--

WOW what a glorious instrument! (Thanks for the pix.) The color of that wood is stunning and the dimensions too make it seem even more precious.

The posts in this thread are just wonderful, full of affection for our instruments and what they represent. I find it very moving.

It's honorable--don't you think?--when players curate a historic, unusual, and lovely example such as this 1830s clarinet? Recognizing its value goes beyond resale, to invest in and preserve its unique legacy.

I also enjoy saxes that aren't carefully restored, the ones that look beat: lacquer chapping, brown brass showing through--the way the battered and worn thing reminds you of the hands that have played it, all the human connections as it passes from player to player, and those lasting metaphysical bonds of music and pleasure.
Thank you for that. My intention is to give it to a museum some day, maybe after I'm gone. It's not original since parts have been fabricated, but I doubt there's another one in existence. When I did a Google search all I could find was a couple of Herouard fifes in museum collections.
 

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I got my 12m from Dwight Bement (Zappa, Flash Cadillac) after he couldn't find anybody who would even touch the instrument and he was essentially just throwing it out. The case was mostly duct tape and a cattle rope for a handle. My NW1 came from the estate of Dave Edwards (Lawrence Welk). My 6m was owned by George Masa (Chicago Symphony).

109470


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I bought my used (1955) Martin Indiana alto from a local music store, so I have no idea who owned it before me. What I can tell you is that whoever owned it took very good care of it and whoever did repair work on it was very good at what they did. For example, the neck strap hook was worn thin, so it was removed and turned around so that the thin part is on the bottom. The solder work is very clean, no slop to be found. The sax has been relacqured, but looks good, not perfect, but not bad. I take it to the repair man every year and have him go over it. I’m rewarded with a saxophone that plays good and sounds good. I’m a lucky guy.
 

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Some old horns seem haunted. Ever wonder who blew their spirit, art, essence down that brassy tunnel before you? What narrative have you created or might you speculate about your horn's previous owner?
Saxophones are tools. Just like pans, pliers, computers etc.They are not haunted or anything.
 

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On the day the I bought my current tenor, my wife took one look at the very battered case with LCP stencilled on it - and claimed that the stencil must be 'the late Charlie Parker'. My tenor has been called Charlie ever since.

We all know that bird dabbled in a bit of tenor, so I cling on to my Walter Mitty dream that bird was indeed a previous owner of Charlie.

Sadly, that day also marked the last time that my wife took the remotest interest in anything to do with saxophones or my playing.
 

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I bought my SBA tenor in 1995 in Amsterdam (NL). All I know is that it was shipped from the Selmer factory in 1953 to Hampe music store in Amsterdam (that's not the shop where I bought it!), so it has probably always been played in The Netherlands.
 

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I've only owned one new horn ever, and I do wonder. I have a Conn bari from the mid-30s that is a military horn, so of course it would be nice to know where it's been. The one's history I wonder most about was my first, a Zephyr Special alto that was obviously a custom order. It's case was built by King to hold the alto and a flute. So, obviously a pro and maybe even a famous pro. I'll never know.
 

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Flying in a small bush plane, I traveled to a remote Alaskan youth camp with a work crew and brought a soprano sax along to play. On our last day while waiting for the plane to arrive, we were eating lunch when someone in the party said the camp maintenance director used to play sax. He said that he had an alto, tenor and clarinet but could no longer play. One of his grandchildren was interested in playing the clarinet but the alto and tenor might be for sale and that they were Selmer MkVIs. He was looking for the right buyer who would play and enjoy them as much as he did and not just flip them, since he had purchased them new in 1956 and was the original owner. I said I was interested in the tenor (just didn’t have the funds for the alto) and to call me when he returned to his home in Washington after the summer camp season. After a very long 2 months, he finally called. It’s totally amazing to have met the original owner and be the second owner of such a great vintage sax!
 

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I have a 1938 Martin Committee I (that is engraved "Comm 1" on the bell) that belonged to Horst Fritz Garbuschewski known by his friends as “Garbo”. Bought it off his son, Fred who gave me documentation confirming that Garbo was stationed on the USS California assigned to the ship's Band during the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. There is also paperwork showing Garbo went on to serve on the team that broke the Japanese military code. The only piece I'm missing is a photo of Garbo clearly holding this specific horn but I had great fun finding additional evidence on both the story and Garbo by searching some military sites on the web. Every time I pick up the horn I think about its possible history and can't help but marvel about the great men and women who served our country during WWII.
For a more detailed story, please see the thread in the For Sale section: https://www.saxontheweb.net/threads...-an-intriguing-backstory.386258/#post-4342395. I am selling reluctantly to finance a curved soprano... tough decision to sell this one.
 
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