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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just got the reissue of Lee Morgan's CD City Lights on Blue Note and in the liner notes there is a Francis Wolff photo of George Coleman playing a The Martin Tenor sax. I love (and sometimes hate) The Martin Tenors and it was the first time I've seen one in a classic Blue Note photo. I think they are great saxes and I'm always a little sad that I never see them in pictures (though I'm thrilled that Neil Sharpe is playing on the front page of the SOTW site.) You can definitely hear the sultry The Martin Tenor sound in George's playing on this CD.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes, yes, George Coleman is the sax player. I apologize for the confusion.

why do I hate the Martin Tenor? I find the spread sound impedes my playing by ear (but is great for playing harmonies); they sound too happy - I always felt it would be the perfect sax for a wedding band; the high notes sounded thin and strained; and many repair guys don't seem to like working on them (Les Arbuckle was the only guy who treated my Martins with respect.)
 

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Gee Art, thanks for the compliment...I think.

"the high notes sounded thin and strained", "perfect sax for a wedding band", can't get no respect...Yea, that seems to capture my distinctive sound, and helps to explain why rock n' roll audiences have recoiled in shock and horror over the years, as well as the mass hysteria and fleeing for the exits during my wedding gigs. "Fear and Loathing on The Martin Tenor"- that's a catchy phrase I'll have to add to my music business cards.

I'm just kidding of course and do appreciate the mention, but if you haven't already, I'd suggest that you check out the comments of great players like Joey the Saint and Pete Thomas who regard the Martins quite highly.
http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?t=27788&page=4

http://www.petethomas.co.uk/sx-05-martin-tenor.html

http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?t=49245
 

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Art_Salt said:
why do I hate the Martin Tenor? many repair guys don't seem to like working on them (Les Arbuckle was the only guy who treated my Martins with respect.)
This has been also my experience. Repairmen do not seem to like them. Soldered tone holes being the foremost disliked feature.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I played Martins (alto and tenor) for the past 16 years...I'm taking a break from them (just sold my last one on ebay last week)...right now I'm in the midst of a Connversion.

also Bootman promotes Martins as Rock 'n' Roll horns...it just never works for me. Oh well.
 

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Martins are among my favorites to work on. I think the Martin tenors, even the Indianas, are some of the gutsiest horns going.
 

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I've actually played my The Martin at a wedding but we were playing mostly Blues and Rock and Roll stuff.:D I think the choice of mouthpiece (somewhat high baffle) and playing style can make any sax a Rock and Roll machine. My repairmen have never complained about working on my Martins, either. I still go to my The Martin for all my gigs first, then my Buescher 165 as a backup. Both work quite well with a new style Brilhart Levelaire for Blues, R&B etc.
 

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I had a Martin The Martin 1954 tenor for two weeks. Used it with all kinds of mouthpiece/reed permutations. Really didn't like it. I thought I'd "upgrade" from my shabby, worn, rickety, gold-plated 1927 The Martin Handcraft. All I wanted was a reliable, sturdy Martin replacement. Well, it seems that the Martins, around the time that they shed their beveled tone holes in favor of the rounded version also gave up on a certain sound and feel in favor of something entirely different. Where the old Martin sound was solid, focused and resonant, the new sound was broad and spread out, as if the horn absorbed the vibrations rather than projected them. It was the prettiest looking sax I ever had, honey-colored and shiny and it felt good in my hands with nice ergos, but its sound sent me quickly back to the old Handcraft. Now, I will fully admit that this is all quite subjective; the sax sounded great when someone else played it, but when I did, there was a lack of immediacy, a lack of direct contact with the sound I produced.*

* Warning: as in all things saxophone, this is one man's story: anecdotal evidence only, hardly scientific.
 

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rispoli said:
This has been also my experience. Repairmen do not seem to like them. Soldered tone holes being the foremost disliked feature.
I love working on Martin horns, tenors and baris in particular. I learned how to make a clean resolder while working on a Martin tenor with horrid tone holes.

I've got a C-Mel, a bari, and hopfully a tenor, all Martin, all needing some TLC. I can't wait!

-Scott
 
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