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The Mighty Indiana

1484 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Honeyboy
Last Tuesday I messed up my back. I usually play tenor on my gigs, but Friday night each set was torture, I couldn't support it w/o it straining my back. To make matters worse, on the last song of the night, already past 1:00 , the guitar player gets inspired and decides to play an extra 7 minutes on his solo! So for Sat. night I decided to play alto. We play mostly rock, blues, a little jazzy stuff and one or 2 Willie Nelsons. I got out my trusty '49 King Zephyr and to my horror, one of the upper stack springs was broken. In a panic(one hour before the gig) I searched for and found my $165.00, hanging on the wall behind the "high end" jewelry counter, Goodwill special mid 50's Martin Indiana alto. I put on my trusty Bari brand Richie Cole mouthpiece, tested it for intonation (do all altos have worse intonation than tenors? All 5 of mine do) and left for the gig.Well, I was pleasantly surprised to say the least.This horn was as close to a tenor sound an alto can make! Pretty ballsy and a truly beautiful tone. Even the guitar player voluntarily commented that he really liked the tone and said to bring either tenor or alto whatever I preferred. Other than adjusting to playing in the new keys, it was a great night of playing. I played it Sunday morning in church and got many, many favorable comments how they liked my sax playing. So, maybe I should play it more often!! Love those Martins!!!:D
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markm said:
I think the point of the story was the beautiful tone from that well-loved 'student' horn..the Indiana. And of course, that you can find great stuff at the Goodwill. Amen to that , brother!
You are correct, Sir! This particular horn is very new feeling despite its age. While my King Zephyr is in the shop, I am enjoying a beautiful, full sounding quality tone. I was playing along with a Johnny Hodges CD earier today and had great fun doing those long bend ups he likes to do which demonstrates it's a flexible horn, like most old horns. Great classic old 30's sound if I want it and easy Maceo Parker if I need that! I also found today my intonations is better than when I first picked it up on Saturday. Amazing how the body and mind can automatically adjust to make these changes.
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