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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ali Ben Sou Alle alias Charles Jean-Baptiste Soualle

the artist whom may have introduced the saxophone to the Eastern world , he travelled extensively in the Far East and Australia, and created a mysterious atmosphere around himself and the instrument which he played. He claimed that the Turcophone or turkophone was his invention and not some modification of the Saxophone. He certainly applied many modifications to the Sax design and presented a patent application for this instrument as , his own.

Apparently one Turcophone ( reportedly one which belonged to A.Sax) unfinished, was bought by Leo van Oostrom a Dutch musician and famous collector.

https://search.proquest.com/openvie...f5e037093383/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=34458







Quite by chance I came across pictures of this rather picturesque player and I had to look up the name to find out more about him

He was a very famous player, born French and then adopted an " arabic or turkish-like" image in his time and he is depicted with what appears to be a straight alto in few pictures.

He played and adapter version of the saxophone ( which had been practically just invented) called at the time a Turkophone

here a comprehensive article

https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/161123357.pdf

and hier another one

https://scroll.in/magazine/849413/h...to-indian-classical-music-in-the-19th-century

and one in French

http://www.jazzbank.com/saxophone/Soualle.html



this is a list of his compositions

http://composers-classical-music.com/s/SouAlleAliBen.htm

this is a performance of one of his pieces (on recorder)

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This is not only a case of imange forming but also someone who made great advancements on the saxophone right when it was created, he toured with his music and instruments before anyone else
 

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Terrific research, Milandro. His Turcophone was almost certainly some sort of straight alto. I had never seen the photo before. The 90 degree neck is similar to Adolphe Sax's altos in the 1860s, but you have to wonder whether he modified a Sax instrument or had someone else build one.

Soualle's octave key was either a very early automatic double octave key, or more likely, a relocated octave key that allowed him to play most of the upper register with only one key.

Leo van Oostrom's straight saxophone is very old and incomplete. Descriptions I have read say that it is unsure in what key the horn is built. That seems strange to me because it shouldn't be too hard to determine the key of an instrument by the placement of the keys, even if the horn is not all there. Maybe it was built in an unusual key and this has led to confusion. I'll bet Leo has figured it out by now.

Renaming instruments to fit a musician's stage presence continued to the present day. Everybody knows Rahsaan Roland Kirk (His given name was Ronald) with his Manzello (modified King Saxello) and Stritch (modified Buescher straight alto.) Also Willis "Gator" Jackson from Florida called his Conn-O-Sax a "Gatorhorn."

Thanks for this post, especially the photo.
 

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Cheers , as far as I could find this is the only photograph and thise the only depictions (probably from this or another photograph that I could find on line) , same for the recorded music.

In the articles they all seem to pointout that he had a patent application on some modifications and that the change of names were probably to avert any legal problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Great to see this here! I'm writing a dissertation on this chap. There's lots to discover... watch this space!
Very nice to hear this, there is a lot on line but not quite so much about his instruments .

Where are they, are they on display, are they playable? Does anybody play them?
 

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Very nice to hear this, there is a lot on line but not quite so much about his instruments .

Where are they, are they on display, are they playable? Does anybody play them?
I'm afraid I don't know much about his instruments. The most detailed work on this seems to be Cottrell's article for JAMIS. My work is focussed on his compositions/performances and connections to Scottish culture via. Robert Burns, Walter Scott and the bagpipes. Who'd have thought!
 

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Yes, I think I have quoted from that article, but it is all very condensed. To the saxophone collector there would be the need of pictures and details, I can鈥檛 believe that the horn has gone destroyed and that there was only one.
 

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Yes, I think I have quoted from that article, but it is all very condensed. To the saxophone collector there would be the need of pictures and details, I can't believe that the horn has gone destroyed and that there was only one.
Agreed. I think it's likely that the only surviving photograph is the one from 1864, which is held at the British National Archives and appears in the Cottrell article. Unfortunately, despite the filling of patents in 1860/61, I think the overall narrative of Soualle/Ali-Ben-Sou-Alle's life and career indicates that the "turcophone" and "turcophonini" (essentially alto and soprano saxophones) were bespoke, unique and not necessarily cherished after the demise of his performing career in the late 1860s.
 
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