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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm thinking about getting a the Martin tenor and would really appreciate to hear how it sounds being played by a pro in a band situation. On youtube, I did not find any good examples. Do you know any recordings/artists/videos where I can hear a The Martin (tenor)a being played?

Thanks!
Hannes
 

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This guy Don Wise is a great player who plays a martin tenor & highly modified link STM.
He played for many years with Delbert McClinton but is now retired and mostly tends to his garden in Texas..

Really a super cool guy...

http://www.donwise.com/
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi, thanks for these links! I was also looking for some people who play The Martin on more contemporary music and found this guy (Gabriel Amargant Marzo) ... seems t work fine with this style as well :)


 

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Hey Dan! I didnt realize you played on a The Martin. Im getting an Olds Ambassador tenor soon. Pretty stoked on it actually. Bought it from a member of the forums. But hey man, great vids! I need to start recording my playing as well. Im hoping to one day get my hands on a The Martin tenor.
 

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Hi, thanks for these links! I was also looking for some people who play The Martin on more contemporary music and found this guy (Gabriel Amargant Marzo) ... seems t work fine with this style as well :)
In my opinion, any horn can be suitable for any style of music. Its all about the concept of sound that you are trying to bring to that style, and to me, what makes it so innovative is the fact that musicians these days are able to bring in a vintage sound to such modern music sometimes. Thats just my opinion though and I think its cool when you have a modern player playing modern music with vintage equipment that most think to be suitable for what they're known for...if that makes sense at all. :D

and sorry for the double post...
 

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You probably can't wait this long, and but I am currently getting a Comm II worked up and when I get it back in about 3 weeks or so I am gonna record a sample (actually a professional friend of mine) of both the II and a '54 Comm III. Different designs I know, but I am hecka curious to hear one next to the other....
 

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Didn't Tex Beneke play one? I'm sure you can find him on youtube.
Indeed he did (a Committee II in this one to be precise):


Now, I'll spare you the suspense on the other question. I've played both Committee II's and The Martins (what some folks now call Committee III's for some reason), and it's much easier to get a modern sound from the The Martin. The older Comm II's have a decidedly vintage sound that's hard to describe but that's also hard to take out of the horn if you wanted to use it to play, say, smooth jazz. Even the The Martin would have this same issue to an extent, as I've always thought all Martins have a very dark vintage sound that you just can't get away from that easily if you want to go "modern" with the horn.

This is not the case as much with vintage Selmers and Kings--and to a lesser degree--Conns--which I consider to be more versatile in this way than Martins (and Bueschers for the same reasons). Most Kings made from ca. 1947 on--and Selmers from ca. 1935 on--can be moderned up nicely with the right mouthpiece.

Have you seen the 1950 King Zephyr tenor your fellow member is selling in another thread right now (or at least inquiring as to its value)? That horn is VERY versatile, mouthpiece friendly, and could be a steal considering it's essentially the same horn bore-wise as a 1950 Super 20 tenor, which would sell for around $4,000 in the same condition.

Anyway, just my 2 cents as someone who's owned several examples of all the horns discussed.
 

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Hey...don't sell yourself short...not many folks can improvise will standing on the wall.
Lot of hills here in Halifax!
 

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I like the tap dancing segment in the video. its really smoothly done and really slick looking. dont see that kind of tap dancing these days...if at all. :)
 

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Now, I'll spare you the suspense on the other question. I've played both Committee II's and The Martins (what some folks now call Committee III's for some reason), and it's much easier to get a modern sound from the The Martin. The older Comm II's have a decidedly vintage sound that's hard to describe but that's also hard to take out of the horn if you wanted to use it to play, say, smooth jazz. Even the The Martin would have this same issue to an extent, as I've always thought all Martins have a very dark vintage sound that you just can't get away from that easily if you want to go "modern" with the horn.

This is not the case as much with vintage Selmers and Kings--and to a lesser degree--Conns--which I consider to be more versatile in this way than Martins (and Bueschers for the same reasons). Most Kings made from ca. 1947 on--and Selmers from ca. 1935 on--can be moderned up nicely with the right mouthpiece.

Have you seen the 1950 King Zephyr tenor your fellow member is selling in another thread right now (or at least inquiring as to its value)? That horn is VERY versatile, mouthpiece friendly, and could be a steal considering it's essentially the same horn bore-wise as a 1950 Super 20 tenor, which would sell for around $4,000 in the same condition.

Anyway, just my 2 cents as someone who's owned several examples of all the horns discussed.
Actually...while I certainly agree that the II's and the II's have a different sound (their bodies are completely different - the II design was a real departure - or evolutionary fork - on the Martin tree)....I am at odds regarding the 'old sound' comments.

Actually, Martins are one of the more go-to vintage horns for versatility, precisely because of their edge combined with their darkness.

They are a choice and a standard suggestion for a lotta players wanting vintage.....who play in electric bands and such.... precisely because they have that bit of edge to them which Conns and Bueschers do not...and which Kings have sorta-but-in-a-different-way-altogether. While the Kings can serve similar contexts to a Martin, many a person finds the Kings a bit too turbo-charged.....which I can see....
 

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Actually...while I certainly agree that the II's and the II's have a different sound (their bodies are completely different - the II design was a real departure - or evolutionary fork - on the Martin tree)....I am at odds regarding the 'old sound' comments.

Actually, Martins are one of the more go-to vintage horns for versatility, precisely because of their edge combined with their darkness.

They are a choice and a standard suggestion for a lotta players wanting vintage.....who play in electric bands and such.... precisely because they have that bit of edge to them which Conns and Bueschers do not...and which Kings have sorta-but-in-a-different-way-altogether. While the Kings can serve similar contexts to a Martin, many a person finds the Kings a bit too turbo-charged.....which I can see....
That's funny, my experience has been the exact opposite, as I think Martins are some of the most spread, diffuse-sounding vintage horns with the least amount of edge compared to Conns, Bueschers and most of all Kings, which are probably the edgiest American horns ever made. I also found that Martins don't project as well as the aforementioned horns. I had a Martin bari with the lushest, most beautiful sound I'd ever heard in a bari, but I couldn't get the volume and projection that I got with a Conn 12M so I sold it.

Les Arbuckle of saxoasis seems to agree with me on this, as he once told me during a conversation that he prefer vintage Conns to Martins because the latter can tend to get a little "flabby" sounding (his words) when you push them really hard.

I think Martins are nice dark horns that are great for jazz, blues/R&B, but not necessarily the best choice for rock--or in a similar vein--smooth jazz.

Lastly, I think the Comm. II's suffer (maybe a bad word choice in a Martin thread) from the same issue that the early Buescher Aristos do--namely, that their smaller bells (look at the one on Tex's horn in the video) contribute to this "vintage" sound that I refer to. The other quality the early Series I Aristos and the Comm. I's and II's have is this certain ultra-sweet sound that also screams "vintage."

When taken together, it's a sound that's hard to describe but always makes me think of dixieland bands of the 1920s (or now--Tex Beneke soloing on Kalamazoo with what I would call a decidedly vintage tone).

Again, you can try to take this sound out of the horn and go more modern with different, more modern mouthpieces, but you're limited on this as well as these horns tend to demand large chamber pieces to play in tune.

But as always YMMV...
 

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I've had the same experience with my The Martin Tenor. Great sound, great intonation, and I actually get plenty of pure volume from it. With a paint-peeling mouthpiece, it projects as well, but it still lacks focus. A very "spread" sound is exactly what I'd call it, though I think it still has edge when I want it. If I wanted to sound like Dexter, that would be the horn for it. Too bad I don't wanna sound like that... LOL
 

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Check out Ian Hendrickson Smith..great guy, killer player and I seem to remember seeing him playing a Martin..
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi,
yesterday I had the opportunity to try 4 different "The Martin" tenors in the sax store. Surprisingly they all sounded quite differently and I spent 3,5 hours trying to decide which Martin to buy :) (at least I decided to buy a "The Martin", yeah!).

Finally there where 2 different horns, I have to think about. One has the typical bluesy, fat, dark sound without much projection. The other is a little clearer, perhaps more MarkVI-like, maybe better for a more contemporary sound ... but less beautiful in the lower register.

As I'm playing in a modern jazz band, I decided for the first horn (although I'm still not shure and will go back to the shop to try them again).

I tried both with an Otto Link Super Tonemaster 7 on them and on the fat, dark horn it sounded strange to me - the fat basic-tone and the added brilliance of the mpc. On the second horn, this mixture came out more organic.

:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
... and the darker of the horns was a beauty. No laquer, a very even surface and a very contrasty engraving. Maybe I should reconsider and take this one ... ;)
 
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