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One of the things that I always wondered about is that why Gerry Mulligan never used a Mark VI and went with a Conn. He went right through the time period when the Mark was at it's height.
 

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Might be the sound; I've played some really nice MK VI baris (Low Bb horns, all of them), but after having a go on a 12M, my interest in the MK VI just ceased. And I don't say that the MK VI were bad - far from that, great horns in their own right. Just not that huge, powerful sound; and the 12M was also more versatile, at least for me.

That said, I'm playing a MK VI copy (one of the good ones - a Yani B-6) as my main bari and am pretty happy - but I'm still dreaming of the day I can lay my hands on a 12M in decent condition for a reasonable price...

M.
 

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I would think it's the sound too. I've played a fair few MkVI baris - very nice. Ditto Conn Crossbars and Bueschers...but I found a Martin Handcraft outplayed them all.
Truth of the matter is that that once you get to a certain quality, all horns are good...it's just a matter of personal preference.

Regards,
 

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I don't know the answer to your question, but I suppose you could turn it around and also ask why everyone else did not use a Conn, based on the sound Mulligan produced.
 

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I don't know the answer to your question, but I suppose you could turn it around and also ask why everyone else did not use a Conn, based on the sound Mulligan produced.
All you need is ears. Mulligan was going for a very different sound... and GOT IT!

I did a bari shootout several years ago and found the Conn and Buescher to be my favorite solo voices - they can really sing, as you hear Mulligan express so well. It's a different voice - one that doesn't come out of a Selmer bari.
 

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Like Stephen said it's just a matter of personal preference. I've always preferred Pepper Adams' sound to Mulligan's. And Pepper played Selmers.
 

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+1 on Cecil Payne. I saw him a few years ago at a small club in D.C. He must have been close to 80 at the time and was still playing at a high level. He definitely was on his game that night. Very nice cat too. I talked with him for a while after the gig. He was playing a Yani that he had customised by removing several of the keys. I didn't understand the reasoning but it worked for him.
 

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I don't mind admitting I never liked Mulligan's sound - much preferred Cecil Paynes...even more so when he switched to the Yani.
Interesting that you mention Yanagisawas in this context - my preferred modern bari is the B-992. As much as I loved Selmer tenors over the years, their baris don't do the same for me.
 

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I don't know the answer to your question, but I suppose you could turn it around and also ask why everyone else did not use a Conn, based on the sound Mulligan produced.
Gerry certainly made it more acceptable for younger players to play Conn baris. Much more so than altos or tenors - that's still happening, slowly.
 

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Some baris just sound like Mulligan, whatever you do. So I guess his horn did so. My first bari was an Amati which just sounded like this, whatever reed or mp I tried. I was quite frustrated until I could try a Selmer which gave me more of the Pepper Adams or Cuber kind of grunt.
 

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I have to put in another contrarian vote. I love my Bb MkVI. Sound and keywork. I have never played a 12m or a Chu that has come close. Or modern horns either. My tonal concept is a whole lot closer to Mulligan than Pepper Adams...
 

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I watched an interview with Mulligan many years back, when he spoke of his Conn and the fact that he felt he was wearing it out. My impression was that, having played it for so many years, it was like a comfortable pair of old shoes, broken in just right. He didn't want to replace it with anything he'd have to start all over with, including another Conn. I think there are several horns he could get his sound with, but why mess with what works. At least that's how I remember it.
 

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Poor guy must not have had GAS...
 

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+1 on Cecil Payne. I saw him a few years ago at a small club in D.C. He must have been close to 80 at the time and was still playing at a high level. He definitely was on his game that night. Very nice cat too. I talked with him for a while after the gig. He was playing a Yani that he had customised by removing several of the keys. I didn't understand the reasoning but it worked for him.
I happen to own a Vito low A bari (Beaugnier) which the LeBlanc company custom made for Cecil. He specified no chromatic F# key and no side Bb. I guess it was what he was used to — like the people here who bemoan the high F# key, if you don't need it and don't use it why have it? An intermediate owner of the horn had the side Bb installed and when Cecil saw it he just sort of shook his head. There's also a Varitone pickup on the neck; I don't know if he ever used it but you can see it on the cover of his old Bird Gets the Worm LP.
 

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One of the things that I always wondered about is that why Gerry Mulligan never used a Mark VI
It was never compulsory!

I don't think MKVI baritones (or sopranos for that matter) ever had the same appeal as the tenors and altos. I had one once, but it could never give me the same balls I got from a 12M. I agree with Stephen Howard though, the Martin Handcraft probably wins for me in the realm of vintage horns.
 

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I watched an interview with Mulligan many years back, when he spoke of his Conn and the fact that he felt he was wearing it out.
He told Saxophone Journal that he could leave fingerprints in the metal if he squeezed the bell. They printed it as a straight-ahead statement of fact. Somebody's sense of humor was set to "off" that day. [rolleyes]
 

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He told Saxophone Journal that he could leave fingerprints in the metal if he squeezed the bell. They printed it as a straight-ahead statement of fact. Somebody's sense of humor was set to "off" that day. [rolleyes]
Here's the Saxophone Journal interview: http://www.gerrymulligan.info/art_sax.html I do recall a picture of Mulligan with a Selmer in a book I have.
 
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