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medjuck

Bass Saxophone

54 posts in this topic

And also from www.contrabass.com:

the bass saxophone (in C) was the first saxophone ever.  The goal Sax had was to create an instrument that: 1. would have the power and volume of an ophicleide; and 2. would be as agile as the bass clarinet (an instrument that was very much improved by Adolphe Sax as well).  Obviously such an instrument would be of great advantage to the miltary orchestras of that moment.

The first time that a bass saxophone was heard in a concert was on February 3rd, 1844.  ...

The ophicleide! Ready for a revival?

;)

contraoph.jpg

"The ophicleide is part of the family of keyed bugles invented by Hallary in the early 1800's. ... The name "ophicleide" means "keyed serpent", and in fact the ophicleide was developed as an improvement over the serpent. The serpent is difficult to play and has a soft timbre. Its tone holes are arranged essentially where one can reach them, rather than where they have the best effect acoustically. Hallary revised the entire concept, making the bore of metal (rather than the serpent's wood), positioning 9 tone holes in approximately correct locations, and covering the large holes with padded keys. Additional keys were added later to improve particular notes. However, the keys are not arranged to make sense to woodwind players: keys reach from the tone hole to the nearest finger (or thumb). ... "

From: http://www.contrabass.com/pages/ophicleide.html

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Spencer Clark: "Sweet & Hot" (Audiophile AP-131 (LP)) This is the one of only 2 Jazz recordings I know of dedicated to Bass Sax. The performer was a devotee of Adrian Rollini, the famous Dixieland Bass Saxophonist who played with Red Nicholls, Joe Venuti, Fred Elizalde and others. This LP tends towards slower numbers and the Sax sound is mellow (almost like a tenor in some ways) and clear. Quite a nice LP.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm listening to this very pleasant album right now. (It's been a very long day, and I need pleasant, not profound). I was looking for a picture of the cover - there doesn't seem to be one online, at least in a format this forum likes - when I found this thread. It's kind of amazing that Clark recorded this just about 50 years after he replaced Adrian Rollini in the California Ramblers.

My sax repair guy has an old Conn bass sax hanging from the ceiling in his shop. It drives me crazy every time I'm there - I really want that horn. I don't know what I'd do with it, but I want it.

One more cheer for Adrian Rollini. Every time I find a California Ramblers 78, I buy it, hoping that there will be a Rollini solo, or at least some breaks.

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:g

My sax repair guy has an old Conn bass sax hanging from the ceiling in his shop. It drives me crazy every time I'm there - I really want that horn. I don't know what I'd do with it, but I want it.

Edited by mikeweil

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Peter Brötzmann (#20) bought his bass sax from the late Henk van Es, Dutch baritone player who was short of money, during the mid 1970s.

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I'd like to find a copy for my friend Josef Skvorecky who wrote a novella called The Bass Saxophone.

Where do you and Skvorecky live? I like that novella.

Tony Bevan has been playing bass sax exclusively for some years now.

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On 5/3/2013 at 11:18 PM, jeffcrom said:

I'm listening to this very pleasant album right now. (It's been a very long day, and I need pleasant, not profound). I was looking for a picture of the cover - there doesn't seem to be one online, at least in a format this forum likes - when I found this thread. It's kind of amazing that Clark recorded this just about 50 years after he replaced Adrian Rollini in the California Ramblers.

My sax repair guy has an old Conn bass sax hanging from the ceiling in his shop. It drives me crazy every time I'm there - I really want that horn. I don't know what I'd do with it, but I want it.

One more cheer for Adrian Rollini. Every time I find a California Ramblers 78, I buy it, hoping that there will be a Rollini solo, or at least some breaks.


Agree about Adrian Rollini, but talking about bass saxists form that era, I think Joe Rushton was no slouch either.

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In a few minutes, I'll be posting in the 78 thread, but I wanted to mention this here - I found a stack of 78s in an antique store yesterday and bought some for two dollars apiece. One of the really nice finds was a 1924 Perfect record by Five Birmingham Babies, a smaller version of the California Ramblers. "Copenhagen" has a fabulous, hot, full chorus solo by Rollini. Two bucks well spent.

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Josef lived in Toronto. He passed away last year.

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Sub-contrabass saxophone and the "soprillo" (an octave above the soprano):

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So do I have this right: a contra bass is even bigger and lower sounding than a bass saxophone and there's even a bigger, lower sub-contra bass? 

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37 minutes ago, medjuck said:

So do I have this right: a contrabass is even bigger and lower sounding than a bass saxophone, and there's even a bigger, lower sub-contra bass? 

Yes! But I don't think there are very many sub-contrabass saxophones out there. That YouTube video (posted above in 2013) gives a good example of what it sounds like. The soprillo, in contrast, is ridiculously small (and, it appears, very hard to play in tune).

The bass saxophone documentary, linked above, is REALLY good! I watched the whole thing this morning without intending to. Some great footage of Adrian Rollini (though not playing the bass saxophone, alas).

Medjuck — your friend Josef Skvorecky is in the documentary!

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1 hour ago, Late said:

Medjuck — your friend Josef Skvorecky is in the documentary!

Wow! Thanks so much.  Just looked at it.  The English translation of the story is dedicated to me so I narcissistically  collect all the different editions of it I can find, but I don't have the one they show.  

Pepper Adams read The Bass Saxophone after he'd been diagnosed with cancer.  He contacted Josef and invited him to a club engagement where the three of us sat and drank between sets. 

 

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39 minutes ago, medjuck said:

Pepper Adams read The Bass Saxophone after he'd been diagnosed with cancer.  He contacted Josef and invited him to a club engagement where the three of us sat and drank between sets. 

Oh man, what a night! I need to read that novella.

The first place I ever heard a bass saxophone (live) was ... at Disneyland! The player was actually pretty good. I talked to him a bit later. He had a music degree, and didn't seem thrilled with the gig. I still enjoyed his playing.

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I, also, like Adrian Rollini's bass saxophone solos. As I recall, they are few and far between, and short, too.

I bought my current soprano saxophone from a guy who plays a bass saxophone in a dixieland-type quartet. He IS the bass for that group. We met for the transaction at a town halfway between his and mine, so I never got to see the bass. He showed me a photo of the quartet.

Saxophones having a conical tube, the bass is ridiculously large, and it only goes a fourth lower than the baritone (a third lower if the baritone has the low A), so it's not worth bothering about really. After its early oompah days in jazz, it and the sousaphone were replaced by the much nicer-sounding string bass, of course.

Many will have seen the cover of a Bud Powell album showing a bass saxophone. Apparently, Stan Kenton's ridiculous orchestra was at the same gig.

The Warner Brothers' cartoons had superb orchestral scores. A new score was composed for each cartoon. Talk about quality. The orchestra was large, and you would get a variety of instruments. I was watching the cartoon where Elmer Fudd checks into a hotel room, very tired and crabby. The clerk puts a drunken and blabbermouth Daffy Duck in the same room. The opening score has a very clear bass saxophone phrase. I checked, to see if it was a baritone, but it went lower. I might try to find a link to that cartoon, which is a classic in any case.

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Here it is

This is not the entire cartoon, but you can hear the bass saxophone in the intro.

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This is a full-size sub-contrabass saxophone. It stands 9' 2".

Left-Side1.jpg

Wiki.

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On 5/3/2013 at 7:32 AM, Caravan said:

Peter Brötzmann (#20) bought his bass sax from the late Henk van Es, Dutch baritone player who was short of money, during the mid 1970s.

wow, didn't know this. Henk ruled.

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Jay C. Easton: The Bass Saxophone

Edited by Jim Duckworth
content missing

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On 12/10/2021 at 4:37 AM, Late said:

This is a full-size sub-contrabass saxophone. It stands 9' 2".

Left-Side1.jpg

Wiki.

I have so many questions about this weird photo. Why’s it in some weird building site?

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2 hours ago, Rabshakeh said:

I have so many questions about this weird photo. Why’s it in some weird building site?

In case he blows the building down, of course.

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4 hours ago, danasgoodstuff said:

In case he blows the building down, of course.

That makes sense. It explains why there's no glass in the window.

Or perhaps there originally was glass...

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On 5/3/2013 at 3:20 PM, Big Beat Steve said:

I was looking for a picture of the cover — there doesn't seem to be one online, at least in a format this forum likes — when I found this thread. It's kind of amazing that Clark recorded this just about 50 years after he replaced Adrian Rollini in the California Ramblers.

Is this the cover?

R-6567596-1422161340-4142.jpeg.jpg

 

On 1/27/2005 at 4:22 AM, EKE BBB said:

This is one of only two jazz recordings I know of dedicated to Bass Sax.

... and this is the other Spencer Clark record:

R-15964753-1601030009-6825.jpeg.jpg

I want to hear these records! They don't appear to have been transferred to any digital format, but I did find the first record online for $10. I don't really buy vinyl these days, but I do still have a functioning turntable, so maybe ...

Oh — I'm listening to Rollini right now ... as part of the Joe Venuti & Eddie Lang 2-disc JSP set. LOTS of tasty Rollini solos there. Really a treat.

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1 hour ago, Late said:

Is this the cover?

R-6567596-1422161340-4142.jpeg.jpg

 

Sorry to say but this forum seems to have f...ed up at some point. The post from 8 years ago that you referred to MOST DEFINITELY is NOT by me, though inexplicably it is listed under my nick. Regrettably I don't own that record, and what is more, I do not have a "sax repair guy" among my contacts or acquainances as I don't play sax. No idea how this happened but I figure that at some time something in the forum contents got jumbled up during some update (or contents transfer to a new server?). :( (Not good at all!)  Hope there aren't other mixups ... :angry:

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On ‎5‎/‎3‎/‎2013 at 11:18 PM, jeffcrom said:

 

 

I'm listening to this very pleasant album right now. (It's been a very long day, and I need pleasant, not profound). I was looking for a picture of the cover - there doesn't seem to be one online, at least in a format this forum likes - when I found this thread. It's kind of amazing that Clark recorded this just about 50 years after he replaced Adrian Rollini in the California Ramblers.

 

My sax repair guy has an old Conn bass sax hanging from the ceiling in his shop. It drives me crazy every time I'm there - I really want that horn. I don't know what I'd do with it, but I want it.

 

One more cheer for Adrian Rollini. Every time I find a California Ramblers 78, I buy it, hoping that there will be a Rollini solo, or at least some breaks.

 

On ‎5‎/‎3‎/‎2013 at 5:20 PM, Big Beat Steve said:

 

 

I'm listening to this very pleasant album right now. (It's been a very long day, and I need pleasant, not profound). I was looking for a picture of the cover - there doesn't seem to be one online, at least in a format this forum likes - when I found this thread. It's kind of amazing that Clark recorded this just about 50 years after he replaced Adrian Rollini in the California Ramblers.

 

My sax repair guy has an old Conn bass sax hanging from the ceiling in his shop. It drives me crazy every time I'm there - I really want that horn. I don't know what I'd do with it, but I want it.

 

One more cheer for Adrian Rollini. Every time I find a California Ramblers 78, I buy it, hoping that there will be a Rollini solo, or at least some breaks.

 

Agree about Adrian Rollini, but talking about bass saxists form that era, I think Joe Rushton was no slouch either.

 

1 hour ago, Big Beat Steve said:

Sorry to say but this forum seems to have f...ed up at some point. The post from 8 years ago that you referred to MOST DEFINITELY is NOT by me, though inexplicably it is listed under my nick. Regrettably I don't own that record, and what is more, I do not have a "sax repair guy" among my contacts or acquainances as I don't play sax. No idea how this happened but I figure that at some time something in the forum contents got jumbled up during some update (or contents transfer to a new server?). :( (Not good at all!)  Hope there aren't other mixups ... :angry:

It looks like you responded to one of Jeffcrom's posts but somehow some of what you were quoting got out of the quote and into your post. I've seen it happen the other way around, where somebody's response to a quote ends up inside the quote, but I can't say I've seen it happen the other way around until now.

No idea how that happened...it was from 2013, and a lot of stuff happened since then. But if you want me to correct it, I can (I think....), and I'll make the edit notes publicly visible.

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