Feb 22 2011

Presenting – the ‘ Pelham Saturday Night Special ‘


One fine day last Autumn, Lewis Pelham contacted me, to see if I had any suitable C Melody’ donor horns’ for a project he had in mind.  He was quite taken by a dismantled Buescher stencil – a Lyon & Healy "American Professional" – (to quote him) ..

"It is EXACTLY what I want. Body sound but plating less than perfect; you see, I intend for it to be black, like the Impala, and I just could not paint over excellent plating. Also, the keywork, which will remain plated, is lovely…. I was slightly worried that some of the swivel screws eg, palm keys would be absent but sensibly have been put where they belong. I did not count them but assume all the fastenings are present." 


(but naturally Lewis, I may be surrounded by clutter, but it’s an organised chaos !)


Click here, or on either of the pictures, to view the full article !

The comments in the article are mostly extracted from Lewis’s emails to me  – detailing modifications and charting the progress of the horn and case.  What a gorgeous end result, but I’d  be undecided as to whether it should be played, or exhibited. 

  Click here, or on either of the pictures, to view the full article !


Note : This is not Lewis’ first custom C-Melody / C Tenor project – Click here for details of the Pelham – Conn ‘ Impala ‘… 


Feb 16 2011

Conn C Melody, and C Soprano !


Conn C Melody, and C Soprano in the same video.   Some fine playing by Raaf Hekkema.
The sounds of both C saxes fit this style of music well.

Raven – John Dowland/ Flow my tears & The Earl of Essex his Galliard

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Feb 15 2011

Gitley sings Gershwin !


What better on a wet and windy Sunday afternoon, than to get George the Lakeland terrier howling along with a Martin C-Melody saxophone.  Bit of Gershwin seems to have taken his fancy.   Ace the collie has seen – and heard – it all before, she’s just sleeping off lunch. Aaaahhhh….

Click on the video below, it may take a few seconds ‘buffering’, before the video starts – don’t you just love cutting-edge technology ?


This was part of a series of short videos taken on an older Nokia phone, whilst I was checking out some mouthpieces.  As I came to the conclusion that most of my mouthpieces sound the same when I play them, along with the limited sound quality and video resolution of a mobile phone, I can’t quite be sure which mouthpiece I was using.  Doh !

It’s either my favourite slimline Couf J10*S, or a rather nondescript Wagner blank labeled as “Keilwerth ToneKing Special 6″ (which plays far better than some of the much more expensive ‘big name’ mouthpieces).  At least I do know that the reed was a LaVoz Medium (tenor).  I suppose that’s something ?    I very much suspect that it was the ebonite Keiwerth, as I notice the end of a paper receipt padding out the cork – it does have a wider shank fitting,  but a smaller tip opening than I usually play.


Jan 31 2011

An Aquilasax C-Tenor review – 2010


Whilst I frantically struggle get back up to speed with such new 2011 blog topics as “The Pelham Saturday Night Special” (intriguing, eh ?), I can recommend this review, dated September 2010, of Steve Wedgwood’s Aquilasax C Tenor.  It would seem to be one of the latest models, as the reviewer talks about a ‘retro octave key’.

Steve did send me one of those keys a little while back, but I couldn’t implement it onto my Aquilasax as it would have clashed with the location of one of the cups – so there have obviously been some significant design changes along the way.

I have a great respect for Steve, who has succeeded in bringing first a new Aquilasax C-Tenor sax, and latterly a new Aquilasax C-Soprano sax, to the marketplace at a very sensible price.  Along with some much-needed c-specific accessories.  Well done Steve !

Click here for the review, and if you’d like to know more about Aquilasax, click here for the Aquilasax website.

Thanks to  Storm Gods / Alchemy Mindworks for the review.


Jan 1 2011

The Russian connection – Conn C-Melody


I’ve heard of a few C-Melody saxophones alive and well in Eastern Europe – whatever it’s called these ‘post Iron-Curtain’ days -  but this is probably the first on YouTube from Russia ?

Allowing for the relatively low quality of the recording, plus YouTube compression, this is a Conn C Melody sax being played hard (and very well !) by Andrew Krasilnikov – probably at Jazz Town Club, Moscow USSR…  ( is it called the USSR anymore, or is it now just Russia, as most of the ‘Union’ of satellite States now have independence ?)


Lovely to see a C-Mel being used, no compromises, just another sax !