Jul 16 2011

Lola and Sabbath’s pups, and a few friends…





A friend asked me to take some impromptu pics of his dog’s puppies, as some of them have to be rehomed. Just thought you’d like to see them, ‘AuntieAce’ is in the odd one, George is under my arm, little fella found it all a bit too exciting – but a good time was had by all.

The pups are part (very friendly) Staffie, part lunatic Springer Spaniel, part gorgeous – aaahhh…

If you’d prefer to view the pictures through Facebook, click here !

Jun 10 2011

Hayes Greenfield – new album featuring C Melody sax


Despite all the undeserved ‘bad vibes’ that C Melody saxophones often seem to acquire along the way, mostly from sax players who’ve never tried one with a half-decent mouthpiece, it would seem that a few more established  sax players are recording the odd album featuring the instrument.

Another such player is Hayes Greenfield, click here for Hayes’ website.

His latest (2010) album, called  Light Shade Shadow features him (as far as I can tell) exclusively on C-Melody / C-Tenor. To listen to all the tracks from his album, featuring him on C-Melody sax, with a very robust sound, click on the link below –


- and from where the album (or indeed individual tracks ) can be also downloaded for a very reasonable price.  If you’d like a taster, click on the triangular arrow below to hear a short excerpt of Hayes Greenfield playing Brazilian Dream (on C-Melody sax) from his 2010 album -  Light Shade Shadow   - 

I’ve also included that short excerpt in the mp3 player  C Sax Sounds on the website home page, I’ll email Hayes and ask him for details of his setup, and publish that here when I get it.  Beautiful sound !

(Update) – I received a very friendly reply from Hayes, and was more than a little astonished at his setup. Because I read on his website (quote) –

“Hayes Greenfield is both a Yamaha and Vandoren performing artist, and proudly plays a Yamaha Custom Z alto saxophone, and Vandoren mouthpieces and reeds on all his horns.”

– I was amused to read that the ‘C’ setup that produces quite a modern sound is in fact not quite so modern, and for such a tenorish sound, even the reed is an alto one, Vandoren, naturally, as Hayes is a ‘Vandoren performing artiste’…  Here is an extract from Hayes’ email (quote) -

One of the things I love about the C Melody is that as you know it has sound qualities of both the alto and tenor but in one horn.  I often like to refer to it as Bi-Saxual.

The horn on the CD is a Buescher C Melody and the mouthpiece is I believe a Link C Melody hard rubber Mouth piece, there is actually no name on it, just the design that is often found on Links.  I play it with an Alto Vandoren Java 2 1/2 reed.  I got the horn on Ebay and fortunately it came with the mouth piece.

I have a Conn straight neck and a Holton both of which have a little bigger and brighter sound, more towards the alto than the tenor which I prefer with my Buescher.  Plus the Buescher seems to play better in tune, but it’s not as loud.”

Hmmm, debate !  Still love his sound to death, so where on earth can I get a vintage Link C Melody ebonite mouthpiece ?  I should also mention that Hayes also devotes a lot of time and effort (as the founder) to the Jazz-A-Ma-Tazz organisation, bringing jazz to children of all ages !

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.