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Thread: Saxello!!

  1. #1
    Distinguished SOTW Columnist and Saxophonistic Artist In Residence Tim Price's Avatar
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    Default Saxello!!

    I've had my Saxello over 17 years.It is one of the most unique saxes I ever played
    Not only is it made well, after all these years but I don't think
    anything sounds like it. It has a voice.A personality if you will
    I got my nod from hearing guys like Benny Maupin,Elton Dean,Kirk or even Philly's Bill Leslie on his record on ARGO called " Diggin' The Chicks".
    Anyone else here playing a Saxello or using it on gigs/recordings?
    It is one unique voice.

  2. #2
    The Professor
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    I have a King Saxello (My Mom played it in first grade in 1928--it was the only sax her family could find that fit her hands). Mine seems to play more in tune than most--according to what I hear from other folks anyway. But man, are the palm keys low (I have fairly large hands). It is scheduled for a rebuild this coming summer or fall. I usually play my Yani 901 soprano instead (very nice horn). The saxello does have a dark, sweet sound, although put a dukoff on it and it can be quite bright and edgy too. The ergonomics on the Yani are much better though.

  3. #3
    Distinguished SOTW Columnist and Saxophonistic Artist In Residence Tim Price's Avatar
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    m.w- I hear ya..I had some custon stuff done to my palm keys,and some different thumb hook/L.H Thumb button etc.
    I just lament when I see some of these saxes cuz' King was way ahead of it's time.
    To bad they ain't around today...IMAGINE what might be going on
    Also, imagine how many JOBS might be available in Clevland at the factory! But-that IS another topic.

  4. #4

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    Tim!-

    You're one of the few player's I've heard mention Elton Dean! Ahhh The Soft machine...some great saxello playing.

    I should have known your eclectic and open ears would have Dug Elton.

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    Tim,

    have you (or anyone else) played one of the new gold plated Rampone&Cazzani saxellos, just out of curiosity, and would like to share how they compare with the original?

    MMM

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    Distinguished SOTW Columnist and Saxophonistic Artist In Residence Tim Price's Avatar
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    t.s-yes..I am a big Elton Dean fan.The guy in NyC who used to own "LunchFor Your Ears"...a record shop near the Knitting Factory used to get Elton Dean stuff for me.There's one called "Ninesense"..with a nonette playing all of his larger ensemble charts.Then of course El-Skid with Elton and Alan Skidmore..which is RAW free jazz.Beautiful stuff.
    I saw the Soft Machine once live...and it really left an impression.

    MMM- funny you should ask that
    The Rampone&Cazzani saxello is pretty darn cool IMHO.My bud Mike Marcus is using one and it's really WELL MADE..and sounds saxelloish.
    I tried it and really liked it.It plays great.Matter o' fact James Carter
    tried Mikes ,Rampone&Cazzani and went for one himself.Tho JC would sound great on a garden hose & Lawton mth
    I'd love to get Orfeo Borgani to make a saxello cuz' THEY have some metal that is unique.Tho, my King is right where I want it...nice boosters,
    newer thumb hook and thumb rest..and custom wood lamberson mth.
    SO, I hate to fish around.But-it's nice to know a GREAT horn exists that is in the sonic ballpark. BTW- English sax player Tony Coe is using a Rampone&Cazzani !!! He sounds beautiful on it,with a H super session mth.Maybe the best newer saxello sound yet.

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    Default Saxello

    Thanks for that Tim, I'll be in Rome next week and I'll definetely take my sop mouthpiece with me. The main reason I asked was because I'm intrigued by the saxello sound, but they are so scarce I'll never get a chance to try one (let alone buy one, unless I win the lottery!).
    Cheers,
    mmm

  8. #8
    Distinguished SOTW Columnist and Saxophonistic Artist In Residence Tim Price's Avatar
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    MMM...Get a saxello
    Have a great trip & let us know if you go to the factory.
    Hug a few Italian women for me ok,it's good luck

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    Besides Rampone & Cazzani, who makes a *good* modern saxello? How do the Cannonball saxellos compare?

    I ask only because I find I can't play my straight Conn for any period of time before my right forearm starts getting sore as heck. As mainly a clarinet player, that's an issue. A saxello-style soprano seems like a more logical design. Perhaps a curved sop is an even better bet, but I've never tried one, so I have no point of reference.

    All opinions welcome! Thanks.

  10. #10

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    I caught part of a Hall and Oates show on TV the other day. Chalie DeChant was using a saxello. Awesome sound. He sounds great on tenor also. He blows some nice solos.

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    Default Saxello

    Tim,

    I don't think I'll make the factory, it's too far from where I'll be staying. As far as hugging Italian women, hey I can hug my wife for you!

    Will let you know how the hugging goes, oh yes and the saxello of course...
    MMM

  12. #12

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    Tim Price-There was also that album with Elton and Keith Tippetts with the cover art of two scorpions on a plate...I've been looking for it for some time..a great album.

    I have every soft machine on LP up until the one that came after "Softs" with John Etheridge (talk about blinding fusion guitar!), I can't remember the title,but Jack Bruce played bass on it... Great stuff.

    Did you see the original quartet/then trio-Or did you see them with Elton as quartet? (for a while they toured with a bigger band which had several horn players, but I understand the expense ended that pre-maturely).

    I was really into Chris MacGregor's Brotherhood of Breath (with Dudu Pukwana) and Keith and Julie Tippett and Centipede and various aggregations of English fusion and jazz.

  13. #13

    Default Bennie Maupin

    Tim,

    In your post you mentioned you saw Bennie Maupin in concert with Herbie in the 70's. Lucky you! I have a few cd's of Herbie's with Maupin playing and wondered on which track(s) he is playing the saxello, if you kindly knew. What a monster player the man is.. definately my soprano idol.
    8)

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    One of the great albums to hear Bennie on Saxello is Survival of the Fittest by The Headhunters .He plays some fantastic saxello , tenor and bass clt. But ...........one of my favourite Jazz Saxello moments is Rahsaan's Afro Blue from his live tribute to Trane on Volunteered Slavery. Rising like a hornet's nest , Rah emerges out of Lush Life and whips up a SONIC STORM on his hot rodded saxello coming on like Trane's dark twin from a parallel universe ! !
    Still one of the most exciting sounds in The Music.
    Rahsaan! Rahsaan!!

  15. #15

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    What about King Curtis' "Soul Serenade"?!!!! He also recorded a couple of albums with the saxello, "You've Lost that Lovin' Feeling" and "King Curtis Plays the Hits of Sam Cooke" (mostly saxello). Isn't that a saxello on Ben E. King's "Spanish Harlem"?I heard that was Romeo Penque.

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    Yeh Soul Serenade is beautiful. I didn't know about the Ben E King I'll have to listen to that again. How's that nino doing? Do you play a Soloist on that ? I'd love a 6 Nino . A few years ago when Bill Lewingtons were still on Shaftsbury Avenue they still had a new 6 Nino but they wanted crazy money for it £5000 I remember. John Handy also played saxello .I don't know why people knock the saxello . It's meant to sound like that .The intonation gives it it's flavour . Certainly Elton wouldn't have sounded the same on a regular soprano.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member goodsax's Avatar
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    What's the difference, if any, between a saxello and a semi-curved sop? If this is a dumb question, WTH, let the flames begin. 8)
    SOP: Antigua Winds SS4290RC; ALTO:Couesnon Monopole Conservatorie; TENOR: Yamaha YTS-61;
    BARI: Vito-Yanagisawa Low A; CLARINET: Noblet Paris; FLUTE: Amadeus by Haynes

  18. #18
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Bass Sax Boss saxtek's Avatar
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    Depending on the terminology you use, a Saxello IS a semi-curved soprano. I think Paul Cohen once described Buescher tipped-bell sopranos as 1/4 curved, Saxellos as 1/2 curved, and Lyon & Healy "perfect curved" sopranos as 3/4 curved. That makes sense to me and describes these instruments pretty well.

    There is really only one Saxello, and that is the one made by King in the 1920s. The new "Saxello style" sopranos are really tipped bell sopranos and they look a lot like the super rare tipped bell horn from Buescher. Earlier in this thread somebody mentioned Charlie DuSchann from Hall and Oates. I replaced him in a rock and Roll band in Florida, and the soprano he used was a Lyon and Healy "perfect (3/4) curved" soprano, an extremely rare instrument.

    Most of these horns are a lot of fun to play when set up properly. It's hard to find a stand for the tipped bell and Lyon & Healy sopranos, but the King Saxello wins out here because it came equipped with a wishbone shaped stand that remained on the horn when you played, and fitted into a special place in the case.

    There is an Eb alto saxello, probably one of a kind from King, in the Fiske Museum, I think.

  19. #19
    Distinguished SOTW Member goodsax's Avatar
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    Thanks, saxtec. I owned a Milwaukee semi-curved black nickle body, gold-keyed soprano for awhile. It was, despite it's anonymity, a surprisingly well-constructed and excellent sounding sax. I never found any substantitve info about Milwaukee instruments other than what Jim Labbs (Milwaukee, WS) told me, but he was, and is, selling the brand. I paid $595 for a brand new semi-curved and that was a couple of years ago. I now have a Kohlert straight sop that I had engraved by DuMars last year.
    But, I kinda miss that Milwaukee.
    SOP: Antigua Winds SS4290RC; ALTO:Couesnon Monopole Conservatorie; TENOR: Yamaha YTS-61;
    BARI: Vito-Yanagisawa Low A; CLARINET: Noblet Paris; FLUTE: Amadeus by Haynes

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    Somehow, I missed this thread but have now read all the entries. I owned a King Saxello for a while - an atrocious instrument and similar to other Saxellos I'd tried before buying the one I owned. The intonation was as bad as any bad saxophone I've ever owned. Plus, the action and response was mediocre. PLUS, like all tipped-bell sops I'd seen, the Saxello was difficult to set down on stage while playing clarinet or alto.

    I recall the original Saxellos came with a little two-legged stand that was affixed to a bracket on the back of the horn, allowing the horn to be placed on it's bell with the two legs forming a tri-pod with the bell. I eventually traded it away.

    I know, I know, some players sound really good on theirs, but the ones I've experienced were poor. The only thing going for it was the look.

    I also owned a Rampone tipped-bell soprano - an absolutely gorgeous instrument; well-made, great sound and a real player . . . SO much more superior than my Saxello. But like all tipped-bell sops and the Saxello, difficult to lay aside. I traded away the Rampone -but it was a super player.

    No one has mentioned Jim Buchman, a traditional-jazz reed player of great skill - I think he may be playing with the Climax Jazz Band from eastern Canada now. He makes his Saxello sound good. DAVE

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