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Thread: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

  1. #101
    Distinguished SOTW Member Kelly Bucheger's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Quote Originally Posted by Swampcabbage View Post
    I'm more afraid of the saxophone maintaining a relevance in popular music than I am whether the VI or SBA or the Super chi/ny/la 894-AFT super-deluxe jazz hornet will be the "standard" of horns to come.
    Not trying to do a smackdown on your post, Swampcabbage, but isn't that battle way beyond lost? I don't think the sax is relevant in any way in popular music anymore...

    And jazz is certainly no longer "popular" music. Whatever the hell Lady Gaga (love her soft-core videos, can't remember a note of her tunes) or the guy whose song has the "F*ck You!" chorus or Justin Bieber is popular music, stuff as nourishing and substantial and long-lasting as a bag a Cheez Curls, and stuff where you're as likely to hear a sackbut as a saxophone.

    I agree with your larger take on the VI, but wonder what you mean by this...
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  2. #102
    Forum Contributor 2008/Distinguished SOTW Member Swampcabbage's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelly Bucheger View Post
    Not trying to do a smackdown on your post, Swampcabbage, but isn't that battle way beyond lost? I don't think the sax is relevant in any way in popular music anymore...

    And jazz is certainly no longer "popular" music. Whatever the hell Lady Gaga (love her soft-core videos, can't remember a note of her tunes) or the guy whose song has the "F*ck You!" chorus or Justin Bieber is popular music, stuff as nourishing and substantial and long-lasting as a bag a Cheez Curls, and stuff where you're as likely to hear a sackbut as a saxophone.

    I agree with your larger take on the VI, but wonder what you mean by this...
    Well, there is still a small amount of relevancy. There are acts that still use horns (Beyonce, Prince, etc...) but it is getting more sparse by the day. The absence in pop culture (of any sort - even the loss of smooth jazz radio hurts a little) means less visibility and less interest for students which means less appreciation. Albeit that the relevancy is negligible - for me, here in the NE region, there is still some relevancy in the "function" or "GB" work - "Brick House" and the Motown stand bys still help me witht he bread and butter around here. As the generations lose interest in these eras of music - so does the viability of making extra bread - (who even makes a living just playing anymore - unless you want to live in a boarding house).

    I have already come to terms with the fact that the function looks like this for me - 1st set - Dinner (Sinatra, Beatles, Billy Joel, maybe a standard or two). 2nd set - Some funk and soul (Brick House, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Beyonce, Stevie Wonder); start moving into hits from the last 10 years maybe some 80's music (80% sax, 20% percussion). 3rd set - MORE COWBELL!!!!

    My hope is that with its loss of relevancy - maybe younger folks will see it as a form of rebellion (my dad wants me to take guitar - but I'm playing the sax and he HATES IT). (Yeah, right).

    So even though jazz is irrelavent on most levels - the sax still remains slightly viable (at least more so than trombone) even though a trombonist has more opps in a symphony and brass quartets than the saxophonist does (thats true even if sax is your double).

    so, all we got left, really, is soul, funk, some blues and the occcasional rock band. As I see it anyway.

  3. #103

    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thomas View Post

    The MKVi is a great horn for its time and for many people has not been surpassed. But for many others it has and i think Selmer know this. Don't think they haven't discussed the possibility of bringing it out again. People won't want it, they'll still want the best serial numbers.
    Kinda nailed it here Pete. One of the reasons to buy an old horn is because, it's an old horn made at a time when the world was completely different. These old horns were made during a time when artist and manufacturers alike were driving 90mph down the road seeing what's ahead and responding to that. Today we've created a world where artist and manufacturers are driving 25mph looking out the rear view mirror and maybe we'll crash the car soon if we're lucky. Evidence of this? Look how many "reverse engineered" products there are out there, not just saxophones and guitars, but microphones, preamps, and they all market them by telling us "we've captured the essence of the past!" Look how much "retro" music has been made since 1980 including the now not so "young lion" lot. If you want an old horn, you'll just have to buy one. This re-creating things of the past can't work even with computers making identical tooling and metal etc. I have yet to play a new axe that get's my attention myself. I think that has more to do with the intention and attention the old world craftsmen had and was more connected to the actual demands of musicians in their time. We've moved on. It's that simple.

    Jef

  4. #104
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    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Quote Originally Posted by Swampcabbage View Post
    As the generations lose interest in these eras of music -
    Not to hijack the thread, but I don't totally agree the generations have lost interest in past eras of music. It's just that they are spoon fed a lot %^&$ in the media. Once they hear some good live music many of them will respond. My band played a gig the other night at a bar where a large group of young "kids" in their late '20s were hanging out. We played a lot of '40s / '50s jump blues (Louis Jordan, etc) and they loved it. They stuck around all night, danced up a storm, and bought a bunch of our cds. I was surprised to some extent; maybe this music sounded fresh to them because they'd never heard it before. This wasn't an anomaly; it's happened on other occasions. I think maybe a good rhythmic beat and music that swings has some universal appeal.

    Back on topic, I totally agree the MUSIC, and the importance of the sax in music (not necessarily the pop music of the moment), is far more important than whether one is playing a VI or any other brand.

  5. #105

    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelly Bucheger View Post

    And jazz is certainly no longer "popular" music. Whatever the hell Lady Gaga (love her soft-core videos, can't remember a note of her tunes) or the guy whose song has the "F*ck You!" chorus or Justin Bieber is popular music, stuff as nourishing and substantial and long-lasting as a bag a Cheez Curls, and stuff where you're as likely to hear a sackbut as a saxophone.

    .
    Lordy, I just heard the guy with the "F*ck You!" chorus yesterday. My young co-workers were playin this cd when I walked into work. First thing I hear is a band that sounds like it's right outta the 70's (retro!!!) and was kinda excited about that. Then I noticed how stiff it sounded and thought it was a not so good band outta the 70's or maybe a contemporary band. Then that chorus (I hope this is the same artist we're talikg about!) and I just said "man, write a song will you?!". Nobody wrote stuff this lame back then, but it sure sounds like the good ol' stuff, kinda, sorta. Okay, made my point.....

  6. #106
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    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Quote Originally Posted by Baltimore B View Post
    Look how many "reverse engineered" products there are out there, not just saxophones and guitars, but microphones, preamps, and they all market them by telling us "we've captured the essence of the past!" Look how much "retro" music has been made since 1980 including the now not so "young lion" lot.

    I think that has more to do with the intention and attention the old world craftsmen had and was more connected to the actual demands of musicians in their time. We've moved on. It's that simple.
    These are good points. Aside from computer technology, in many areas, especially in the 'arts' and craftsmanship, we have moved on, but we haven't progressed. We've regressed. Sure there are exceptions, but a lot has been lost. That's just the way it is. Change is inevitable....but it's not all bad!

  7. #107

    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Quote Originally Posted by JL View Post
    These are good points. Aside from computer technology, in many areas, especially in the 'arts' and craftsmanship, we have moved on, but we haven't progressed. We've regressed. Sure there are exceptions, but a lot has been lost. That's just the way it is. Change is inevitable and it's not all bad!
    A effin Men JL!!!!! Embracing change ain't easy, resisting it can be torture!

  8. #108
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009 warp x's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Quote Originally Posted by Baltimore B View Post
    Nobody wrote stuff this lame back then...
    They did, and it sounded like lame stuff back then too.

    Anyhow, I do agree with you about the tune. Sounds like it's knocked together in 3 minutes.

  9. #109

    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Quote Originally Posted by warp x View Post
    They did, and it sounded like lame stuff back then too.

    Anyhow, I do agree with you about the tune. Sounds like it's knocked together in 3 minutes.
    Very true, there has allways been lame songwriting, but this stuff really lept out to me in it's utter and complete squareness mixed with swears. I love a good swearing, but do it creatively. My young co-workers were so excited to "turn me on" to it. Had a good laugh and felt sad at the same time....

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    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Quote Originally Posted by saxxsymbol View Post
    I guess James Carter and Tom Scott are not top musicians in the industry? What world do you live in ?
    One where reading comprehension and retention are important.... I said, "...the day all the top musicians in the music industry.." Last I looked, JC and TS were just two of many.

  11. #111
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician Grumps's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Quote Originally Posted by Baltimore B View Post
    I think that has more to do with the intention and attention the old world craftsmen had and was more connected to the actual demands of musicians in their time. We've moved on. It's that simple.
    Yup, to a world of cookie cutter mediocrity where profit is the more defining parameter over artistry. And believe it or not, some folks actually celebrate this movement.

  12. #112
    Distinguished SOTW Member Dr G's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Quote Originally Posted by JL View Post
    These are good points. Aside from computer technology, in many areas, especially in the 'arts' and craftsmanship, we have moved on, but we haven't progressed. We've regressed. Sure there are exceptions...
    ... such as Borgani. Their price is competitive with Selmer but they will never compete as a marketing power as one of The Four (whomever they are).
    Go for The Tone,

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  13. #113

    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grumps View Post
    Yup, to a world of cookie cutter mediocrity where profit is the more defining parameter over artistry. And believe it or not, some folks actually celebrate this movement.
    Yup. I also think just the title of this thread says it all, the "Thing" and "get it back". There can be some "thing" awesome about the times we live in, in fact there are but we may not see it. 40 years from now someone will be trying to get some "thing" back that is happening right now! I think we have to move on from Selmer, Otto Link, Fender, Gibson etc, not because they don't make fine instruments, but because they are big businesses that are more concerned with profit and survival than actually making something exciting. Look at how many models Selmer has! It's laughable. At one point these companies weren't so concerned with pleasing everybody, they were concerned with pleasing their customers. I admit I haven't tried Borgani or some of the other small manufacturers, but I bet they are doing something different and exciting for those who do play them. These bigger companies have the name but no longer do they have the spirit. When you are concerned with your bottom line only, you don't take risk so much. And let's face it, look how many people make a better "slant" than Otto Link. It's just time to get off the names and get in another game.

    Jef

  14. #114
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    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas View Post
    There are no "bad" MK VI tenors...just poorly set up examples.and players who can't play them.
    I can show you bad ones. Also intrinsic in the notion of "a bad one" are horns with not the original neck, damage, and a myriad of other issues... some of which would preclude purchasing it ... although I would admit there will also be some student somewhere who won't know the difference and be happy to spend the $$ just to have a "VI".

  15. #115
    Distinguished SOTW Member kavala's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    This thread has got a bit off topic in that the original questions were....
    If the MK VI is so good, why do they not produce it again, and if there are technical
    reasons why that cannot be done, what are those issues.
    Now the discussion seems to have devolved into the same ol' arguments back and
    forth regarding the merits of the MK VI, and comparisons to modern horns.

    I have a good MK VI. My friend has a good SBA.
    A year ago I bought a $500 budget Chinese manufactured sax as a backup.
    Recently I had the opportunity to try out a couple of P.Mauriet saxes. One with
    RTH and one with the straight tone holes.

    After playing the Chinese sax for a while I found that on some notes I would
    accidently strike a sound that had a quality that really knocked me out.
    A sound that was more complex and that I had never experienced on my VI.
    Now some may say that the VI is just more focused and has a more pure sound.
    Although much of this horn is copied on a Selmer, there are a couple of ergo
    issues, and the intonation is different with the palm keys. I tended to play these
    notes sharp on the Chinese sax unless I compensated for the difference.

    Then going back to the MK VI after playing this sax, I was initially disappointed with
    the VI and was ready to give it away because it seemed to choke up. Then I realised
    that I had to modify the way I played to get the sound out of the VI, and after a
    few minutes I was back to playing the VI as I had done before. I was relieved that
    my VI, was still the preferred horn for me.

    Then I tried the Mauriets. Both of these were noticeably more free to blow in the
    lower register. This is probably an unfair comparison because it is sometime since I
    have had the setup on my VI checked, and being the age it is, it can go out of
    adjustment relatively easily. The PM's were new and superbly set up.

    The PM's were almost identical ergonomically to the VI except the LH palm keys were
    slightly higher and initially I had to be careful not to accidently bump them. After a
    short while I felt these palm keys were better posistioned for me than the VI, which I
    feel need some risers. (I have relatively small hands).

    All in all, I thought the PM's were an improved MK VI with all the good qualities of
    the latter, although my friends said they preferred the sound of the Selmer better.
    I'm not sure I agree with them.

    Going back to the Selmer after playing the PM's required no readjustment on my
    part at all. (Except I had to be more careful when playing down the bottom
    in order to pop the notes out.)

    I have not played all the modern horns that are available today, but I'm sure there
    are others just as good as the PM's. Based on my experiences, I don't see the need
    to reproduce a VI as I feel the modern horns have moved forward from this design
    and are superior.

    I don't buy into this 'flexibility of pitch' argument. As others have pointed out, that
    really comes from the player and the mpc setup.
    Selmer Mk VI Tenor, s/no. 85,xxx Tn mpc - Jody Jazz DV New York 7*, Marquez Chinese tenor. JJ DV, JJ ESP, Link STM, Selmer Mk VII Alto, s/no. 302,xxx, Yamaha Flute F100SII http://www.youtube.com/kavalasax

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    Distinguished SOTW Technician BOPITY FUNK's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    I have tried to ignore this thread but curiosity has prevailed! A few feet from where I write rests a 1959-1960 Selmer Mk6 alto-(5digit) An ex-pupil is selling this horn to help finance his small engineering company--times are hard--which employs local people in an area of very high unemployment.
    This weekend a buyer is travelling from The Netherlands to England to buy this horn and I have been asked to check it over etc. bearing in mind it has not been played for many years. This horn is expected to fetch --by prior agreement ---well over £3000.00GBP.
    OK the horn plays well enough a few tweeks ,a few turns of various screws. "Well enough" is not good enough IMO to warrant such a hefty price tag but I wish my friend well and wish to see his business stay on track and if some mug is willing to pay 3 Grand to help 20-30 guys to keep their jobs I'm happy.
    The point of this tale??--next to the Mk6 resides my Selmer Serie 3--also an alto, naturally I compared them, even swopped necks and used a Meyer 6MEZ. The best bit?
    The Serie 3 is a superior saxophone in terms of general playability-- no "gurgle" I'd forgot about that, always thought it was me back in the day--better top end and much easier
    below E--no gurgle! Where the Mk6 DID have IT in bucketfuls was in the mid range F1 -G2. In other respects the Mk6 was just a good alto saxophone period.
    No one has been more critical than me about current Selmer Quality Control but my 10year old Serie 3 IS without doubt the better of the 2.
    FWIW the buyer is getting this horn for his daughter who is apparently a very serious player in Netherlands.
    Anyway thats my 2 pennorth suppose I better prepare myself for the "flack"!

  17. #117

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    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Quote Originally Posted by DanPerezSax View Post
    Is a Mark VI generally accepted to be harder to play than a modern horn? I've seen comments to this effect a few times in this thread, but when I pick one up, it blows at least as freely as my Series III, and I might even feel more resonance through my fingertips, which is nice. On tenor, compared to my Martin, I feel like when I pick up a VI, it "just works," as opposed to being forced to get a sound I want and get the action moving cleanly. I've always had really positive experiences playing these, except for one horn which was leaking like a sieve.

    P.S. In response to one comment, when it comes to personality, values and especially GAS, guitarists≈sax players.
    I was under the impression that modern horns are easier to play in tune. That is important to me.

  18. #118
    Distinguished SOTW Member rleitch's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinMods View Post
    One where reading comprehension and retention are important....
    Can I come?
    Martin "Dick Stabile" Tenor: Barone Jazz 7*/GW7

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  19. #119
    Distinguished SOTW Member Kelly Bucheger's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Quote Originally Posted by BOPITY FUNK View Post
    Anyway thats my 2 pennorth suppose I better prepare myself for the "flack"!
    No flack from me: if I'd had a chance to play my 5-digit alto before buying it -- I'd never have bought it!
    My BRAND SPANKING STILL HERE CD, • House of Relics •, available from iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp, and CD Baby.
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  20. #120
    SOTW Administrator hakukani's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Quote Originally Posted by differencetone View Post
    I was under the impression that modern horns are easier to play in tune. That is important to me.
    'In tune' is a relative thing. Down with the twelfth root of two!
    Sound guy theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- 3dB)
    Sax player theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- .010" at the tip)
    "Free jazz is the vegemite of the musical world. It's an acquired taste."-J. Jacques

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