So, up until two years ago when I decided I'd start back into playing after 15 years I didn't even know that altissimo was possible on the sax. This is a bad thing because I was a music major with sax focus in college! So, two years ago I jumped back in on a Bundy II just playing the standard scales and not really pushing for anything extra. Then I got myself a newer Jupiter and tried to see if I could get above the keyed F#3. I think I remember working up to A3. I played them for a matter of a couple weeks before I had to sell off all my horns (except for my 1926 Conn which didn't play) and go into conservation mode from the economy.
I just got my 1970 Bundy from Ebay a few days ago, and started honking on it yesterday. The first thing I tried was to see if I could get my old, untrained gut to support a good sound on an average setup. My embouchure is week, but I still have the chops to get back to a good point. Today I decided to go a little further and see what I could really do after being out so long. I used my altissimo fingering charts and inched my way up to a D4... and was in tune the whole way once I found the note and the correct mouth positions. I so wanted to top out, but after D4 all I could do was honk.
I can't wait to get my Conn back from the shop to see what I can really do on a serviced non-student horn. I'll probably still have to inch up until I memorize the fingerings (remember that altissimo is still pretty new to me), but I hope my inability to top out is more horn and setup than it is me. Maybe the student reeds I got just aren't up to the task or my stock Bundy #3 mouthpiece may not be enough.
No matter the issues I might have, I thought it was pretty good to be able to get to a solid D4 without having ever been there before and with basically being a newbie at getting back to playing. I'm also grabbing back onto the jazz feel, and was able to squak a little from my Real Book only missing a few licks. I'm getting kinda psyched!!!