Ravi donates one of Coltrane's tenors to Smithsonian [Archive] - Sax on the Web Forum

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dubrosa22
03-27-2014, 09:10 PM
What a donation! 1965 Mk VI

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/saxophone-supreme-john-coltrane-legendary-instrument-joins-collections-american-history-museum-180950274/#MI11abBZDjb0dZ15.99

V

LostConn
03-27-2014, 09:33 PM
I hope the Smithsonian lends the horn out occasionally to deserving and capable musicians. Cool as it would be to see it as a museum visitor, I'd hate to think that a saxophone with such a history would never be played again. That's not the best way to preserve a fine musical instrument. Granted, Mark VIs are much more common than Stradivarii, but this is no ordinary Mark VI.

cleger
03-27-2014, 09:43 PM
I hope the Smithsonian lends the horn out occasionally to deserving and capable musicians. Cool as it would be to see it as a museum visitor, I'd hate to think that a saxophone with such a history would never be played again. That's not the best way to preserve a fine musical instrument. Granted, Mark VIs are much more common than Stradivarii, but this is no ordinary Mark VI.

I actually would be more interested in some high level musicians delving into the 100,000 pages of unpublished Duke Ellington music that they mention in the article. That would be much more interesting to me than what piece of brass someone is blowing through.

That said, the saxophone is a great museum piece. Good for Ravi for donating it.

LostConn
03-27-2014, 09:44 PM
I actually would be more interested in some high level musicians delving into the 100,000 pages of unpublished Duke Ellington music that they mention in the article. That would be much more interesting to me than what piece of brass someone is blowing through.

Why does it have to be one or the other?

musefound
03-27-2014, 09:46 PM
Did Coltrane play his Mark VI in A Love Supreme?


Sent from my thumbs

LostConn
03-27-2014, 09:59 PM
Did Coltrane play his Mark VI in A Love Supreme?

According to the dates in the article, he couldn't have recorded it with the donated horn, because the album was recorded on Dec. 9, 1964, and the sax was made in 1965.

daigle65
03-27-2014, 10:01 PM
The sax is c.1965 and the the recording was done in 1964, so probably not.

edit....LostConn beat me to it.

musefound
03-27-2014, 10:19 PM
Duh. Should have caught that. And I thought he played his SBA on the album.

Do the smithsonian folks know this? Their website makes it seem like the horn was part of A Love Supreme recording.

Was Coltrane playing the 6 the last few years of his life?

saxyjare01
03-27-2014, 10:25 PM
So, are horns from 1965 going to go up in price due to this? ;-)

sugaki
03-27-2014, 11:43 PM
That Coltrane had a 125k Mark VI is little secret, but none of his most famous recordings feature them. There were no bidders when it was up for auction at $500k, either. Still, a cool piece of history though.

DrWill
03-28-2014, 01:39 AM
There is a great B. Shaw quote .... 'Among the pious I am a scoffer, among the musical I am religious'. I believe I'd feel a sense of awe if they'd get the 'Blue Train' or 'So What' SBA.

wrxguyusa
03-28-2014, 11:09 PM
That Coltrane had a 125k Mark VI is little secret, but none of his most famous recordings feature them. There were no bidders when it was up for auction at $500k, either. Still, a cool piece of history though.

One heck of a tax write-off now. One wonders if Coltrane played this horn much at all.

LostConn
03-29-2014, 02:38 AM
One heck of a tax write-off now. One wonders if Coltrane played this horn much at all.

I'm sure he picked it up once or twice. It's the John Coltrane Fingerprint Edition.

dubrosa22
03-29-2014, 02:54 AM
The good news is that Coltrane did play this horn on record once.
The bad news is that it was on 'Om' ;)

V

unbalancedaction
03-29-2014, 02:57 AM
Yeah, I doubt he played it because it wasn't a 5-digit... :banghead:

This place is really ridiculous sometimes... You hear BS about Dexter not digging the Mark VI, and Coltrane not playing later horns that he had obviously been documented playing (in videos and pictures). Don't forget, the guy died in 1967 (two years after that horn was made) and so the chance of wearing the lacquer just wasn't there. And who cares what horn he played, listen to the MUSIC he played. Guys changed because things changed, and they wanted to keep up with the times (and support the companies they liked). More people should be playing new equipment, if not only to support the industry - but because the new stuff is really great. Phil Woods is the man for abandoning his highly collectible gold plated "5-digit" for the Yamaha Z, and there are a number of guys doing the same thing.

You know, there was a time when this stuff wasn't collectible - and people viewed the evolution as an improvement. I guess maybe I'm one of the rare people who's trying not to live in the past and look forward. I abandoned the vintage thing a while ago and have never felt more comfortable.

If Trane was alive today, I doubt he'd be playing a Mark VI, or an SBA, or anything vintage for that matter. One things for sure, he'd be playing great music regardless of what equipment he was playing...

musefound
03-29-2014, 03:51 AM
Yeah, I doubt he played it because it wasn't a 5-digit... :banghead:

This place is really ridiculous sometimes... You hear BS about Dexter not digging the Mark VI, and Coltrane not playing later horns that he had obviously been documented playing (in videos and pictures). Don't forget, the guy died in 1967 (two years after that horn was made) and so the chance of wearing the lacquer just wasn't there. And who cares what horn he played, listen to the MUSIC he played. Guys changed because things changed, and they wanted to keep up with the times (and support the companies they liked). More people should be playing new equipment, if not only to support the industry - but because the new stuff is really great. Phil Woods is the man for abandoning his highly collectible gold plated "5-digit" for the Yamaha Z, and there are a number of guys doing the same thing.

You know, there was a time when this stuff wasn't collectible - and people viewed the evolution as an improvement. I guess maybe I'm one of the rare people who's trying not to live in the past and look forward. I abandoned the vintage thing a while ago and have never felt more comfortable.

If Trane was alive today, I doubt he'd be playing a Mark VI, or an SBA, or anything vintage for that matter. One things for sure, he'd be playing great music regardless of what equipment he was playing...

I think we were just talking about what horns he played and whether it was involved in A Love Supreme since the Smithsonian is commemorating the recording of that album 50 years later.

Jazz has a rich history and it's fun to talk about. I thought that that was the topic of this thread...

wrxguyusa
03-29-2014, 05:28 AM
Yeah, I doubt he played it because it wasn't a 5-digit... :banghead:

This place is really ridiculous sometimes... You hear BS about Dexter not digging the Mark VI, and Coltrane not playing later horns that he had obviously been documented playing (in videos and pictures). Don't forget, the guy died in 1967 (two years after that horn was made) and so the chance of wearing the lacquer just wasn't there. And who cares what horn he played, listen to the MUSIC he played. Guys changed because things changed, and they wanted to keep up with the times (and support the companies they liked). More people should be playing new equipment, if not only to support the industry - but because the new stuff is really great. Phil Woods is the man for abandoning his highly collectible gold plated "5-digit" for the Yamaha Z, and there are a number of guys doing the same thing.

You know, there was a time when this stuff wasn't collectible - and people viewed the evolution as an improvement. I guess maybe I'm one of the rare people who's trying not to live in the past and look forward. I abandoned the vintage thing a while ago and have never felt more comfortable.

If Trane was alive today, I doubt he'd be playing a Mark VI, or an SBA, or anything vintage for that matter. One things for sure, he'd be playing great music regardless of what equipment he was playing...

Well then, I just thought we were discussing a museum piece and an associated article. The article really puts emphasis on Love Supreme while announcing the sax donation. No one said anything bad about the horn, I just wanted to know its actual historical place in history.

Not completely abandoned if you came to post a rant in a thread about a vintage horn.

For all you know, if alive, Coltrane could be playing smooth jazz duets with Kenny G.

paulwl
03-29-2014, 04:49 PM
Why does it have to be one or the other?Because there's more interest in Coltrane than in Ellington today. Sad but true.

It would also create a conflict of interest if any group besides the Smithsonian Jazz Orchestra were to get to play the unpublished stuff. They may have right of first, and possibly last, refusal.

Torchlight
03-29-2014, 05:13 PM
Here's one of the newly discovered photos from the A Love Supreme sessions. Though it's hard to see, it appears John is holding an SBA and so would have recorded the album with that:

53738

But there are plenty of Youtube videos from the last couple of years of his life in which he is clearly playing a VI, likely the one donated. And he would have most likely played the VI on "Interstellar Space" and most of his other "late" work. Personally, I always preferred his late sound, from the 1966-67 era which sounded darker to me than the SBA stuff. But it could have been the mouthpiece of course too.

LostConn
03-29-2014, 05:22 PM
It would also create a conflict of interest if any group besides the Smithsonian Jazz Orchestra were to get to play the unpublished stuff. They may have right of first, and possibly last, refusal.

It's a problem when putting something in a museum diminishes rather than enhances its availability to scholars and the public. But I think this happens quite often, and with scientific and historical materials in addition to art/music.

wrxguyusa
03-30-2014, 05:02 AM
It's a problem when putting something in a museum diminishes rather than enhances its availability to scholars and the public. But I think this happens quite often, and with scientific and historical materials in addition to art/music.

I don't agree. In the scientific world, museums are usually willing to grant access for worthwhile research endeavors. Just need to submit a proposal and detail work plan. Much more access than a private collector that hides things away in a big fancy house to impress their friends.

paulwl
03-30-2014, 06:51 PM
In the world of the arts and humanities, things can be different. Science doesn't call up as many intellectual-property issues, and science museums tend to be museums in the public sense - not archives, which prevail in other fields. Archives save things first for the sake of the things themselves. Only secondarily do they do so for the public, whose access is often fettered by organizational, funding, legal, or even political concerns. Many public institutions' archives are hardly public at all.

sugaki
04-02-2014, 12:35 AM
Yeah, I doubt he played it because it wasn't a 5-digit... :banghead:

This place is really ridiculous sometimes... You hear BS about Dexter not digging the Mark VI, and Coltrane not playing later horns that he had obviously been documented playing (in videos and pictures). Don't forget, the guy died in 1967 (two years after that horn was made) and so the chance of wearing the lacquer just wasn't there. And who cares what horn he played, listen to the MUSIC he played.

Not sure why you're thinking people are bashing his Mark VI, as though it sucks. Could play 10x better than his SBA for all we know. Point of the thread is that as a piece of museum history, the 125k VI is not as high profile as his SBA, because all his biggest recordings were done on his SBA.

And I doubt Coltrane didn't care what sax he played, even if he'd sound amazing on a Bundy II. There's a reason he stuck with that SBA for so long.

LB
04-05-2014, 08:17 PM
I seem to remember a photo of Trane walking into a recording studio carrying two tenors in cases. Who knows, he could have used multiple horns on the same session.

Buster Chops
04-05-2014, 10:05 PM
More people should be playing new equipment, if not only to support the industry - but because the new stuff is really great.

Vintage horns are cool no doubt but I love this sentiment. I also support local brick and mortar at every turn. (I pay the same at my local music store as online prices and get to chat with smart people)
I had my MK VII (bought new for me when I started HS) restored and just got a new yts-62. Thrilled with both my horns and proud to be the "one owner."

OnyxSax
04-16-2014, 05:20 AM
Take a guy like Charlie Parker. He'd turn around an pawn his horns so fast that he played just about anything he could get his hands on, and he still revolutionized the instrument with whatever he touched, regardless of brand. There are probably dozens of horns that passed through Parker's hands at least once. Parker sounded like Parker regardless of what horn was actually in his hands, and Parker would have sounded like Parker on a Bundy if that's all he found to play.