Ravi donates one of Coltrane's tenors to Smithsonian

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    Forum Contributor 2012 dubrosa22's Avatar
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    Default Ravi donates one of Coltrane's tenors to Smithsonian

    Vintage saxes, flutes and clarinets... way too many

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    Default Re: Ravi donates one of Coltrane's tenors to Smithsonian

    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.

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    Forum Contributor 2009 cleger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ravi donates one of Coltrane's tenors to Smithsonian

    Quote Originally Posted by LostConn View Post
    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    I actually would be more interested in some high level musicians delving into the 100,000 pages of unpublished Duke Ellington music that they mention in the article.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.
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    Default Re: Ravi donates one of Coltrane's tenors to Smithsonian

    Quote Originally Posted by cleger View Post
    I actually would be more interested in some high level musicians delving into the 100,000 pages of unpublished Duke Ellington music that they mention in the article.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?

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    Default Re: Ravi donates one of Coltrane's tenors to Smithsonian

    Did Coltrane play his Mark VI in A Love Supreme?


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    Default Re: Ravi donates one of Coltrane's tenors to Smithsonian

    Quote Originally Posted by musefound View Post
    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.

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    Distinguished SOTW member daigle65's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ravi donates one of Coltrane's tenors to Smithsonian

    The sax is c.1965 and the the recording was done in 1964, so probably not.

    edit....LostConn beat me to it.
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    Default Re: Ravi donates one of Coltrane's tenors to Smithsonian

    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?

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    Default Re: Ravi donates one of Coltrane's tenors to Smithsonian

    So, are horns from 1965 going to go up in price due to this? ;-)

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    Default Re: Ravi donates one of Coltrane's tenors to Smithsonian

    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.

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    Default Re: Ravi donates one of Coltrane's tenors to Smithsonian

    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.

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    Default Re: Ravi donates one of Coltrane's tenors to Smithsonian

    Quote Originally Posted by sugaki View Post
    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.

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    Default Re: Ravi donates one of Coltrane's tenors to Smithsonian

    Quote Originally Posted by wrxguyusa View Post
    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.

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    Forum Contributor 2012 dubrosa22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ravi donates one of Coltrane's tenors to Smithsonian

    The good news is that Coltrane did play this horn on record once.
    The bad news is that it was on 'Om'

    V
    Vintage saxes, flutes and clarinets... way too many

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    Default Re: Ravi donates one of Coltrane's tenors to Smithsonian

    Yeah, I doubt he played it because it wasn't a 5-digit...

    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...

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    Default Re: Ravi donates one of Coltrane's tenors to Smithsonian

    Quote Originally Posted by unbalancedaction View Post
    Yeah, I doubt he played it because it wasn't a 5-digit...

    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...

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    Default Re: Ravi donates one of Coltrane's tenors to Smithsonian

    Quote Originally Posted by unbalancedaction View Post
    Yeah, I doubt he played it because it wasn't a 5-digit...

    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.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member/Sax Historian paulwl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ravi donates one of Coltrane's tenors to Smithsonian

    Quote Originally Posted by LostConn View Post
    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.
    "80 years passed before we heard the tenor...in the hands of cads with centre partings & co-respondent's shoes. They squeezed syrupy, farting, oleaginous sounds from their cavernous chambers & microscopic tip openings." –Captain Beeflat, 2013

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    Default Re: Ravi donates one of Coltrane's tenors to Smithsonian

    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:

    coltrane2-9d9e07d5756df5e23df5d3006252ce6e7f248577-s6-c30.jpg

    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.
    Last edited by Torchlight; 03-30-2014 at 07:05 PM.

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    Default Re: Ravi donates one of Coltrane's tenors to Smithsonian

    Quote Originally Posted by paulwl View Post
    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.

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