Selmer Pennsylvania Special Baritone (1937)

The Story

This is Geoff Sansome’s story and a tribute to sax player Beechey…

‘I bought the sax, case and stand in an Oxfam shop yesterday. There was a notice in the door advertising it. Turns out it is a “Pennsylvania Special, made in Czechoslovakia, serial number 255352. When I got it home I found a repair ticket from 1988 for it with the owner’s name and address, Mr Beechey (Albert). Not only did I know him, but played in a jazz band with him and this sax 20 years ago!

We started messing about as a Dixieland band in 1992 and we asked Albert to come along. He was about 80 then and I was 30. He had a range of saxes and had done a lot of dance band work in the second world war in and around Worcestershire and Droitwich. He occasionally got his baritone out and thundered away (We called it the scud missile). Albert didn’t improvise (he needed “the dots”) so as we developed we got a different reed player. Albert died in about 2000 and I have no idea where this sax has been since then until it surfaced in the Oxfam shop. It in its original case, with a heavy duty homemade stand and numerous mouthpieces and a very old Selmer pad repair kit.’ Continue reading

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Selmer Pennsylvania Special Baritone (1937)

The Story

Kate plays this Selmer Pennsylvania baritone saxophone in the Earley Music Centre Big Band, having just moved back from the front row alto section. Ours is a rehearsal band which plays occasional concerts to friends and family, having an annual outing to the Victoria Embankment Gardens in Westminster, London. We play a good variety of big band music from swing to blues to pop and jazz. Our conductor is Tom Benellick who famously played bugle on the Beatles Sgt Pepper band. Continue reading

Selmer Mark VI Baritone (1979)

The Story

The Snakey Spat Band was a fantastic funk band playing in Abingdon from the mid 1970s and the first real band I played in, joining at the age of 17. Poignantly it split up in 1979 in the same week Dexies Midnight Runners reached no 1 in the singles chart. It contained great musicians, including Tim Cairns, Squirrel, Dave Ball and George Day. The horn players included Murray Powell, John WIld, Pat Kelly and his son Julian, Andy Kinch, Andy Miller and Pat Crumley – my saxophone teacher: so I was very lucky to be good enough to play with them. Shortly after the band split Tim and George started the Big Boys Blues Band, playing blues and soul music and I’m still playing in that horn section today, moving from alto to tenor over the years. In the early 1990s I decided to buy a Mark VI to play when needed. Anyone who’s read my review of my Evette and Schaeffer bari can see why I couldn’t use that one. Continue reading

Evette and Schaeffer Baritone (1915)

The Story

I bought this in 1982 from a second hand shop in Walton Street, Oxford. I was a student at the time, living in Welligton Square and studying Classics. I didn’t have much money, but had to buy it – making it the third saxophone I ever acquired. It came without a case, so I made one for it. Continue reading