Condor Alto (1980)

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The Story

We’re keen browsers at car boot and jumble sales. The Island Donkey Sanctuary regularly runs events locally from which we typically buy clocks and other retro things. I bought this from a car boot sale there about 10 years ago. The saxophone had been used as a school instruments. I can only presume that whoever bought it originally did so from New Zealand, Australia, or perhaps Brazil. Continue reading

Amati AAS 22 Alto (1980)

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The Story

I spend a lot of time in Dorset and Devon and enjoy visiting Exeter, where there a number of good secondhand shops – especially if you’re looking for good quality guitars. On a recent trip we decided to go a bit further out to N. E. Tingz, a shop packed with interesting stock. Continue reading

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

Buescher New Aristocrat Alto (1934)

The Story

This splendid American saxophone came to me from my fixer-upper, which I bought from in 2006. I haven’t played it much, but intend to, especially as its big brother is currently my favourite tenor. Continue reading

Conn 16M (1963)

The Story

I was originally just an alto player, but always been interested in tenors. Once I had enough money I bought a Conn 16M – but not this one. Eventually I traded it in for the Keilwerth SX90R reviewed on this site. Suffering from a long-term buyer regret, I saw this in a pawn broker shop in San Jose in 2001. I was escaped from a Sun analyst conference for an hour with my friend Peter. This was on a high shelf behind the counter, long forgotten I would imagine. Having asked the store-keeper to wash the dirty reed under water I played the instrument, which had a loud, clear tone. Having bought it, I got a real compliment, ‘I’ve often heard buyers play the saxophone, you’re the first one who proved it’. Continue reading

Weltklang Commodore Tenor (1962)

The Story

We often go to the open market in Bridport, Dorset on a Saturday morning. In September 2011 we discovered a seller who had this instrument for sale. The lady was selling it for her son, who was not a player himself. There was no workable reed in the case, but it looked in good condition. It had no maker’s name on the horn, but looked playable and was relatively cheap for a tenor. Continue reading

Selmer Pennsylvania Special Tenor (1938)

The Story

I bought this tenor from my friend Tony at Maggini Supplies a few years ago. He had recently sold me the alto version of this and knew I would be interested. As always I’m interested in unusual vinatage instruments and this fits the description well. Continue reading