Don’t always go with first impressions…

Browsing through YouTube, I somehow ended up with someone who’d recorded a video featuring a new Selmer Reference 54 tenor that he now has to sell to pay for roof repairs…  I was probably less than charitable thinking " can I really bear to hear him play it ? "  I should have noticed the (very) business-like mic in the foreground.

Anway, it’s well worth the wait, apart from eating my own words, it made me feel quite inadequate.  Great playing ‘carlosthecat ‘  – now I’ve had to add another mouthpiece to my ‘try-before-I-die’  list, a  Morgan Excaliber 8EL –  gorgeous sound !  So is the Guardala in the latter part of the video… And (seriously) a real shame you had to sell the tenor…  The poor sound quality is almost certainly down to YouTube compression, not the original recording.


P.S. – I shouldn’t sound so sceptical about the ‘roof repairs’ – I’m busy breaking icicles off the end of my nose whilst I await a sensible quote (if there is such a thing ?) for a new central heating boiler to replace my very dead one.  And you can be certain that other parts of the elderly installation will then need to be ‘upgraded’ to be compatible and/or ‘energy efficient’, and the saga will probably continue for a while, I’m sure – sigh…

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6 Responses to Don’t always go with first impressions…

  1. lewis Pelham says:

    Why does he not simply find a roofer who needs saxophone lessons? I suspect however that, with his skill, a Ref 54 is not necessary; he would be good on almost anything.

  2. alan says:

    Yes – I’d quite like to put a real name to ‘carlosthecat ‘ – he has some lovely phrasing…

  3. Mal-2 says:

    The good thing here is that at least he knows he’ll be able to get another Ref 54 when he has the scratch. It’s not like selling a beloved Mark VI knowing he may never find another one like it. Meanwhile I hope he has a backup that’s even remotely close to as fine as that. He must, you don’t sell the tools of your trade if you expect to keep paying the bills.

  4. alan says:

    I suspect, from the way he ‘works’ the horn, that this may have been a replacement for possibly even an ageing Selmer – so the old horn gets a repreive for a while…

    Reading more and more that a generation of heavily used MkVI’s are fatiguing rapidly, and almost becoming un-economically unrepairable – maybe part of the current very high price for closet/underused VI’s.   Although a very loved horn would (I assume) be kept alive almost whatever the cost.

  5. lewis Pelham says:

    It is my sincere belief that anything manufactured can be restored to original condition.
    I used to own a Selmer BA which was bought new by a pro player in 1935. It had been used every day until the death of it’s owner in 1990, when I bought it.
    Not only had the pearl touches been worn down by his fingers but also their retaining cups…they had entirely disappeared where his fingers contacted them.
    The horn played as new. It is only the keywork which wears,& with swedging, any slop & rattle can be eliminated.
    I remember looking at a Bugatti which had covered 700.000 miles…it was as new in every respect.

  6. alan says:

    Agreed, possibly ‘beyond economic repair’ is better, maybe also with an eye on reliability, and respect for the old gal.  I’d like to think that maybe also the old horn was kept at home for gentler playing, retired from the hustle and bustle of gigs.

    On the subject of which, I played my Martin C today (having recently been favouring the Aquilasax), and it’s only the ‘feel’ of the 30’s action which is now the culture shock !  The Martin action really does feel so VERY much less ‘in my face’ (or rather ‘in my fingers’) than the new C.  Glad the same Couf mouthpiece does ‘the business’ on both.  What a difference in ‘feel’ though…   😯

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