I’m confused. Nothing new there then…
Been playing a fair bit of (Bb) tenor recently, kind of lost impetus on C-tenor (but NOT C-Soprano, still very enthusiastic about that one !) and I’m really torn between my 2009 Orpheo tenor and my battered old 30’s Martin/IBIco stencil. I do have a (hopefully) better playing 50’s Martin Indiana tenor currently in the postal system ‘twixt the US and here, and I’m sure that’s going to muddy the waters even more. Alto and/or C-tenor isn’t the quite same issue, vintage vs.. modern, but I’m really totally ‘stuck on the fence’ over the two tenors.
The modern Orpheo tenor has it on slickness, speed, crispness, and even looks – but the trundly old Martin has (imho) more flexibility of tone, and I feel more ‘at one’ with the worn old action… Somehow the older sax seems less of a precision machine, more part of me, a natural extension even. Now if it was back in the ‘old days’, something like the Orpheo would probably have been the obvious choice, for ease of playing, cleaner sound, good looks, and hopefully near 100% reliability, but that’s no longer an issue at my time of life – now it’s basically just down to my own playing pleasure, often just for relaxation, my saxes don’t get a fraction of the playing that they used to !
The only other consideration is that switching between the Martin Bb tenor and my lovely old Martin C is 99% seamless, same era, same keys, eerily almost the same feel (apart from playing position !), and even the same harmonic fingerings… Unfortunately I can’t say the same about switching between the Bb Orpheo and the C Aquilasax (or even the Martin C), it’s like chalk and cheese, despite all of them playing well in their own right.
The only great thing in this is that I no longer seem to have any tenor (or C) ‘mouthpiece jitters’. The old ‘heavily baffled’ ebonite tenor Couf Jazz’s still sound (and play) best on everything ! I even recently picked up a long-lusted-after Saxscape Downtown Studio tenor mouthpiece from eBay, and, although it plays admirably, it has still failed to depose the faithful old Coufs from pole position – hooray !!!
So Lewis – How do you juggle between your modern Rampone and your delightful Buescher tenor, or have Rampone got it right with a perfect mix of ‘old and new’ feel and sound ?