There is an interesting story to this saxophone. I saw it in an auction, it was covered in black substance, the pads were swollen, the case was ratty. In short, it looked horrible. Nonetheless, I decided to add it to the collection. A little later, the instrument started occupying my mind, and I decided to take it out and have another look. Once again, I concluded that it was in terrible shape, and that I didn’t see a real future for it. However, this cycle repeated itself a number of times, and at one point I decided to take it to Nico Bodewes in Amsterdam, to ask his opinion. When I told him that I thought it was strange that this saxophone kept popping up in my mind, he mentioned that this is something that old radios (his other passion) also do; “they start speaking to you!”.
I visited Nico again a number of weeks later and asked him about my c-melody. He pointed to the front of the workshop, but I didn’t see it. I couldn’t believe that the saxophone he meant was this brand new-looking Buescher c-melody in his chair! He concluded that the sax must have been in a housefire very early in its life. It was covered in soot, which incidentally had preserved the silver coating! A remarkable story, which underlines for me how special it is that all of these instruments have had a life, and that we are not so much the owners of them, but more their companions.
A practical note on playing c-melody saxes; make sure you find a good c-melody mouthpiece! Only then will you be able to unlock the true potential in tone and intonation that these fine instruments have to offer. (Of course their were some exceptions, like Frank Trumbauer, who specifically chose to play an alto mouthpiece on his c-melody to get a typically strident tone)
Share this instrument
Keyed note range
Number of keys