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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The Grafton alto sax



Laurie Rangecroft, anchor man of the SSBB sax section, sent me this brief clip of Alan Barnes having a blast on Laurie's Grafton alto sax at a jazz course over in the Lake District.

Younger readers may not remember the Grafton which was made of acrylic plastic and was in circulation in the 1950s.

Charlie Parker played one on the legendary Massey Hall concert, Johnny Dankworth used one in his early days and Ornette Coleman was also associated with the instrument - notably on his album The Shape of Jazz to Come.

I too once owned one which I bought for £25 and eventually sold for £40. Today they're asking £1000 on ebay - wish I'd hung on to mine!

Do other readers have any memories of owning one?
Lance 

1 comment :

Russell said...

I've never played one, I've never owned one, but back in September 1994 I made a pilgrimage to Christie's, London to view the Grafton alto saxophone played by Charlie Parker during the famous Massey Hall concert. Chan Parker offered several items for auction and it was too good an opportunity to pass up. There it was, in a secure glass case. On all four sides, standing in reverential silence, were jazz fans, staring at it, perhaps thinking they would never get the chance to see it again as it would probably be snapped up by a filthy rich oligarch, never again to see the light of day. There was a happy ending...the Mayor of Kansas City (Bird's home city) made a winning bid (by telephone) - £93,500 - and Bird's Grafton alto sax flew home to be put on permanent, public display. 🎷🎷🎷

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