I believe in the value of one-on-one consults for each client. Through appointment-only meetings, we have the opportunity – and the time – to really talk about what you’re looking for in terms of sound and performance from your saxophone. I can ask questions and share my recommendations for the highest quality repair, setup and/or restoration. It also gives each customer the uninterrupted space they need to try a new instrument or mouthpiece.
Our Master Class/Clinic with Frank Catalano was quite an evening. He debuted his latest project with David Sanborn, Old Skool, where they are paying tribute to his mentors growing up in Chicago – Von Freeman, Eddie Harris, and Stanley Turrentine. After Frank played, there was a Q&A.
Now 37 years old, Catalano is the only known saxman to have performed with Miles Davis, Randy Brecker, Charles Earland, Elvin Jones, Stan Getz, Betty Carter, Von Freeman, Tito Puente, Tony Bennett, Les Claypool and Louis Bellson while still in high school! This led to his signing to Delmark Records at age 18 and a string of critically-acclaimed recordings. Catalano has been heard by millions of people all over the world, thanks in part to 3 Grammy-winning and 11 Grammy-nominated recordings with artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Destiny’s Child, and John Legend. He has also performed live on the Oprah Winfrey TV show with singer/composer Seal.
No stranger to adversity, Frank cut off his right middle finger in an automobile accident. After several surgeries and much effort, Catalano relearned his signature technique, making him one of the most in-demand musicians today.
It was an evening of live music, conversation and a chance to check out the new TM Custom line-up and D’Addario products.
Doug Lawrence has performed on six continents at virtually every major concert hall, jazz club and jazz festival in the world, and thanks to TM Custom Saxophones and D’Addario, he performed at Barnard Instrument Repair.
He has spent over 20 years making a name for himself in New York City. Among the artists Doug has performed and recorded with include – Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, Sarah Vaughan, Frank Sinatra and the list just goes on.
As the featured tenor saxophone soloist with the Legendary 18-time Grammy award winning Count Basie Orchestra, Doug is definitely the man. The Basie Orchestra has won more awards, polls and Grammys than any other jazz big band in history.
Doug Lawrence – New Organ Trio is Doug’s latest recording (Cactus Records 2015). Joining Doug on this recording are long-time associates Dan Trudell on Hammond B3 and George Fludas on drums with special cameo appearances by Taurus Lovely and Jeff Parker. Doug’s previous recordings as leader include the critical and commercial hits – Soul Carnival (#3Jazz Charts USA), High Heel Sneakers (#11 Jazz Charts USA) and Street Wise (Top 25 Jazz Albums of Year Japan).
Doug was available for an hour before and after he played for questions. Everyone agreed it was a very special night of music.
From Rafael Navarro:
“The mouthpiece is the most personal part of the saxophone. It helps transform your soul and ideas into music. My passion is to make sure nothing gets in the way. My designs reflect decades of listening, playing and working with great players. It’s why each mouthpiece is created from one solid rod of the finest materials available, then hand-finished to enable the utmost in harmonics and complexity.
Each mouthpiece I create is handcrafted; I work much like a sculptor with a piece of unformed clay or un-chiseled stone. Within each blank lives beauty yet to be revealed. I start by obtaining the finest quality hard rubber and metal rods to produce my different mouthpiece models. Careful shaping, coupled with the precise removal of excess material, allows the voice within to be released. I personally work each mouthpiece until I’m satisfied that I have attained its greatest potential.
I make mouthpieces for the people! In many ways, it’s a labor of love for me. It excites me to know that my mouthpiece will free up a player’s creativity, and enable him or her to find their voice. Every piece will have a solid tonal core, with a complexity of harmonics and color at the edges. The rest is up to the player and the infinite nature of creativity. My mouthpieces are an option for everyone and my intention is to provide the highest quality possible and the most affordable price for such handcrafted mouthpieces.”
To learn more, visit the Navarro website.
The Aaron Barnard Bare Naked Brass Restoration is the ultimate expression of freeing a saxophone for maximum vibration. It enables an instrument to realize its full potential in terms of performance from the perspective of resonance and the quality of sound produced.
To learn more about the benefits of stripping, download this PDF.
Before I had even completed the bare naked King Super 20 alto restoration seen in my projects section, the horn’s owner decided he had to have a matching tenor of the same vintage. After he played the finished 313xxx alto, it was a done deal.
It took me a little while to find just the right King Super 20 tenor. It was a 315xxx player’s horn. It had less than 50% lacquer as well as significant battle scars. We later discovered the bell had been pushed back and twisted. Plus the body tube was bent which meant most of the rods were tweaked as well. The pads were shot but the horn still put out a wicked big sound in spite of it. Needless to say, I was psyched about the potential.
We followed the same process as with the alto. The original engraving was all painstakingly re-traced by Sherry Huntley at Artistic Engraving and she also added the extra original engraving design to the bow and C, C# and Eb pad cups. Then the bare naked stripping process began. It’s a chemical process and a buffing wheel is simply not used.
The dent work included a bell flare that looked like a head of broccoli from repeatedly hitting a mic and the rest of the sax had its fair share of bumps. There was re-soldering of key guards and lots of fine tuning of rods, posts and pad cups. We used Pisoni Pro pads and went with oversized flat nickel resonators.
The setup is wide open and this tenor really screams. What a sound. The bare naked finish truly allows it to vibrate. Yet it is still so rich when played softly. At the end of the day, it’s a perfect match to the 313 alto and I have one very happy customer.
This Monnig bassoon was buried away in a basement. The wood was really dry and the nickel keywork was horribly oxidized. Bringing the wood back necessitated a gentle touch and a lot of patience to avoid splitting it. I also needed to replace a tenon. The nickel needed some coaxing to come back, but was so worth it.
The sound on the finished product was unbelievably rich and warm.
One of my long-time customers came to me with this tenor. He had spent a fair amount of time in the 90’s recording with Randy Brecker. During that period, he got to know his brother, saxophone great, Michael Brecker. After some discussion, they came to an agreement, and he walked away with one of Michael’s horns.
The horn is a Selmer Mark VI Tenor. It is a true player’s horn. Lacquer wear, a couple of insignificant solder joints re-soldered, and a couple of minor dings here and there. That being said, this tenor stands with the best of them. It still has the pads, resonators, and most of the same keys corks as when Michael played it himself. The setup was left as is, and just played. It is still in great playing condition.
"Normal" Brecker era 80xxx tenors typically sell for $10,000-$15,000. Because of the history and documentation of this particular instrument, its value is significantly greater.
We will be accepting offers on this fabulous horn until 12:00 pm CST on April 30th. A minimum reserve is set. To make an offer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. The highest offer made by the deadline that exceeds the reserve will have the privilege of owning this Brecker tenor.
Feel free to contact us with serious questions and offers only. You are also welcome to come check it out in person.
Enjoy an interactive demonstration of how we defied age with the ultimate Bare Naked facelift on a King Super 20 tenor. It’s a perfect match to the Super 20 alto restoration we did recently.