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Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 23:16:22 -0500
From: Bob Thomas <>
Subject: Re: FW: Bass saxes

John Fierke wrote:
>  ...I know of a couple basses available at vintagesax,
>two older Bueschers in the 112,xxx and 138,xxx range.
>Has anyone played this type of bass sax and willing
>to share opinions ?

 I have a Buescher bass #158952 that I'm very happy with.
 I don't play anything especially demanding - dixieland,
 community band, eclectic folk/jazz/goofy - and I'm really
 a string bass player...     Certainly don't feel that the
 horn has ever held me back.   8^)   Also, this is the only
 bass sax I've ever played, but I'll have a go at it:

 The horn is very easy playing. Intonation has never been
 a problem.  Which is saying a lot for a saxophone.
 Like most of the older basses, its keyed to play only up
 to Eb, but the altissimo range (at least for the next half
 octave or so) is really easy, once you've discovered the
 fingerings - altissimo E and F sound much better than the
 fingered Eb (which inspired me to look for an altissimo
 I hope I'm spelling altissimo correctly...
 There's a fork fingering for the right hand Eb - 1st & 3rd
 fingers down/middle finger raised gives you that note -
 which can be a real life saver when you're mucking around
 the low notes.
 There's a spit valve at the throat crook. This was discussed
 a little while back. Some folks think it might affect tone
 or intonation - I think its very handy.
 I think Buescher had a pretty good reputation up to the
 point where Selmer bought the company and made Buescher
 its second line.   (That was in the 40s?)
 So... folks seem to love their Conns, but the Buescher
 seems like a perfectly wonderful horn to me.
 I say if it seems like a good deal, grab it.



From: "Sydney R. Polk" <>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 20:43:28 -0800
Subject: Re: A sad note...

>Just received the following:
>"Ann Merrell, bari sax player with the Nuclear Whales passed away Sunday
>after performing for the last time with the group.  She had had a
>reocurrance of cancer that hit the liver.
>Services will be at the Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church at 1:00 PM on
>Send cards to 10542 Cedar Tree Ct.
>  Cupertino, CA 95014
>As the manager for the whales said, she died quietly in her sleep after
>having a wonderful time performing, doing what she loved on Sunday.  She
>was a wonderful musical talent that will truly be missed."

This is indeed sad. I did not know her well (I mean, bari players never
run into each other somehow...), but I did play second tenor in the
Foothill College Evening Band when she was playing baritone, and I heard
her play with the Nuclear Whales many times. I also had the privilege of
playing with the Nova Vista Symphony when they did a concert with the
Nuclear Whales and we performed Ann's California Suite. Her drive, energy
and enthusiasm will be missed, and it is always a shame to lose such a
nice person and wonderful baritone player.

Syd Polk      
"Let the music be your light." -- Dave Edwards, KUHF-FM, 1982

Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 13:45:13 -0500
From: Edward Branham <>
Subject: Re: FW: Bass saxes
My Buescher bass sax is just a little earlier -- 104XXX.  I have no
complaints or problems with it at all.  There is one intonation anomoly
that has been true in four different bass saxes I've played.  I have
found that middle C is both more in tune and speaks better if the
alternate fingering is used (middle B
plus the second side key).  That's not a fingering that is easy to hit
in every passage, but I use it as much as practical when playing bass

Edward Branham

Bob Thomas wrote:

> =========================John Fierke wrote:
>   ...I know of a couple basses available at vintagesax,
> two older Bueschers in the 112,xxx and 138,xxx range.
> Has anyone played this type of bass sax and willing
> to share opinions ?


Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 14:02:49 EST
Subject: A sad note...
Re. Grant Green's message that Ann Merrell, baritone sax player with the
Nuclear Whales, has died of cancer:  That's a sad note indeed.  I'm very
sorry.  It was a major inspiration for me to hear a woman playing superbly on
one of the big saxes usually considered a man's instrument.  She was also a
fine composer and arranger.  I'll miss her music, especially the music she
never got a chance to write.


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