Vol. 4, No. 28

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Contrabass-list Thu, 6 Nov 1997 Volume 1 : Number 28

In this issue:

Date: Wed, 05 Nov 1997 16:50:50 -0800
From: Grant Green <gdgreen@contrabass.com>
Subject: Concert Review

I may have forgotten to mention: we (the SJWS) had a concert last night. This was essentially a benefit concert for the Lynwood String Orchestra (we rehearse in the Lynwood bandroom). The LSO is going to New York next Spring, and is raising funds. They played the first half, and we played the second.

Having only minutes to break in a new reed, I discovered the Vandoren #2s work just fine. We played the "Festive Overture" by Alfred Reed, "Elegy for a Young American", "Celebration" (composed by the LSO's conductor - many years ago), the "Star Wars Saga" (as arranged by J. de Meij - not a creampuff arrangement!), and closed with "Rolling Thunder" (taken at a tempo of half note = 180 or so). Went pretty well, I think. The Festive Overture had a true Bb contra part: I played off the bass clarinet part for the rest. Ah, well, new music next week.


Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 12:41:48 -0800
From: Frank D Diaz <frank.d.diaz@wdc.com>
Subject: RE: contrabass-list V1 #26

Did I read correctly, L.A Sax and Orsi working on a project together ? Be careful before you buy !

Back around '87-'88, the music store I was working for at the time ( I was a repairman), ordered several L.A Sax alto saxes. All were unplayable. Pads were not even close to covering the tone holes and the felts were haphazardly glued on. On 2 of the instruments, keys broke in half while my boss was handling the instrument. He sent them back and never ordered anything else. None of the shops that I work with will sell these instruments, unless someone really wants one.

It seems that all of Italian made woodwinds that I've come across have been junk. I've heard that Orsi was bad. I owned a Grassi alto sax that lacked any kind of intonation. The toneholes were warped like crazy, too. 2 shops I worked in considered them junk horns. I own a Roth Albert System bass clarinet, and it too leaves a lot to be desired. I saw a Pupeschi soprano sax once that had interesting keywork.

Paul Cohen wrote some time ago in "Saxophone Journal" about a curved sopranino sax made by Kellison that he owns (did I get the spelling correct ?). I think it too, was made in Italy and has gastly intonation. It seems that all of these makers put gadgetry and low cost (for the Grassi at least) ahead of playability.

All this aside, can you post the address or phone number for Orsi ?. I'd be curious just to see their catalog just for the wierdness factor

You know, Orsi also made a saxophone/sarrusophone hybred called a saxsarrusophone (see articles by Gunther Joppig in the Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society) and Roth made their own version called a Rothphone.

Frank Diaz

Date: Thu, 06 Nov 1997 11:25:24 -0800
From: Grant Green <gdgreen@contrabass.com>
Subject: Fwd: contrabassoon search

Attached is a plea for a contrabassoon. Anyone know of one for sale?


You have an awesome page and quite the collection. Thus, I come to you with a plea for an upgrade from my bassoon to contra. Help Me!!

Whew, well, anyway, as I said, I play bassoon currently and would really like to up(or is it down?)grade to contrabassoon. Unfortunately, finances demand I buy a used one and I can't find one for the life of me! So I, as a frequenter of your page, decided to e-mail you (low-instrument guru that you are) for help.

I am looking for a contra in fair-excellent condition (condition, not particularly brand quality) for between 4 and 7 thousand dollars U.S. Any help is appreciated including (but by no means limited to) links to major instrument classifieds, actual for-sale contras, and links to people who might be able to help.

Hoping you can help,

Jed Daily

Date: Thu, 06 Nov 1997 11:31:07 -0800
From: Grant Green <gdgreen@contrabass.com>
To: redaily@fia.net
Subject: Re: contrabassoon


>You have an awesome page and quite the collection. Thus, I come to you with a plea for
>an upgrade from my bassoon to contra. Help Me!!

If you want a new one, the Woodwind & Brasswind has an Adler contra listed for $7,995, and an Amati for $4095. I've never played either of those brands, so can't say if they're worthwhile or not. WW&BW also carries Fox contras, but doesn't list the price. Fox is well known and respected. It's probably worth calling (1-800-348-5003) to ask about the price, and if they have any 2nd hand ( WW&BW does also carry second hand instruments).

For used, there's always the contrabassoon festival in Las Vegas (Jan 5-8, 1998). I understand that dealers bring horns there, and that some people bring their own horns to trade in or sell. Also, I'll post your request to the contrabass list, in the event any subscribers know of a good horn for sale.

Good luck!


End of contrabass-list V1 #28

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