“Don’t play the saxophone. Let it play you.” ~ Charlie Parker
It was the mid-naughts and I was flush with money. Those were the days. I purchased a one of a kind Eppelsheim bass sax and a Conn F mezzo soprano sax.
The mezzo-soprano saxophone is sometimes called the F alto saxophone. In the key of F, it is pitched a whole step above the alto saxophone. Its size and the sound are similar to the E♭ alto, although the upper register sounds more like a B♭ soprano.
Very few mezzo-sopranos exist — they were only produced in 1928 and 1929 by the C.G. Conn company. They were not popular and did not sell widely, as their production coincided with the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression. Harsh economic conditions forced Conn to reduce the range of saxophones they produced to the most popular models.
My friend Quinn the Eskimo hand picked this instrument for me. As soon as he got it, he pinged me with pictures and a price. It was a done deal. I even got a professional from Toronto to pen a custom sax quartet for me featuring the instrument.
This is one lovely instrument that I have since sold as I reduced my instrument collection. I couldn’t believe how sweetly is played. I even took pictures to get it featured in the Sax on the Web calendar done by our own SaxPics aka Pete Hales.
Just for fun, here’s a lovely article written in the late ‘20s when this instrument was first introduced.
Click on the picture for a larger version.