As a virtuoso saxophonist, Dr Paul Cohen has mastered composers ranging from Debussy all the way to John Williams. In fact, his collection of instruments in the saxophone family is indeed envy-worthy, as it shows the evolution of his beloved jazz horn. A video has documented his meeting with the United States Army Field Band, when he gracefully allowed them to try out everything on hand.
There were some artifacts, that are really exciting and should be featured more extensively. We made up a short list of those:
1) The Slide Saxophone, which resembles a trumpet and was produced in the early 20th century – 1920s to be exact.
2) The Conn-o-Sax, from the same age – 1928, which plays only in the key of F and has a strange hacklephone-like form and can range from low A to high G. It wasn’t very popular back in the day, for one reason or another, and it’s a pity, because it really sounds like an English Horn!
3) The Two Backs – imagine a contrabass saxophone, with a lower baritone range and very easy to master. It may look very hard to wield, but it’s actually a very recent invention, coming to us all the way from Germany.
4) The Grandaddy of all saxophones – 6’6” tall – is tuned in E flat and comes again with a lower baritone range. It was used in the military, back in it’s time, as a marching band instrument. Having in mind it’s size, it was indeed impractical, but it’s sound… simply florr-rattling.
And if you wonder about Dr Cohen’s personal favorite in all his sanctuary of saxophones – that would be a curbed king soprano, which in his words, produces a “terrific sound”.