Back in the early 1920's, Vaudeville shows were the hot ticket. Saxophone virtuosos Rudy Weideoft and Adrian Rollini, along with famous saxophone ensembles such as the 6 Brown Brothers and the Schuester Sisters, were achieving great success and notoriety. The saxophone was the most well liked instrument and a popular choice for young, aspiring music students to play in school band. Then, in the late 20's, Vaudeville, and, ultimately, the saxophone fell out of favor. With the decline in saxophone sales, manufacturers such as Conn, Buescher, King, and Selmer were forced to come up with creative new designs to stimulate renewed interest in the saxophone. What they conjured up was quite extraordinary.
“Saxophobia” offers a rare and unique glimpse at some of the most unusual saxophones ever manufactured. Set in a jazz combo format with piano, bass, and drums, this CD revisits some of the classic melodies associated with the saxophone and honors a few sax players who contributed to the development of America’s indigenous art form. The disc features a Dolnet curved sopranino, a six and one half foot Buffet contrabass sax, and virtually everything in between including a King C Melody, Connosax, Mellosax curved slide sax, Buescher straight alto, Keilwerth straight tenor, Buescher tipped bell soprano, Buescher True Tone curved soprano, Grafton plastic alto, Selmer Mark VI alto, tenor, and baritone, and Conn bass sax.
The “Saxophobia” jacket includes 10 pages of liner notes offering some information on each saxophone used, photos, and old advertisements by instrument manufacturers. This 56 minute CD was professionally recorded on 4/25/07 at Umbrella Media Studios in Chatsworth, CA with Andy Waterman, engineer. Joining Rob Verdi on sax is Curtis Brengle on piano, Bruce Lett on bass, and Paul Johnson on drums.