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James Moody

James Moody Jazz Legend


I met James through Francois Kloc when I worked at Buffet setting up the Buffet clarinets and Keilworth saxophones. James was a Keilworth artist, so when he would drop by I would check his sax…

He came to several times after I left Buffet and the last time he came in was just great.  I worked on his sax and he started playing and showing me things he had learned that week. “Check out this pattern, look at how many way you can change it around” he would say then play them for me… it was great that a man who could just live on his reputation and just play his old stuff still wanted to learn new things.  He was always one of my favorite players since my sister played me “Last Train from Overbrook”.

James had a special Cologne someone in New York made just for him and if he liked you he would put a little on you and tell you how good you smelled.  He was an inspiration to me as a man besides being the great player.

He will always be remembered.

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Clarinet Reg Key Cork

Clarinet Reg Key Cork: The clarinet register key cork need to be thin.  I see many clarinets with a thick cork under the key. What that does is makes it hard to slide to the register key. The thinner the cork, the lower the key can be set and the easier to slide to the key when playing…
Clarinet Register Key Cork

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Original Sax Pads

Original Sax Pads… I just took these white pads form a very old C-Melody saxophone.  As you can see compared to a modern pad they lacked a little something.
No heavy paper backing.  The glue just went straight to the felt.
No tone booster. Just a little thread in the center of the pad to hold it up. Modern pads have some sort of tone booster to hole them up in the pad cup.
Very little clue.  You can see there is very little glue on the pads.  The glue helps hold the seat of the pad.
Original Saxophone Pads white leather


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Fixing other repairman’s work

Fixing other repairman’s work…

I have had a rash of players having some other repairman overhaul their instruments and then bring them to me to make play right.  They pay the other guy a lot of money and want me to make it work for little to nothing.  As of today if I need to straighten out some other repairman’s overhaul .. it will be at my overhaul price.

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Players are different.

I use to love it when a new client would come into the shop and before he even introduced himself I would hear “I go to the best repairman in the world in New York” my response was… “so go to him”.  Not the way to get the repairman you are talking and want to repair your saxophone on your side. They really should have kept that stuff to themselves.

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Rod & Pivot Screw Storage

Rod & Pivot Screw Storage while doing an overhaul.  While you are doing an overhaul it is important to be able to put the rod or pivot screw back in the same place it came out.  There are several reasons for this: On an older instrument other repairmen have likely worked on them so they might changed the way the screw or rod fits the post.  Even new instruments that have a lot of hand work in putting them together makes a difference.  Just because it is a Selmer Mark VI pivot screw it does not mean it will fit every post on the saxophone.

Many repairmen use boards to put the rods and pivot screw in while doing the overhaul.. These boards can be knocked over spilling everything.  I make boxes to put every screw and rod in, they can sit for a long time and if it gets knocked over the screws will be in the same place.

I make labels, you can call the key anything you like I do…. I use a big box with 24 compartments so there are enough for all the thinks I need and so my big fat hand cam go inside an take the pivot screw out… very important!

This box is for clarinet and has enough compartments to do a Full Boehm clarinet or a Leblanc that has 2 more Rods.

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Low C Key Bounce

Low C Key Bounce:
On many saxophones the G-Sharp and Low C keys tend to bounce.  The reason for this many times is the spring placement. The spring is right near the rod of the key and this allows the key to bounce unless it has a lot of tension on the spring. Not enjoyable to play with this tension.
This photo shows the traditional placement for the Low C spring.

By making a slight grove further out on the key the bounce can be made less and still have a spring tension that is usable. It does not weaken the key and allows the response time of the Low C key to be improved. I also used a stainless steel spring to help with the bounce because they tend to bounce less.
This photo shows the spring placement.

Very easy fix……

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Long Neck Cork


Repair Tip

As repairmen we always want to do things right. However, we are sometimes limited in what we can do by the guys that worked on the instrument before you.

The neck cork on this Selmer Mark VI tenor is way too long.  But since the guys in front of me that put the extra-long cork on the neck, I must do the same thing.

When he glued the cork on he also roughed up the neck under the cork. So not to show the bad neck scratches I had to put on a long cork.

Sometimes the guys in front of you might make different decisions on how things must work and then many times you are stuck with his decision.  Even if you don’t agree with that decision.