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  • 1937 SELMER Balanced Action Tenor Saxophone, silver-plated, Cottage engraving, 22xxx

    Ordinarily, “No commentary” would suffice for this description, since at the moment I’m pretty much wordless, although words to express what I’ve just experienced are spiraling their way to the surface!

    This Balanced Action from the workshop in Mantes la Ville near Paris belongs to the early models of this series that was launched officially at the start of 1936. The Swing era is in full throb and the Ellington and Basie big bands are making their rounds through America’s ballroom circuit featuring tenor greats Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster and Lester Young as draught horses, just to name a few.

    The best up front: This Sax is in the true sense of the word “Balanced.” Its sound is from top to bottom balanced. Had Hawkins played this Horn, who knows? he might have been happy as a lark since its powerful tone is voluminous in the lower register, strong in expression and with untarnished clarity of communication. On the way up, it maintains its novel properties by remaining wonderfully balanced and precise, i.e., it stays on track and in line, and this makes it a great joy to play.

    Now to the fantastic optics, that is to say, the gravure on the bell has been polished to a sparkle, the body, on the other hand, kept matt, thereby lending the Horn its unique appearance – a designing device employed more often than not that has all but become a distinguishing feature.

    The mechanics are fluid and so fast-moving that rapid and modern playing is no problem at all.

    And then, after playing the Horn for a long time, I discover a versatility in its sound behavior, for appearing in my mind’s eye is Jim Pepper, the early deceased Tenor Saxophonist who also happened to play a silver Horn. Hawkins and Pepper? For sure, the comparison is a stretch, but it serves as poignant proof of the versatility residing in this Saxophone.

    Ending on a good note, it need only be said that this early Balanced Action is characterized by exemplary balance, multilayered sonoric textures, fast-moving mechanics and is suited for players who, apart from the described features, are out to expand the horizons of their playing.



    Tenor Saxophone






    Balanced Action (BA)


    silver plated


    Out of stock