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What did John Dankworth play?


Hiya all...just watching late night TV and accidentally caught an hour of The great Sir John at the BBC. In my earlier posts yiu might've seen that I recommended his 'Sax from the start' as the best tuition clear and motivational. I guess that was my inspiration to play when I'd actually bought a sax.

Question......... does anyone know what particular alto he generally played, cos I am loving the sound. As the recordings I'm listening to are from 1962 I'm about in the earlier part of his career. There's a later 80s film on now but the sound is slightly different.
Any info much appreciated
Can I pinch or share someones tagline i have just read somewhere? And change it slightly

'life sucks then you blow'


Formerly known as "nachoman"
brighton by the sea
i know he always uses lawton mpcs, if that's any use


Well-Known Member
Café Supporter
Surrey, UK
There is an article about his life by John Dankworth in the winter 2004 issue of "Clarinet & Saxophone", the magazine for members of the Clarinet and Saxophone Society of Great Britain (CASS). John Dankworth was then CASS's Joint President (which might or might not have jazz lifestyle connotations :))) ).

He mentions having a Conn alto with underslung mechanism and how it was borrowed for a gig by Charlie Parker at the Paris Jazz festival in 1949.

Then John Dankworth reminisces about his involvement with the Grafton plastic alto in the 50s, when he was a paid endorser and featured in the marketing material. He also says:

".... the Grafton was marketed by a company representing Buffet, and when they saw my enthusiasm for the Grafton waning (although I performed and recorded with it a lot for a while) they quickly nabbed me to endorse Buffet ! Every man has his price, and the mouth-watering temptation of a pair of brand new Buffet clarinets dangling before my eyes caused me to accept the challenge of being one of the few players of the era (or so it seemed) who didn't play Selmer. So add the Buffet alto and soprano saxes from that relationship and you will quickly understand why all their instruments have been my fellow travellers for just on 60 years of sax playing all over the world. In fact so long have I been monogamously faithful to my Buffet sax connection (apart form a very occasional flirtation!) that I could be accused of not knowing what I've been missing. That may well be so, but if I maintain my sax celibacy I'll never find out. ...... Oh, and I also play a C melody sax, made in 1921 by Hawkes and Son."

Jules is right, Dankworth played a metal Lawton for years and years.

Best regards

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