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Sarrusophone Recordings


Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Does anyone have any links to any good sarrusophone recordings?

I've come across a couple on youTube, but they're pretty awful. Like this one where the repair tech is experimenting with mouthpieces. Huh? I don't this video at all. When he does finally get around to using a double reed, the one he uses, what kind is it? Does he know? He certainly doesn't say. Is this what a contrabass sarrusophone actually is supposed to sound like?

Then there's this one of the Devil Mountain Jazz Band. It is a bad recording, so again I'm not sure what the contrabass is supposed to sound like.

I must admit, I've always had a fascination with the strange beasts, and have secretly coveted one for more than 20 years. It would be nice to actually hear what one really should sound like.
Helen: I agree, that recording of Devil Mountain lacked definition for the sarrusophone, but overall, it sounded much like others I've heard . . . low, hollow, and growly (if that's a word).

The tune SNAKE RAG was originally done by King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band in the early 1920's and did not feature a sarrusophone. The tune is a favorite of trad bands today.

One of the best sarrusophone recordings I've ever heard was a mid-1920's recording by Clarence Williams Blue Five featuring Sidney Bechet on sarrusophone. Buster Bailey provided the soprano sax voice on this recording, and Louis Armstrong was the cornetist.

The tune was MANDY, MAKE UP YOUR MIND (you may find it on www.redhotjazz.com, I'm sure). I could probably send you an mp3 file of it if you'd shoot your e-mail to me by PM.

I enjoyed those youtube clips where the guy experimented with the three different mouthpieces, though. It did show a clear contrast among the three pieces. DAVE
Scott Robinson plays sarrusophone on his CD "Thinking Big" and his new CD devoted to the music of Thad Jones. There's only one tune on each CD featuring sarrusophone, but other cuts feature bass saxophone, contrabass saxophone and even more bizarre instuments, all played very well. Here's a link:

I posted a clip on my sarrusophone page ("Goodbye Porkpie Hat", with 4 bass flutes). Or you can check the discography (which, unfortunately, is somewhat out of date).

The horn is a lot of fun to play. If you are seriously hunting, I run a (free) email list to let people know when I've run across one that's available. Just let me know if you'd like to subscribe.



Somewhere I have a recording of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" by a French orchestra, where the contra-bassoon part is being played by one as originally intended (or so I've always been told). It adds a different "feeling" to the piece, and the first time I heard it rip (when I was performing it once up in Saint Louis, along with a bassoon player who had both a sense of humor and a sarrusophone), the rattling, buzzing tone used by the him there completely put me off my parallel solo on the bass clarinet the first time around.

Never heard one outside of that setting, however. One of those horns that has "novelty" effect (like a curved soprano, or a pocket trumpet), but doesn't normally spend too much time outside of the box.
Hi Grant.

Well until I had the chance to give Matt's contra sarrus a honk last summer, I'd coveted one for 20+ years. Then, I tried his alto rothophone. I fell head over heels in love with that little horn. So my sarrusophone seeking days are officially behind me.

Now, if only the markets would stop conspiring against me, it would be worth looking seriously for one...
Having a Rothphone fetish is going to be a hard itch to scratch - not too many of them out there, and even that number is chasing a very limited demand.

Of course, I'm the one who covets an Oehler bass clarinet, so I'm in no position to criticize...
Having a Rothphone fetish is going to be a hard itch to scratch - not too many of them out there, and even that number is chasing a very limited demand.

Of course, I'm the one who covets an Oehler bass clarinet, so I'm in no position to criticize...
From what I hear, a Rothophone is a Sarrusophone in a slightly different shape. Orsi probably could make you either, tho.

My understanding is that Orsi will make just about anything, as long as they have a model for it. I don't recall seeing model rothophones there, nor in their catalog, but that doesn't mean they don't have a few stashed away.

Or, you could commission Benedikt Eppelsheim, who already has an order for an Eb baritone sarrusophone with range to low G (i.e., covering the entire bassoon range). This would probably cost more than an antique, but would certainly play much better. :emoji_relaxed:


I'd love to see it.

However, I've mentioned to him that I want to see some F saxophones. Let's get the Benedikt-O-Sax!
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