| Introduction |
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(pictured: Just Saxes Crescent Soprano with curved neck)
I was first introduced to a new era in saxophone manufacturing by the Bauhaus Walstein (UK) company, when a friend made an introduction between the company and Just Saxes. After first encountering them myself, and playing and getting a feel for them, it was obvious even prior to actually selling any that — as the first truly high quality saxophones from mainland China in terms of performance and durability — they marked a new era for the saxophone market. I have been extremely happy with my own service from the Bauhaus Walstein brand, as my customers have been, and that relationship led me to sample and research available factory options for an instrument maker with whom I could work to offer an in-house brand of a quality and value that would enhance rather than diminish Just Saxes’ established reputation as a boutique custom and vintage saxophone outlet.
This led me to make inquiries and send for test samples from a number of manufacturers in mainland China. I have found a maker who will make saxophones to my specifications that play incredibly well (I have already received, played, and taken apart samples), and that I can stand behind with my company name. If there is a manufacturer making better saxophones in China, I don’t think it has been discovered on the market yet. These are great saxophones at previously unimaginably affordable prices, and I have asked for them to be made with certain materials — and not with certain materials — in order to address some of the issues that have come up from time to time for saxophone shoppers in the past, not just in terms of saxophones made in PRC but throughout the manufacturing history of saxophones.
Performance-wise, the Crescent leans toward vintage-American in its concept, both tonally and in terms of how its scale is balanced. Intonationally, it’s modern and accurate. Ergonomically, it’s as slick and comfortable as anything out there, and I make sure that every saxophone that goes out the door leaves with balanced spring tension, feeling nice and even under the fingers. The standout quality of the Crescent (this is true of Bauhaus Walstein as well), is its exceptional altissimo response. If you play “abovet the rim,” you’ll notice immediately when you pick up a Crescent that the altissimo pops with unusual ease; it will probably have the most ready altissimo response of any saxophone you’ve ever played.
I am sure that the Crescent can compete with anything on the market, today, and response from customers confirms it, as have reviews from professional players. Crescent owners include Jazz at Lincoln Center alumni, New Orleans rock & roll saxophone legends and saxophone students of all ages and abilities alike. Dollar for dollar I doubt very much there is a better purchase value available anywhere.