27,xxx 1938 Selmer Jimmy Dorsey Series II Alto Saxophone, Video
1938 Selmer Jimmy Dorsey alto saxophone, s/n 27444. Here's an ultra rare Selmer Jimmy Dorsey model saxophone. Most estimates indicate that Selmer made fewer than 100 altos and tenors of this design. Given the horn's age, vastly fewer than 100 still exist today. This saxophone is just three numbers away from Jimmy Dorsey's personal saxophone, which is 27447.
A couple years after Selmer began making the Balanced Action model, a very limited run of saxophones was produced with the body tube of a Balanced Action and the bell and bow of a Radio Improved model. The most noticeable difference is that the bell keys are on the opposite side. This is a Series II Dorsey version, which has desirable stamped metal key guards.
Although the origin of these saxophones is somewhat murky, they are known as the Jimmy Dorsey model. Jimmy Dorsey requested saxophones for his band with the bell keys on the left.
This model has been coveted by professional saxophonists since its inception for having extraordinary playing characteristics. The sound is absolutely gorgeous and centered, with more heft and presence than the earlier Radio Improved model. The response is focused and even from top to bottom.
This sax has been regularly maintained and the pads are still in great condition. Although the sax does not have its original finish, the patina suggests that the lacquer is decades old. The engraving is still quite visible and striking. The sax comes in a 1960's Mark VI case which is a good fit for the horn.