It is quite rare, has possibly the cheesiest name of any instrument, and is an unholy hybrid of trumpet and alto saxophone, but can produce a remarkably vibrant and unusual sound. The jazzophone is thought to have been invented in 1920, is made up of trumpet mouthpiece and valves, but a double head of saxophone-type bells to transit sound. One bell is left open, while the other has a harmon mute more usually associated with a trumpet, opened and closed by stem on a trigger like the valves on saxophone. When employed it produces a wah-wah type effect.
A humorous song from 1929 by The Bubbling-Over Five Band – Get Up Off That Jazzophone – features the instrument but also captures a love/hate relationship with its appearance and sound:
Hey man please get up off that jazzophone,
Why don't you let those haunting melodies alone?
When you start those weird strains you do something to my brain.
The jazzophone can still appear in liver performances today. Here’s New York jazz trumperter Scott Robinson playing a smaller version on an aptly named number:
Something of a collector’s item, it can crop up in all sorts of places. Here’s the acclaimed Cuban-American jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval showing off his recently acquired jazzophone in Hungary, although his only appears to a single sax horn:
The jazzophone seems to have appeared in different forms and a strange hybrid, including a version with kazoo body, owned by the collector "Captain Kazoo", but it’s not one for which there is any footage. But lastly, here’s another somewhat eccentric hybrid, in the form of this tuba/sax monster:
Fancy blowing out the cobwebs of your knowledge and music collectiion with any other traces of the jazzophone? Do any other types or images come to mind? Feel free to share other examples in songs, instrumentals, on albums, or other contexts in comments below. You can also get in touch the contact page, and also visit us on social media: Song Bar Twitter, Song Bar Facebook. Song Bar YouTube. and Song Bar Instagram. Please subscribe, follow and share.
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