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Lot 0116

Raphael Ravenscroft's 'Baker Street' vintage Alto Saxophone made by Adolphe Sax
The original saxophone cast by Adolphe Sax in the late 1800s and assembled in 1900. The saxophone is elaborately engraved and has the words Le Grand Prix De La bacture Instruments Medaille D'Or 1900 Adolphe SAX 84. Rue Myrha Paris No. 558 within the design. The instrument was played by Raff Ravenscroft on the legendary, haunting Gerry Rafferty 1976 number one Baker Street.
Raphael Ravenscroft has played saxophone (and sometimes French horn and winds) for artists ranging from Marvin Gaye to Pink Floyd, but he will likely be remembered best for just one song -- Gerry Rafferty's late '70s mega-hit "Baker Street," on which he played what was probably the most well-known saxophone part in an entire decade of popular music. Ironically, his work on that session came about by sheer chance Gerry Rafferty had written "Baker Street" with the long instrumental break in mind, but without a specific instrument to play it, he and producer Hugh Murphy experimented with different sounds before Murphy suggested a sax -- their first choice for the session was, however, Pete Zorn, a British session musician who had played with Andy Bown and other artists. Zorn was no longer playing much sax and suggested a list of other players, and Raphael Ravenscroft's name was distinctive enough to get him the call. Ravenscroft turned the break into a long, moody vignette that just hung there on the radio, and was as responsible as the song's lead guitar part and melody for making it into an international hit, and Rafferty into a star.
Ravenscroft had already appeared on one disco album by Maxine Nightingale, Right Back Where We Started From (1976), as an arranger, but in 1978 he emerged as one of rock's most prominent saxmen, thanks to Rafferty's hit -- if he wasn't as busy as Mel Collins, he was suddenly moving among the top circles of recording artists. In 1979, Ravenscroft signed with Portrait Records to record a solo album, Her Father Didn't Like Me Anyway, which included his versions of songs by Rafferty, Paul McCartney ("Every Night"), and Ian Dury ("Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll"), but his main musical activities and success lay in his work for other artists. He went on to play with Chris Rea, Ian Gomm, Alvin Lee, Pink Floyd, Robert Plant, Marvin Gaye, ABBA, Kim Carnes, Red Rider, Mike Oldfield, Roger Waters, Willie & The Poor Boys, and Phil Collins' Brand X, in addition to two more LPs by Rafferty. In 1990, Ravenscroft also published a successful instruction book, -The Complete Saxophone Player ~ Bruce Eder, All Music Guide

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116: Vintage saxophone used on Baker Street recording

Estimate £4,000 - £5,000Jul 28, 2006