This is a very special soprano that I found after a long search. I wanted a horn like the one played by the great Jan Garbarek, the one he played on his earliest recordings on ECM.
Jan’s horn was the rather rare Santoni soprano, and even Jan said he’d never seen another other than his, the first soprano he ever owned. When I started looking, I examined every photo I could find of Jan’s horn and I noted all the keywork and design elements. I concluded his Santoni was related, in some way, to early Borgani horns. So I started to look for something early that might be a match. I bought 3 different Borgani curved sopranos from the 1960s and 1970s. It was the earliest one that was the match.
The other Borgani curved sopranos I played from the 60s and 70s were good horns but they didn’t have that special voice, so identifiable in Jan’s playing. But the earliest one did have that sound, and this is it.
It is in very good shape, completely repadded (plastic resonators) last year. Some of the palm keys and the thumb hook have been raised with some kind of rubber/plastic material, so the ergonomics are improved. I left them as is because they worked just fine for me. Need nothing. It’s completely ready to play.
The pictures tell the story. But the sound you have to hear. Blows away any vintage curvy I’ve ever had, including a few Conn, Buescher and Martins.
I contacted Orfeo Borgani about this horn and the Santoni. He confirmed that this model was the very first curved soprano made by Borgani. And he told me that his father told him that they sold some of them to Santoni as stencils. So, there is the connection.
Comes with a soft gig bag.
Fabulous playing curvy, unlike any other Borgani I’ve ever played. Great intonation. You’ll be thrilled with it if you are after that Garbarek sound.