John Packer Blog

Welcome to the John Packer blog. Here we’ll keep you updated on all the latest happenings at John Packer Ltd, all the latest music news, musical instruments and competitions.

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Win a JP245 alto saxophone

by Administrator 24. October 2012 09:03

JP245 alto saxophone

JAZZWISE Magazine has joined forces with JP Musical Instruments, to bring musicians the chance of winning a fantastic JP245 alto saxophone which featured in the Jazzwise Instrument Review section of the May issue.

The JP245, which sells for £763, is a beautifully finished instrument in yellow brass with some tasteful floral engraving that not only adorns the bell, but also the body. Qualiy is the keyword, with blue springs, solid screws, metal reflectors and calf pads. In the playability stakes Jazzwise gave it the thumbs, describing it as being a free and easy blower with crisp keywork, clear altissimo and a full-bodied, well defined lower register. Jazzwise were also mightily impressed by its extraordinary dynamic range. 'This is some sax!', they said. Road ready, it comes in a lightweight, denier covered semi-solid, plush lined zippered case.

How to win!

To win this great instrument, just answer the following question. Who played the alto saxophone on the Dave Brubeck Quartet's Time Out album? What it: Bud Shank, Art Pepper, or Paul Desmond.

Send the answer together with your name and address and an email contact to Alto Sax Competition, Jazzwise magazine, Streatham Business Centre, 1 Empire Mews, Stanthorpe Road, London SW16 2BF or email your answer to and market the subject line 'alto sax competition'.

The first correct answer out of the hat wins the saxophone. Strictly one entry per person. Multiple entries will be disqualified.

To see the saxophone in action, click here to see a video...


JP245 Continues to Push Boundaries says New Review

by Administrator 1. October 2012 13:39

Our JP245 alto saxophone has just received its second rave review, this time from CASS magazine!

The following review went to press in the Autumn edition of CASS 2012. Review by William Upton

"Saxophones such as John Packer’s middle of the range JP245 alto are pushing the likes of Selmer, Yamaha and Yanigasawa to justify the extra expense at the top end of the market.

From the moment one picks up the JP245 it is clear that it is a quality instrument, banishing the expectation previously endemic among lower budget saxophones of lazily designed key work. The bottom left hand cluster is fluid and light and the palm keys and top F spatula are in the right places for navigating this awkward area of the instrument. The transition from the standard range to the altissimo is smooth and the extended register is a pleasure to play. Indeed, the entire range of the horn is well balanced and, saxophone snobbery aside, should not make you feel out of place in any style of music. The use of blue steel springs, Italian leather pads and metal resonators indicate a high attention to detail. The mother of pearl inlays and tastefully minimal engraving on the bell and upper body add a touch of sophistication. Most importantly, the tuning on these instruments is good, excepting the usual saxophonic minefield at the bottom of the range where they have clearly made an effort to correct the ubiquitous sharp low Bb. The zippered case is compact and light with a large front pocket, a well thought out backpack facility and a shoulder strap.

The availability of reliable information on saxophone construction means that customers are more knowledgeable, demanding more from manufacturers, and the only major element separating this horn from those at the top of the range is malleability of timbre; the sound is thick and rich but lacking in pliancy – not a bad starting point for anyone looking to upgrade their instrument. Perhaps its highest endorsement is that professional players have been happy to take these instruments on tour in preference to submitting their precious Mark VIs to the rigours of the road. Packers have also lent me a Soprano which shows similar qualities and would be a good buy for the discerning player who is not bothered by brand snobbery. With their regular attendance at Trade Fairs and their lovely shop in Somerset this company are certainly committed to the British sax and clarinet scene."

To see a video of the JP245 in action, to read more about it, or purchase, click here!

PHOTO: The JP245 alto saxophone.

Four New Saxes Raise The JP Bar

by Administrator 23. January 2012 14:59

JP Rosestone alto saxophone

OVER our years of saxophone production we've seen just how many budding musicians have started on our JP041s who are now happily advancing onto more advanced saxes. We're always looking at ways we can improve our instruments and uncover new musical areas. We like to feel that we are part of a musican's life from the tentative B-A-G, to a much higher level of musicianship. Understanding our players has helped us understand our instruments; what players want from the instruments and - just as importantly - how much they want to spend.

As a woodwind musician, John Packer has taken a personal interest in bringing a new class of instruments into the market. The 2 series offer a level of performance that would normally only be found in 'step up' or middle range instruments, yet still priced to fit into the student market. Despite their modest price, the 2-series instruments have a performace capability which has impressed a number of well known professional players in the UK who now use them in their day to day work at the highest level.

2012 sees four new saxophones onto the scene, each a perfect specimen for the advancing player heading to the upper grades.

The JP243 Soprano saxophone and JP245 Alto saxophone are both all new designs. Specific features include the following:

•    High grade 80:20 brass   
•    Underslung 8ve mechanism           
•    Floating plate design for little finger (LH) cluster   
•    Full ribbed construction               
•    ‘Abalone’ pearls                   
•    Italian leather pads               
•    Blue steel springs               
•    Double spine on B & C               
•    Resonator pads                   
•    Adjustable thumb rest               
•    Adjustable back stops               
•    G#/Bb & F/F# independent adjustment       
•    Lyre box                   
•    Mechanism includes: High F#, Front F, High G (on soprano model only

The JP243 soprano saxophone also features a straight neck.

The glorious new Rosestone saxophones (alto pictured left) are an even higher example of JP manufacturing. The alto (£1495) and tenor saxophone models are designed to slot comfortably into the upper student/semi-professional performance area.

This instrument exhibits a very high standard of workmanship and a matching level of excitement for the player. It looks gorgeous in its gold lacquer finish and is capable of both great power and subtlety. It also has a superb tuning scale. This is a multi-faceted instrument and is ready to support players in whatever musical environment they find themselves

The comprehensive package includes Selmer C* mouthpiece, Rovner (Dark) ligature and essential cleaning materials all in a high quality lightweight case.


Tony Coe purchases an JP045S Saxophone

by Administrator 6. February 2008 16:28

Another renowed session player and recording artist has been converted to the John Packer Range!

The JP range of woodwind instruments have become increasingly popular not only in the education / student market but these very same instruments are making their mark in the professional one too.

We are proud to boast that these professionals include John Franchi, Pete Long, Dai Pritchard and Jamie Talbot, who between them play on around six different JP woodwind instruments. The most recent addition to this list is Tony Coe. So who is Tony Coe?

Tony is one of the greatest (if not the greatest) saxophonists of all time. He began his performing career playing with Humphrey Lyttelton's band and in 1965. Count Basie offered him a place in the Basie Band sax section. He has since played with the John Dankworth Orchestra, Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Band, Derek Bailey's Company, Stan Tracey, Mike Gibbs, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gilespie, Bob Brookmeyer and performed under Pierre Boulez as well as leading a series of groups of his own including Coe Oxley & Co. He has also worked with Matrix, a small ensemble formed by clarinettist Alan Hacker, with a wide-ranging repertoire of early, classical and contemporary music. Coe's extensive experience in recording is heard on such films as Superman II and Victor Victoria, and he is the featured tenor sax soloist in Henry Mancini's music for the Pink Panther films.

We recently heard that Jamie Talbot was going to recommend that Tony try one of our saxophones. It turns out that Tony loves it so much he has hung up his Selmer Mark VI for the last time and is now using our very own JP045S Alto Saxophone.

As is common practise, the players mentioned use their own choice of mouthpiece, reed and ligature.

Click here to buy