In 2005, Selmer Paris debuted a special "bird" series of saxophones, to commemorate the life of Charlie Parker (2005 being the 50th annivesary of his death). A total of 5 series were produced over 7 years, each with unique engraving. Within each series, there was a "standard" model and a "limited edition" model, with the limited often having more detailed engraving, and unique included accessories, and sometimes a special case as well.
Coming first in 2005, the Hummingbird series was available as a Reference 54 alto sax. The standard and limited models both featured honey gold lacquer (similar to the traditional tenor Reference 36 color). Approximately 300 of the standard were made for the USA market, and only about 70 of the limited model.
The second series was the Kookaburra, coming in 2006. This one again started with a Reference 54 alto, in standard and limited, as well as a new Reference 54 tenor sax. The standard alto had the same honey gold lacquer as the previous Hummingbird series, but the limited edition had the darker lacquer normally seen on the Reference altos. The tenor was limited edition only, with the honey gold lacquer. For the USA, approximately 330 standard altos, 90 limited altos, and 50 limited tenors were made.
The Flamingo series came next in 2007. Once again available as a Reference 54 for alto, the tenor this time was a Reference 36. This series came without high F# on all models. Both standard and limited altos were in the dark Reference 54 lacquer, and the limited only tenor was in a gold lacquer. The limited edition models also featured black pearl key touches. For numbers, there were about 110 of the standard altos, 30 limited altos, and 40 limited tenors made for the USA.
After a small break, the Firebird series was introduced in late 2008 to carry over into 2009. For the first time, the standard series was truly standard, with no set limit on production, and more models were available. The standard alto was available in either a Series II or Series III, with honey gold lacquer and black pearl key touches. The limited Reference 54 alto sax came in the dark Reference lacquer, with black pearls, and was available with or without high F#. Only about 250 of these were made in Paris. The sole tenor in the lineup was a limited edition Reference 54, also in honey gold lacquer and black pearls, with no high F#. Only about 150 of these were manufactured.
The final model in the Bird series was the Dragonbird, debuting in 2011. Lots of options here, with a standard Series III alto and tenor, and a limited edition Series III soprano and Reference 54 alto and tenor. All models were in gold lacquer, with black pearls, and once again all models went to high F# (high G on soprano).[less]
In 2005, Selmer Paris debuted a special "bird" series of saxophones, to commemorate the life of Charlie Parker (2005 being the 50th annivesary of his death). A total of 5 series were produced over 7 years, each with unique engraving. Within each series, there was a "standard" model and a "limited... [more]
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