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LEBLANC, "THE BIG EASY", PETE FOUNTAIN Bb CLARINET, £1395.

This is a Pete Fountain, Leblanc, Jazz clarinet: The "Big Easy". Pete is probably the best-known clarinettist in popular music. As the King of Dixieland he lent his name for over 30 years to the Leblanc France 1611 model, with a 15.00mm bore, that puts Pete's distinctive "fat" sound within the reach of other players! Sadly Leblanc no longer manufacture: This example is a rare chance to own an excellent condition Big Easy. It has come to Clarinets Direct as a commission sale from the estate of a keen amateur player, who mostly played jazz.
This clarinet is in excellent condition. The wood throughout is pristine, and the Silver plate is in superb condition. Indeed the excellent quality of this Silver plate is in stark contrast to some more modern Leblanc clarinets. The pads are all used fishskin, but only gently used, they have many months of life left in them. The matching serial numbers are 26869 which probably dates to the late 1960s. Leblanc serial numbers lists were lost in a factory fire, and online lists are unreliable. It is a "top of the range" Leblanc, the specification includes: Offset trill keys, balanced key action, separate post mounted, C#/G# keys and Ab/Eb keys. Also tapered tone holes and a cylindrical upper joint. All pieces are matching and original. The m'piece is a heavily used Vandoren 5JB, and the case is the original in very good condition. As the nickname says: This instrument is a delight to play, superbly engineered, and excellently in tune.