The making of our new tenor saxophone

Something’s cooking in the Amsterdam Winds laboratory. Years of obsessive tinkering, design work, building, testing, failing, re-trying and re-making has led to a tenor saxophone ready for the main stage.
We have been building our own tenor now for three years. Thereby trying to combine our proven mechanical innovations with the characteristics of the best instruments of the past, in order to produce a truly professional instrument that adheres to the highest standards in terms of tuning, resistance and intonation.

I just used Friso’s tenor saxophone prototype for an entire 90 minutes outdoor festival gig, and it ‘passed the test' with flying colors! I never once felt the need (or even the inclination) to reach for my beloved, trusted Super Balanced Action. Friso’s horn was a joy to play: powerful, expressive and expansive, yet at the same time focused, balanced and grounded, with remarkable consistency of sound and intonation from bottom to top. I believe Friso is making a world-class instrument, with an exceptionally bright future.

Joshua RedmanJuly, 2019

I’ve known Friso for quite some time, he’s a meticulous craftsman and is always striving for excellence beyond what he’s already achieved. This commitment to quality is reflected in his tenor, it’s a beautiful instrument, very free-blowing, rich-sounding, and crafted with great care from bottom to top, check it out!

Chris Potter2017

My friend Friso Heidinga has always been the guy to go to when you are in Amsterdam and need work done on your horn. But he has taken it to the next level by creating his own saxophone. On a recent gig at the Jazz Keller in Frankfurt, fellow tenor man Tony Lakatos played Friso's horn and sounded as great as he always does on his vintage Selmer Mark VI. After the concert I tried it and was thoroughly impressed. It played, responded and sounded like a vintage instrument. And what's more promising is that its still a prototype. He continues to make adjustments and improvements. I look forward to playing the finished product. It promises to me a welcome addition to saxophone world.

Rick Margitza2017

Joshua Redman

The cooperation between Joshua and Friso started in late 2016 when Josh visited the Amsterdam Winds studio to try out Friso’s very first tenor saxophone prototype. Although Josh really liked the sax, he did make several critical observations. Friso then worked until late in the evening to adjust the instrument to his wishes. The next day Josh tried the instrument during the sound check of his concert he was to play that evening with Brad Mehldau, and to his complete surprise saw that his recommendations had already been partially adapted to the instrument.
Joshua Redman plays the Amsterdam Winds tenor at North Sea Jazz 2018
Joshua and Friso then started an extended collaboration in which Joshua tested every improvement to the prototype while Friso continued to learn and develop the instrument. The reference point was always Joshua’s own vintage Selmer Super Balanced Action, the very best sax from his personal collection that he has played exclusively for the past 10 years. After having played various stages of our prototype numerous times over the years – of which five times live in concert – Josh concluded last July that our prototype now has reached a state that it ‘passed the test with flying colors’ and that he ‘never once felt the need (or even the inclination) to reach for his beloved, trusted Super Balanced Action’. In his words our tenor saxophone is now ‘definitely ready’.
www.joshuaredman.com

Fantastic voyage

During the three year testing process the prototype has made a small European tour already. We traveled to Switzerland, Germany, England and Belgium visiting of course Joshua Redman, but also Chris Potter, Branford Marsalis, Chris Cheek, Rick Margitza and Tony Lakatos giving them the opportunity to play the prototype in its various stages. Over here at home in Amsterdam the prototype was extensively tested by Ben van den Dungen, Yuri Honing and Simon Rigter. Adjustments to the design were made in many different steps until the instrument was able to handle itself beautifully in the hands of some of the best artists around today.

Free Wind Tenor Saxophone — 2019 Model

We recently finished building our first prototypes and now we have started taking orders for the instrument. Please contact us for more information, options and delivery time.

Request quote

Nice to know:

Free Wind Saxophones are our core product. Unlike many others who might run a saxophone shop, trading, selling and repairing all sorts of instruments in many different ranges while selling their own labeled line of instruments, our only goal is to deliver the best handmade saxophones possible.

Free Wind Sound – Tenor

Play testing of the prototype by word-class players 2017-2019

An overview: testing by world-class players 2017-2019

Joshua Redman
Palatia Jazz, July 2019

Joshua Redman
Ronnie Scott’s, Nov 2017

Chris Potter
Bimhuis, 2017

Branford Marsalis
Jazz am See, July 2017

Joshua Redman
Mainz, May 2017

Branford Marsalis
Our shop, July 2017

Tony Lakatos
Frankfurt, May 2017

Dick Oatts
2017

Joshua Redman playing the Amsterdam Winds tenorArtistsFree Wind TenorJazzNews
19/07/2019

Joshua Redman: Friso’s tenor saxophone prototype ‘passed the test with flying colors!’

After having spent three years of hard work, testing, development and making, we are now very proud and relieved to announce that our tenor sax prototype - in Joshua Redman's…
Joshua Redman playing the Amsterdam Winds tenor saxophone in LondonArtistsFree Wind TenorJazzNews
10/11/2017

Joshua Redman plays our tenor at Ronnie Scott’s

Almost a year ago Friso met Joshua for the first time to show our new tenor saxophone prototype. After this, Joshua and Friso started an extended collaboration in which Joshua…
Will Vinson Amsterdam Winds tenor saxophoneArtistsFree Wind TenorJazzNews
22/08/2017

Will Vinson comes by to pick up his new Amsterdam Free Wind tenor sax prototype

Many players sound either great on alto- or on tenor saxophone. Will sounds great on both! We look forward very much to hearing him play this brand new Amsterdam Winds…