Alphonse Mouzon was a jazz fusion drumming legend. He was an influence to many famed musicians such as Questlove of The Roots, and John Bonham of Led Zeppelin. In addition to touring and making about 20 albums as a solo artist, Alphonse was a founding member of Weather Report, and he recorded and toured with an extensive list of some of the biggest names in music. Alphonse passed on an impressive collection of vintage instruments and gear to his family, and they have decided to sell much of it through Astound Sound.
This Vako Orchestron is an incredibly unique and rare piece of history. It is estimated that Vako only ever manufactured 70-100 Orchestrons and much less than that exist today. In addition to the rarity of this instrument, it was owned by a jazz music legend and he played it on tracks such as "Behind Your Mind" by Alphonse Mouzon, and "Cosmoba Place" by Alphonso Johnson.
Here is a list of other music by some various musicians that feature Orchestron (not this one). This info was found on wikipedia:
- Kraftwerk's Florian Schneider bought an Orchestron Model A during their Autobahn tour in the United States in 1975. On the unofficial live album Concert Classics, recorded during their 1975 tour, the instrument can be heard. Ralf Hütter played the instrument on the Kraftwerk albums Radio-Activity (1975), Trans-Europe Express (1977) and The Man-Machine (1978).
- Patrick Moraz had a special version Model X (1975) of the Orchestron built for him, with three manuals. He used a prototype of it during the recording of Yes' Relayer (1974) album. Moraz also had an Orchestron Model B which he used on his The Story of I (1976) album. His Model X instrument broke and disappeared after being sent for repair.
- Vincent Gallo played an Orchestron on his When (2001) album released on Warp Records. It can be heard on the track "My Beautiful White Dog". Gallo also owns a working Model A, B, C, D, Double C and Double D as well as the entire VAKO blueprint archives. He purchased his Model Double D directly from David Van Koevering. It was Mr. Van Koeverings personal unit and the last unit built by his company.
- Jethro Tull arranger Dee Palmer played a Vako Orchestron on the group's 1976 album Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young to Die!
- Rainbow keyboard players Tony Carey (1975-1977) and David Stone (1977-1979) used an Orchestron Model B. It can be heard on the song "Stargazer" from the album Rising (1976), and "Lady of the Lake" and "Gates of Babylon" from the album Long Live Rock 'n' Roll (1978). David Stone can be seen playing the instrument in the music video for "Gates of Babylon". Rainbow's 1977 live album On Stage includes the Orchestron on a list of equipment for the band's 1977 tour, although it is not actually heard on the album.
- Foreigner's keyboardist Al Greenwood played an Orchestron on their hit "Cold as Ice" (1977), using the violins sound in the middle vocal break of the song.
Like the Mellotron, the Orchestron experienced a revival or sorts in the early 1990s, and many musicians embraced using the instrument for the first time since the late 1970s. The Orchestron, however, had much less widespread use as there were very few surviving examples. And like the Chamberlin, most Orchestron sounds heard after the year 1999 will be from digital samples and not the actual instrument. Exceptions are from noted Orchestron owners and users.
- Michael Penn features a real Orchestron at the close of his song "Drained" from album Free-for-All (Michael Penn album) (1992).
- Benmont Tench played an Orchestron on Tom Petty's song "A Higher Place" (from the 1994 Wildflowers album).
- Semisonic uses a real Orchestron and the violins sound for their song "In Another Life" from their Great Divide 1996 album.
- AK-Momo uses an Orchestron Model A prominently on their album Return to N.Y (2005). The album was recorded using only Optigans, Orchestrons and Mellotrons. Swedish record producer and progressive rock musician Mattias Olsson has since the late 90s recorded several albums that features the Orchestron and Optigan prominently.
- The Orchestron Model A features in the soundtrack of the 2010 Canadian Film Primordial Ties.
- British band Arctic Monkeys use an Orchestron on a number of songs on their albums AM (2013), and Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino (2018), played by producer James Ford and vocalist Alex Turner.
- Robin Pecknold of American band Fleet Foxes plays an Orchestron on the song "Jara" on the group's 2020 album Shore.
This Orchestron is currently undergoing some service. We have gotten it to work a little bit, but we hope to have it sounding perfect very soon. If you are in a rush to buy it and are willing to take it as-is, feel free to message us. We are listing it now to get interest from potential future buyers, but the price may change once the work is finished.