The craftsman's corner highlights artisans, craftspeople and inventors who make the world of the saxophone better.
True craftsmanship seldom comes from a singular focus but rather from one’s overall attitude towards life. There is no trade school that can teach passion, and technical manuals typically omit chapters on developing one’s intuition. Passion is at the heart of everything Kim Bock does. It was what drew the Dane to study saxophone in the United States, and it was his intuition that brought him to open one of the most recognized saxophone shops on the East Coast. But it is his dedication to the saxophone that prompted him to craft some of the most sought-after saxophone necks on the market. So it is fitting that the first person featured in our new segment, The Craftsman’s Corner, be saxophonist, repairman, creator, Kim Bock.
Kim Bock began performing professionally in the late 1980s in his native Denmark and moved to Boston in 1994 to study at the famed Berklee School of Music. He studied with some of the finest names in jazz, including Jerry Bergonzi, George Garzone, Billy Pierce, and Rich Perry. He would later obtain his master's degree from the University of South Florida and move to New York in 2000. Along the way, he would perform with some of the most recognized names in music, including a stint as the lead tenor player with Maynard Ferguson. Bock was very active as a player, most notably with his organ trio FLOW (with Soren Moller, organ and Peter Retzlaff, drums) until 2013 when the success of his shop and the coming neck line demanded his full attention. It is his background as a player that would serve as a base of trust when he opened his saxophone shop, KB Sax, in 2010.
KB Sax Shop
Bock has always been interested in mechanics. He developed a curiosity with repair at an early age and over time has done in-depth repair study, most notably with Randy Jones at Tenor Madness in Waterloo, Iowa. Beyond his work with the saxophone, he is an avid motorcyclist who specializes in riding and building classic bikes. It is his perfectionism as a technician that has allowed him to develop a world-renowned clientele with such saxophonists as Ravi Coltrane, Seamus Blake, Ben Wendel, Donny McCaslin, John Ellis, Steve Coleman, Wayne Shorter, and Joe Lovano, all who entrust their prized instruments with the Dane. As the shop grew, it moved beyond repair to become one of the centers for the sale of vintage saxophones and equipment.
KB Saxophone Necks
It was the depth of his clientele that served as the testing ground for the creation of his KB Saxophone Necks. Started in 2014, it would take two years of research, development, and extensive testing before they would be released to the public in 2016. It was through his extensive work with vintage saxophones served as both the base and impetus for his creations. Today he offers two models of tenor saxophone necks in a variety of metals to help the saxophonist craft their tonal concept. His latest model, the hand hammered bronze Vanguard, is already being met with tremendous enthusiasm.
John Lennon wrote, “Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.” Such is the case with Kim Bock. In 2014 he welcomed his daughter into the world, and with this addition to his family comes an awareness of priority. Nevertheless, Bock is not resting on his accomplishments. 2019 will bring the development of a new line of alto saxophone necks and with it a whole new level of bespoke offerings for the saxophonist.