Stritch A stritch—an instrument resembling a dented blunderbuss—hung well below his knees and a quasi saxophone called a manzello was usually wrapped around his neck at the ready. A tenor saxophone with a flute conveniently placed in the bell added to the picture.

A stritch (also called a Buescher) is a woodwind instrument that is a variety of saxophone. Specifically, the stritch is an straight (curveless) alto saxophone without the upturned bell. The jazz musician, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, was well known for playing odd varieties of saxophone including the stritch and manzello. He called the stritch by the name, "buescher," after the Buescher Band Instrument Company. The word "Buescher" is now a synonym for the word "stritch."

Kirk’s Stritch and Cranky’s horn are both straight alto saxophones. In the case of the Stritch, it was made by the American instrument maker Buescher Co. between 1927 and 28. They apparently made only a few hundred of them as the novel idea never took off even though it was the “Golden Age” of the saxophone, a time when manufacturers were trying out many innovative ideas. It was Kirk who dubbed it the Stritch. Beuscher just marketed it as a straight version of the alto sax. Perhaps if they had come up with a clever name it would have been more popular. Kirk brilliantly had his sax’s keywork customized so that he could play a fuller range of notes using just one hand, as he rarely played the Stritch singly but along with two other horns, a tenor sax and his “Manzello,” another doctored vintage instrument.