This is a new tenor saxophone mouthpiece I received in the mail last week from Aaron Drake. Drake mouthpieces have been around for a number of years and Aaron is best known for his Ceramic mouthpieces which I have reviewed here before. Recently, he has updated his website www.DrakeMouthpieces.com and come out with a new line of mouthpieces made out of “vintage resin”. Aaron sent me 3 tenor mouthpieces to try:
VRJT – Jazz Tenor (passaround model)
SSJT – Son of Slant (medium chamber)
NYJT – NY Jazz tenor (prototype – unbanded)
This review is of the Jazz model tenor saxophone mouthpiece.
If you look at the picture of the 3 mouthpieces above, the Jazz model tenor mouthpiece is the mouthpiece in the middle. The beak has a lower profile to it than the Son of Slant mouthpiece that I reviewed. The body of the mouthpiece is also a bit narrower and is similar to the size of his Ceramic mouthpieces. This mouthpiece seems to have a similar baffle and slightly smaller chamber than the Son of Slant mouthpiece.
This mouthpiece seemed like a cross between the NY Jazz and Son of Slant model. I liked that it was a bit darker than the NY model on the recording but it seemed to have a bit more punch and focus than the Son of Slant model. I decided to play a little of “My One and Only Love” for all 3 mouthpiece clips so you can compare the sounds of each. You can hear that it is a little brighter and more focused than the “Son of Slant” clip but not by a lot. I really felt more comfortable on the lower beak profile of this mouthpiece. I really like this sound clip the best of the 3 because for me it is a bit fatter sounding than the NY but more focused than the Slant model. I like a mix of fatness and focus in my tenor sound.
For me, all three mouthpiece were great and it is very hard to pick a winner because they each have unique qualities. As I write these reviews and listen to the sound clips I am even more confused about which one I would buy if I bought one…………. I think you could make any of them fit a variety of playing situations but if I was leaning more towards straight ahead playing I would go with the Son of Slant. If I was leaning more towards the Rock and R&B thing but with the ability to play some jazz I would go with the NY. If I wanted a mouthpiece in the middle that could hang on both sides and sound great I would probably go with the Jazz model. Great job Aaron on another great mouthpiece. Visit www.DrakeMouthpieces.com for more details and to order a Jazz model to try for yourself.