Stan Getz Legend Series Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

This is a review of the Stan Getz Legend Series tenor saxophone mouthpiece.  This mouthpiece I’m trying today is an exact copy of the actual mouthpiece that Stan Getz used at the end of his career.  The copy is so exact that it even has slight teeth marks in it where Stan used to put his teeth on the mouthpiece…………now that is exact!  ( If you look at the picture below you can see the slight indentation)

Here is what is posted on the Drake website about the Stan Getz mouthpieces:

This new model is born from a very special collaboration.  Below you will find the story of its making, and images.
In order to achieve the greatest amount of detail in the copying of Stan’s original mouthpiece, these pieces are made from our specially formulated vintage resin material.  Details like Stan’s faint teeth impressions can be found on the 5* and 6* models only, and will not interfere in any way with your unique physiology and approach to playing.

Available tip openings – 5* (.085″) (Stan’s original), 6* (.095″), 7* (.105″)

“If you like an instrument that sings, play the saxophone. At its best it’s like the human voice.” ~ Stan Getz

Since 1995 I have spoken to so many people about a mouthpiece project, but for one reason or another, it never seemed right. In fact, this project simply could not move forward until I had found The Best people- a select few who posses the knowledge, craftsmanship, intelligence, integrity and heart that could measure up to the high standards set by my father. With Aaron Drake of Drake Mouthpieces and Les Silver of RS Berkeley Musical Instruments, I have found The Best; and, at long last, I am now proud to introduce the Stan Getz Signature Mouthpiece.  Thanks to Aaron Drake’s unique methods and painstaking craftsmanship, the Stan Getz Signature Mouthpiece is an exact replica of the one Stan played exclusively, heard on his last recordings, including People Time, Serenity and Anniversary, Apasionado and Bossas & Ballads. While it is an exact replica of Stan’s original vintage mouthpiece,
(right down to the teeth marks, et al), Mr. Drake has improved on it- not only utilizing his experience as a saxophonist, but also his expertise in crafting lovingly hand made mouthpieces- all made right here in America, using tools and materials only produced
in the United States.  Something that gave Stan an enormous amount of joy and one of his passions, was helping the younger generations of musicians to discover the world of music and sound.  Of course he especially loved it when a young saxophonist would ask for advice on achieving a sound, technique, equipment, practicing, improvisation, etc. He truly loved interacting with the younger crop of musicians beginning their journey. By bringing his mouthpiece back to life (so to speak), I know he would feel honored that he was possibly, in some very small way, contributing to the endeavors and artistry of saxophonists around the globe, at the beginning, middle or seasoned part of their creative walk.  I would like to thank my friend, trumpeter Rich Szabo for the introduction to Les Silver of RS Berkeley Musical Instruments and for intuitively knowing that his lifelong friend, Les was the very man that I had been looking for all these years to help me get my dream out of the clouds! Also, my deepest thanks to Les Silver and of course Aaron Drake for making my dream a reality!  I am so pleased to be introducing this Stan Getz Signature Mouthpiece as
part of the “Legends Series.” I hope it will bring you closer to your playing goals.
Stan would truly love that!
Bev Getz
July 15, 2010

As you can read, Bev Getz (Stan’s daughter) was personally involved in the development of this mouthpiece which I think is pretty cool.

The mouthpiece tip opening that I am trying today is the 5* (.085 tip).  I usually don’t play an opening that small but I was very curious to see what a mouthpiece that Stan Getz played would play like.  I put a Vandoren Java 3 1/2 reed on and gave it a blow.

My first thought was that it dark and centered sounding.  It had a nice focused sound to it. Like it was a lot of sound packed into a tight beam of projection.  I love it when a mouthpiece has that quality.  Even though I felt it was focused it was still very dark sounding which is a cool combination.  Before I tried the mouthpiece I put on some recordings of Stan Getz I had and tried to imagine playing with that type of sound.  His style and playing concept is very different than mine but I’ve always enjoyed the recordings of him that I have had.

Stan Getz Legend Series Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

One of the recordings I have of Stan is him playing with Bill Evans on “Night and Day” which is amazing.  He gets a nice light and airy quality to his sound that is still full and sweet sounding.  When I first played the 5* I could indeed imagine getting a bit closer to  that Getz type tone.   Even though this mouthpiece was a smaller tip than I am used to it, it was a lot of fun to play.  If you are into the Stan Getz sound and concept I would give this mouthpiece a try.  Don’t think it is something you can play on a modern rock gig because it isn’t but for a laid back jazz gig it would be great.  On this sound sample I’m just playing a simple “Night and Day” with a little bit of noodling.  Nothing fancy but you can hear a bit of the tone of the mouthpiece.  This is more laid back than I usually play.  I was just in that type of mood after listening to Stan for an hour or two.

Thanks for listening. Let me know what you think below. I love to hear what your opinions are.       Steve

Share : Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on GooglePlusShare on LinkedinShare on Pinterest
Steve About Steve

Steve Neff has been playing and teaching saxophone and jazz improvisation around the New England area for the last 25 years. He is the author of many effective jazz improvisation methods as well as founding the popular jazz video lesson site Neffmusic.com.

Comments

  1. Carlheanerd says:

    Great sound always, from what I hear, this mouthpiece has a nice fuzziness to it, but rings when you need it. It would be nice to hear one of these played with a harder Vandoren Traditional, just for kicks.

  2. Thanks a lot Steve!

    Based from what I hear, is it correct that the Stan Getz mpc is much more darker, warm and alive compared to the Ambika mpc. I thought that Ambika is much more darker due to low baffle + true large chamber.

    Is it ok if you can compare and rank these mpcs (Stan Getz, Ambika and Morgan 7L thru:
    Tone
    Intonation
    Control/Response
    Volume

    Thank you very much. I’m in a hunt for a dark, warm and luscious tenor mpc 🙂

    Allan

  3. Allan,
    I’m not sure I can remember each mouthpiece and rate them by that memory. I don’t have them anymore so I am just going by my ever fading memory here.
    As far as tone, I remember the Ambika being the darkest then the Stangetz was a little brighter and the Morgan 7L a little brighter still. Personally, the Ambika was a bit too dark for me. I like a little bit of sparkle and edge in the tone. All 3 were fine for intonation. I believe the Ambika was the best as the large chamber suited my SBA intonation wise but the other two were very good also. For control and response I think the Morgan had the quickest response, then the SG then the Ambika for me. For control I liked the SG the best. I could hop all over easily. For volume the Morgan was the loudest. The SG and Ambika were about the same but the SG had a bit more of a ring to the sound so I think it would cut through a little more in a live playing situation. Hope this helps. Steve

  4. Thank you very much Steve!

  5. Hello Steve,

    If you get the opportunity, it’s interesting to try the size 7* (SG) with for example a Roberto’s Woodwind 3s reed.
    I tried it with my SBA tenor and it’s great!

  6. Hans Mathias says:

    A nice sound indeed, but it sounds more like an alto saxophone and not and not what I hear when Stan Getz is playing. I have myself the No 6* (0,095) and it sounds very diffrent with Vandoren Java 2.5. But saxophone mouthpieces is a never ending story, as it’s too many variables to keep track of. The mouthpiece, the reed, the humidity, your blowing style etc etc.

  7. Hey Steve,
    This seems like the most relevant place to post this question. Are you going to try the Parker Legend series or the Johnny Griffin Legend series pieces?
    Thanks,
    Jack

  8. Hi Jack, Yes I probably will. I have 3 of the Parker mouthpieces on my desk now. I had back surgery a few days ago so I’m a bit behind the ball but I hope to get them reviewed this coming week. The Griffin mouthpiece will probably be coming my way sometime soon. I really hope there is a Cannonball and Desmond piece also. I am so curious to try those………………

  9. Hans Mathias says:

    I have just played the saxophone for a couple of months, after having played the clarinet for years. But that was way back. Started playing the clarinet again three years ago, but was convinced by my music buddies to try the tenor.
    The tenor really got me, even if I haven’t really got the tenor.
    I have now tried several combinations of mouthpieces and reeds. I have arrived at a metal Otto Link NY, 7* (105) and a Vandoren Java 2.0 (the green version). This combination works fine for my swing jazz style. It gives a rougher style the the Getz 6* and Vandore Java reed 2.5.
    My saxophone is a brand new Selmer Super Action Series II. It works fine for me, but I haven’t tried anything else.

  10. Hi Steve,
    Thanks for the info! I’m looking forward to your review! And I hope you get well soon, your a gift to the saxophone community, and your site has helped me immensely. I’m really looking forward to the Johnny Griffin pieces, I personally think the legend series pieces are a great thing! of course I wouldn’t sound like Parker, or Griffin playing on their exact set-up but it’s interesting to see what other people used to get there sound. And Yes hopefully Aaron can recreate Cannonball’s piece, and Desmond’s as well, I would definitely pick up Cannonball’s piece. I also hope Les, and Aaron will make a Bob Berg Legend Series, as well as Trane Legend Series as well.
    anyway sorry about the rant,
    Hope you feel better soon Steve,
    Jack

  11. Hey Steve,
    How are you doing? I’m just wondering if your ever going to try the Stan Getz again but in a 7* like most of your other Link type pieces that you review?
    Hope you had a great holiday,
    Jack

  12. Just buy a slant sig before the ‘no Usa’ and be done with it. That’s what I have and it has the Getz sound bang on! The drake is nice but I can hear something funny going on in the higher range – not to sure what it is though.

  13. Lee Harris says:

    I am 79 and playing the tenor(P Mauriat DK66) for 4 years. I purchased a Stan Getz Legends Mouthpiece and wondered what a good choice would be for a ligature for a nice soft sound, not focused to play balads. Thanks to all. A late newbie, Lee

  14. Hi Steve,
    Do think one can come close to Stan Getz’sound with that mouthpiece and the modern iteration of the Mark 6(i.e a Selmer Ref 54)?

  15. Patrick, that is a hard question to answer. Is it possible? I would think so………but I can’t answer that with 100% certainty as there are so many variables involved……..

    I am trying a new RS Berkeley Stan Getz Legends mouthpiece in a few weeks. I guess Aaron Drake is no longer involved with them. Keep an eye on the site for when the review is posted…..,,,,,,

  16. Bought an Aaron Drake legend “Stan Getz” mouthpiece previous week at ebay. Used it on my Selmer mrk. VI ´59 .

    6* with a 2½ reed

    Perfect 🙂

    Thank you

    -Meyer

  17. Bo, That’s great! I really liked the Stan Getz piece I played also………

  18. Sam morreale says:

    I always thought Getz played a brilliant mouthpiece. Please respond.

  19. Sam,
    Do you mean a Brilhart? Or something else by the word brilliant?

  20. Larry McManus says:

    I’m trying, having just started playing sax again after many years and would like you advice on getting the wonderful Getz sound . Would probably not be able to handle above a 4 lay at first. Getz lives!!
    Larry McManus

  21. Hi Larry, I think the original Getz mouthpiece is a 5. Not too large…….. I thought it played great although the one I tried was made by Drake mouthpieces. The new ones are made by RS Berkeley. I haven’t tried one of those yet. Steve

  22. I love Stan Getz. I currently use a Yanigasawa #5 hard rubber. I’m wondering if I should try a more expensive piece and if so which one. I am an intermediate player. 6 months back into the sax after 9 years of not playing. Here I am using a variety of reeds/strengths.

    https://soundcloud.com/getzynova

    Should I just keep practicing with the Yani or what? Thanks for you help!

  23. Oscar,
    It’s really up to you on whether you should stick with the Yani mouthpiece or switch. A more expensive piece won’t automatically make you sound better it’s more about if you click with a certain mouthpiece. I have played thousand dollar mouthpieces I didn’t like that much and 50 dollar mouthpieces I loved……….It’s about finding that piece that you really connect with and helps you get the sound you want. Good Luck, Steve

  24. Hans Mathias says:

    You will never be able to copy Stan Getz sound, if that’s what you are after. The sound depends on the mouthpiece specs, the reed and how you are blowing. If you are a jazz player, #5 seems to me to be too closed, even if you have a stiff reed. I would go for a more open mouthpiece, 7 or 7* with a #2 reed. As said here before, there is no relationship between the price of the mouthpiece and the sound.

  25. Thank you very much. Sounds just like Stan Getz. And nice playing too. I use Van Doren Java T55. That’s a 2.5 mm tip opening and a moderate baffel with #2 reeds. Van Doren is very good at explaining what the different measurements will do for you sound wise. No bragging, just the facts.

  26. Hello again!
    I notice as I record the tenor how sharp sounding my mouthpieces can be, and thin. As a temporary measure, I clip a deflector on the bell so the highest frequencies won’t hit the mike. I have five VanDoren mouthpieces now and it seems I can’t get the sound soft enough with van Doren. I have the Jumbojava, quite shrill, the Java, less shrill, I began with the V5 T35 with a 2.3mm tip, that for a while I thought too SOFT, until I really heard the sound thanks to the deflector. I also bought two V16’s, one with 2.5 mm tip and one with 2.7 mm tip ( the T6 and the T7). I don’t want to continue buying mouthpieces for the rest of my days and I love some of Hank Mobley’s sound (early period), and Getz’ of course. I’m now pretty sure they both used something softer than any of my VanDorens. I now use the T35 or the T6, but I want something softer.
    Please recommend something for me! For tip, I think about 2.3 mm is ok.
    Thanks for the beautiful version of Night and Day.

  27. Nick, I believe I can get pretty soft on all of those mouthpieces. I would look more towards your embouchure and how you are using your air coupled with what reed you are using. Embouchure can make a huge difference with how you are interacting with the reed as that is the point where you are connecting with the reed which is making the sound. I have a few video lessons on embouchure and sound on my site that might help. Also, practicing long tones at ppp really helps you to get used to supporting and stabilizing the air stream for those softer volumes. Hope this helps, Steve

Speak Your Mind

*

Visit us on FacebookVisit us on TwitterVisit us on YouTubeVisit us on GooglePlusVisit us on Linkedin