D’Addario Select Jazz Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece Review

Today,  I am reviewing a new mouthpiece from D’Addario called the Select Jazz tenor saxophone mouthpiece.    This mouthpiece was designed by Kevin Garren at D’Addario with the help of Jeff Coffin.

Jeff Coffin is a great saxophone player who has played and toured with Dave Matthews and Bela Fleck as well as many other artists.  I have heard that Jeff plays on a custom Freddie Gregory Mark IV tenor sax mouthpiece.   In fact,  I heard from D’Addario that this new Select Jazz mouthpiece is modeled after Jeff Coffin’s custom Freddie Gregory tenor mouthpiece (If you don’t know about Freddie Gregory mouthpieces you can read some reviews of his pieces here).  Here is a quote from D’Addario when asked what Jeff Coffin thought of the new D’Addario Select Jazz tenor saxophone mouthpiece:

Jeff loved the piece – we worked directly with him on the piece and he was involved every step of the way.  He tested the Alpha, Beta and final production models and gave us feedback at every step………

D’Addario Select Jazz Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

Here is some more info from the Saxquest website about the D’Addario Select Jazz tenor saxophone mouthpiece:

One of the Best Jazz Pieces Available Today!

At long last, the heralded D’Addario Select Jazz mouthpiece for the tenor sax. This piece has been buzzed about for a long time, and it is finally here!

The D’Addario Select Jazz mouthpiece captures the feel and tone of legendary mouthpieces from years past. Now, today’s saxophonists have a chance to discover for themselves the sound that, for decades, set the standard of jazz. The D’Addario Select Jazz mouthpiece brings forth a perfect union of tradition and innovation.

  • 100% precision-milled, vintage-inspired jazz mouthpiece
  • milled, not molded, from solid rod rubber, using D’Addario’s precise, computer-controlled mouthpiece making technology
  • classic sound and response, with even intonation across the entire range of the saxophone
  • made in the USA

Available in these facings:

  • D6M – measures .100” (classic 7 opening)
  • D7M – measures .105” (classic 7* opening)
  • D8M – measures .110” (classic 8 opening)
  • D9M – measures .115” (classic 8* opening)

D’Addario Select Jazz Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

D’Addario sent me two mouthpieces to review.  The 7 (.105) and the 8 (.110) tip openings.  After playing them for a few minutes, I could tell there was a difference in the facings of each piece from the response of the reed I was using so I emailed D’Addario to ask them about it.  They told me the 7 has a 24 mm length facing and the 8 has a 25 mm length facing.  I’ll talk more about the impact of the facing curve later………..

Both Select Jazz tenor saxophone mouthpieces look great to the eye. The side rails and tips are nicely cut and even.  The side rails are thin and even and the baffle is smooth and flawless as it slopes down into the chamber.  They have a medium rollover baffle.  I used to own a Freddie Gregory Mark IV and the rollover baffle of the D’Addario Select Jazz is indeed similar to that model.  I can’t say exact, but I think it is close to what I remember on my Freddie Gregory Mark IV……

D’Addario Select Jazz Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

The Select Jazz 7 and 8 played well with Rigotti Gold 2 1/2 strong reeds as well as Rigotti Gold 3 light reeds.  I included sound clips of both reeds for each mouthpiece so you can hear what they sound like and the differences.  I liked aspects of both reeds on each mouthpiece.  As I listened back,  it was hard for me to decide on just one clip to post so I’m posting all of them.

The 2 1/2 Rigotti Gold Strong felt easy to blow on each mouthpiece but I’m not sure they were hard enough to last a four hour gig or give the volume you might need on a gig.  The Rigotti 3 light gave more resistance to blow against and I think they would last longer and give more volume on a live gig.

D’Addario Select Jazz Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

Now,  let’s talk about facing lengths.  The facing curve is the curve of the rails that the reed bends against as you play the saxophone.  I have done a facing curve length experiment in the past and the results hold true for these mouthpieces.  The 7 tip and 24mm length facing was a bit more resistant than the 8 tip with the 25mm curve.  What this means is that a 2 1/2 reed on the 7 felt quite good.  It had a good resistance to it and the reed felt strong.  That’s because the curve is a little shorter and the reed has to bend at a greater degree as you play.

The 8 Select Jazz mouthpiece with the 25mm facing length is easier for that same reed to bend with.  It has a longer curve and the rate of the curve is a little gentler so the reed blows easier and feels a little softer.

What does this all mean?  Well if you like harder reeds,  you will probably like a longer facing curve of 25+mm because that harder reed will play easier.  On a shorter facing curve that same reed might feel a lot harder or even impossible to play.  On the other side of the coin, the shorter facing curve makes softer reeds feel harder to the player.  So if you like a softer reed you might like a 48 or less curve on your mouthpiece.  You can read the blog post above for more information on the effects of facing curves…….

D’Addario Select Jazz Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

How did they play?  Well, with the 2 1/2 Strong Rigotti reeds, I felt like both mouthpiece were in the middle of the dark to bright spectrum but leaning into the brighter side.  Interestingly enough, I felt like the 3 Light Rigotti made the 7 tip a bit darker and more focused and the 8 tip opening a bit brighter and more focused.

The intonation was great throughout the range of the horn and the tone felt very smooth and even.  The altissimo was easy to get but I felt like the 3 Light reed on the 7 tip gave the altissimo a bit more depth and substance.   I did end up preferring the 7 tip with the Rigotti 3 light reed the most.  I have a few favorite mouthpieces with 24mm facing curves so I think I just felt more comfortable on the 7 tip with the 24mm curve.  The 8 with the 2 1/2 strong Rigotti played great also.  I liked the 3 light on the 8 also but when listening back, I thought it sounds a bit brighter to my ears.  I included it for those who like a brighter sound (think Coltrane…..Bergonzi……..)

I think D’Addario has done a great job with their new Select Jazz tenor saxophone mouthpiece.   At this moment, the Select Jazz tenor mouthpiece is retailed at 199.00 at  Saxquest.com.   They are also available on the D’Addario website.  That is a great price for this mouthpiece in my opinion.   I wish I could have had a sax mouthpiece like this to choose from when I was a student in high school many years ago.

D’Addario Select Jazz Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

If you like the sound of the D’Addario Select Jazz tenor saxophone mouthpiece clips below and the mouthpiece catches your interest then give it a try.  You can get more information and purchase the D’Addario Select Jazz tenor mouthpiece at www.saxquest.com or at D’Addario. Tell them Steve sent you………….!!

Let me know what you think in the comments below. Thanks, Steve

D’Addario Select Jazz Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece-Rigotti Gold 2 1/2 Strong Reed

D’Addario Select Jazz Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece-Rigotti Gold 3 Light Reed

D’Addario Select Jazz Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece-Rigotti Gold 2 1/2 Strong Reed

D’Addario Select Jazz Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece-Rigotti Gold 3 Light Reed

Disclosure: I received the sample mouthpieces mentioned above for free in the hope that I would try them and perhaps review them on my blog. Regardless, I only review mouthpieces that I enjoy playing and believe will be good for other saxophone players to try also.    Steve
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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. I just tried these this weekend and absolutely loved the 9M. I’m guessing it had a longer facing curve, because it felt the least resistant to me with a jazz select 3M reed. Or maybe it just provided the amount of resistance that I like. I couldn’t quite get the other 3 sizes to work for me. Thanks for the review- great quality pieces.

  2. Larry Weintraub says:

    I think you sound best on the 8 w/a 2.5 strong reed.

  3. Darrell Keighley says:

    Your samples are without equal. It’s easy to see why people want you reviewing their products. This particular round of comparisons, I liked you better on the 7 size opening, but that’s just my personal taste. I thought it sounded smoother.
    Thanks for the great reviews. You’re priceless!

  4. Antonino says:

    Liked all of them .Personally The 8 with the 3 reed. It was so great, your review. Most melodic. Just a great pleasure. Thank You, Sincerely. Anthony Ferro

  5. Antonino says:

    I listened again. I prefer the 7. It’s odd , but listening again I heard differently Again thank you. So happy we have your wisdom . Peace Anthony

  6. Hi Steve,

    nice sounding clips (both). Inspired by you i orderd an Select Jazz Tenor mpc from a local dealer… i compare with my Freddie Gregory Mark IV 🙂 (you should not have sold it). The Select Jazz comes not close… the FG to me is more in tune and it can change the sound much better than the Select Jazz one (especially when i use different reeds), i also can blow the FG a little louder. The Select Jazz is a very good one (like Jody Jazz HR, V16, …) for the money. I will not sell my FG 🙂

  7. I ordered D7M via saxquest, really hope it would be delivered fast because I can’t wait to try it. Thank you for the review Steve, you helped me made my choice. Will get back to you with my feedback once I try it. Cheers!

  8. Arya Boustani says:

    Thanks for the review. 0.100 tip opening and Rigotti #3 light sounds pretty good. More full sounding than Rigotti 2 1/2, while having a singing denser mid-range tone. I find you are a bright player so I should do it at a dealer with a darker reed (may be D’addario Reserve #2 1/2 or 3) and my own embouchure see if I can get even darker tone, but the ballpark is pretty good. I think that singing quality of the mid-range probably was one of the highlights of the Gregory mouthpiece and generally that era of the sax sound so if that’s what is coming out of this mouthpiece, then it is good to have that sound for 200 dollars! Thanks again.

  9. Hello Steve,I received the 7 D’Addario on the first of May. I used a Rico H ligature,then a Francois Louise. I am o.k. at present with F. L. I’m making progress. I find it extremely bright. I like it. It will take a little time to “balance”. I may try the mesh gold tone Rico ligature . I can’t remember the name. It looks like a mesh gold tone ‘tape’. I think it will just the right amount of ‘darkness’. Thank you for all your hard work .It is appreciated I’m sure by all of us. Peace good health. Anthony Ferro

  10. Antonino says:

    I put the Olegatue on and it plays very well. It has an unusual but pleasing dark tone. The Ligature balanced the tone out. And in the upper register it is less sharp. And now The D’Addario plays really good for me. Thanks Steve!
    Sincerely, Anthony Ferro

  11. Nathan Kline says:

    I realize this is your review site, but I was really impressed with these mpcs. Just for reference, my main tenor piece for 20 years has been a 7* EB STM. It plays pretty free and projects like an EB. I have always been kind of a link guy. I like the new vintage rubber pieces as well. Last week I tried 3 D’addario Select Jazz tenor pieces (6,7,&8) They all played great with a Select Jazz 3 med reed. Super easy down low and even from bottom to top. Because they were so easy to play down low, I decided to measure the facings. They all measured longer than 24 or 25. They were closer to 26. All the numbers were longer than many of the mouthpieces I have measured. Who knows, maybe that was why they had such a big resonant sound down low. I am still partial to my STM (24-), but the D’Addarios played so well for me that it was hard to leave them at the store. PS I went to Berklee with you, but I am not sure we met. I bet we were at some of the same Bergonzi and Garzone concerts at the willow and the Marriott.

  12. hi Nathan, Your name sounds familiar. That longer facing would explain the low notes. That’s interesting………

  13. Nathan Kline says:

    Just came across 2 more D’Addario Tenor pieces today, and I wanted to report that these 2 measured right on at 24 and 25 mm facing lengths for a 7 and an 8.

  14. That’s good to know. Thanks Nathan.

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