This a Lawton 9BB tenor saxophone mouthpiece that was refaced by JVW (Jon Van Wie). If you have never heard of Jon Van Wie, he was a great mouthpiece refacer that passed away some years ago. I had him do some work on some mouthpieces for me when I first started getting into this mouthpiece obsession of mine and his work was incredible. This week is the first time I am getting to try a Lawton and the two that I have here are great examples in my opinion (Here’s the review of the 8*BB Special I tried). The 9 tip is a bit above what I am used to at .120 but it is very easy and comfortable to play. It doesn’t feel like a .120 at all.
As you can see from the picture, this has a pretty high baffle in it that has a scoop in the end of it which reminds me of a Berg Larsen type baffle. I think the higher baffle is what makes the mouthpiece easier to play at .120. The higher floor speeds up the air which counters the larger space at the tip and makes it easier to play for me. I found the tone to be in the middle of the dark/bright spectrum like the other Lawton I played yesterday. Depending on how I play I could get it to head in either direction pretty easily. To me the tone of the mouthpiece sounded dense and rich. Kind of a thick kind of sound. This is a very nice mouthpiece with loads of power but as you can hear on the clip it sounds great when you lay back and just play a standard. During this whole clip, I was playing at about 40%-60% of my air. This piece has the potential to play much louder but I couldn’t do that without distorting the recording I have. You’ll have to trust me that this mouthpiece can play pretty darn loud. I also like the fact that as it gets louder it doesn’t get obnoxiously brighter like a lot of tenor mouthpiece do. I’m borrowing this mouthpiece from a friend who is selling it and I’m giving some serious thought to buying it myself. I’m going to go play it some more right now and see where it takes me as I get more use to it. Let me know what you think. Steve