“My Favorite Things” Solo- Theo Wanne Gaia Soprano Mouthpiece

Every month my friends on SOTW (Sax on the Web) do a fun thing called “the tune of the month”.  Each month a different member of the site calls a tune that many of us will do a recording of.   This is a great tradition because it gets many of us out of our comfort zones and perhaps learning some tunes we have not played before.   It also is great because you get to hear how many other players approach the same tunes.  Some of the participants are intermediate players and others are advanced players.  Regardless of a players abilities or level everyone has been encouraging on the “Tune of the Month” threads and there has also been some great advice and ideas that have been shared.

The tune for this month (December 2010) is  “My Favorite Things” by Richard Rogers.  Of course for sax players, probably the most famous recording is that of John Coltrane’s.  It’s hard to even play the tune without having thoughts of Coltrane on it.  I recorded this version with a track from Jamey Aebersold’s Volume 90 Odd Times.  This is a great Aebersold  to have because it has some common tunes on it that are played in odd time signatures.  This version I am playing on is in 11/4.  You would think this would be hard but it seems like the tune just seems to fit perfectly with this time signature.  For most of the solo I’m playing around with some blues scales,approach notes,3 tonic chromatisisms and the dorian scale.   If you have any interest in any of these sounds or ideas feel free to check out my lessons on these subjects found at my lesson store. I’m using a Theo Wanne Gaia 7 soprano mouthpiece with a Vandoren Java #3 1/2 reed on a Yamaha YSS-62 soprano saxophone. There’s a tiny bit of a squeak in the sound because of a dry reed when I start but that soon goes away as the reed gets wet.   Enjoy!  Let me know what you think.    Steve

Steve About Steve

Steve Neff has been playing and teaching saxophone and jazz improvisation around the New England area for the last 30 years. He is the author of many effective jazz improvisation methods as well as founding the popular jazz video lesson site Neffmusic.com.


  1. Steve- COOL STUFF….Wish you lived closer. Great empathy on the soprano, I hear you also having FUN!!! Really interesting and hope someday you record it on a CD- its really THAT good.

    I am a fan of this version too, kinda takes us away from Trane territory.
    I have a Borgani soprano I know you would dig, its a dark one and really
    nice. Enjoy your holiday, and be glad your you.

    Happy Yule and all thatjazz- TIM

    • Thanks Tim. I did have fun playing that. I’m still getting used to the Gaia soprano piece but I have to say it’s the most comfortable I’ve felt on soprano ever I think. Happy Holidays to you also. Steve

  2. Avatar Sheridan Farrah says

    I hear an almost Grover Washington type sound/feel listening to this, absolutely amazing Steve… I’m loving your sound w/ the Gaia mpc…

  3. Avatar Mikeysax says

    Great sound man. I’ve listened to the clip all the way to work.

  4. Hi Steve.

    great as usual and another incentive to practice harder, thank your very much for your work!

    Did you use a one-mic-setup for this recording? The Gaia makes nice overtones, but maybe you’d achieve a fatter sporano sound with a two-mic-setup (so you could mix body and harmonics for a sweet balance), did you give that a try?

    • I never have used a two mic setup. I have heard that is much better for soprano but up until now I have been too stingy to spring for a good two mic system. Maybe in the future. Thanks, Steve

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