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!
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