This is a new Aizen Jazz Master mouthpiece that I received in the mail last week. It is a 7 tip opening. If you follow my blog regularly, then you might remember that I reviewed the very first limited edition Aizen sax mouthpiece when it first came out a few years ago. Since then, they have been a busy company and came out with a few more models. They now have the NY Jazz, the Jazz Master and the SO mouthpiece. I was curious as how these play compared to my first Aizen I had years ago so I asked to review these.
Aizen Jazz Master 7 Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece
This is the description from the Aizen website about the Jazz Master:
“A low baffle, medium large chamber and delicately-crafted tip rail, with a lot of buzz. A big, husky, dark sound let’s call it the ideal in vintage. And with all the playability that you find in today’s mouthpieces, this is a piece that offers outstanding performance. It has quick response even with a slight amount of air, and the Aizen Jazz Master can hold its own just as well in a modern ensemble setting.”
The first edition Aizen mouthpiece that I owned a few years ago was great but in the end I sold it because it was too bright for my tastes. I was really curious to play this one since it is advertised as being darker.
Like all Aizen mouthpieces, it looks great. The rails and tip look terrific and the chamber and baffle are nice and smooth. The tip is perfectly matched to the Java and Woodstone reeds I tried with it. The engraving and Jazz Master logo look pretty cool on it also.
As far as sound you can judge for yourself from the recording. My thoughts were that it did indeed have a darker sound to it than my first Aizen or the NY Jazz I just reviewed. If you compare the picture below to the NY Jazz mouthpiece you can see that the baffle is abit lower than the NY Jazz. The chamber looks very similar……maybe a little bigger but very close I think.
This mouthpiece wasn’t has bright as the NY Jazz but it was still pretty loud if I pushed some air through it. It wasn’t dark in my opinion but just a bit less bright than the NY Jazz and a tad fatter. It had that same resistance that I liked about the NY Jazz. I talk about it in that review. The resistance gives me something to push against so I can manipulate and shape the sound. The perfect resistance for my tastes.
Aizen Jazz Master 7 Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece
Give a listen to the sound clip below to hear for yourself what these mouthpieces sound like. The clip jumps from style to style but that is because I had so much fun playing it, that I played for about 6 minutes. I had to cut it down to around 2 minutes so I gave you a bit of the different styles I played. If you are interested in trying one of these visit Aizen’s website at for more information. Thanks again to Aizen for letting me try another great mouthpiece. Please let me know what you think below in the comments…………….
I played this a lot when I first bought it because I love the feel of the bigger chamber and the warmer sound, however, I find it to be not “less bright,” but noticeably darker than either the Aizen NY model or my NY USA Meyer. It also has quite a bit more resistance than the Aizen NY model, which is probably the most free-blowing Meyer-style alto mouthpiece I’ve ever played.
I would like to try the Woodstone reeds and I should buy a box of Java two-and-a-half to try on the Aizens.
The Ishimori Woodstones are very good reeds. I need to order some more myself!
Rodolfo Benavides says
Great mouthpiece Steve! I really liked your sound on this one. My personal favorite of the three Aizen pieces you reviewed.
Awesome piece! It was very easy for me to switch from my stock Meyer 6 to the Jazz Master 7. And what an improvement. Great tone, almost what I have in mind, not excessively loud for me, EXCELLENT response. Thanks for the review!
Hi there Steve,
What type of lig would you recommend on this mouthpiece?
I used a Vandoren Optimum or a Marc Jean metal on it. Both worked great.
Hey Steve, always fun and informative to visit your website. Just curious…what’s your normal alto mouthpiece?
Normal? Not sure if I can say I have a normal alto mouthpiece. I have about 12 right now. The ones I play and like the most are:
Ishimori Woodstone 6
Modern Meyer refaced by JVW
Vandoren V16 refaced by Brian Powell with a really long facing curve
Theo Wanne Gaia HR 6
Those are the ones I play the most. They are all different and unique and I really can’t pick one over the other. I also recently bought a Drake NY alto piece that I’ve been playing also. I keep wanting to thin down and just play one but every time I play one of these I can’t let it go……………Sorry I can’t be more specific for you. Steve
Would you suggest this mouthpiece for a beginner who is eager to play jazz? Right now I have the stock mouthpiece that came with my alto sax.
I don’t suggest expensive mouthpieces for beginners because they have enough to work on and the mouthpiece choice will not make much of a difference. I usually tell beginners to stay on their stock mouthpiece for 1-2 years. By that point they will have the fundamentals down and will have a better idea of the sound concept they want. Then when they try a mouthpiece they will know if it is the sound they are looking for and a good match for them. I relate it to a beginner golfer. They don’t need the same clubs as Tiger Woods uses. They just need clubs that are a good fit and do the job. Later they can move up to better clubs when they have the experience and knowledge to know what they need. Hope that makes sense. Steve
I bought this mouthpiece after reading your review and was really really pleased with it.It did everything you said until I dropped it and chipped the corner. really gutted especially have to buy a new one.
That stinks. I dropped a Sugal metal mouthpiece once on the concrete garage floor. There was a big dent on the tip corner. Unplayable after that. I have been a lot more careful since then though………..
Steve, I am looking for an alto mouthpiece that will give me the softest, darkest sound. I have an Aizen 7 and Meyer G 5. Both are too bright for the sound I want. Any suggestions?
I just got a Vintage Selmer soloist in that is pretty dark in my opinion. It has a beautiful sound and I think fits the bill for what you are looking for. Let me know if you are interested in it. Steve
armand cafiso says
hello steve ..I used to play sax quite a while ago.and my friends gave me a Yamaha sax alto for my birthday..i really like the aizen jazz master 7 alto mouthpiece I really love the sound of it and also I really love the sound of paul desmond and dave Brubeck what do you sugest me thaks a lots.by the way your website is great
The Aizen would be a great mouthpiece to try. The Phil-Tone Solstice is another that has that Desmond vibe to it also but is a bit more affordable. Steve
mark donners says
I am used and comfy with my Meyer 7 medium chamber(alto). However, it gives me this nasty spit sound (saliva ). So i switched to a Otto Link tonemaster 7, saliva sound i gone. now for a year or so, i play a lebayle Metal Jazz8*. I like the sound but i am not pleased with the large opening. I can’t manage to keep my tone steady…tones are not stable and sometimes offkey because i dont have enough embouchure..PPP…I know.. But, if i where to switch again…what suggestion would you have?
It just sounds like the tip opening is too big for you. 8*’s are too big for me usually. I prefer 7* for tenor and a 6-7 on alto. Steve
Thanks for this write-up – amazing to see how mouthpieces can seem so different: clearly the tip opening alone is not enough to look into and baffle length and depth can have a huge impact on the sound. I’m quickly learning that a 7 is not a 7 is not a 7 is not a 7 …
I have also (just last week) learned the painful lesson of not paying attention when handling my mouthpiece … so here I am looking for another!
I’m learning on a Yamaha YAS-32 (alto) and was using the standard C4 mouthpiece that came with it. My teacher gave me a Henley Clarinet mouthpiece to borrow in the meantime and the moment I blew on it we were both amazed by how much softer, mellow and smokey the sound was – it’s just so smooth and effortless to play. If it wasn’t for the fact that it’s a tad unstable (probably more likely my poor technique) then I’d just stay with it. But now I’ve discovered the sort of sound I want from my sax 🙂 Soft, mellow, dark, smokey and smooth – and I’m playing a mix of blues, swing and jazz.
While I’m just learning, I’m 43 and have been a diaphragmatic breather since around 6 1/2 years old so pushing air through isn’t a problem – and I’ll happily crawl up and down scales on both octaves 3 times slowly on a single breath 🙂
This last weekend I tried an Otto Link 5, 5 Medium, 6, 6 Medium, 7, 8 and a Meyer 8. I used the same Alexander Reed DC Superial 2.5 on my YAS-32 to test them all.
My favourite was the Otto Link 7 – it was the most smokey of the bunch. I found the Otto Link 8 to be very squeaky and the Meyer 8 to be too much volume. The shop-assistant suggested I go back and try the Otto Link 7, 8 and the Meyer 8 with a 3 reed and also with a Rovner ligature – he reckons that these will darken the sound more and also stabilise / remove the squeaks.
If I could have my cake and eat it, I’d want something that’s easy to play, stable, smokey, easy for vibrato and not too loud. So I’m guessing that means, a narrow tip, 7 or 8 opening, 22-23mm face and a low baffle (possibly flat)?
Appreciate your thoughts on anything else I might try and also your thoughts on the mouthpiece / reed / ligature mix.
Sorry for the ‘war and peace’ but hopefully that tells you enough about what I’m trying to achieve and my playing style. Thanks in advance for your help, kind sir 🙂
Doron Sieradzki says
This mouthpice is now my main alto mouthpice. I love it! Before this one I used Ponzol metal mouthpiece, but I like the Aizen’s darker sound, yet good projection.
Aizen produces fantastic mouthpieces. I am using one with my tenor as well (exchanging it with my Theo Wanne Gaia – they are very similar IMHO), but I think that Aizen’s alto jazz mouthpiece is really a hit.
That’s great to hear Doron. I hope you are happy with the Aizen for many years! Steve
Jos Schelfhout says
Hi Steve ,
I now play with a Selmer Super Session E and a Vandoren Jazz 2,5 and a Vandoren Optimum ligature .
I like the Paul Desmond sound. Which other mouthpiece will sounds better?: a Aizen Jazz Master 7, a Phil-Tone Solstice 6 or 7, a Meyer 5 or 6 .
Are the other things okay, or do you have a sugestion?
Jos, It’s hard to say which mouthpiece will sound better as part of the equation is the person playing it. I personally think the Phil-tone gets me a lot closer to a Desmond sound than other mouthpiece do that I have tried. Good luck, Steve
What do you think about the; size of the mouthpiece, the reed (which and the number) and the ligature? Ofcourse I will try this out how it will work out for me
John McGing says
I’ve been following your website for a few years now and find it enjoyable and informative. I also like the fact you try to be yourself and not ‘Mr Personality’….
Regarding Paul Desmond-I notice some players contacting you with the usual what mouthpiece, reed, ligature, etc should they use to sound like Paul Desmond.
I’m a huge Desmond fan so I would like to make a few suggestions from my own experience which may be of help….
In terms of mouthpieces your suggestion of the PhilTone Solstice is a good one. Aizens GR appears to be another Desmond piece that works and Meyers G works well for me.
These mouthpieces give that ‘Desmond sound’ in the middle and upper ranges that most mouthpieces don’t.
From my experience with the Meyers, I found the 5 worked a treat, the 6 didn’t. Also with the Meyers, in recent years there appears to be quality/manufacturing problems-it seems you have to try a few to get one that works…..The Aizen and PhilTone should be better in that regard.
Paul Desmond (like Stan Getz and Gerry Mulligan) played a fairly closed mouthpiece with a hard reed so to sound like him you would really need a similar set up rather than an open mouthpiece with a soft reed. His mouthpiece (Gregory 4A) was about a 0.67 opening and most 5 tip openings are 0.71 so this would be the one to try first; of course, everyone’s different and you may have to go a bit more open. He played a 3.5 Rico so a 5 mouthpiece with a 3 reed is a good starting point.
My own set up on a Selmer Mark 6 alto sax is a Meyer G 5 mouthpiece with a Rico Select Jazz 3M seems to work. On my old 1950 Martin I found the 3S reed worked better due to a bigger bore, hence more resistance.
Ligatures are a matter of personal taste-I like Vandoren leather ligatures (with the plate) on all my horns. Some situations require a lighter ligature.
And of course listening to Desmond is vital to absorb his sound in order to reproduce it.
Hope this is of some help.
On a different note,I only recently read the article on your medical history and you have my utmost respect for getting through.
Best regards and take care.
John McGing says
Hi Steve, Just a few words on the Aizen Jazz Master-I have a 6 opening which I got to play in big band. It’s based on the 50’s Meyer Bros NY mouthpiece (Cannonball). I had to flatten the table a wee bit and try different reeds. As you noted it’s plenty loud enough for big band even a rock group…..
Bright at the top end and surprisingly warm at the bottom. Not as smooth through the registers as a Meyer 7 or Vandoren A35 Java but louder and punchier than both.
Not a mouthpiece for a beginner-I find it tricky to control unless I play it a lot. Possibly due to using a softer reed than usual. Has a harder sound than the Meyer or Java. Definitely has character though-we do several rock/blues things in concert band and it’s well suited. Hope this helps.