This is a new Aizen NY Jazz 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 NY Jazz 7 Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece (If you click on the pic it will enlarge)
This is the description from the Aizen website:
“With its signature rounded side wall and roll-over baffle, the AIZEN NY offers the very finest a musician can want from a jazz saxophone mouthpiece–rich, vibrant sound and full, glossy tone…outstanding responsiveness and projection.
Having fine-combed through the best of the best in vintage saxophone mouthpieces, AIZEN brought its specialized skills and finest craftspeople to bear.
The result was the AIZEN NY, combining top of the range hand-finishing with the vintage mouthpiece sound reborn.”
This is the first of the three that I tried. Now I have to be honest, when I first tried this mouthpiece I thought it was pretty lame. It didn’t sound great and the response was awful. I was ready to put it back in the box but then I started thinking. When I put the mouthpiece on it was really loose on the cork but as I pushed it on it got tighter. I’ve noticed in the past that when the mouthpiece is too large for the end of the cork that this can sometimes effect the sound and response of the mouthpiece. I decided to wrap the end of the cork with a few strips of paper and put the mouthpiece on for another try. This time it was nice and tight. Guess what? It played great. Fabulous. I actually loved it. I was surprised by how big a change occurred.
Like all Aizen mouthpieces, it looks great. The rails and tip look terrific and the chamber and baffle are nice and smooth. I did notice on this one mouthpiece that the tip didn’t match my Woodstone reed tip at all. (Aizen was nice enough to send me a few boxes of Woodstone reeds to try…….it’s for another blog article but…..they were awesome!) It had a different curve to it. I’m not sure why, the other two mouthpieces that came had tips that perfectly matched the reed shape.
As far as sound you can judge for yourself from the recording. My thoughts were that it had a brighter rich sound to it. Kinda vintage Meyerish to me. Up top it really seemed to sing to me and down low it had a nice character to the notes. One thing I have loved about the Aizen’s I have tried is the resistance they have. Resistance can be a bad thing but I have learned over the years that it can also be a great thing. With just a bit of resistance in the mouthpiece you have something to push against and work with. The slightest change of tongue,throat or embouchure manipulates the sound. With resistance I feel like there is more sound and core to work with. You’ll hear on the recording how I do more bending of the notes. That is because of that resistance. I feel like I can bend the tar out of notes. It’s a great feeling because I feel like I can be more expressive and emotional while I play. The notes seemed to have a texture and character to them that I many time miss in other mouthpieces.
I had a ton of fun playing this mouthpiece. Some mouthpieces I really have to work hard to interact with, this one was easy and I felt like I could go out and play it on a gig tonight. The intonation was normal for my sax. Nothing out of the ordinary in that regard. The tone seemed more focused than fat to me. Great for the straight ahead thing or a bebop head. The flexibility made it workable for a very bluesy sound maybe even R&B……..
Aizen NY Jazz 7 Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece
Give a listen to the sound clip below to hear for yourself what these mouthpieces sound like. If you are interested in trying one of these visit Aizen’s website 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…………….