David Mann’s Tenor Saxophone Robusto Blues Transcription

Here’s another killin’ blues transcription I have been working on. This is 14 choruses of a swingin’ blues that David Mann recorded as a demo for the 10mFan Robusto hard rubber mouthpiece last year.  As soon as I heard this clip I put it on my list of solos to transcribe.  There are lots of great ideas and lines in this solo that you could spend months integrating into your own playing.  Dave does a great job combining a bluesy soulful sound with some incredible double-time modern sounding lines.

I first heard David Mann back in the late 80’s when I got to Berklee College of Music.  Somewhere along the line,  I stumbled upon a tape recording of the New England Conservatory Big Band in concert.  I was mainly an alto player back then and the lead alto player in the big band recording really caught my attention.  They announced his name “David Mann”.  Ever since then I have been a fan of his playing and career.

David Mann

Here’s a short bio of Dave that I found on the internet:

Fresh out of the New England Conservatory of Music and new on the New York scene, David launched his solo career in the formative days of contemporary Jazz with the popular “Games” (1987) and “Insight” (1989) on the Island/Antilles label. Along with his brother, bassist Ned Mann, came the 1993 release of The Mann Brothers “Mann to Mann” on DMP Records. In 2001, David released “Touch” on N-Coded Music, which showcased his full range of abilities as a composer, producer, programmer, and of course as a saxophonist. Named “one of the best albums of the year” and “debut artist of the year” by Jazztrax, “Touch” finds David in fine company, teaming up with Bob James, Chris Botti, Chuck Loeb and Chieli Minuchi. Along with working on his own albums, David has become an increasingly accomplished composer and producer, working with such artists as Wayman Tisdale, Nelson Rangell, Steve Cole, Kim Waters, Point of Grace, and Rachel Z. In 2001 alone, David scored two #1 NAC singles (with Wayman Tisdale and Steve Cole).

David has performed and recorded with many of the biggest names in music, including Tower of Power (1993-1996), James Taylor, Paul Simon, Michael Jackson, Gil Evans, Pat Metheny, Sting, Madonna, Chaka Khan, George Michael, Billy Joel, Lyle Lovett, Bob James, Linda Eder, Liza Minnelli, Patti Austin, Ivan Lins, Michael McDonald, Alicia Keys, Vanessa Williams, Bette Midler, Michael Bolton, Chieli Minucci, Luther Vandross, BB King, Phish, Spyro Gyra, Sergio Mendes, Bobby McFerrin, Leni Stern, Elements, Miles Evans Orchestra, Ricky Martin, Chuck Loeb, Special EFX, Donnie and Marie Osmond, Al Jarraeu, Rob Mathes, Club 1600, Whitney Houston and George Russell. He also can be heard on many TV themes and jingles, including those for Monday Night Football, ABC News Nightline, NBA on TBS, The Early Show with Bryant Gumbel, Later Today, 20/20, 48 Hours and Super Bowl XXIV on ABC. Movie credits include “Lucky Numbers,” “Any Given Sunday,” “Shaft 2,” “The Mask” and “Scrooged.” David has performed as a soloist with the Boston Pops and the National Symphony and has toured extensively throughout the world.


David Mann Robusto Blues Bb (14 choruses)

David Mann Robusto Blues C (14 choruses)

*If you would like to support me here at neffmusic.com, you can do so on the support page of my store by debit or credit card.   Any support is appreciated and will go towards keeping this site running, saxophone reeds, mouthpiece patches, coffee, and towards justifying the many hours I spend on providing free transcriptions to the saxophone community!  Thanks,   Steve

David Mann is using the 10mFan Robusto hard rubber tenor mouthpiece on this clip.  I think he sounds amazing on this mouthpiece.  It’s the perfect blend of a full fat tenor sound mixed with some edge and brightness to give a modern sound to his tone.  The mouthpiece doesn’t sound thin or too edgy at all to my ears but perfect when Dave is playing it……….

If you are interested in the Robusto mouthpiece you can contact  Mark Sepinuck on his website at 10mfan.com.  Mark is a great guy to deal with and can steer you in the right direction.      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. Avatar Roger Eckers says

    Love all these transcriptions you keep churning out!!! Jerry Bergonzi is a great friend of mine. I studied with him the past 12 years.. Amazing teacher/player. We should try to hook up the next time I’m in Boston. I am in the Rochester NY area teaching and playing.

    • Roger,
      Wow, I would love to study with Jerry for 12 years! I just did a 2-3 year broken up. I learned so much during that time. Unfortunately, I moved to northern Vermont next to Canada so we probably can’t hook up in Boston but if you are ever up this way…………

  2. Great transcription, Steve! This is probably my favorite of the 10mfan mouthpiece clips. David Mann just shreds here, and as a visual learner it’s great having the visual representation of what he’s doing. Thanks a lot for sharing!

  3. Hello Steve, would you happen to know the tip opening on this 10mFAN Robusto tenor mouthpiece? If yo were to play test one and make a sound clip for us, what tip opening would you personally order from Mark? Would that be possible, for all of us to to hear you on a Robusto?
    Angelo – Tenor/Soprano NY

  4. Avatar Frank Moser says

    I like the Sound David gets on this mouthpiece not to mention admire his
    technical virtuosity with excellent lines and feel.

  5. Hi Steve,
    that’s a really great one! This clip is my personal favourite of all these Robusto-Clips and David has an outstanding sound here as is the playing! This solo is on my transcribing-list since some month, but I didn’t find the time… Thank You so much for Your work!

  6. Avatar John Fritz says

    Decades ago I was playing with the Washtenaw Community College Jazz band when a boy walked in with his saxophone. I thought he might have been 8 years old but later found he was 12. HE TOTALLY BLEW US AWAY !!!!! I think at 12, he was ready to hit the road to play with almost anybody.
    The person was David Mann.
    That year, we played at a Notre Dame Community College Festival. The first time David walked up to the mic to take a solo, I locked my attention on Buddy Defranco’s face. He was one of the judges. I almost fell off my chair with internal laughter when Buddy’s jaw dropped as David started to play.
    Also, David’s older brother, Ned, when he was in high school, played regular gigs in Detroit with Larry Nozero. David and Ned. Two AMAZING musicians. What was unusual was that I am pretty sure that neither parent was musical.

  7. Avatar Richard Mann says

    Well, neither parent was musical but his maternal grandmother had three other grandchildren who were very musical. Kinda like it jumped a generation.
    And his son is a boy soprano at the Met in NYC. So it goes.

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