Hodges allegedly studied with Bechet, although I don't know what kind of reed or mouthpiece either used.
As to Albert clarinets, that is true that many old timers from New Orleans played Alberts. And, some hard-core traditionalists today STILL play Alberts.
But to me, a clarinet is a clarinet, regardless of the fingering system. I have two Albert System Bb soprano clarinets and they certainly don't sound much different than my preferred Boehm clarinets. In fact, they all sound like me on clarinet. While I claim to be a traditionalist, I prefer Boehm System and don't believe the fingering system really matters as far as tone goes. DAVE