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Discussion Starter #1
Hello folks,


I saw an interview and clip recently of Branford about his new quartet release, and I noticed he was using a hr V16 tenor mpc and m/o lig. Curious about that, wondered when he switched from the Lebayle he had been playing. DIdn't look lkike his usual SBA either, anyone know what horn he was using? (I think this was a Downbeat article...)
 

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Whatever he's playing now, it sounds absolutely terrible. I just saw him on a show on PBS, International Jazz Day or something like that. His tone was really dull and stuffy. Sounded worse than a middle school student (no offense to middle school students). All of the other sax players on the show sounded great. He needs to go back to whatever horn/mouthpiece he was playing before. Or maybe he was just off that night. Happens to everybody sometime.

Don't get me wrong. I love Branford. I've been a fan from the very beginning. He's had a great sound up to now. But I was shocked by what I heard.

@ving, do you have a link to that clip? Would be interesting to hear if he sounds any different on that recording than what I just heard on TV. If that's what Vandoren sounds like, I never want to touch one.

Solo starts around 2:30:

Contrast with the bright, rich sound he used to have:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I guess the clip embedded in that article is mostly interview, but I think there is some audio in there of tenor. I wonder if the new recording is on the v16 mpc. I think probably, it sounds different than earlier recent stuff, which I believe was on a Lebayle? I always think Branford sounds like him, which is great! I did think the Lebayle sounded more stuffy. To me, his sound on the new recording is airier and more flexible sounding but that could be due to the mix/mic, who’s to say?
 

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Whatever he's playing now, it sounds absolutely terrible. I just saw him on a show on PBS, International Jazz Day or something like that. His tone was really dull and stuffy. Sounded worse than a middle school student (no offense to middle school students). All of the other sax players on the show sounded great. He needs to go back to whatever horn/mouthpiece he was playing before. Or maybe he was just off that night. Happens to everybody sometime.
I did not think he sounds terrible there, but the miking seems a little weird to my ears. It certainly does not seem to help.
 

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I agree with Mdavej. The sound is tubby and lacks definition and is on the verge of squeaking. In the other clip his sound is much crisper and focused.
 

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I guess it could be the speakers we're listening through or any number of factors, but to me the first video sounds rich and complex, as if the horn is filled, the second sounds thin and bright, kind of generic.
 

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I guess it's a matter of taste. You like it, and apparently Branford likes it. I don't. As Kritavi says, the lack of any higher frequencies (brightness) sounds like mush. I think a rich and complex sound has all the low frequency components contemporary Branford has PLUS some high frequencies to give it definition like young Branford. Generic is a fair characterization. But it's ubiquitous because it's good.
 

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I guess it's a matter of taste. You like it, and apparently Branford likes it. I don't. As Kritavi says, the lack of any higher frequencies (brightness) sounds like mush. I think a rich and complex sound has all the low frequency components contemporary Branford has PLUS some high frequencies to give it definition like young Branford. Generic is a fair characterization. But it's ubiquitous because it's good.
Ubiquity is detrimental to art, in my opinion. But I am not going to go off on an everyone sounds the same now rant.
 

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With Branford's recent sagely advice regarding the problem with jazz music: that the musicians suck, in mind.
Branford could perhaps help the struggling tenorists of this world with the release of a book on how not to suck while blowing the tenor.
If I was to guess his method I'd say first up you've got to get a mouthpiece with a big tip, a 9 or 10 will do, but maybe an 11 would be better.
Next you need a hard reed, 4s are probably too soft.
Then you've got to put it in your mouth, and this is important, you've got to clamp your mouth around it like a dog on a postman's leg, and at the same time, try to smirk, and blow hard.
If there's a problem: a stuffy tone that doesn't sing, no tops, it sounds dead etc, well I can't think what the problem could be, it's probably a ligature thing.
 

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Tough crowd!! Hard to say that he sounds terrible. He's had a darker "tubbier" sound for a while now and I agree it's not my favorite, but it's far from terrible.

My buddy always said Trane sounded like a middle schooler and was terrible.

I disagree and don't really understand that mentality.

Not your preference, ok cool, but terrible!? If he sounds terrible then 95+% of sax players in this entire world are whatever adjective is worse than terrible.



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Hello folks,


I saw an interview and clip recently of Branford about his new quartet release, and I noticed he was using a hr V16 tenor mpc and m/o lig. Curious about that, wondered when he switched from the Lebayle he had been playing. DIdn't look lkike his usual SBA either, anyone know what horn he was using? (I think this was a Downbeat article...)
I saw him live in Milwaukee a couple of weeks ago and he had what looked to be a brand new Selmer. I was assuming it was a series 3. It definitely wasn't an SBA, or anything remotely vintage for that matter. He was playing a lot of soprano, but I couldn't tell for sure what that was. It also looked brand spankin new. He was using the bent neck on it, whatever it was.
 

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I saw him live in Milwaukee a couple of weeks ago and he had what looked to be a brand new Selmer. I was assuming it was a series 3. It definitely wasn't an SBA, or anything remotely vintage for that matter. He was playing a lot of soprano, but I couldn't tell for sure what that was. It also looked brand spankin new. He was using the bent neck on it, whatever it was.
It's a Prototype horn that Selmer made a while ago. He's been on it for little bit now. At least 6 or 8 months. Possibly longer. That's just when I talked with a couple Selmer guys about that specific horn and they informed me that Branford was playing it. I was told it's the only one in the US.

This is of course assuming that he hasn't switched from it, but doubt it.

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