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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Note:This list is not complete as there are some players like Coleman Hawkins and Arthur Prysock and older jazz players I didn't include because I was focusing more on brighter sounding guys into R&B, R&R and more out there jazz.

Here are some ideas from famous Berg players. Check out their sound on YouTube. Frankly most of the R&B players back in the 50's played metal Bergs that ran from 100 on up to 120/130. This was well before all the candy-shop boutique mpcs started coming in. Now you can get coffee flavored ones, chocolate flavored ones and jelly bean ones, but for R&B, Rock and Blues I have found my offset Berg to really be all one needs. It's just cause I'm fickle and have GAS that I play other pieces as well. Truthfully the M7 and my custom High Baffled Steroidal Tone Edge 8 are the only other mps that can play the best in those settings.

Sam Butera -- Berg Larsen slant signature " Charlie Ventura" model, long table, stainless steel 110 / 2 Rico Plasticover #5

Ace Cannon -- Berg Larsen hard rubber 90 / 1

Pete Christleib --
Metal Berg Larsen 130 / 0 Rico Plasticover #2

Wardell Gray --
Berg Larsen metal

Craig Handy --
Berg Larsen metal 105 /1

Plas Johnson -- Berg Larsen metal, gold-plated bronze, 160/0/M Baritone Rico Plasticover 2 (Wow what a setup) BTW I play baritone reeds on tenor too, but usually not on the Berg because it is too slim.

Roland Kirk -- Berg Larsen Metal

Harold Land --- Berg Larsen Metal

Lenny Pickett --
Berg Larsen 130 / 0 sms Vandoren reeds

Boomie Richman --- Berg Larsen 85/1 played with a baritone reed with a wide flare.

Sonny Rollins ---- Berg Larsen HR and Metal 130/2 at different parts of his career La Voz, Hemke

Barney Wilen --- Berg Larsen Metal

Eric Marienthal -- Berg Larsen 110/2

Grover Washington Jr. --- Berg Larsen HR Rico Royal #5

King Curtis -- SS Berg 130/2 or HR Berg Larsen 140/2 not sure which is correct.

Junior Walker --
130/1 Berg with LaVoz Med

Clarence Clemmons -- SS Berg 130/0

David Murray -- 43 year-old SS Berg 120, hand-made by Berg Larsen himself.


Gato Barbieri -- Metal Berg

More setups, look at the tenor column and find the Bergs.
http://www.hornmedic.com/whoplays.html

Some comments on Cafe Saxophone regarding Bergs
https://cafesaxophone.com/threads/some-questions-about-berg-larson-mouthpieces.4162/

Maybe someone should sticky this as I combined from several sources and it took me quite a while. Hint hint.
 

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Chris White of Dire Straits plays a duckbill and sounds great.
 

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Young jazz players but with R&B - funk - hip hop etc influences

- Kamasi Washington: BL 110/0 with La Voz Hard or Hemke

- James Brandon Lewis: (BL, but I don't know nothing more)

and then:

- Dana Colley (Morphine): tenor BL 105 with La Voz MH/H
 

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Dewey Redman I think played a Berg HR as well.
 

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I add Johnny Almond, Berg Larsen metal tenor

A great recording is "California" by John Mayall, from the LP "The turning point"
 

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I also like all those players and the sound they get on Bergs. However, it's worth pointing out that back when most of them were playing, a Berg was about the only choice for a (relatively) high baffle mpc. Maybe there were a couple others but Bergs were the main choice. Now we have a lot more choices in a similar vein. No way to know, but it's interesting to speculate how many of those players would have chosen a Berg over some of what's available now.

But yeah, Dewey Redman! Great sound. Come to think of it, there are/were a lot of different choices among Berg designs, both HR & metal, so I wonder if just saying someone 'played a Berg' isn't overgeneralizing a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
2011 and still playing a Berg metal mpc.

 

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Billy Harper? The absolutely loudest tenor player I've ever heard live.
Jimmy Forrest played Bergs and we've all seen the photo of Coltrane playing a hard rubber Berg. Dick Oates played a hard rubber Berg on alto, maybe still does.
I've also read that Bird played a metal Berg for a minute. I guess before the Selmer London.
Don't feel bad, mouthpiece switching isn't something the internet and eBay started but it sure was cheaper before.
 

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Jimmy Forrest played Bergs...
But he was playing Link's for the longest time of his career (and in his prime time), so he doesn't really count as a Berg player (like Coleman Hawkins).

Don Byas also used a Berg later in his career (he started on Link's, on which he sounded the best [like most of them!]).
Same goes for Sonny Rollins.
Buddy Tate also used a Berg since about the 50's I think.
 

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Budd Johnson played a metal Berg in the late '50s and 1960s. He went to a Link STM after that.
Budd Johnson solos at 1:00 trading with Jerome Richardson.

Bennie Wallace is another metal Berg guy, although he tends to alternate with a metal Link STM often.

A slightly more obscure Berg user is tenorman Tim Armacost.

I've seen photos of Sonny Stitt with a metal Berg on a King S20 tenor, and a rubber Berg on a Selmer SBA alto.

Jerry Dodgion played a rubber Berg on alto from the 1970s-early 2000s, then switched to RPC.

Everyone knows that Bergs have been popular with baritone players for many years. Joe Temperley played a Berg in the '60s before becoming a Link man. Charlie Fowlkes used a metal Berg on a Conn 12m with Basie from the '50s onward. Today, Frank Basille plays a metal Berg on baritone. He's a Pepper Adams disciple and plays a similar setup.
 

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Probably add Jay Beckenstein to the list as he told me he had lots of Berg Larsens and Links.
 

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When I bought a couple of used Berg Larsen tenor pieces in about 1982 or so, the seller sent me the stainless and ebonite pieces in original Black and Red boxes along with an old Berg Larsen brochure that i guess dates from the late 50s or early 60s. On the front of that brochure the following names are printed:
  • Charlie Ventura
  • Sam Donahue
  • Charlie Parker
  • Boots Mussulli
  • Stan Getz
  • Georgie Auld
  • Stan Kenton section

And in handwriting someone has added against Sam Donahue "100/2 SMS (?) metal, Rico 5 1/2 clipped".

And at the end of the list they have written:
  • Danny Moss 7* Link (105/SMS) Rico
  • Dick Morrisay [sic] 7* Link ebonite

At the time of the brochure the ebonite pieces were priced at £4-10-0 (now £4.50) for soprano, clarinet, alto and tenor and £6 for baritone. The metal pieces were £6 except for the baritone that was £7-7-8. And the brochure also includes Berg Larsen reeds

Rhys
 
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