i play lead alto in a big band also. i use a Jody Jazz Classic 7 with a # 2 fibracell. it has a sweet tone and it can scream. it comes with a spoiler if you need more edge. without the spoiler it has that true lead alto sound, sweet, but with some cut. best of all its about $ 130.00 bucks. if you want more try the DV for $ 475.00. BTW i tried the HR and it didn't do it for me.go to Jodyjazz.com.the classic is a polycarbonate piece that sounds like a good hard rubber but projects like metal.also very durable. i've already dropped it onto tile twice with no damage.