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Rascher piece for jazz

2029 Views 15 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Roger Aldridge
This may sound weird, but using a soft, jazz-cut reed with a Sigurd Rascher piece has a great jazz sound (on alto). It really sounds like a big edgy tenor down low, but still has plenty of cut in the high register. IMO, it would be perfect for a big band. The only problem I have is that once you get to around forte-fortissimo loud, it's impossible to blow any harder. What do you guys think?
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I've been the happiest using a thicker-cut (classical type) reed with large chamber mouthpieces. I discovered that this gives me a stronger tonal core and a fatter sound. I can dig deep into my sound and it takes whatever I can throw at it. I found that "jazz cut" reeds don't give me as strong of a tonal core. Anyway, this is my personal experience. Others may have different results.

In addition, I discovered that large chamber tenor mouthpieces with a tip opening below .090 did not give me the level of power I wanted for big band playing. I found a perfect point of balance between power and control in my Morgan 6C (.090). I'm much happier with it than the 3C I used to play on.

One more thought..... I've been finding how important the facing curve and side rails are to the performance of a mouthpiece. It might be possible for a good mouthpiece refacer to take a Rascher mouthpiece and "optimize" it -- especially, tweaking the facing curve and side rails -- for the particular reed cut you want to use. It's been my experience that just working on those parts of the mouthpiece (ie, not doing anything to the tip opening or baffle) can turn a mouthpiece into a more powerful one. Simply put, it allows the reed to work more optimally on the mouthpiece's facing.

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Besides Vandoren Traditional reeds, I'd suggest Alexander Classique and Gonzales as being high quality cane reeds that have a thicker cut (more "wood" in the heart).

The Legere reeds I use are based on the profile of Vandoren Traditional.

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