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Thinking about Doc Tenney: I bought this piece from him about 10 years ago ... we had a sort of "diagnostic" phone conversation about what I was shooting for, after which he sent me this SS Berg, 110/2 SMS with his custom facing. It was (and is now) my primary tenor piece.

And by primary I mean basically "only" -- I don't generally sleep around with other pieces, though in the recent past I did just that for a couple of years with Links, in particular a wonderful Sakshama STM. I tried Links mainly because I learned from SOTW that Links confer manhood and wholesomeness and were handed down by God for tenor players, and that if you aren't playing a Link you're just ... unsavory and suspect.

I'm back on the Tenney Berg 'cuz it's a better fit for me -- but, I gotta say that I think I'm getting more out of it after my foray into Links. I might be voicing the piece differently; alternatively, I might just be a suggestible idiot -- at any rate, the piece is really giving me what I'm looking for: it can be lush and soft and lovely, or it can snarl if I dig in...

Here's a clip of that Tenney from last week Thursday. Doc passed on Sunday... As a special bonus: on this clip, Grover Washington's brother Darryl, a killer player in his own right, is on drums...

https://soundcloud.com/kellybucheger%2Ftenney-berg-demo
 

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Very sorry to hear about Doc Tenny's passing. Fine playing from you. Sometimes these physical (mouthpiece) and emotional connections make for good introspection and fine playing.
 

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Great blues!
 

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Kelly - Nice playing; you sound great on that Tenney Berg! These ramp baffled pieces are certainly interesting in that, to my ears at least, they don't have a typical Berg sound, but have what for lack of a better description is a "Linkish" quality to them.

I bought a 115-2 ramp directly from Doc a number of years ago which he made from a current prodcution (i.e. investment cast) stainless steel blank and which I ended up selling as the tip opening was actually a bit to big. A few years later I picked up the 110-2 which I currently own and which Doc have made from an "offset M" blank from back in the days when they were machined out of stainless steel bar stock. This is a fantastic piece and definitely a keeper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Great blues!
Thanks, Rory!

Kelly - Nice playing; you sound great on that Tenney Berg! These ramp baffled pieces are certainly interesting in that, to my ears at least, they don't have a typical Berg sound, but have what for lack of a better description have a "Linkish" quality to them.
Doc Tenney has stated elsewhere his take on the tonal characteristics of the 2 and 3 straight-ramp Bergs, and that they do have their own vibe compared to other Bergs.

I also think, as I mentioned in my first post here, that I'm getting more out of the piece now than I used to -- I'm happier with the sound I'm getting and I feel like I've got more tonal flexibility. In the past few years I've *really* been focusing on tongue and oral cavity, and I think it's paying off...

Thanks for the comments, Bob!
 

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I don't generally sleep around with other pieces
Well, I'm glad you're, sort of, practicing safe embouchure. I guess everyone, at one one time or another, felt the pangs of sowing their oats outside their own camp.

I'm still playing my good ole stock mouthpiece for the past 10 yrs. There is no way I would disrespect her with the flair and Hollywood glare of another. As far as I know, my mouthpiece has never graced another horn. Let me find out!

Excellent playing Kelly! I enjoyed that!
 

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Beautiful Playing Kelly.

The sound you're getting is very Berg but very personal also. It's the bite, the outside of the tone that points to Berg.

Bergs are not one trick Ponies at all like some conventionally brighter pieces. Donny McCaslin plays a berg and he's got almost the Darkest Modern tone around.

I wish I hung onto my old Berg From High School. Maybe one day I'll do some spending and have a little fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Excellent playing Kelly! I enjoyed that!
Thanks, Mike! And I'm increasingly thinking mouthpiece monogamy is the way to go...

Bergs are not one trick Ponies at all like some conventionally brighter pieces. Donny McCaslin plays a berg and he's got almost the Darkest Modern tone around.
Thanks for your comments, 'Wailer. Interesting that you mention McCaslin -- he was the guy who made me decide to give my Berg another look. I *love* his playing and sound -- he's got his own non-Linkish vibe, and yeah, he's dark.

There's something about the Berg that's hard for me to describe, but for me it's a more responsive, "faster" piece compared to my Links -- it's like the notes just pop out faster, just right there, and my articulation can be cleaner ... like I say, it's hard to describe: to oversimplify, with my Links I have to sort of push to get what I want out of the horn, while with the Berg if anything I need to back off.

As a result it feels like I've got more "headroom" with the Berg -- because I'm not already pushing, I can lean into it when I want to, and the piece responds to that beautifully: the sound can cut more, or take on appealing sort of snarl, if I'd like to do that.

I think an essential part of making the Berg work for me has been this understanding that I *don't* want to "push" the piece as I once did routinely -- instead, I can really back off, and only push it when I'm looking for a particular effect. This relatively new insight makes me really excited to continue to explore the piece...

At any rate, gents, thanks for your comments!
 

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Thanks, Mike! And I'm increasingly thinking mouthpiece monogamy is the way to go...


Thanks for your comments, 'Wailer. Interesting that you mention McCaslin -- he was the guy who made me decide to give my Berg another look. I *love* his playing and sound -- he's got his own non-Linkish vibe, and yeah, he's dark.

There's something about the Berg that's hard for me to describe, but for me it's a more responsive, "faster" piece compared to my Links -- it's like the notes just pop out faster, just right there, and my articulation can be cleaner ... like I say, it's hard to describe: to oversimplify, with my Links I have to sort of push to get what I want out of the horn, while with the Berg if anything I need to back off.

As a result it feels like I've got more "headroom" with the Berg -- because I'm not already pushing, I can lean into it when I want to, and the piece responds to that beautifully: the sound can cut more, or take on appealing sort of snarl, if I'd like to do that.

I think an essential part of making the Berg work for me has been this understanding that I *don't* want to "push" the piece as I once did routinely -- instead, I can really back off, and only push it when I'm looking for a particular effect. This relatively new insight makes me really excited to continue to explore the piece...

At any rate, gents, thanks for your comments!
Two great things about Bergs: Bullet chamber giving wonderful set of overtones and longer facing combined with large baffle for ease of playing
 
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