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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've been a tenor player my whole sax life and have been looking to add alto and soprano to my arsenal. I need some information and suggestions.

I've never played alto, but I've had an "Alto sound concept" in my head for a few years now. I just heard an alto player whose tone is exactly what I hear in my head and want on alto, Steve Slagle. In case anyone's interested, the album is Mingus Big Band's "Gunslinging Birds".

I've done a little bit of searching on this forum and the internet in general. I see he play on Yani altos and Vandoren reeds. Does anybody know the specifics regarding his mouthpiece and reed combo? I know it's not going to give me the sound, but I need somewhere to start.

I just that love really lively, punchy alto sound. Sounds like if he blows any harder the horn will spontaneously combust or something. Awesome

Thanks for any input,

-Dan
 

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Listen to Steve Slagle everyday for a couple months. Play along with his solos. Try and match his sound. Record yourself in the process to see where you are getting.

If you listen to someone enough, you will come through in your playing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Of course, practice, practice...emulate, emulate.

I know that equipment isn't going to "give me" any sound, but I'm interested in what he's playing as a point of reference. If somebody knows, please post it.

Thanks,

Dan
 

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On the cover of the Stryker/Slagle band Live at the jazz standard CD he has a Selmer long shank soloist piece with a FL Ultimate Lig on his A9937 Yani (credited on his website).

Hope this helps...

guido
 

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guido said:
On the cover of the Stryker/Slagle band Live at the jazz standard CD he has a Selmer long shank soloist piece with a FL Ultimate Lig on his A993X Yani.

Hope this helps...

guido


Earlier Slagle Quartet albums do look like the standard Selmer/Meyer pair. but I think this is pretty clearly not either...
 

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My thoughts on Soloists...

I currently play on a Soloist on alto, a short-shank that's about an .085 opening. Which would have cost me at least five bills if it were original. But it began life as a C* and I had Adam Niewood open it up and perfect the facing... and I'm totally in love with it.

If you don't have an alto setup yet and are interested in Slagle's gear, you don't need to shell out ridiculous money for an original E or F Soloist. If you can find a small one on ebay or something, send it to Niewood or Brian Powell or someone like that and get the thing opened to where you'll need it, you'll have a killer, colorful piece. Just my thoughts.

I got no thoughts on Meyers, I never play em.
 

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I'm quite unexpectedly fond of Soloists too. Amazing how they stand up the sturm und drang of GAS and still keep the number one spot.
 

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What about just buying a modern Soloist in an E or an F? Or is the idea to have the baffle raised as the C* is opened up to get the sound brighter?
 

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I can't imagine the facings on modern Soloists are that good... I could be wrong, my Super Session is great on soprano.

Also, I believe the modern Soloists use a round chamber. My short-shank has the horseshoe chamber, which I think might contribute to the crazy colorful sound that those pieces are known for. Mine does have some edge to it, so you're probably right about the baffle being higher due to the reface. That could be changed, of course.
 

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No, I've heard the new Soloists have the arch-shape (otherwise known as horseshoe, U or half-round) chamber.

"Course there is a whole can of worms about short shank vs. long shank....

I may want to try this thing. Though I wonder if the Soloists work better in close tips, at least for me. I really like my vintage C* which takes a pretty hard reed. It is very flexible and good for pit work on the quiet side and old timey society gigs. I once had JVW open up a Soloist D, and I never cared for that piece. These were both long shanks. But my blowing and tastes have changed.
 
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