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Hey Everyone,
I'm currently looking to find a mouthpiece to play on my Yamaha YBS-52 (hoping to eventually get a Conn 12M) that will give me that Mulligan sound. Any ideas on Mouthpieces? Reeds? Ligatures even? Thanks.
 

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Well the closest thing to what Gerry used is the Charles Bay Gerry Mulligan model with a small tip size. But almost any low baffle large chamber piece should get you close if you spend a lot of time listening and internalizing his sound, transcribing his solos etc. Tone is mostly you, the piece only helps.
 

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When I was chasing that tone, I found it with a RPC .105 rollover mpc on a Buescher TrueTone. I played that horn - and several others - head to head against a Mulligan-era 12M and preferred most everything about it.
 

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Hey Dr G,
Are the RPC's a large chamber piece? My TT Bari only seems to work with an old pickle-barrel style mouthpiece. While the sound is great it isn't very versatile. I'm wondering if the RPC might help.
 

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Guy I used to play with used a Meyer 6 w/ Rovner ligature, not sure what reeds he was using (LaVoz, I think). His horn was a Yamaha 61 bari...with that setup his sound was pretty "Mulliganesque".

That was some 15 years ago though. Be aware that if you're shopping for modern Meyers, the factory quality control has gone down the toilet. You may have to try several to find one that works. I was bari mouthpiece shopping recently and one of the Meyers I tried out had a great big bump halfway down one of the rails...probably the worst workmanship I've ever seen on a rubber mouthpiece.
 

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It worked well for me - likely more of a medium chamber than a True Large Chamber.

Give Ron a call to chat with him. Ron is a bari player and will understand the issues. Mine was from about 14 years ago so I don't know if he makes them from the same blank. Even if not, he can work the sidewalls to add chamber volume.
 

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Mulligan used a small tip Charles Bay at the end of his career. These can be excellent pieces.

I have an older one in near mint condition for sale here, if you'd like it. Its the model Gerry used.

Just email me at: [email protected]


All the best, mark
 

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Well the closest thing to what Gerry used is the Charles Bay Gerry Mulligan model with a small tip size. But almost any low baffle large chamber piece should get you close if you spend a lot of time listening and internalizing his sound, transcribing his solos etc. Tone is mostly you, the piece only helps.
Mulligan used a Gale mouthpiece made in LA by MC Gregory. According to an interview in Saxophone Journal he couldn't find a replacement for his Gale which was wearing out. Charles Bay had the MC Gregory molds but I don't recall seeing any Bay mouthpieces that were actually copies of a Gale or MC Gregory for either alto or baritone.
 

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Charles Bay tried to do some pretty good replicas - he borrowed a couple of Gale pieces from a bari-obsessed friend of mine. I haven't seen or played the Bay replicas tho' so I won't speak to the results.

Mulligan should've called 10mfan... He's always got the good stuff.
 

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Mulligan used the Gale for a long time, and then it broke.
He later in his career used the Charles Bay model that was made for him.
I own Gerry Mulligans MC GREGORY mpc, and had one of his Charles Bay pieces here, but I aready sold that one. I still have the MC GREGORY.
I got the MC GREGORY from his wife with a letter of authenticity, and a cool promo picture of him. Its crazy great and has a haunting Mulligan vibe.

The Bay piece i have is very good. Selling for $350.



MARTINM5862---you are about 45 minutes from me. If you want to come and try Gerrys bari mpc for fun sometime, let me know.
 

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The "Mulligan sound" is more about concept than gear. Mulligan used an MC Gregory (10mfan has this piece) and later a Gale (made by Gregory) and finally the Charles Bay. I believe that the Bay mouthpieces are produced in the same factory, with the same equipment that Gregory used. I'm not 100% sure about that.

Anyway, the concept of the music is more important. You can get similar results with Meyer, Link, Brilhart and other pieces. Once you get to be an expert baritone saxophone player, you'll be able to imitate Mulligan with conviction. Of course, once you have that skill you'll be more interested in carving out your own style.
 

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the "mulligan sound" is more about concept than gear. Mulligan used an mc gregory (10mfan has this piece) and later a gale (made by gregory) and finally the charles bay. I believe that the bay mouthpieces are produced in the same factory, with the same equipment that gregory used. I'm not 100% sure about that.

Anyway, the concept of the music is more important. You can get similar results with meyer, link, brilhart and other pieces. Once you get to be an expert baritone saxophone player, you'll be able to imitate mulligan with conviction. Of course, once you have that skill you'll be more interested in carving out your own style.


Perfectly said!
 

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isn't this how i first answered the OP?
 

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The problem I have with saying that Mulligan used a small tipped anything is the fact that the man played almost 40 years on that piece before it broke. It broke because his teeth wore a hole through the top. I will almost be willing to bet everything that not one person here has played any one instrument, let alone mouthpiece, for the length of time that Mulligan played his equipment.

Also, the liner notes to Lonsome Boulevard say that Van Doren made his new mouthpiece. Supposedly the new mouthpiece was made from the same molds as the one that is now in pieces, but there was trouble making the piece because the hard rubber was not the same.

I have tried to find information on the Bay mouthpieces to no avail.

Lastly, would a mouthpiece after being played for as long as Mulligan played his still have the same tip opening as it was originally stamped?

I know Mulligan did not use the same sax nor mouthpiece for recordings and live performances. I believe this was stated in an interview Mulligan gave to the Sax Journal.

To quote Guido and agree 100%, the equipment never makes the man or his sound. It is what the man does with the equipment that makes the man and his sound. Mulligan got his bari from a pawn shop. All the major companies tried to give him their baris. He died playing an old Conn when he could have endorsed anything he wanted. I find that very interesting.
 

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I have his mc gregory, and it measures in the 80's. Thats a very small tip. His charles bay was in the mid-high 80's if i remember correctly.

He was the best of the best, in my opinion.

The sound comes from the concept---but the right mouthpiece allows for that to come out the same way you hear it on the inside.
 

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There's an interesting interview with Gerry Mulligan in Saxophone Journal Vol 18, No 1 of July/August 1993 and here is a little bit of this interview in talking about his mouthpiece.

Your mouthpiece is a Gale ?

"Yes, approximately a number five. Have you ever heard of the mouthpiece called the Gregory Rico? Around 1938 or '39 ... it was always identified with a gold ring around the edge of it. After they got done with the die, it got passed to various other people. It went to someone in California and he put it out under the name Gale. It was also called a Simpson after Jimmy Simpson, who managed Locke's Music Store in Hollywood on Vine Street. It was agreat shop. Jimmy put it out under his own name amd with a similar design. Now [1993] Charlie Bay has the die. He's made one for me, which I'm loaning to a friend in Ireland. After pursuing Charlie for eight to ten years to please try to make me one, he said he didn't have the hard rubber material that he could use in this old die. I almost got to the point where I thought seriously that I would have to give up playing because I couldn't find a mouthpiece."

There was a series of three articles called "The Gregory Mouthpiece Saga" written by Ralph Morgan in the Saxophone Journal Vol 17 No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 in 1992-93.

There is some interesting history about MC Gregory and his daughter, Gale, the involvement of Charles Bay and the story of Gale and Gregory mouthpieces. MC Gregory was a fine woodwind man in the Hollywood studios in the early 1930s who spent some years developing a line of mouthpieces. In 1936 he brought out the Gregory mouthpiece and it seems that they were also produced and badged as Rico mouthpieces. After World War II Gregory formed Gale Products Co. in Hollywood (named for his daughter). Gregory lost the sight in one eye through glaucoma and was told he would shortly be blind. He took his own life, leaving the company to his daughter. She lost her life in a house fire and the ownership of Gale Products passed to the company lawyer, Caesar Tshudin, a non-musician who ran it for some 20 years. In 1969 the company was sold to Charles Bay and this turned into Bay-Gale products. Some of the mouthpiece manufacturing seems to have been contracted out to Babbitt Co. The article talks about Charles Bay's then (1992) plans to re-use the tooling for the Gregory model of sax mouthpieces and produce that line again.

Here is a section from Part III which refers to the Gregory Master Model:

Enter M.C. Gregory, a fine studio sax man; and Carl Satzsinger, a very talented engineer who designed the machinery and molds to produce the new Gregory mouthpieces. The rubber formulas so important to the tone quality were produced by Sierra Rubber in Culver City, California. Thus we have the legacy of the fine Gregory Master Model mouthpieces, which were perhaps the most famous of the lines. Some of the popular models in that line were:
(there is a list of information for "Legit Clarinet", "Doubling Clarinet", "Alto Saxophone", "Tenor Saxophone" and then this ...)

Baritone Saxophone
#3-A20 facing length 26mm, tip opening 1.87mm or .0741"
#4-A20 facing length 26mm, tip opening 2.04mm or .0801"

At this point I think a small comparison and head scratching session might take place. Many of the great saxophone artists played the Gregory mouthpieces; we are very satisfied listening to their efforts, as well as trying to emulate them. But take a look at the numbers I've presented for the facings on these pieces and compare them with either your own, or those used by today's greats. In the alto models, the number 4's, used by Johnny Hodges, Paul Desmond, etc., had tip openings just over .060", while we struggle today with some models up to .090". The more middle of the road players use those around .075". A comparison of tenor pieces gets more drastic when we realize that the Coleman Hawkins Link model was a big step into the world of open tip mouthpieces, but now we commonly see more in the .135" range and the more popular Gregory was only .073" at the tip. Why do we think we need to work so hard?

The chambers of the Gregory Master model were round at the throat, as good design would dictate. The throat was somewhat squeezed in to form the air column into the shape and size of the opening of the neck of the sax. The squeeze helped produce the brilliance and pop of the pieces. The baffle area had a smooth, and semi-long, roll-over baffle with a nice "S" curve down into the throat. The rounded (concave) side walls produce the marvelous warm brilliance of the pieces.

Later on the article says .... Let's not forget that Gerry Mulligan is looking for a replacement for his old Gregory 4-A20 bari piece

Hope that is of interest.

Rhys
 

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I don't play bari, but found that a very interesting post Rhys :).

As soon as bigger tips came available (I think around end 40's begin 50's, depending on the brand) a lot of players started using them (but not all). Maybe also the quality and production process of reeds has something to do with that change. In the old days most players had small tips and hard reeds, but the discussion small tip hard reed versus big tip smaller reed is maybe a bit out of topic for this thread. I did some sound comparison clips for tenor on that topic in my own amateuristic way and posted the results in this SOTW thread.
 

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I use the actual Bay copy (7N), it is actually very different than the Gregory (I use one a couple years ago). The Bay are more centered and also more bright. IT sound very good but different I dont feel I sound like Mulligan at all but I think my concept of sound are a bit different.
 

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Excellent information on many of these posts; I find the most interesting those posts that talk about Mulligan's personal style and
approach. NOT what mouthpiece he may or may not have used. I have watched him in person and on video over the years (I've played
baritone since 1957-NOT his caliber to be sure), and I have noticed that part of his "sound" could be related not to just his equipment,
or embouchure, but the notable amount of the mouthpiece he seemed to take in, which as we know, could well affect his "sound" and
tonality. I have never observed him "playing out on the tip" or anywhere near it. That may possibly explain (partially) his round and
woody, and airy tonality. Just my observation of a master of masters.......
 
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