New Orleans based Benjamin Allen has handcrafted two fantastic tenor saxophone mouthpieces with his 10E and 20TD models. I will present my personal opinions and experiences with these mouthpieces, and saxophone mouthpieces in general, as I have played an expansive list of equipment over the course of my 30 year playing career. I play a 1948 Martin Committee III “The Martin” Tenor/Rico Royal 2.5 Reeds/Selmer Two-Screw Ligature and for your review:
*MM, DMA in Saxophone Performance, University…Read more
Dr. Paul "Doc" Tenney was instrumental in guiding us towards being as direct as humanly possible when it comes to communicating about saxophone equipment. When Doc first captioned these concepts to us, we had little idea what he was talking about, but our explorations have yielded that many saxophone makers, mouthpiece makers/refacers, and accessory makers often have a differential approach to saxophone marketing and acoustical understanding than what Doc taught us. NOTE: Our approach is not better, more…Read more
JuJu by Wayne Shorter (Blue Note BLP 4182)
Just the Facts: In early August 1964, Wayne Shorter gathered in Rudy Van Gelder’s birthplace of Englewood, New Jersey with the same rhythm section from his Blue Note debut album, Night Dreamer: McCoy Tyner on Piano; Reggie Workman on bass; and, Elvin Jones on drums. They recorded eight original Wayne Shorter compositions.
Initial Impressions: Coltrane’s rhythm section is back, the album is being recorded only four months after Night Dreamer, Shorter is still…Read more
Night Dreamer by Wayne Shorter (Blue Note BLP 4173)
Just the facts: Wayne Shorter, still dedicated to the tenor saxophone in 1964, brings together Lee Morgan on trumpet, McCoy Tyner on Piano, Reggie Workman on bass, and Elvin Jones on drums for his debut recording on Blue Note. Alfred Lion produced the album, which was recorded in the spring of 1964.
Initial Impressions: Most jazz enthusiasts quickly recognize that Wayne Shorter brings together John Coltrane’s rhythm section and Art Blakey’s horn section…Read more
Roots and Herbs by Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers (Blue Note, BST 84347)
Just the Facts: Produced by (music great) Alfred Lion, Root and Herbs was recorded over three sessions in 1961; however, the album was not released until 1970. Art Blakey lead the group on drums with Lee Morgan on trumpet, Wayne Shorter on tenor saxophone, Bobby Timmons and Walter Davis, Jr. on piano, and Jymie Merritt on acoustic bass. Wayne Shorter composed each of the six tunes on this album.
Initial Impressions: Not released…Read more
Wayne Shorter’s recording cycle between the fall of 1959 and the fall of 1961 consists of three years with Vee Jay Records, three consecutive Autumn-born albums, three albums produced by Sid McCoy, and three entirely different rhythm sections. Fourteen original compositions and two trumpet players later, we have greater insight of Shorter’s early recordings and of the man who would go on to become one of the world’s greatest jazz artists. I believe Wayne Shorter’s early works possess similar qualities…Read more
Second Genesis by Wayne Shorter (Vee-Jay Records, VJS 3057)
Just the Facts: Eleven-months after releasing his debut album, Wayne Shorter was back in the recording studio for Second Genesis. Shorter is the lone hornsman this time around with an all-new rhythm section. Art Blakey is on drums, Cedar Walton is on piano, and Bob Cranshaw is on bass. Five of the eight tunes on this recording are Shorter’s compositions.
Initial Impressions: After hearing the singing quality melody to Ruby and the Pearl breeze in…Read more
Introducing Wayne Shorter by Wayne Shorter (Vee-Jay Records, VJLP 3006)
Just the Facts: Upon first glance, (it’s rather clear) Shorter had a (heavyweight) crew for his first recording including Paul Chambers on bass, Jimmy Cobb on drums, Wynton Kelly on piano, and Lee Morgan on trumpet. Moreover, five out of the six songs are Wayne Shorter original compositions. This is the first of Shorter's three albums with Vee-Jay Records.
Initial Impression: Within seconds of listening to Shorter’s improvisation on …Read more