Saxophone Forum


by rousseau
(10 posts)
8 years ago

paul desmond

Does anyone know what sax, mouthpiece, reed Desmond used?

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  1. by swingstreet
    (315 posts)

    8 years ago

    Re: paul desmond

    He played a Selmer Mark VI, used a Gregory 4A-18M mouthpiece, and Rico 31/2 reeds. He was always one of my favorite players.

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    1. by rousseau
      (10 posts)

      8 years ago

      Re: paul desmond

      thank you swingstreet. He is my favourtie. That sound is unmistakable. I know it's not all in his setup , but it's interesting to know what he uses. By his own admission he is the,"slowest and quietist" player. But what an impact on the sax world.

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      1. by jamterry
        (573 posts)

        8 years ago

        Re: paul desmond

        the MK VI alto is so pristine. I don't notice as much difference with my tenor and soprano compared to other horns. I think that alto is the purest sounding saxophone. You don't need to blow a bunch of money on a gregory. You can get that sound with a meyer richie cole 5 and LaVoz medium.

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        1. by Saxaholic
          (1 post)

          7 years ago

          Re: paul desmond

          Just to be clear, Paul Desmond did NOT use a Mark VI. He used a Super Balance Action alto...the model right before the Mark VI. And the Gregory Model A's do indeed have that tone quality to them; I own one and no other mouthpiece comes close to sounding like Desmond.

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        2. by jamterry
          (573 posts)

          7 years ago

          Re: paul desmond

          I haven't tried any mouthpiece that sounded like anyone except the person that is playing through it. I played Horowitz's Steinway grand for fifteen minutes, and I didn't sound a bit like Horowitz. Not to change the subject, but that piano has real loose action. Have you tried every other mouthpiece available? You made a pretty bold statement. Good luch with your music :) Terry

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      2. by saxmachine777
        (57 posts)

        7 years ago

        Re: paul desmond

        This has less to do with the setup, but you know what I've always admired about Desmond's playing (at least on record)? His altissimo register is brilliant. For the music he plays, his altissimo is flawless. The theoretical range of the horn might as well just be extended for him, it sounds so natural. Seemless, and for his soloing, I love that.

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        1. by swingstreet
          (315 posts)

          7 years ago

          Re: paul desmond

          Yes, it seemed that when he played in the altissimo range, it was as if his sax had special keys built into the sax. Smooth and sweet.

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