Saxophone Forum


by Deacon Blues
(12 posts)
10 years ago

Aquiring that Take Five sound

Is it just me or does the sax(tenor I presume) in Drubeck's Take Five have an out of the ordanary funky whining sound? I play alto and am wondering how to imitate that sound? Is he doing anything special? Or is it just me?

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  1. by Jango
    (13 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Aquiring that Take Five sound

    Hi, That was Paul Desmond playing sax on that Dave Brubeck cut. (Take Five) I'm sure he was playing an alto. Jango

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    1. by Deacon Blues
      (12 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Aquiring that Take Five sound

      An Alto? Really? Great! but WAS he doing/using anything special? Or is just the recording? Thats not a normal alto sound, or is it just me?

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      1. by nickhmorgan
        (5 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Aquiring that Take Five sound

        Deacon Blues, killer name, I'm a huge Steely Dan fan. I don't think that anybody can say that there is a "typical" alto sound. Every player has their own voice on the instrument. The best way for me to immitate a tone that a cat is getting is by doing alot of lifting of that specific player and if thats not getting me the sound I want then I play the gear game. You should look up what Desmond's setup was. Mouthpiece matters more than horn in this case. More importantly, its his approach and his throat and his embouchure. Experiment on your horn with your embouchure and where your throat is (high or low) and try to find what you can do to get the sound that Desmond was getting. Hope this helps...

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        1. by SaxMan
          (559 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Aquiring that Take Five sound

          Why don't you acquire your OWN sound? But I will let you waste your time trying to copy desmonds sound with this information: The sax was a 1951 super balanced action, the mouthpiece a 1951 gregory 4A-18 - from the latent pictures I have seen, I would say that the piece is a master model, though all of the speculative information suggest that the master wasn't made until the mid fifties - though I am pretty damn sure that it is a master. And the reeds were 3.5 rico brown box reeds.

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      2. by wesmiller
        (55 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Aquiring that Take Five sound

        Desmond was an alto player from the "cool school" along with Stan Getz, and Gerry Mulligan. Was a reaction to the hard, fast technical skills which were the hallmarks of the bebop era which preceeded it. Seems like everybody goes through a "Desmond phase". I've heard him described as a master of improvised melody. As far as his sound goes I've always belived that he sounds almost like a classical player in his approach to tone.

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        1. by Deacon Blues
          (12 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Aquiring that Take Five sound

          Thanks SaxMan: Ya, I know I gotta have my own sound, I just wanted it to play the particular piece(take five) and sound as great! thanks for the info wes, and nice to see some Steely Dan Fans round here!!!

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        2. by saxguy9345
          (21 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Aquiring that Take Five sound

          I'll agree that Desmond almost sounds like a classical player in that recording, almost a 'flutey' sax if that makes sense. I like that sound, but I love my own. Oh, and equipment won't make you sound like him, even if you went back to the 50s and picked up his horn, no way. If I had more information on his style and approach to music, I'd give it, but I'd think that's the route you want to go before dropping cash on a play-a-like. Good luck~

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