Re: Recommended Reed Brands?
You're learning that reeds are *expensive.* Reeds do actually make, in my opinion a massive difference in a player's sound, so if you can avoid cutting corners too much on this, it could be helpful to your son in the long run.
I've been loving Vandoren Java reeds for the longest time, but those are definitely geared towards jazz playing due to their bright and cutting sound, and may not be appropriate for playing in a concert band where they play lots of marching band and classical music.
Generally speaking, I like Vandoren reeds all the way around. The regular Vandoren saxophone reeds have a nice dark sound that would work great for a concert band, and are of a generally higher quality than Rico.
I'd say, go to a music store and pick up a few reeds from each brand, have your son try a few out, and see what feels and sounds best for him.
I hope that helps,