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Vandoren Optimum AL5 Mouthpiece

Sax Virtuoso Rick Keller Shares Tips for Better Sound, Rhythm, Improvisation, and More

Saxophonist Rick Keller

Rick’s Official Bio Rick Keller continues to explore and develop his musical voice. Both a sought after sideman and an artist, Rick is constantly composing and pursuing his own projects which define his commitment to creative expression. He has been inspired by music from many countries as a result of playing in concerts and recordings […]

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Can the Marmaduke Line of Mouthpieces Replace the Classics? Plus, Lupifaro Reeds.

Marmaduke Saxophone Mouthpieces

While at the 2013 NAMM show, I ran into a gentleman by the name of Alex Miyatake. I met Alex at the R.S. Berkley booth while trying out various Virtuoso tenor saxophones. Alex told me to try out his Marmaduke line of mouthpieces. I have heard and seen these mouthpieces on and have seen […]

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Gain Instant Inspiration with these 16 Unsung Tenor Heros

Unsung Tenor Saxophone Heros

We’re all raised on a steady diet of the tenor greats, of which there are many. So many of the movers and shakers of jazz played this horn, people like Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Ben Webster, Dexter Gordon, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz, and Wayne Shorter, continuing into more recent times with people like […]

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Are these Horns by Selmer and Yanagisawa All that They’re Cracked Up to Be?

Yanagisawa 992 Tenor

Introduction For years and years now, Conn-Selmer has been manufacturing some of the most popular and highly regarded woodwind and brass instruments on the market. I was recently contacted by Derek Bowen over at Conn-Selmer, and he was nice enough to send me a Yanagisawa 992 tenor, Selmer Reference 54 tenor, and a Selmer Reference […]

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Tonguing Tips: Pushing the Limits of Your Saxophone Technique

Saxophone Articulation Excercise

Pushing Your Saxophone Technique Limits It’s true. There are physical limits to how many notes can be played with accurate timing, articulation, and proper intonation. However, there’s really no telling what those limits are. When practicing, it’s important to push ourselves to approach those limits to achieve greater proficiency. That will result in a more […]

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Can a Saxophone Neck Strap Cure Neck Strain While Playing?

Jazzlab saXholder

While visiting the MACSAX booth at the 2013 NAMM show, the booth to the left was that of the saxophone accessory company, Jazzlab. At this booth, I found a new neck strap called the saXholder (yes, that’s the spelling that the company uses). Benefits of the saXholder I was able to talk to Silvin Jancic, who […]

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Tone Building Exercises Used By Many of Jazz Music’s Saxophone Masters

Tone Building Exercises Used By Many of Jazz Music’s Saxophone Masters

Someone once told me that, when speaking to Cannonball Adderley about tone after seeing him with Miles’ band, which included John Coltrane (!), he mentioned that they were seeking an “inspired tone”. Safe to say, they found it. An inspired tone, along with great time, are two traits that all masters have in common. No […]

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An Evaluation of Vandoren’s Hottest Products

Vandoren Saxophone Accessories

Introduction Vandoren is a name that many saxophonists have come to swear by. I have tried many of Vandoren’s reeds and saxophone accessories for soprano, alto, and tenor. David Gould and Andy Blanco over at DANSR were nice enough to send me some of their most popular Vandoren products. I am going to be reviewing […]

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