D’Addario, the company that produces some of the world’s most popular reeds, including D’Addario Reserve, La Voz, D’Addario Jazz Select, Rico Royal, and Hemke (among others) has finally released a professional-level saxophone mouthpiece for alto called the D’Addario Select Jazz Mouthpiece. Kristen Mckeon, Artist Relations specialist over at D’Addario was nice enough to send me a 6 tip opening so I could compare it to my Vandoren V16 and Meyer mouthpiece. I am going to be reviewing this mouthpiece on its overall sound, intonation, response, and quality.
I believe that many mouthpiece makers today are trying to re-create an alto mouthpiece that plays similar to a Meyer Bros or NY Meyer mouthpiece. When playing the D’Addario Select Jazz mouthpiece, it reminded me of the older Meyer mouthpieces in terms of the warmth, edge, and brightness that I have found when test playing some of the aforementioned Meyer Bros and NY Meyer’s. If you have played the V16 or play a new Meyer mouthpiece like myself, the best way to describe the D’Addario Select Jazz is it embodies the focus of the V16 but has a bit more warmth and roundness to the sound which reminds me of my new Meyer.
I found the intonation on the Select Jazz mouthpiece to be a excellent. Similar to my Meyer and V16, this mouthpiece has a consistent scale from low Bb to High F#.
This mouthpiece responded well and was easy to control. I could play from the Bb to high F# from very soft to very loud. I tried a Lupifaro Classic 2 reed, but believe that this mouthpiece is similar to my Vandoren V16 and Meyer, where it is very reed-friendly.
The CNC machine work done on these D’Addario Select Jazz alto mouthpieces is top-notch. I have from time to time tried certain brands where there were noticeable shortcomings evidenced by uneven rails and a table that was not smooth. Fortunately, this is not the case with the Select Jazz mouthpiece. Using solid rod rubber and milling, the mouthpiece, I believe, is an effort to recreate the vintage sound and quality of the past.
I am very excited that D’Addario has introduced there new select jazz alto mouthpiece. If you are in the market for a new alto mouthpiece or are looking for a lower-cost alternative to purchasing a vintage Meyer Bros or N.Y. Meyer, I would highly recommend play-testing this mouthpiece. Compare it to a Vandoren V16 and Meyer mouthpiece to see which one you would prefer.
I would say that the D’Addario Select Jazz mouthpiece for me is a hybrid between a V16 and new Meyer mouthpiece in terms of having the focus and edge of the V16, but it’s also got the roundness and warm sound that many players find in a Meyer.
At the end of the day, you have to choose the mouthpiece that you feel most comfortable with and I believe the D’Addario Select Jazz alto mouthpiece is definitely one to consider.
Again, I want to thank Kristen Mckeon at D’Addario for sending me this mouthpiece to try out and review.
Please leave any comments or questions.
On the D’Addario Site: