On Monday afternoon, I received one of the best mouthpieces that I have ever owned – Mark Sepinuck’s (10mFan) new mouthpiece, The Boss.
I had been having mouthpiece troubles as of late. Genuine mouthpiece troubles. A few months ago I broke a couple of teeth – since then I haven’t been able to find a mouthpiece that was comfortable and gave me the sound that I wanted.
Lately, I had been playing a variety of Otto Links in the 4*-6* range, I tried some JodyJazz DVNY’s, a few of Ted Klum’s pieces and many others. I just couldn’t get the dark and edgy sound with the volume that I wanted. The major setback of the broken teeth was my selection of reeds. I can’t play hard reeds – I’m not sure why, but they just don’t have the zip that they once had.
I emailed Mark about a small metal Berg Larsen – I was hoping that it would provide the power while being easy on my face. Mark asked me to call him. We spoke about his new pieces and I asked him to make me a 6* in the brightest model. The next day, he called me back and told me that the mouthpiece wouldn’t work in a 6* – the tip was too small for the baffle and it wouldn’t speak properly. He encouraged me to go with the 7*, continuously reassuring me that the mouthpiece would be freeblowing enough that it wouldn’t bother me. I ordered the 7* (but was not totally convinced that it would work).
The mouthpiece showed up on Monday afternoon. I didn’t have my main horn with me (1967 SML Gold Medal), but I had my backup horn at my shop (1967 Buffet Super Dynaction). I threw the mouthpiece on the Buffet and it spoke. It spoke huge. Bright enough to cut through with my soul band, The Split, but also warm enough to play a jazz gig on. I typically play on the darker side of the spectrum, so it’s nice to get a boost from a bright mouthpiece. So easy to play!
I played around with reeds – Rico Jazz, Orange box, Rigotti Gold, Vandoren JAVA Red and settled on some Rico Orange 3’s and took the piece for a real test drive.
My roommate, Michel Delage, was hosting the jam session at Le Petit Chicago and I figured that it would be the place to tell if the piece would deliver in real life.
The Boss really fills a room. It never thins out in any range – altissimo included and you can put all of the air that you want down it and it doesn’t choke. This mouthpiece is a keeper. One of the aspects of the piece that blew me away was the clarity. Every note speaks and it’s deadly in tune. I like that there wasn’t any adjustment time on the piece – just plug and play. I didn’t change anything about the way I approach the horn. It just lets me play the way that I want. I even picked up a phone number after I was finished playing – there’s something special about this mouthpiece!
I spent another four hours on the piece today and I’m discovering the flexibility of the mouthpiece. I was working through some of the Kreutzer violin etudes (great sax exercises – check them out!) and the octaves and more are clean. I did find that I had more control with softer reeds, so I moved to a Rico Orange box 2.5, and I’m going to order some Rigotti Gold 2.5M tomorrow and I think that it will work for me.
Mark has created an amazing piece and for a player that plays jazz, R&B, blues and more.
It’s a piece that makes me excited to get the horn in my hands!