I finally decided that my short lived bari career was over. The cost of reeds was enough reason to bail out. I could also see that my chiropractor bills would be higher if I continued playing the hog. I sold it quickly on Craig's List and bought a Yani-901 soprano in mint condition for $1500 on eBay. The mouthpiece quest was on once again. First I got a bunch of new pieces on trial from WWBW. They let you take four at a time and only charge you for one and you have some time to make up your mind. The new hard rubber Links were shit, as well as the S-80s, the Meyers, Bari, and Yanigasawas. Every one sucked major wang. None of them was even in the ballpark. Next I had my buddy Tom send me a few he had on hand, a Charles Bay, and a couple other ones. Still no cigar. Finally Tom called me to tell me had found a slant Link 4 star that he would sell me for $275. The next day he backed out of the deal until I made him feel guilty and offered him $350. I thought that $350 was a little high considering I would need to pay almost another hundred to open it up. The fact was that there weren't any Slant Links around anywhere for under $600. Soprano pieces were even harder to find than alto Links. Since I play old hard rubber Links on alto and tenor, I would probably only be happy playing one on soprano too.
I decided to use a local refacer named Jeff Holman because I was getting tired of send pieces through the mail to Brian Powell for refacing. I wanted to be able to sit down and play the thing so the refacer could actually hear what I was talking about. It is too hard to explain to someone over the phone what you are hearing and would like to hear.
"Well it needs more- bite, balls, zing, oomph, body, warmth, depth, center, chunks, sizzle, edge, blah, blah,blah......"
When you send a mouthpiece away, you just hope that the refacer has the same concept of a good saxophone as you do and knows how to get it. Brian has done great work for me in the past, but I really felt like he could do better if I was right there showing him what I wanted.
My soprano piece is ready for me to pick up. I'll let you know how things worked out.
This blog is starting to remind me of a saxophonist's American Splendor.