Drake NY Jazz mouthpieces

When I was over in Bend my buddy Joe asked me try a few new mouthpieces that he was going to be stocking in his music store. The first was a resin tenor Aizen, which was pretty mediocre. It had good response, but no real core to the sound. It was a C+ at best.

Next Joe brought out two alto pieces made by Aaron Drake, who is known for his ceramic pieces. These new models were made from a resin compound rather than ceramic. The Drake ceramic pieces always looked like they were really well made but the material never interested me too much. The "Drake vintage resin" (whatever that means) pieces that I tried are called the NY Jazz model. Aaron also has some ceramic/resin hybrid pieces which I did get a chance to check out.

The NY Jazz model alto pieces are modeled on a NY Meyer, so the chamber was a little smaller than my Slant Link. The baffle is long and pretty flat and every aspect of the workmanship is excellent. Joe tells me that all of the pieces he's tried have been consistent and all played great. I must say that I was kind of shocked at how good the NY Jazz piece played. I really do not expect very much from modern mouthpieces. I tried a 5 and a 6. The 6 was a little more open than my Slant 6, but it still blew easily with little resistance. It had a big fat warm core to the sound and it was easy to make subtle changes to the timbre. The 5 didn't have as big of a sound, but it was easier to control and a bit more focused and sweeter. I would think that I would probably recommend the 5 to my students over the 6, but I might feel more comfortable on the 6. One thing that was a little strange was that the shank opening was really large. I had to put some tape on my neck cork to even play it. I wondered why Aaron did that, but it's a minor issue regardless.

The pieces run about $300, which is a little high to recommend for my younger students, but still much lower than trying to find a vintage Meyer or Link (and without all the hassle). These pieces have my full endorsement and I look forward to trying Aaron Drake's other models in the future.

Drake Signature NY Jazz alto mouthpieces


Jeff Rzepiela said...

Aaron's pieces are great! I'm not one to switch mouthpieces often, but after a recommendation from someone, I gave the NY Alto piece a try. Fantastic! Really opened up the sound. You're right about the shank opening. I've got teflon tape on my neck now. Since this piece looks like a keeper, I'll get my tech to replace the cork to fit the new piece.

Anonymous said...

If anyone is interested, I tried a couple of Aaron Drakes TENOR sax mouthpieces last week at his brother Eric's store Saxology. They were both NY Jazz models. They played clear and full. They were really very good in my opinion. Nathan Kline. P.S. I like Otto Links and play an EB metal.

mike said...

is there any difference between drake mouthpiece used and new one piece (same model etc)? seller telling me that, and i dont know if its true..what is your opinion??

David Carlos Valdez said...

As long as there is no damage to the used piece it should play the same as a new piece. I would think that the price should be 20-40% lower than a new piece.

mike said...

I have another question... which type opening too choose 6 or 7 for NY Jazz mouthpiece for alto. I was trying 6 and 8 with 2.5 vandoren traditional reed. 6 was easy to play, nice sound, etc. 8 was harder for me, but im wondering if better choose 7 type opening, but can't try that mpc, thay dont have that piece in store.. 310$ its not low price for me and i want to make right pick. Please tell me what to do.

David Carlos Valdez said...

i think the 6 is probably open enough for about anyone. Sometimes the 7s can also be tough to play, with too much resistance. I would go for the 6. Drake's actually run a bit larger than Links or Meyers.