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M/Pieces - Ligs Mouthpiece for Johnnie Hodges sound

Kingsleyhk

Senior Member
Messages
508
Starting to really enjoy my alto but (inevitably) thinking about a better mouthpiece. I'm after a classic Johnnie Hodges sound - anyone any thoughts on an appropriate mouthpiece?
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,125
Million dollars question, I can ask a couple of people if they know his setup (maybe online you can find something).
A cigar cutter (Selmer SSS) would be on my gas list. Not sure he used one, but when I had one I felt like doing long glissandi.

Brilhart mouthpiece with a slightly harder reed? Maybe a good HR Link (4 or 5 facing) might work too. Selmer Soloist?

Keep us updated, and good GAS
 

Greg Strange

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,077
Johnny Hodges was famous for playing Buescher saxophones - Aristocrat models and then later on using the Le Blanc system saxophone for a while. Most photographs I have seen of Johnny he always seems to be playing the Buescher alto.

Mouthpieces? Probably a white Brilhart (like Charlie Parker) or maybe a Gregory. A larger chamber mouthpiece for a more rounder sound - I think Beechler might make a Brilhart hard rubber 1940s style mouthpiece.

Actually Coltrane (not Robbie) said Johnny 'Rabbit' Hodges was the greatest sax player on the planet.

Good luck but remember Johnny Hodges sounds like Johhny Hodges...

Regards,

Greg S.
 
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Kingsleyhk

Senior Member
Messages
508
Thanks to you both. I had a vague idea that a Brilhart was his mouthpiece choice.

I just love his sound - mind you, i also love Paul Desmond.
 

Greg Strange

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,077
Thanks to you both. I had a vague idea that a Brilhart was his mouthpiece choice.

I just love his sound - mind you, i also love Paul Desmond.
No problem mate. Desmond played a Gregory moouthpiece. Another great alto player...

Greg S.
 

Kingsleyhk

Senior Member
Messages
508
As suggested, i had a look on line. No conclusive answers and he did seem to change over the years - metal Link to Brilhart to Berg Larsen to Selmer, according to one view.

Here's one claim that I find interesting "Johnny Hodges used a Brilhart mouthpiece modified to implement a tenor reed. This gave him the ability to smear notes to an incredible minor 3rd".

I've read that Earl Bostic did the same - anyone ever tried
that? It seems an interesting - and strange - thing to do!

The master (Yes you Pete) also has something to say on the subject on one forum:

"
What setup with a NEW alto can give you a sound that resembles Johnny Hodges?

When you say "YOU" presumably you mean "you", ie you not "me" or "us".

I'm not trying to be funny, but you, me or us playing the same set up would not sound like him.

What might make sound (a bit) like him is not the same as what might make you or someone else sound (a bit) like him.

I have been asked in the past on film recording sessions to sound like Johnny Hodges, and I managed to get away with it. (well I got paid, Mr Coppola like it and they used the cue in the movie!)

My horn was an Adolphe Sax, the mouthpiece was a Vandoren Java A45 (only because I was endorsing them at the time).

I think that if I'd used the same horn and mouthpiece/reed as Johnny Hodges, I may not have pulled it off.'

So I guess that answers my question!
 
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