Greg does it again !

Any of you remember an excellent musician called “Greg”, used to post on Wade’s forum and produced some excellent sounds on a Buescher C-Mel using a rubber tenor Berg Larsen mouthpiece.  Well, he’s been at it again, but this time using the original Buescher ebonite 20’s C-mel mouthpiece on a tune called “Soul Eyes (take 1)”.

Only for ADSL/broadband as it’s almost 4 Megs, but well worth a listen.    Greg’s new website    is coming along, and he promises to have his original C-Mel recording of  “This Masquerade” back up on it soon.

Greg Fiske – obviously most of the sound is the man himself, but to coax that sound out of one of the old mouthpieces ? Superb.

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16 Responses to Greg does it again !

  1. ukebert says:

    Very nice 🙂

  2. Gandalfe says:

    I can’t get Media Player to autoplay the MP3. Most sites, no problem. It’s probably something with my computer, again… :o(

    BTW, I can save to my hard drive and then play, if I’m so inclined.

  3. al says:

    Both my browsers (vintage Explorer, and cutting-edge Firefox) seem to have decided to default to realPlayer – but then I am running Windows 98(SE…). Always love to be at the tail-end of technology, much cheaper (and often more reliable).

    I’ve downloaded the mp3, I’m sure Greg won’t mind, I tend to do that with sounds I enjoy – saves the bandwidth. Wish I’d done that with Gregs (C-Mel) ‘Masquerade’ – I will when it surfaces again. I should, in all honesty, mention that I first saw this on saxontheweb !

  4. ukebert says:

    I downloaded Masquerade as soon as I heard it: I still have it somewhere.

  5. lewis says:

    Very sexy and sultry.
    Conjures up images of late night New York in the rain. The world of Tom Waites!

  6. al says:

    Yes Lewis, makes me want to get out the Naujocks… (that metal faced one) C-Mel mouthpiece and have a go on that. Funny, the Auilasax ‘more open’ ebonite mouthpiece really does allow more volume etc., but you’ll notice that the range and dynamics of Gregs ‘Soul Eyes’ is very limited – you can almost sense him ‘probing’ the sound possibilities of the old closed-lay mouthpiece… And using a standard tenor reed as the only 21st century concession.

    Raally must get my priorities right, do lots more playing, and check out a few more mouthpieces. After all, am I realistically ever going to play loud jazz-funk again ? Thanks Greg, for the ‘nudge’. And of course for the superb sound – really does come alive later on in the song, with with more bass/brushes and laid back piano – nice technique at the end, just the sax fading away ! Learning more each day…

  7. lewis says:

    That is what I was trying to say…very nice; well executed but very limited in range and timbre. He clearly decided, and played what best suited that set-up…perfect with brushes and double bass, and possibly a piano.
    I really would like to hear him busking along with that set-up in the style, say, of Junior Walker. We all like to be able to play like that but, also, screaming along with a rock/blues band and it would be very naff to be forced to change instruments in order to accommodate all styles. One set up should cover all unless you are fortunate enough (or limited enough) to play in one particular genre.
    It is for this reason that I mainly play tenor…even with a raucous mouthpiece with a huge tip opening…tailor made for blues/rock, it can be made to subtone and give a fair impression of Ben Webster… or, at least, closer to that style than Greg could get (I would imagine) to Junior Walker.

  8. al says:

    Ah, but it’s only us mere mortals that want to sound like someone else ! Ben Webster would never want to sound like King Curtis, nor Stan Getz like Junior Walker. One of them would need to cut thro’ a big band, two through amplified instruments, and Stan rarely rose above an (almost) acoustic quartet, with a string bass. So they can each develop a unique sound, cut and volume (often) being a secondary consideration.

    That’s the reason why I said “am I realistically ever going to play loud jazz-funk again ?”. I could maybe get away with a gentler sound. The small amount of studio work that I did required me to use a gentler setup than ‘live’. Quality before quantity… I mean, someone once said “I only need to project as far as the nearest microphone” – but then I do like a bit of unamplified acoustic presence, and the ability to ROAR – even if I can then amplify the sound. I’ve always considered amplification more as a means of spreading my sound (i.e.), coming out of multiple, spaced out, speakers – along the lines of ‘surround sound’ – rather than necessarily just making me louder. That’s why we play thro’ PA’s, whereas guitarists have a wall of speakers immediately behind them (and then ask to be put thro’ the PA as well, the gits….)

  9. Lewis Pelham says:

    I would love to develop a Stan Getz sound… perhaps you would mention that to the megalomaniac amplified guitarists with whom I play…they may listen to you.
    I am more than aware that my main priority is LOUD…sad really.

  10. lewis says:

    I hear what you say about only having to project as far as the mic. but the snag is that you would not hear yourself over the backline…somehow this drives you to “compete” with the mic-ed up drumkit, the loony on bass and the guitarist, to compete with that pair has his 100 watt Marshall set to 11.
    There really is no space left for the saxophonist who wishes to use dynamics and the vocal range of the instrument…becomes not a volume control but a switch…either on or off! Either blowing your a**s off or watching the guitarist shewing off.

  11. al says:

    Lewis – yes, agree totally, I’ve had a metal Lawton 9*BB in my armoury simply because it both cuts, projects, has a reserve of dynamics, and I just love having that envelope of acoustic sound just in front of me – a slightly more ‘shrinking violet’ mouthpiece wouldn’t have let me hear myself (foldback or not…) in some of the more ‘competitive’ moments. It’s the sign of a suitable mouthpiece for that environment) when you can still (sometimes just…) hear yourself acoustically, despite the noise levels around you.

    It was also always a search to find the best mic that would allow highest volume, but lowest amount of feedback, with the PA speakers angled slightly towards me – I always try to play ‘on the end’, closest to the speakers, so feedback is always a consideration. Bloody guitarists, with their ‘wall of sound’, often distorted to annoy even more – never have the same problem with keyboard players, no matter how loud they play.

    Happily those days are over, I’m comparatively deaf in my left ear (nearest the group…), thankfully my right can now hear the subtleties. Amazing, over the years, how many mouthpieces have sounded amazingly gorgeous at home, yet fallen at the first hurdle ‘on stage’. Sigh.

  12. al says:

    Listen to this bit of Ben Webster – can you imagine him coping with even a moderately loud guitarist hammering away on an old Vox AC30 ?

    Horses for courses, once you get the sound you want, then (unfortunately) you can only realistically play it in an environment that supports or even enhances that sound. The more unique (or extreme) that sound, the smaller the environment – imagine Paul Desmond in a blues band 😀

  13. lewis says:

    Absolutely delightful…wonderful mood shots of New York also.
    Oh to have a foot in both camps…a full on rock/blues band and to play gently with a piano & bass.
    The versatility of the saxophone can be a curse…with some instruments there is only one way to go; I am not sure that they should not be envied…I mean, what can you do with a flute or an oboe? Just play flute or oboe music. The saxophones can reach the extremes…choices and decisions…Hey Ho.

  14. lewis says:

    There is a school of thought that insists that the clip is not Ben Webster but Dexter Gordon.

  15. al says:

    Yes, I saw that comment as well, I’ll admit, it does sound a little ‘clean’…. Here’s one with pics –

    And I know that’s Ben Webster, I saw him live in Bristol (Colston Hall) decades ago – but I can still remember it almost like yesterday – except I can’t remember much about yesterday 😦 ! I wondered at the time, whether he was just playing the mouthpiece, or eating it as well !


    Other facets of flute ? Ian Anderson (Tull), Roland Kirk, Jeremy Steig… ?

  16. lewis says:

    Exactly…they all sound like asthmatic flutes :-))

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