Hayes Greenfield – new album featuring C Melody sax

Despite all the undeserved ‘bad vibes’ that C Melody saxophones often seem to acquire along the way, mostly from sax players who’ve never tried one with a half-decent mouthpiece, it would seem that a few more established  sax players are recording the odd album featuring the instrument.

Another such player is Hayes Greenfield, click here for Hayes’ website.

His latest (2010) album, called  Light Shade Shadow features him (as far as I can tell) exclusively on C-Melody / C-Tenor. To listen to all the tracks from his album, featuring him on C-Melody sax, with a very robust sound, click on the link below –


– and from where the album (or indeed individual tracks ) can be also downloaded for a very reasonable price.  If you’d like a taster, click on the triangular arrow below to hear a short excerpt of Hayes Greenfield playing Brazilian Dream (on C-Melody sax) from his 2010 album -  Light Shade Shadow   - 

I’ve also included that short excerpt in the mp3 player  C Sax Sounds on the website home page, I’ll email Hayes and ask him for details of his setup, and publish that here when I get it.  Beautiful sound !

(Update) – I received a very friendly reply from Hayes, and was more than a little astonished at his setup. Because I read on his website (quote) –

“Hayes Greenfield is both a Yamaha and Vandoren performing artist, and proudly plays a Yamaha Custom Z alto saxophone, and Vandoren mouthpieces and reeds on all his horns.”

– I was amused to read that the ‘C’ setup that produces quite a modern sound is in fact not quite so modern, and for such a tenorish sound, even the reed is an alto one, Vandoren, naturally, as Hayes is a ‘Vandoren performing artiste’…  Here is an extract from Hayes’ email (quote) –

One of the things I love about the C Melody is that as you know it has sound qualities of both the alto and tenor but in one horn.  I often like to refer to it as Bi-Saxual.

The horn on the CD is a Buescher C Melody and the mouthpiece is I believe a Link C Melody hard rubber Mouth piece, there is actually no name on it, just the design that is often found on Links.  I play it with an Alto Vandoren Java 2 1/2 reed.  I got the horn on Ebay and fortunately it came with the mouth piece.

I have a Conn straight neck and a Holton both of which have a little bigger and brighter sound, more towards the alto than the tenor which I prefer with my Buescher.  Plus the Buescher seems to play better in tune, but it’s not as loud.”

Hmmm, debate !  Still love his sound to death, so where on earth can I get a vintage Link C Melody ebonite mouthpiece ?  I should also mention that Hayes also devotes a lot of time and effort (as the founder) to the Jazz-A-Ma-Tazz organisation, bringing jazz to children of all ages !

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5 Responses to Hayes Greenfield – new album featuring C Melody sax

  1. Lewis Pelham says:

    That’s the sound Alan….could easily be mistaken for a Bb tenor. Very well spotted.
    All those who decry the C tenor (fewer of late) should listen to that….& re-appraise.
    Nothing like the “asthmatic swan in a sewer pipe” that is usually associated with the C tenor.
    It is worth noting that John Dankworth also “found” the C tenor late in his career; but, using a Conn, had nothing like the solid sound of Hayes.

  2. alan says:

    Lewis, I’ve just updated the ‘front page’ with details of Hayes’ setup – ebonite C-Melody mouthpiece (possibly Link) and Vandoren ALTO reed.  Gobsmacked, expected a tenor reed at the very least !

  3. Lewis Pelham says:

    I too am astounded  😯 …..not even aware that a Link C Mel mouthpiece existed. Perhaps we should offer him the loan of either your, or my horn & set-up for a recording….snag is that it would probably sound like a baritone in his hands.
    Perhaps I should look again at my mouldering collection of No Name mouthpieces.
    Love the expression Bi-Saxual…wish I had thought of it.

  4. Cristiano says:

    I was looking back at this post and went to his page to download a few C-melody songs. In the CD release page it has him as playing Alto saxophone in this CD.
    I guess he might be afraid that sales will not be as good if he admits playing a C-melody.

  5. Bruce says:

    Wow. The Buescher is a great Cmel. I have a Buescher Wurlitzer stencil. Wonderful sound, though I’ve had a hard time finding a mouthpiece that works. Suggestions? The Buescher seems heavier and sturdier than my King, though the ergos on the latter are more modern.

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