New on the scene and making a lot of noise are iReedman’s Retro Revival Saxophone Mouthpieces. Saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist Joel Peskin is behind the new line of mouthpieces with focus on recreating the vintage pieces of the past rather than “reinventing the wheel.”
I first discovered them while on Facebook and saw their sponsored post which got me curious. After poking around the internet, I found some FABULOUS clips of some of the top studio saxophone players in and around Los Angeles demonstrating the Retro Revival sax pieces. Bob Sheppard and Brandon Fields were among the first I heard on the New Yorker Alto and Super D Double Ring Tenor mouthpieces. Listening to them on these pieces was enough to make me want to try them!
Wanting to know more, I sought to find out more about the origin of these mouthpieces and discovered Eric Falcon was the craftsman behind the scenes. Eric has been long associated with some of the premier boutique mouthpiece manufacturers such as JodyJazz and Warburton.
Now, teamed up with Joel Peskin, Eric Falcon has crafted a series of mouthpieces intended to replicate the best vintage mouthpieces from Peskin’s own collection – and presumably other collections as well.
Once I found out Eric Falcon was involved, I messaged him to see about trying a couple. He put me in touch with Joel Peskin who was kind enough to send a couple he hand on hand to try.
Within days I received a Shorty Soprano hard rubber mouthpiece in an E facing and a 6M New Yorker Alto Sax mouthpiece.
The “New Yorker” Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece priced at $395.00 came in a nice black cardboard canister with the Retro Revival Logo. The piece is also paired with the Rico H ligature and plastic cap. The overall look of the piece and craftsmanship was superior. The 6M is advertised at .078 and I found it to be about .085 on my gauge. The piece was more resistant than what I was used to, however really opened up when some air was put through it. The upper register could be quite punchy when needed and the overall line was very consistent top to bottom. Five months post-hernia surgery, I need something less resistant and am fairly certain a 5M advertised at .072 would feel more like what I am used to playing.
The “SHORTY” Soprano 50’s Paris Scroll Shank-Round Chamber Replica priced at $375.00 also came in a nice black cardboard canister with the Retro Revival Logo. This piece is also paired with the Rico H ligature and plastic cap. The overall look of the piece and craftsmanship was superior and resembled the scroll shanks of the 50s. The E is advertised at .053 and I found it to be about .056 on my gauge. The facing was a bit more closed than what I was used to, however was very responsive. It was very easy to play in all registers and I think a slightly larger tip opening would suit me well. By comparison to the New Yorker I tried, I did not find the Shorty overly resistant at all. It was a pleasure to play!
While it was great to be able to try both the Soprano Shorty and New Yorker Alto, I REALLY wanted to try the “Super D” Double Ring Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece which Brandon Fields and Bob Sheppard sound so good on. These guys are modern day saxophone heroes and to see and hear them on these pieces was inspiring – but they would sound good on anything right? Maybe, but clearly these top jazz and session players would not lend their names to anything but the best of equipment.
Certainly I will try the Super D Double Ring when I can get my hands on one. I am thankful to Joel Peskin for sending me what he could to try right away and I look forward to having an opportunity to try both Double Ring tenor models. The Gold Plated New York is considered darker and the Rhodium Plated with a higher baffle and a bit brighter. They are advertised at $675.00.
It was great to finally try these wonderful new pieces by Joel Peskin and Eric Falcon. We will certainly be seeing and hearing more Retro Revival Mouthpieces in the near future!
You can see and hear some great demos from Brandon Fields, Bob Sheppard, Joel Peskin and others at https://retro-revival.com