In 2013 David invited me to meet after his concert in San Antonio Texas. David expressed his need for a mouthpiece that could replace the mouthpiece he played for many years. From this initial meeting I began making prototype mouthpieces for David to try, and within several months we landed on a design that David liked. Not only liked, but a mouthpiece that could be his number one piece. In 2014 Dave switched and began playing exclusively on his Drake mouthpiece.
Several years have passed since then, and now David and I have decided to offer this mouthpiece as the David Sanborn model.
.Each Sanborn Signature mouthpiece is precision-milled from virgin brass rod stock, then extensively hand-worked and finished by Aaron Drake. Aaron’s dedication to his craft and attention to detail ensure that each mouthpiece is an exact reproduction of David Sanborn’s own. The result is the harmonious combination of a rich core sound, with a precise, instant attack and; ultimate projection. David calls this moment and quality “the point”. This is the pure impact of the sound before rippling into space (See the video on right to hear David explain “The Point” while sitting with Aaron).
The mouthpieces are plated in sterling silver for an elegant, satin-like finish.
The Sanborn Metal Masters model
Hand finished / milled brass with silver coat.
“I find these mouthpieces extremely responsive and flexible…I can go anywhere on the horn with nuance, texture and attack.” (taken from the video of David and Aaron on this page)
– David Sandborn
Handcrafted with Drake’s Vintage Resin.
“This new Vintage Resin really feels like home to me. It is an extraordinary mouthpiece, with full spectrum tone. The intonation is incredibly precise. It is like nothing I’ve played before. It is incredibly free-blowing and full. A joy to play.”
– David Sanborn
A conversation between David and Aaron about this model.
David Sanborn has released 24 albums, won six Grammy Awards, and has had eight Gold albums and one Platinum.
Having inspired countless other musicians, Dave has worked in many genres which typically blend instrumental pop, R&B and traditional jazz. He released his first solo album Taking Off in 1975, but has been playing the saxophone since before he was in high school when he was inspired by the great Chicago blues artists near his hometown of St. Louis.
above is a review from our UK dealer – Sax.co.uk
Slant / Power Resonance / EB
The design process was over two years in the making for the “EB” model, with extensive input and feedback from Bergonzi at every stage. The result is a mouthpiece that generates a lustrous, lush, fat sound, in line with the best vintage mouthpieces of the era.
.Bergonzi first gained recognition as he became a frequent guest-artist on several Dave Brubeck ensemble tours and recordings during the 1970s, and he held the saxophone chair in the Dave Brubeck quartet from 1979 – 1982. He recorded nine albums with Brubeck, from 1973 to 1981. Bergonzi teaches at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. He is the author of Inside Improvisation, a multi-volume series of instructional books with play-along CDs and videos, and another series of books about improvisation published by Advance Music. He is also the author of the book/CD set Sound Advice, published by Jamey Aebersold Jazz.
He has recorded on the Blue Note, Red, Not Fat, Concord, Atlantic, Label Bleu, Enja, Columbia, Deux Z, Denon, Canyon, Cadence, Musidisc, Ram, Ninety One, Freelance and Savant recording labels. He has recorded extensively for Double-Time Records.
Medium / Large chamber
The New Bergonzi “Slant” Model This new model is a result of a long time collaboration between Jerry Bergonzi and Aaron Drake.
The Bergonzi “Slant” is a medium / large chamber rollover baffle design. This model offers the player a balanced feel and more power / projection. It differs from our Bergonzi “EB” model, in that it has different floor and baffle calibrations. The overall tone quality is slightly more focused than our Bergonzi “EB” model.
“When I listen to all my favorite recordings of Saxophone players, the sound is in front of the band like a vocalist would be, having great presence to hear all the nuances in the sound. That’s why I like the “Power Resonance” mouthpiece as it gives that type if presence.” – Jerry
The Bergonzi “Power Resonance” Model features a rollover baffle contour – identical to the Bergonzi “EB” model – with a raised floor contour which gives the piece greater projection without being bright.
Early Babbitt model
This Drake design was founded on the most desirable aspects of Jerry Bergonzi’s Early Babbitt model. Hence the designation, “EB”.
The EB is a large, round chamber mouthpiece that incorporates the classic “crescent” shaped baffle, which transitions to a recalibrated floor contour. The tip and side rails are finished to Jerry’s exact specifications. He prefers a slightly wider contour that facilitates a fat sound and stabilizes the attack.
Aaron Drake’s Presence design is informed by the Soloist models of the classic era, while adding innovations that inspire modern saxophonists.
Based on the same essential mouthpiece played by Joe Henderson, the Presence incorporates a “U” shaped chamber with flat side walls. This acoustic design creates a specific feel to the air flow and projects a very substantial core tone. Drake’s design modifications optimize the Presence for larger tip-openings – something that was a challenge for players of the traditional version.
(available in Black Hard Rubber)
‘OS’ / La Voce
This special mouthpiece was designed by Aaron Drake in direct collaboration with renowned multi-instrumentalist Eddie Daniels. Daniels is an authoritative woodwind player, whose skill on the tenor saxophone is undisputed. Eddie demands a lot from his equipment and the Open Secret delivers.
.Eddie Daniels is that rarest of rare musicians who is not only equally at home in both jazz and classical music, but excels at both with breathtaking virtuosity.
Expert testimony from the jazz world comes from the eminent jazz critic Leonard Feather, who said of Eddie, “It is a rare event in jazz where one man can all but reinvent an instrument bringing it to a new stage of revolution.”
From the classical side, Leonard Bernstein said “Eddie Daniels combines elegance and virtuosity in a way that makes me remember Arthur Rubenstein.
The Open Secret
The “OS” design incorporates a rollover baffle that transitions to a medium-large chamber. There is a moderate amount of under-cutting on the side walls.
The Drake OS Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece is designed specifically for players who feel more comfortable playing a closer, more manageable tip opening, but; still want to establish their personal tone quality, employ a full range of dynamics and add layers of color and nuance to their sound.
This, according to Daniels, IS the “Open Secret”.
“A beautiful, centered and flexible sound is best produced with a closer tip opening… with a mouthpiece that is easy to play.”
– Eddie Daniels.
Introducing the Eddie Daniels “La Voce” – a new model for Tenor. A clear, focused, and flexible tonal quality is the result of this original acoustic design. Exceptional control and responsiveness with great projection and the versatility to play any style of music. This is a rollover baffle design with a unique floor contour and medium chamber.
“My sound is about my voice……not only that, but the sound is my voice. So…the “La Voce” mouthpiece is, or enables the sound to become my voice. I think it has the flexibility to become your personal voice…with the closer facing for more subtle qualities and the larger tip opening for balls to the wall. Try it!! You will like it!” –
– Eddie Daniels
The Phil Woods is the quintessential straight-ahead jazz mouthpiece.
This special mouthpiece was conceived through exclusive collaboration with the Phil Woods Estate.
The geometry is identical to Phil’s mouthpiece, and offers the player something new in their experience. With the use of modern materials and design technology, Aaron Drake has respectfully carried this near-mythical mouthpiece forward into a new era.
You can expect a pleasant amount of resistance, perfect for producing a warm, rich tone, with pop and projection when desired. The response is homogenous throughout the full range of the instrument and is capable of full-sounding altissimo. Overall, the tone is evocative of the best hard rubber mouthpieces of the golden era of jazz.
A vast array of ligatures made for Meyer-style Hard Rubber Alto mouthpieces will fit this mouthpiece. However, the mouthpiece comes with a custom-fit Drake Quad Point Ligature.
“For a guy who has played on the same mouthpiece for 54 years, my new Aaron Drake recreation is incredibly accurate. The .120” is my favorite.”
.Christlieb played the sax solos on Steely Dan‘s hit song “Deacon Blues” from the album Aja; Natalie Cole’s Grammy award-winning album Unforgettable; and the extended tenor sax solo on the song “FM (No Static at All)” from the movie of the same name.
Christlieb was born in Los Angeles, California and is the son of bassoonist Don Christlieb. Christlieb has worked with many musicians, such as Louie Bellson, Chet Baker, Woody Herman, Count Basie, Tom Waits, Steely Dan, Warne Marsh, Doc Severinsen, The Tonight Show Band, Bob Florence, Frank Mantooth, Gary Urwin, Phil Kelly, and Bill Holman.
“This is the best mouthpiece I have ever had, so I am proud to put my name on it. It has really been a game changer for me in terms of the control I have over my tone. The Drake Boney James Master Series piece has all the projection and brightness of my metal mouthpiece but I can get a very round and warm sound as well. It is really a joy to play!”
.This model is the result of several years of collaboration between mouthpiece maker Aaron Drake and Boney James.
Boney had contacted me a few years back to try several models. Over time and many prototype versions we arrived at this unique and innovative design. The mouthpiece incorporates a step baffle and a rounded baffle transition with a special reverse taper chamber design. It allows the player a tremendous amount of projection and expressiveness while still remaining very stable pitch wise. Boney had always played metal mouthpieces prior to our arriving at this new design. The material is also very special and is unique to Drake mouthpieces. It is a material engineered by Drake mouthpieces and is the first of its kind to incorporate ceramic with resin to achieve a highly resonant density property.