Whats so good about their mouthpieces?
Whats so good about their mouthpieces?
They play well, the quality control is high and the price is among the most reasonable out there. And customer service is exceptional.
In addition, they have models for just about every style, or player proficiency. From the Model 22 (student model), Model 88 (concert band), Finesse (classical), to the Custom (big band / combo / theatre), XL, Quantum, Bionix R&B/Jazz/Rock ), and more. Something for everyone.
Facings are consistently straight.
And they just play well.
(Did you know they also manufacture mouthpieces for many other "manufactuers"?)
Model 22 Alto - Charlie Parker
Custom Alto- Art Pepper
Custom Atlo (earlier version, now called the SR) - Johnny Bothwell
SR Tenor - Chu Berry
Custom Bari - Harry Carney (Ellington), Charlie Fowlkes (Basie, Lionel Hampton), Manny Thaler (Tex Beneke)
Custom Soprano - Grover Washington, Jr, Ernie Watts
dear paul - do you know what particular facing that Chu Berry used on his runyon mp?
I'm curious . . . how much have they changed through the years? How does the Model 22 that Charlie Parker played compare to a Model 22 of today?
What other manufacturers do they make mpcs for???
Will they be making Charlie A's BBQ mpc???
Gotta say I love my Quantum metal!
No, I don't know which facing Chu Berry used, only the model. Chu, and three of the other saxophonists in the Cab Calloway Orch were all students at the famous Runyon Studio in Chicago.
Art Pepper played a Runyon Custom 6, .074" tip opening.
Parker played a .069" tip opening on his 22, with Rico Symmetricutt #3 reeds. That reed is what is now the "orange box Rico". The current 22's are available in Black, and now amber, red, blue. Parker's 22 was of the ivory colored tinted plastic they used back in the 40's and 50's.
Santy told me the only difference is the side rails are slightily wider on the current model, to enable young students to put the reed on with some misalignment, and still play with ease... what he called his "squeek proof facing". This change did not hurt playability of the mouthpiece.
One of my private students had his Finesse (concert/classical model) mouthpiece stolen from his case at a band festival. He came over in a panic, he had a concert coming up. I was digging though my big box of tryout mouthpieces, looking for an LT or something for him, and he picked up the 22. "What about this?" he asked. "That's a beginning student model," I replied. He put it on and tried it, sounded great. "Wrap it up, I'll take it." And he played it the rest of the year. And sounded good, too.
I thought the only ivory colored pieces Bird played were the Brilhart Tonalin Streamlines. Are there any pics of him with this Runyon? Sorry to be a skeptic but I've never heard this before.
(Just here to learn!)
If you look at pictures of Bird with his white mouthpiece you will see there is no black insert on the beak, which was a feature of the Tonalin. He may have played a Tonalin a few times, but the white mouthhpiece he is pictured with in most of his publicity photos is an ivory colored Runyon 22.
Here are some pix with the Runyon 22:
And I saw the picture on this page (one of Bird's publicity photos), second from the top left, in Santy Runyon's studio autographed:
On that page, the photo on the second row, left, is a Tonalin, the photo just to the right of that one is a Runyon 22.
Poor Charlie was a dope addict. He was given saxes by the manufacturers as promomotional gifts. Or he would borrow saxes from other musicians. Then when he needed a "fix" he would pawn the sax, sometimes forgetting his Runyon 22 in the case. He would call up Mr. Runyon for another one, and after this happened several times, Mr. Runyon told him no more, he would not help support Charlies habit. Charlie learned to keep his Runyon 22 in his coat pocket and put a junk mouthpiece in with the sax to be pawned. And eventually he died because of his addiction. That is the sad truth of this great musician.
In the Foreword of Runyon's Modern Etudes you will see where he thanks two of his students, Charlie Parker and Sonny Stitt, for proofreading the book.
Also, in the Runyon book, Dynamic Etudes you will find one of the etudes begins with the same lick Parker used in the head of one of his more famous tunes. Parker loved that etude, adapted the changes of How High The Moon, and that became Ornithology.
On a lighter note... Marshall Royal, lead alto with the Count Basie Orchestra, played the Conn Comet in #7 facing. This mouthpiece was designed and manufactured by Runyon for the Conn Company. Jackie Kelson, current Basie lead, plays Marshall's old Comet, and has a couple of spares given him by the late Mr. Runyon.
The late Bill Green (Tonight Show with Johnny Carsen) played the Runyon Smoothbore on his tenor, and a Conn Comet on alto. In fact, he had 5 spare Comets in his safe. He left them in his will to Plas Johnson (of Pink Panther fame) who uses them now.
Grover Washington, Jr, played the Runyon Custom #7 on his soprano, and ordered several more every few months. Mr. Runyon called him, "Grover, you can't possibly be breaking this many mouthpieces? What gives?" Turns out Grover gave them away to friends and students who wanted to sound just like Grover.
Wow! Thanks for the lesson Paul! Now if I could only find one for my collection! Any hints?
All this precise information from Paul C brings us to the white Buescher mpc Runyon produced. When I look at some of the Charlie Parker pics, the shank of the mpc looks more like the white Buescher than a model 22 produced today. When I look at my white alto Buescher mpc it has thinner rails, a much longer window, a different chamber shape and a different type of plastic than a new 22. My question to Paul is then, was the original model 22 like the white Buescher or like the modern 22 ?
Nice info, Paul. Thanks.
You might be interested to know that I corresponded with Santy by e mail a couple of years ago and he wrote that Art Pepper played a #7.
Tore, I think they use a different shank piece on the 22 today. That is a separate part of the mold. The chamber is the same.
I am not sure how the Model 22 relates to the white Buescher.
The plastic blend Runyon uses now is better than was used way back when. It is what Mr. Runyon calls an "alloy" of plastic and synthetic rubber which gives the same "flex modulus" (vibrational characteristics) as hard rubber. It is less prone to chipping or cracking. Very durable.