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  1. #1

    Cool Setup Pepper Adams

    Anyone know what was the setup of baritone sax Pepper Adams? Reeds, Mouthpiece?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Setup Pepper Adams

    Berg Larsen Stainless.. and 5 Ricos. Then a Dukoff and finally a Lawton ( don't know the size).
    Baritone Selmer BA or SBA then a Mark V1 ( you know those wimpy ones??!!) both low Bb

  3. #3

    Cool Re: Setup Pepper Adams

    Michael Ward thanks for the great information.

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    Default Re: Setup Pepper Adams

    I read an interview with Pepper Adams a while back where he discussed low Bb baris vs. low A baris. He much preferred low Bb baris.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member rhysonsax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Setup Pepper Adams

    I posted this on another thread here a while back (try searching on "Pepper Adams" !)

    Pepper was a great player with a fabulous sound. I've got quite a few of his CDs and there are some good clips of him playing on YouTube.

    From an interview with Pepper Adams in Saxophone Journal Vol. 9 No. 2 in May 1982. Pepper Adams (PA) was interviewed by Robert Ronzello (RR).

    RR - You've undergone a complete change with your horn and mouthpiece in the last year or two, haven't you?

    PA - Yes. I had been playing the same Selmer balanced action baritone saxophone that I bought new in 1947. Within four or five months of my buying the Selmer baritone, I had tried three or four different mouthpieces until finally Wardell Gray, the tenor player, came back from a tour of Europe with Benny Goodman, and he had bought a Berg Larson mouthpiece for his instrument. I tried his tenor and liked the way his Berg played so much that I mail-ordered one. This was in 1948 before they were being distributed in the United States. I have been playing on that same mouthpiece ever since!

    It took me about six weeks to get it under control, but once I did, I got so I really enjoyed playing it. I've managed to break it in quite well, having played it for twenty-some years-thirty-some years?! My goodness!

    I was using Rico five reeds all that time. In May, I was in Detroit playing a concert just at the time the poor mouthpiece expired. What happened was the pitting on the facing of the mouthpiece had become so extreme that the reed would no longer fit tightly upon the mouthpiece. So, the effect you have is one of having a leak in your saxophone but one that occurs V4 of an inch from the point where the airstream starts! That's a severe problem!

    It was a hell of a thing. I had to get through this concert and then fly to New York, go home. change clothes in Brooklyn, go into Manhattan and from there get a train for Washington. I had about twenty-five spare minutes. Fortunately, Jerry Dodgion was on the gig in Detroit. He's very knowledgeable about mouthpieces whereas I'm not at all because I played the same one for so many years and never had to look for one.

    So, I had this little bit of time in Manhattan to find a new mouthpiece. Jerry suggested that I go to a place called Art Schell in the West forties and said that they had the best selection of mouthpieces and very knowledgeable people. I went in with my old dead Berg and showed it to them. They looked at the facing, and I asked what they had that they thought might be comparable, and they came up with a Dukoff. I tried playing the Dukoff with one of my Rico fives, and it didn't work very well. Someone there suggested putting a plastic reed on it, so I tried one, and it seemed to work very well. By now, it's time for me to get a taxi to Penn. station to get the train to Washington to work the weekend. By the end of the weekend, I was starting to feel a little comfortable with this Dukoff mouthpiece and the plastic reed. That's what I've been playing since, though I'm still doubtful about a couple of things. One, the Dukoff appears to be so fragile, I'm afraid that if somebody sneezes in its vicinity, it's going to just disintegrate! Two, the plastic reed, well, I don't know. It's very convenient-there are periods of time when I might be in Europe and have four or five days off between concerts, and I don't want to practice baritone sax in a hotel room - that's a quick way to make enemies-so it's a great convenience to have a reed on there that you haven't touched in a few days and have it play right away. That's a remarkable convenience. However, I'm not entirely convinced about its response, and I'm really not sure about the Dukoff either, but to this point, I think they're playing very well.


    RR - How about your new horn? Were you having problems with the old one?

    PA - The saxophone that I bought new in 1947 was still playing fine but getting rather delicate after having had a very hard life. With many people who own a baritone, it's their fifth saxophone, and it comes out of the closet once a month and therefore will last a good long time. Mine has been played every day for almost thirty-five years and has been over the world many times. Lord knows how many planes and trains and boats and buses it's been on. It still plays but was getting rather delicate, and I was afraid to travel with it much further. I was fortunate enough to have a full two weeks in Paris in December of 1980, and it was then that I contacted the Selmer people. I prefer playing the baritone without the low A, which is fairly uncommon now. I was shocked when they told me that the baritone without the low A accounts for only five percent of their world-wide sales. But, to me it's an instrument that speaks better, and generally the intonation is better. Certainly, the low A baritone tends to get stuffy on the bottom until you get to the low A.

    Since I don't have to do much studio work, I can get away with playing the baritone without the low A. Anyway, the Selmer people were kind enough to send out telexes around France and assemble all nine of the baritones in France at that time without the low A. I took three days to test them all out. A couple of them I found had problems which could be repaired there by their repairmen, so I could return the next day and try them again after their repairmen had a crack at them. I was able to make my selection from all of those, which I think was exceptionally kind. I like the Selmer people very much; I was treated very nicely by their people and am quite happy with the instrument I have.


    Hope that information helps.

    All the best

    Rhys

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    Default Re: Setup Pepper Adams

    I read that article Rhys in Coda magazine in the mid 80's. I had a low A V1 at the time but I always was looking out for a low Bb. That article confirmed it plus a big love of Surman and Ronnie Ross on the Conn. I sold the A and bought a low Bb V1 from a BBC bigband bloke the same day. I loved it from first blow and I still play it regularly. The V1 bari is a great horn when set up well particularly the low Bb version which really resonates. I could really do with that low A sometimes though.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member rhysonsax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Setup Pepper Adams

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Ward View Post
    I read that article Rhys in Coda magazine in the mid 80's. I had a low A V1 at the time but I always was looking out for a low Bb. That article confirmed it plus a big love of Surman and Ronnie Ross on the Conn. I sold the A and bought a low Bb V1 from a BBC bigband bloke the same day. I loved it from first blow and I still play it regularly. The V1 bari is a great horn when set up well particularly the low Bb version which really resonates. I could really do with that low A sometimes though.
    John Surman and Ronnie Ross are two of my favourite bari players, but Pepper Adams too.

    I have a low A Selmer SA80 II and a nice Conn 12M, but struggle to play the Conn in tune. I would love to get a low Bb MkVI, but the prices for decent ones have gone mad (maybe they have been that way for a long while).

    I wish Yanagisawa or Yamaha would offer one of their modern baris in low Bb.

    Rhys

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    Default Re: Setup Pepper Adams

    P. Mauriat I think makes a low Bb bari. This company seems to be establishing a good reputation so their bari should be worth a look. I'd love to see Yanagisawa come out with a low Bb horn but I just don't think it's in the cards.

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    Default Re: Setup Pepper Adams

    Ideally I would like a low A V1 and my low Bb. I keep having to use the computer to lower my low Bb..I did this just yesterday on a Rock n Roll track. I'm not crazy about the response difference on extended range horns generally..bass clarinet and flute as well but reality means if the notes are there and you're playing modern charts or pieces you'll be expected to play them. I please myself so it's not an issue.
    I've never played a Conn but everyone says they are the DB's. Freddie Gregory first told me this. Still I love my V1. I think John Surman may have got a new low A horn..he's on a newish album holding one.

    PS Rhys check out Pat Patrick and Charles Davis with Sun Ra...2 low Bb V1 players..tremendous!

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