Today a sax teacher told me, that he would prefer a Baritone Sax with Low-Bflat, cause it would sound much better and smoother and the handling would be much better. What´s the opinion of other Bari-Players. Is it right, that most of the professional Sax-Players like Cuber, Mulligan etc only played with Low B-flat?
By the way, Ronnie Cuber is my favourite, does anyone know his 'setup' or other interesting things...., perhaps a special web-site, dates where and when he´s touring in Europe....
Thanks a lot
I disagree with this teacher. Of the baris I've played (admittedly not too many), I've found greater response, and sound with the low A. Maybe I just like the added resonance, but hey, that's my opinion, your teacher has different experiences and is entitled to their own opinion (:
Ronnie Cuber site
If you are primarily looking at the horn as a 'jazz' player, doing mostly improvisation and the like, then the added facility and tone that some attribute to the 'short horns' will be an asset.
However, if you are planning on playing in ensemble settings, from a written part, then I'd put up with the 'muffled tone' issues and the like and get yourself a low A horn. That extra half step drops you down to the low C concert, and a lot of composers in Broadway show works and big band works lean on that low A pretty hard.
The main problem with the low A is that the baritone is often used to sub for another trombone, invariably on the low end of the 'bone row where the timbres are similar. That in turn mandates the low C concert to match the low end of the trombone range.
Plus, one of the great satisfactions of baritone playing comes when you get to lay into that low A.
Terry L. Stibal
Low Bb or low A bari, good question. I would say it depends on what kind of work u plan on doing on bari. if u're in a big band that reads a lot of charts, you may run across a few charts which absoulely require a low A(aka carl allen's Piccadilly Square great bari intro, although i doubt many bands have heard of that tune) if u're into more combo type playing, the low A might not be as necessary, though most pro horns today, if i'm not mistaken, come with low A, so u'd be looking either older stuff or intermediate models of a few brands. now i don't own a bari but i've been playing on the Mark IV(low A) at the university and i would like to find something that could sound better. the only thing that could rival it is the black laquer keilwerth sx-90 i once played at a store, but have not heard myself on the keilwerth enough to say it's better or worse. well a boy can dream of someday getting enough dough to buy either horn. good luck on your search.
Don't know for sure what he's using today, but Cuber used to play on a Selmer low A bari with a Berg Larsen rubber mouthpiece.
I would have to diseagree also with your teacher!Some would say that a soloist they will say that the sound could be a little richer but even then that will have a lot to do with your mouthpiece and so on,If you entend to play in a big band and even a sax quartet and even as a soloist it is a beautifull instrument with the low A.Even lots of pros in the jazz world does blow and improvise with the low A,example Micheal Brignola was using a low A,also Nick Brignola does use a low A ,I do not say that they are not using the B flat!! Good luck in your decision,,regards Mario
According to a old Saxophone Journal this was Ronnie's setup: Selmer Mark VI 129,000 and a 77,000 and a Otto Link 8* (hard rubber). I saw Ronnie with the Mingus Band 2 months ago and he was playing a low A and I heard he was playing a Francious Louie mouthpiece (sorry about the spelling).
I remember talking to Pepper Adams and he very much disliked the low A baritones, in fact he said it wasn't even a baritone saxophone, he said it should be called a 'Low-A-ophone'. I have owned about 4 Bb baritones and 2 different low a horns. If your playing shows, big bands, R&B and Motown music the low A is the way to go, the Bb horns all had a great sound on a be-bop gig, but there are so few be-bop gigs that would justify holding on to a low Bb horn I sold them. Some times I regret selling them but I have a nice Low-A-o-phone that has a great sound that sounds great in a be-bop setting, R&B and even symphonic orchestra pop concerts. Some other low Bb horn players are: Gary Smulyan, Serge Chaloff, Greg Wilson (I think his first name is Greg), Harry Carney (i think I have seen him in photos with a Low A though). Bruce Johnstone, Low A players: Hammiett Blueitte, Steve Kupka, Jack Nimitz, Howard Johnson, James Carter.
You're right. Pepper hated LowA baris.
Hey - do you mean me? My brother's name is Greg but he doesn't play sax!! I have a Selmer LowA bari, but it never goes out of the house. I much prefer the sound on a Bb. The LowA baris almost always have a stuff C#,C,B and Bb at the bottom. I'm not giving those up for a half step.
I agree with everyone who says, though, that if you do a lot of shows, etc you should get a LowA. If you just want to play the bari, try a good Bb horn. I've played on many big bands (Buddy, Hamp, Toshiko, Mel Lewis, many others) without a Low A horn.
Yes, I meant Glenn Wilson. It thought it was either Spanky Wilson or Greg Wilson. I didn't feel like getting up to fact check with my record collection for this early morning post. Thanks for the follow-up Its always good to hear from Glenn.
Joe Temperley is another low A-hater. Had the pleasure of trying out horns next to him once. He wouldn't even touch the low A horn.