This is an exceptional alto saxophone mouthpiece. It does literally anything you want it to, from lead alto, to ballads, to section work, to pit and concert band. It is what I play, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Every single person who has bought one has emailed back or called me with rave reviews. I don’t normally make these kinds of pronouncements about mouthpieces, but until you play one of Ted Klum’s facings, it is possible that you don’t yet know how easy it should be to play saxophone. Ted Klum is one of the most highly-skilled and artistic mouthpiece makers in the world, and his work is just about the best that there ever has been. It would be wise to get one of Ted’s mouthpieces before he retires and they suddenly jump up in value.
How does it play? The response is instant; subtone is effortless; altissimo is right there and easy. The tone is just gorgeous – it’s based on the type of Meyer Bros that Cannonball Adderley played, and it really does lean in that full-throated, warm, lyrical direction that you think of with Cannonball. Phil Woods’ tone is another reference point for alto players, and he also played a NY Meyer like this is based on. The big reasons to buy this instead of hunting for a NY Meyer are price and consistency. Meyer Bros NY alto mouthpieces now sell 2-5x the price of this piece. And out of 5 original facing Meyer Bros pieces, you might get 2-3 good ones. Every single one of Ted’s New York Models is consistently great.
Pair this with a King Super 20 alto and a lot of practice to get something approximating Cannonball’s signature alto sound. If his sound is not necessarily the destination of aspiring alto players, it is at least a benchmark and a starting point for experimentation. This mouthpiece leans toward that sound better than any other that I have played.