NAMM 2015 ~ Music for Musicians

NAMM 2015 was held in Anaheim this year and hosted over 75,000 attendees. Opening day included a visit by the Disneyland band as covered here:


My adventure as the woodwind guy was to try as many wind instruments as I could. I started with the offerings of the big three, Yamaha, Selmer-Conn and Buffet-Crampon. Here are my personal favs this year:

Clarinet: The Yamaha's new CVSR clarinets were a standout with such a controlled sound and keyworks that were as smooth as butter. I don't play clarinet enough to switch from my Buffet R-13 Festival, but if I were considering, this would be a strong candidate. The Selmer Privilège bass clarinet still was my favorite, again for the keywords and for the low C sound.

Sax: The Selmer Paris Ref 54s still have the sound and feel that I endorse for alto sax. There were many styles and flavors but the sound was uniformly wonderful and the feel perfect to my hands. The Selmer Paris Ref 36 for tenor sax had the kind of sound and feel that I was looking for. So don't forget to try it out too if you are looking for a modern tenor sax.

Reed: I have taken to trying synthetics a lot more because I have so many gigs with multiple instruments to play. I like the Légère Signature reeds the best, which wasn't always true for my alto sax or sop clarinet. Benedikt Eppelsheim recommended them to me 8 years ago for my bass sax and bass clarinet (mostly used in the pit) but I didn't like the sound for my main stay instruments. Now the sound is the same, the sizes match what I get in reeds that are not synthetic (thank you!) so I don't have to guess what size is correct for me.

Mouthpiece: I didn't expect to find a mouthpiece that was better than what I already have in my collection. But the Gottsu handcrafted mouthpieces were so sweet, that I almost broke my promise to my wife not to buy anything. Uniformly high quality, some interesting marble looks, and such a lovely sound, these are worth looking at if you can find a dealer carrying them. I'd go for the Sepia VI marble myself.

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