OPEN SKY 2
The OPEN SKY 2 is a unique soprano mouthpiece because of its chamber configuration.
What makes it special is a chamber that is narrower and deeper than any other soprano mouthpiece I’ve ever encountered.
This long, deep chamber has an effect on both the way the mouthpiece sounds and the way it responds to the player.
In a few words, it is quick and it is rich.
First the sound.
The deep chamber produces a focused but richly detailed sound, full of partials and nuance.
It can play bright or dark depending upon how the player delivers the air stream. More about that later.
Now the response.
The deep chamber responds instantaneously. The note sounds immediately. And the mouthpiece responds just as quickly to every nuanced inflection you want to deliver.
Whisper- it’s right there. Soto voce- it’s immediate. Push it and it responds like a sports car.
Back off it and it purrs in the blink of an eye, and then takes off again when you give it more air. It is as if it’s “fuel injected”.
But maybe best of all, put all of it together and it just sings! You can almost breathe into it and it plays. No hard work, no wrestling with the mouthpiece or horn.
It’s smooth, it’s quick and it is almost effortless. Really. That’s the only way I can describe it.
This design comes from my conviction that playing soprano saxophone is no more difficult or challenging than playing any other saxophone.
In fact, it should be easier, as far as I’m concerned.
It was the grace and ease of soprano saxophonist Grover Washington Jr. that inspired the idea.
The “sports car” analogy was vivid in my mind and the end result is the OPEN SKY 2: as quick, rich, finely tuned and agile as a Ferrari.
Back to the Sound.
What this unique chamber does is to put every possible nuance of timbre right there, ready and available virtually in a blink.
There is no need to make large adjustments to the airstream or embouchure or oral cavity. Small, nuanced changes in any of them yield immediate results, easily controlled and easily accessed.
In fact, you’ll discover aspects of your soprano that you’ve never heard before as you investigate this special mouthpiece.
The OPEN SKY 2 has a narrow profile, similar to my Metropolitain or the vintage Selmer Soloist, even the classic metal Selmer soprano mouthpiece.
That profile, coupled with the very deep chamber, actually creates a different kind of connection between player and horn, and that is the source of the sound and response magic of this piece.
The player has as much to do with the sound as the mouthpiece or the horn. That is not usually the case with the soprano sax.
All too often, the sound is “locked” and may lack dimension or “soul”. Players have to work too hard for too little results, and that can be frustrating.
That is not the case with the Open Sky 2.You’ll know it in 5 notes and one breath, really.
I’m still blown away by it, actually, and I’ve been playing soprano since 1974 and am a dedicated soprano player since 1981.
Click on the last pic and read what Downbeat’s playing editor had to say.