OPEN SKY SL : a soprano mouthpiece that plays like that legendary mouthpiece!


The OPEN SKY SL mouthpiece is an absolute amazing mouthpiece with NO BAFFLE at all, just like the legendary mouthpiece that inspired its creation: the piece played by the great Steve Lacy. There is no baffle! The mouthpiece opens up directly into the medium chamber and ends with a “racetrack” shaped throat, like Steve’s mouthpiece. You’ll be amazed when you play it.


Each mouthpiece hand made by me, and play tested by me until it has all the qualities of that legendary mouthpiece. Guaranteed.

The new OPEN SKY SL mouthpiece is a working man’s version of the legendary mouthpiece played by Steve Lacy. It has all the qualities that made that mouthpiece so special and it’s been produced for soprano players that want the freedom, flexibility, feel and sound world that we love about Lacy’s sound and spirit.

Here is a part of an email from a player in Great Britain. I think he nailed the thing that makes the OPEN SKY SL a powerful and utterly unique soprano mouthpiece:

My surprise with this mouthpiece is that it is both fat and focused at the same time…it has a rich fat tone but also is incisive with lots of bite…It has edge and volume when needed and a fat velvety tone too! – best of both together. It is exceptional.

Recent discoveries led me to recognize that I could use my OPEN SKY 2 blank as a basis for this new piece, allowing me to design the ultimate chamber shape and size, things that made Steve’s piece so special. I played that piece many times and had it in my possession for almost a year after he passed in 2004. I knew it well then and I know it well now.

But, with a # 12 tip opening, that legendary mouthpiece would pose a lot of challenges for most players. As you know, it takes much more skill to play very light reeds well  than it does to play firmer reeds. Steve played on # 1 1/2 and even # 1 reeds at times.

With the OPEN SKY SL mouthpiece, I was able to bring the tip opening down a lot so that the mouthpiece would play with moderate strength reeds.

I am currently making this mouthpiece with a .075 tip, which is about a #9 tip, and it plays easily with # 2 1/2 reeds. The intonation is solid throughout the range of the horn, the altissimo is quick and singing, it subtones with ease and it is flexible in terms of sound and texture.


Like Steve’s piece, there is no baffle at all. It’s one of the things that makes this piece sing as it does. The same air delivery that plays the lowest notes will play the highest notes with no workarounds requires. Like a lyric soprano singer, it’s all one, perfect continuum, from bottom to top.


Like Steve’s piece, the OPEN SKY SL has a specially shaped throat : not round, not square but an oval like a racetrack. This throat opens up the feel of the mouthpiece without adding a limiting “sameness” that is all too common in soprano mouthpieces with a merely “enlarged” throat or “enlarged” chamber. You’ll feel and hear the difference the first time you play an OPEN SKY SL.

There is no soprano mouthpiece like it on the market.


Here’s the email I received about the first OPEN SKY SL to go out into the world:

“The piece came yesterday as we were leaving town so I could not try it until this morning. I have been playing your Metropolitan for some time now, but this one blew me away from the moment I played the first notes! A masterpiece! It has presence! There is a focus to the sound, rich in overtones (all that overtone practice paid off …) that came out immediately. Usually, it takes me some time to really appreciate a mouthpiece, but this one allowed me to control it right away. It has certain specific characteristics but allows one to mold timbre and color; multiphonics came out right away.  On first try, without even warming up, altissimo was effortless—much easier I must admit than on my regular piece. I expected that it would take time to get used to it given the large opening, but to me on first try everything was effortless — just the right amount of resistance. I tried it on two different horns and I must admit that it really likes the larger bored Rampone. This is definitely my new mouthpiece—and all of this is just my first impression.  Can’t wait to put t through some serious practice. Thank you!”     




And here’s another from a great player:

“Holy $#@$ Joe! This OPEN SKY SL has everything that I love about my Missing Link only more. It’s so agile especially altissimo but it articulates faster and gives me control further back in my mouth. It’s the most tonally flexible piece I’ve ever tried. My history with it is only about 30 minutes so far but it feels like it knows me. After so many years on the missing link you made me I’m surprised at how quickly I have made myself at home. But it’s amazing how the SL stays out of the way. Thanks so much for this masterpiece!! “


And this email just arrived from David Borgo, saxophonist and professor of music at UC San Diego:


“Mpc arrived last night. I only had a short time to play on it, but TBH it only took 2 seconds to know it is a great mouthpiece! Thanks. I always thought talk of a soprano feeling as good as a tenor to play was likely a bit exaggerated, but I think you’ve achieved it. Really warm and flexible sound throughout, and super easy to play. I’ve been using a (redacted) piece, that is also quite easy to play in all registers–and it seems to have a bit of a similar oval shape to the chamber–but it also has some baffle that makes it brittle sounding to me. Yours just sounds glorious. Thanks for reinvigorating my love for the soprano.”


Check out this video about the OPEN SKY SL mouthpiece and hear it for yourself.