The amazing Steve Lacy mouthpiece. Actually there were 3 or 4 of them. The Link factory made them especially for Steve and when he departed this world in 2004, there was only one left.
This is it. I played this mouthpiece when Steve was alive. I also had it in my possession for about a year after Steve passed away. I know it very well.
It is very special in many ways. Of course, the extreme tip opening is one. But, this mouthpiece plays like butter, almost effortlessly. I was stunned the first time I played it, and it changed everything I thought I knew about soprano mouthpieces. When I started my work on soprano mouthpieces, this piece was a huge inspiration to me.
But there are some things to know about this Tone Edge, and the first thing is this: it is a model which came and went very quickly in terms of availability. In other words, it is nothing at all like a modern Tone Edge.
Here are 3 Link soprano mouthpieces:
The one on the right is the vintage “slant” signature, large chamber Link. The one on the left is a modern Link Tone Edge. The one in the center is the Tone Edge model that Steve Lacy played.
The external difference is striking and they are echoed internally. Lacy’s Link was smaller inside than a modern Tone Edge. Much smaller.
Here is a look at the unique throat design of Steve’s mouthpiece, showing it to be oval or race-track rather than round:
The truth is that the Steve Lacy mouthpiece was so different from a modern Tone Edge as to be a completely different mouthpiece. This model, in normal tip openings, existed briefly. They are still out there, so keep an eye out for one. They can be magical.