I’ve been playing Borgani Saxophones since 1991 and exclusively since 1999. They are a very small company with a lot of passion and love for their instruments. It’s a family run business, only twelve people work at the factory, and these hand-made instruments are made with the same care that’s been passed down through the generations, back to the early times of making instruments.

I’ve worked closely with them to produce a series of horns called the Borgani-Lovano series, using Pearl Silver alloy with Gold 24k keys. It’s a really beautiful instrument and gives me such a warm, brilliant sound, with a dynamic range, beyond my wildest expectations. These newer horns are made like an older horn with handmade, hand-pounded brass but with modern mechanisms.

My very special thanks go to Orfeo Borgani, the Borgani family and the Borgani Team. I love playing this tenor because it’s made like the earlier horns were, in the style of a Chu Berry Conn tenor, or an early balanced action Selmer, and more reminiscent of King Super 20.

You can purchase Borgani saxophones from my friend Roberto at Roberto’s Woodwinds.

I also use the straight Selmer soprano and alto clarinet, as well as the LA Sax straight alto. I’ve also played LA Sax’s straight tenor. I like the feeling of the straight horns and I tend to play them with a different attitude because the sound travels through the body of the instrument first, then onto the floor and through the room.

François Louis’ creation of the Aulochrome, the first polyphonic saxophone, is the next offspring in the woodwind family. The Aulochrome is truly a revelation in the world of musical instrument development and will generate and inspire musicians and composers in the new millennium and beyond. It’s potential to create textures and sounds never before imagined are indescribable. To see and hear this instrument is one thing, but to hold it and have it come to life with your breath and ideas, is what the magic of the music is all about.

I’ve had the great fortune to see the Aulochrome develop from its birth and dream of the day I can study and develop its unlimited potential with my approach in music. To play counter-melodies, harmonic voicings, intervallic rhythms, unisons, exploring its overtones and undertones, to sing with two voices, it’s a beautiful dream that has become reality

In addition, I’ve also recently discovered this company, RS Berkeley, which really makes some great instruments. I’m currently playing their Sopranino saxophone and alto flute.

Saxophones

I play a Francois Louis wooden mouthpiece which uses their ligature (which holds the reed). The mouthpiece itself is made from Granidillo wood, which is a hard African wood. I’ve been use these on my tenors since 1985 and on soprano starting back in 1982. Handmade, these mouthpieces are simliar to the Otto Link 10 Star mouthpiece which many musicians have used.

Mouthpiece

I now use Alexander Reeds. Playing Alexander Reeds through the years has simply become part of my natural sound. They give the complete confidence to be myself in any musical setting.

Reeds

The hippest wireless mic on the market is the AMT (Applied Microphone Technologies). It’s very simple to use and gets a deep, rich natural tone for every player who uses it. I feel like it’s just an extension of my sound. I never have to worry about it.

Microphones

I really enjoy playing drums, cymbals and gongs. I have a beautiful set of Slingerland drums that were given to me as a gift by the great Paul Motian. It’s a rather famous drum set, in fact, because it’s the one he used on all the recordings he did with Keith Jarrett, and other sessions, including when he played with Coleman Hawkins.

I have a collection of hand-made gongs that I play regularly. A friend, Steve Hoobeck bought some and laid several on me. They are Wuhan tempered tuned gongs made in China. I also like Zildjian cymbals, which have lots of fire, as well as Paste cymbals, hand drums and bells.

Drums and Gongs