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Bass Clarinet Advice






Comments by J. Lawrie  Bloom on the CXZ_LB Mouthpiece

“For 23 years I performed in the CSO on a Woodwind B6 that Elmer Aiello had "customized" for me.  I never had a real backup that I was comfortable with, nor could I get copies for students after Elmer was no longer working.  Each tour made me nervous in case anything happened to it.  About 3 years ago Walter Grabner contacted me and brought me some mouthpieces to try.  Encouraged by what I tried, we embarked on a long quest to come up with a terrific bass clarinet mouthpiece. Walter would bring me a new mouthpiece to try and we would have long discussions about what we thought was good and bad about this newest version.


We had started with one blank, tried several others, and eventually ended up with a Zinner blank.  Again came many versions making small changes to make the mouthpiece more what I had in mind. 


At the time all I was looking for was a good backup mouthpiece.  Instead, I have now been playing the new CXZ_LB Bass Clarinet mouthpiece in the orchestra and in solo and chamber settings for about 6 months.  The sound is warm and the clarity is fantastic.  I have no problem finding reeds for this mouthpiece, and it's easy to find the real pitch center of a note.  There is a terrific ring in the sound, making it possible to cut through the orchestra when I need to, and a great warmth that blends well with the section.  I couldn't be happier with this mouthpiece, and the work Walter has put into it.  While no mouthpiece works for everybody, give it a try and see if it doesn't make playing the bass easier for you.  I think you might be as pleased as I am.”

May 2006 JLB


J. Lawrie Bloom
Chicago Symphony Orchestra, clarinet and bass clarinet
Artistic Co-Director, Eastern Shore Chamber Music Festival

clarinetist, Rembrandt Chamber Players

Artist Clinician, Buffet Crampon USA Inc., RICO International
Northwestern University School of Music, Assistant Professor



For a complete bio on Mr. Bloom, please see: