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 Jenney mouthpiece reface?Info?
Author: klook 
Date:   2010-10-12 18:32

Okay I just got this random bag of goodies from a friend (see my post about the 1895 Buffet) and I also happened to come across an old Selmer Paris C* mouthpiece.

Nothing special I thought, other than it looked like an older one. Then I turned the baby over to look at the tabe/rails/tip etc and theres a small signature at the base.

After much scrutiny with my co-workers I've found that it says Jenney, and the stamp 3L.

The only info I can find on this guy is that he was the brother of Jack Jenney the trombone player back in the day.

Was he known to be a good refacer? I've never heard of him!

I need to give the mouthpiece a good go but I don't have a Bb clarinet with me!!


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 Re: Jenney mouthpiece reface?Info?
Author: SteveG_CT 
Date:   2010-10-12 19:07

I doubt that any mouthpiece refacer has all that much notoriety. That being said, if the refacer actually scratched his name on it then it is probably a quality piece. I doubt a refacer would be willing to put their name on a mouthpiece that they refaced with sub-par results.

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 Re: Jenney mouthpiece reface?Info?
Author: Joseph Brenner, Jr. 
Date:   2010-10-12 19:31

An earlier post about Penzel Mueller mouthpieces refers to George Jenney, brother of Jack Jenney.

Years ago, I had heard from my teacher that Robert McGinnis, principal clarinetist of the NY Philharmonic (and Stanley Drucker's predecessor) , played on a George Jenney mouthpiece with a #5 reed. So, I infer that Jenney either made mouthpieces or had mouthpieces made for him. I know nothing of the quality,but there are enough stories about McGinnis to keep me from saying that George Jenney mouthpieces were the next best thing to sliced bread.

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 Re: Jenney mouthpiece reface?Info?
Author: klook 
Date:   2010-10-12 20:41

Well I had a chance to play through a small pile of mouthpieces I've acquired recently. A bunch of old French pieces mostly. The only clarinet I can use at the moment is an old wooden Pedler which plays nicely.

Anyway the point is out of the 6-7 pieces I played through this Selmer piece with the Jenney sig was by FAR the best in the bunch.

Honestly, it played the pants off my favorite piece ever which is an old Bettoney (chedeville) piece.

I've got to show this to my friend Peter.....the local mouthpiece refacer......

Totally a keeper! Something very special.


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 Re: Jenney mouthpiece reface?Info?
Author: genekeyes 2017
Date:   2010-10-12 20:59

George Jenney worked for Penzel Mueller in Long island City at least through the late 1960s. He was a superb repairman and one of the best refacers in the NYC area during that time. Much of his work was done on the old H.Bettoney blanks. I purchased 2 H.Bettoney Eb mouthpieces from him in about 1966.........They are by far the best Eb mouthpieces I have ever played. I was playing clarinet and Eb in the original Fiddler on the Roof when I purchased them and they have been with me in pits, at the Metropolitan Opera and for countless free lance jobs..........I would not part with them.....George was a master.

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 Re: Jenney mouthpiece reface?Info?
Author: DougR 
Date:   2010-10-12 22:45

Hmm! this interests me no end, because my mouthpiece all through high school was a Penzel Mueller "George Jenney signature" mouthpiece, which I still have. It plays a bit bright, as I remember, at least if you're playing legit. I stopped using it when I got a Borbeck for my R13, but it's nice to know all this.

I got it originally because my teacher played one--Norman Katz, Washington area local reed player, ex-Kennedy Center staff, in case anyone knows him--and I gather he thought it was quite the hot setup for doublers back then. (this would be 1960-64).

this particular mouthpiece has the George H. Jenney signature on the top of the mouthpiece, below which (just above the tenon) is a little oblong white plastic insert that says "Penzel Mueller". The mouthpiece is hot-stamped "2*" next to the table, down low.

I haven't played it for some time, and really should. I don't think I played the same facing as my teacher did, but ... god, that was over 40 years ago. I'm lucky I can remember my name these days.

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 Re: Jenney mouthpiece reface?Info?
Author: salzo 
Date:   2010-10-13 00:02

In a book about Bonade, I cant remember the name of it, the author mentions that many of Bonades students took their mouthpieces to Jenny to be refaced. Bonade was not happy about this, so his students would bring their unaltered Bonades to lessons, and use the Jenny refaced mouthpieces outside of lessons.
I have a blank with Jenny NY inscribed on it-unfortunately the tip is rough, so it is not a good piece.

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 Re: Jenney mouthpiece reface?Info?
Author: Chetclarinet 
Date:   2010-10-13 00:46

Jeffrey Lerner, Professor Emeritus of the University of Houston, Houston Symphony Principal Clarinet in the 1950's still often sings George Jenny's praises to me. Evidently, George was an outstanding mouthpiece technician and did work for Penzel Mueller for a time. He eventually had a local New York line of mouthpieces with his name on them. Jeffrey Lerner has refaced and adjusted several of my main Kaspar mouthpieces and learned from Jenny.

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 Re: Jenney mouthpiece reface?Info?
Author: clancy 
Date:   2010-10-13 14:56

I've seen and worked on over a dozen original George Jenney mouthpieces over the last few years - very nice pieces.

Mr Jenney was a great craftsman, very unique style of workmanship for his time. He generally liked to apply open tip facings and altered the blanks to respond freely - widening the window, baffle and chamber adjustments, etc. Very different style of mouthpiece compared to other makers at the time. I think of his mouthpieces, (also the first Portnoys) as early examples of the open mouthpiece trend in America, with Kanter, Pyne and Johnston taking up the torch in the 1970s.

From my experience Jenney used primarily Lelandais pieces, very nice ones too - the very same type of Lelandais that Kaspar and others used during that period - I believe Miller used that sort of blank as well.

Paul Schaller of the Detroit Symphony was apparently a major supporter of Mr Jenney's - my father studied with Schaller at Wayne State in the mid 1960s - he said Schaller encouraged his pupils to use them.

I personally think they work extremely well if refurbished in the context that they were intended - more open lay, etc. Often times they do not work so wonderfully if closed down to Kaspar or Ched specs as the windows can be too large, also the chamber needs a lot of work to suit a more traditional setup.

If there are any for sale please let me know! I have one myself that I use sometimes.

R Wodkowski

Post Edited (2010-10-13 15:00)

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