Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Mason & Hamlin BB Piano

For jazz pianists, especially those of us who came up in the “acoustic pre-electric era,” when most clubs had either a piano or a B-3 on the stage, appreciation of a good piano was established early. And that appreciation runs deep. We had to adjust to whatever instrument was in the club, whatever condition it was in, and make music with it. When musicians were laughing at the prospect of the electric Wurlitzer finding its place on stage, we were struggling with acoustic pianos that were more than likely out of tune, broken and had little or no amplification. When I say that my appreciation of a good piano is deep I speak from having experienced the very best to the very worst, each experience, both good and bad, leaving a lasting mark on my soul.

Long before I played my first note, a master craftsman and inventor named Emmons Hamlin hooked up with a talented musician named Henry Mason to make the very finest musical instrument in the world. And the company they founded in 1854 has been carrying on that tradition ever since. “Mason & Hamlin has always been built pretty much to a formula that dates all the way back to what is called the Boston Era [1881-1932],” explains Cecil Ramirez, the national sales manager. “We follow a time-honored tradition, using the very finest materials in the world, building each piano by hand and paying attention to the most scrupulous detail. Our pianos today have Mason & Hamlin Boston imprinted on the plate.”

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published