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Gig Bag: The Latest Must-Have Gear

New trumpets from Schilke, "Real Cool Book" & more

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Schilke HC1 & HC2


Schilke’s new HC1 (yellow brass bell) and HC2 (copper bell) trumpets, two beautiful horns that debuted at Winter NAMM in January, are shooting for the “classic American jazz sound,” as the company literature puts it. What is that sound, exactly? Maybe the dusky yet rich, midrangey tones of Miles, Chet Baker and other ’50s and ’60s trumpet masters who favored Martin Committee horns? (Remember: Renold O. Schilke was on the “committee.”) Without further treading on copyright infringement, let’s applaud the model’s craftsmanship, which boasts a new valve section design and recast bell taper as well as the multi-bore elements of Schilke’s “B” series horns. Both models are available unplated and in gold, silver and lacquer finishes.

Case Packer

The only downside to that gorgeous vintage case that houses your gorgeous vintage archtop is carrying the thing. With its Case Packer, two straps that can essentially turn most big instrument cases into comfortable gig bags, the Neotech brand aims to solve this problem. The 1-inch-wide straps-which can be used backpack-style or with a single strap over one shoulder, like a messenger bag-are made of wide nylon webbing and adjustable from 24 to 54 inches. According to Neotech, patented neoprene padding distributes the instrument’s weight over the carrier’s shoulders to function like a shock absorber. Get your ax to the next session with ease.

The Real Cool Book

Here’s a recipe for a great Saturday afternoon: a case of beer, your old college lab-band buddies and these clean, faithful octet arrangements of midcentury material composed and/or recorded by Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker, Miles Davis and Gil Evans, Lennie Niehaus, Bill Holman and more. Individual spiral-bound books covering trumpet, trombone, alto sax, tenor sax, bari sax, piano, bass and drums are housed in a large binder, and the whole set retails for $88.

JodyJazz DV CHI Tenor 9*

The DV CHI line of tenor sax mouthpieces from JodyJazz-“Chi,” you guessed it, is short for Chicago-was already a winner when it launched back in 2010. In our June 2010 Gearhead review, saxophonist Paul Haar wrote that the DV CHI boasts “one of the fullest and richest sounds I’ve heard from a modern mouthpiece.” Now JodyJazz is aiming to make its tone richer yet with the DV CHI Tenor 9*, a model featuring the widest tip opening in the DV CHI line and a larger facing. The increased airflow, the company says, ramps up the “fullness of tone and volume” in the DV CHI’s “already big robust sound.”

Originally Published