There are a few absolute certainties in life besides death and taxes. One is that the volume level at the annual winter NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) show in Anaheim, Calif., will be at least as loud as 500 jam-packed music stores. At this year’s confab, there were so many new products on display—and so many people playing them all simultaneously—that you’d hardly think the music business was in trouble. Although synths, software, and DJ gear seemed most popular with showgoers based on booth attendance, there were plenty of offerings that would interest jazz players; here are just a handful.
Yamaha Custom Z Trumpet
The original Yamaha Custom Z, developed in collaboration with trumpeter Bobby Shew, came to market in 2001. Eighteen years later, there’s a sequel, the YTR-8310ZII. An updated leadpipe and valve casing distinguish it from its predecessor, adding richness to its sound. But many of the Custom Z’s principal features—its lightness, its brilliance, and its step-bore design for maintaining efficiency—remain unaltered.
Fender Rumble 800 Bass Head
This head combines two features that electric bassists love: high power (800 watts) and light weight (5.8 lbs.). The front panel couldn’t be much simpler—knobs for gain, master volume, and four bands of equalization control, plus three buttons for overall tone voicing (choose from Bright, Contour, or Vintage). There’s also a switchable overdrive circuit if you’re fond of dirt. Slip the Rumble into its padded carrying bag and you’re ready to gig. $599.99 MSRP.
Casio PRIVIA PX-S3000 Digital Piano
The days when Casio keyboards were considered cheap and cheesy are long gone, and the PRIVIA PX-S3000 is further proof of how far the company has traveled. Its scaled hammer-action keyboard could easily pass for a proper piano, and the accuracy of its tone reproduction is astonishing. Adding to the realism, its cool touch-control panel disappears from view completely when you turn it off, leaving a glossy black surface reminiscent of an acoustic grand. $1,199 MSRP.
Pearl Masters Maple/Gum Series Drums
Prized for warm mids and powerful lows, Pearl’s Studio Shell Recipe is normally found only in its high-end Masterworks line. But for a limited time this year, that shell style will also be a feature of the company’s Masters Maple/Gum series. Each of these drums has a layered maple and gum wood shell with 60-degree edges. Available in four finishes (Platinum Gold Oyster shown here) and two four-shell packs: 20/14/12/10 ($5,279 MSRP) and 22/16/12/10 ($5,679 MSRP).