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.