Why Cat Anderson's mouthpiece worked for him.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Local 357, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    +1 for Ljazztrm, +1 for Keith Fiala, +1 for Chad Shoopman ( a great player and for losing weight, and struggling with the transition as it relates to playing trumpet ---- as Ljazztrm says, it is all in Keith Fiala's book) --- and that may be the best way to understand how to play the trumpet --- ASK THOSE WHO KNOW!! so +1 for Local357 trying to figure out these things, and posting as such.
    +1 for GM --- for making Jazz look easy, and it only took 40+ years on the trumpet!!

    and last but not least --- +1 for Kingtrumpet --- for always being RIGHT!!! ROFL ROFL ROFL
  2. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    When I worked the Garden with Cat, there was lots of time to hang out and talk trumpet. Cat had just finished his trumpet method and we talked about how it fit in with his life. He played many hours, yes, hours before our afternoon downbeat. Cat seemed tireless, some of the lead stuff was ridiculous. The trumpet section was, I hope I can remember, Danny Stiles, Murray Karpilosky, Markie Markowitz, Johnny Bello and me.....a real motley crew:cool: There were a lot of 72* in the band. Murray played a Besson, a pre-war horn, with a Harry Glantz mouthpiece. He was easily the loudest player in the section. Cat darn near dropped his horn when Murry started to play. Each one of us played different model mouthpieces. Each of us played their mouthpieces because it was our choice after years of doing what we do.


  3. Mark_Kindy

    Mark_Kindy Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 11, 2010
    Gainesville, FL
    Completely in agreement. I would say that every person has their strengths, but with diligent INTELLIGENT practice, these 'clicks' do occur. As Rowuk has mentioned many times, aspects of trumpet playing are primarily coordination, not strength, and so you can see how time spent on the horn doing it right can progress as we, both consciously and bodily-unconsciously LEARN how to do each thing.

    I'm also somewhat in agreement with L357 about this idea of a shift... He's obviously not suggesting that an embouchure changes, or should, in order to attain range, but that perhaps some mechanics do. For example, some screamers curl in their bottom lip, and it's quite natural for them; others may pucker more in the upper register for that resistance. In the end, while the discussion is definitely intriguing, I would no doubt attribute MOST success on the horn to either natural talent, diligent-intelligent practice, or both; the latter is probable for the most successful of players.
  4. bbotzong

    bbotzong New Friend

    Aug 8, 2010
    I had the great fortune to meet and talk with Cat about a dozen times during the early 70's in LA. He'd bring Louis Bellson and play impromptu concerts in the middle of the quad at a local community college and they'd play a trio with the music director of the college playing string bass. All these clueless college students would walk by and not even know what they were seeing...

    Anyway, several things I noticed about Cat. My recollection was he was shorter than me, maybe around 5'8" or so, but very solidly built. Second, he was a NICE guy... I mean polite, nice... never a bad word said about anyone. In fact, when he did have the opportunity to criticize someone, his harshest criticism that I heard was "that man was not a gentleman"... Third, after a two hour gig (fronting the band and soloing for almost the entire show), I remember seeing a white spot (and Cat had a very dark skin tone -- I mean literally WHITE spot) where his mouthpiece sat on his lips in the dark red meaty area. This spot was circular, the size of his mouthpiece cup, and was totally on the meaty part -- like a perfect circle. That showed me that one of his secrets was the velocity of the air he could move through his horn. But if you watch videos of him playing it was almost effortless... the eyes were closed and it just didn't seem he applied any pressure of the horn on the lips... Finally, my recollection was the white spot was off center by a considerable bit to his right side. Maybe Wilmer can confirm my 40-year old hazy memory from those days.

    I'm considering selling my Cat album collection... I believe I have 10 or so albums in good to mint condition including some rare 78's... if interested, send me a private email.

    bill b
  5. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 14, 2010
    What always impressed me about Cat Anderson were his dynamics. I didn't know he was known for his high range too, but I expect that his dynamics are the primary reason for his control in the high range, since the two are often linked. And if you aren't going for the megatone FFF, then there is no reason to have a big deep mouthpiece, in fact it makes it more difficult to control a small air stream.

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