Good question, no? For those less versed in the seemingly ridiculous and small mouthpiece Cat used check here: Cat Anderson
Its been described as being "2/3 rds smaller than the Schilke Bill Chase model 6a4a" which is pretty small all by itself.
So the question is: How could Cat pull it off?
I'm going to at least answer this for myself fairly soon. Through a "trick" embouchure I've been working on which seems to respond to the shallowest and smallest of pieces. I went out to my hobby lathe the other day to cut an extremely shallow m/piece but the drive belt snapped so will have to order another one soon.
Theory: In some of the most soft, supple lip settings the ability exists to play well in excess of Double C. This kind of vibrating surface does not occur within the average person and is reflected in the distribution of extreme range production to only the fortunate few. Whereas the average Joe who plays (and perseveres) can conquer the notes up to High G for at least occasional use the ability to truly "own" the notes above, especially around DHC and above is not a reasonable expectation.
Roy Stevens noticed this but his application to "correct" the "problem" was flawed. His book "Embouchure Self-Analysis and Triple C Technique" never discussed the varying texture of lip flesh. He couldn't see or realize that only a minority of trumpet players could switch to his forward jaw positioning and pull off the Triple C's.
So the next question I posed myself is: does this mean that the average Joe can MODIFY his chops so as to put more of the softer, vibrant flesh within the mouthpiece and play extreme register fluently?
I think the answer is maybe. Will check it out in a few weeks to see if my idea works. What I did was about five years ago experiment by rolling out the lower lip to the point where the mouthpiece sits on the inner gum. When doing this I can sustain excruciatingly high notes. Even above THC (triple high c not cannabis). However spot on accuracy and endurance are limited. Have so far eluded me. I've improved the past year or so but haven't quite got it under my fingers.
And here's where I got the hypothesis: Upon wigging my chops as described I felt that the only reason I couldn't hit these notes with better control and security was because they do not respond to ordinary sized mouthpieces. And maybe the solution is a ridiculously small m/piece.
Enter the Cat Anderson mouthpiece.
To tell you the truth I haven't been this excited about a discovery in I don't know when. We'll just have to wait until my hobby lathe gets a new belt. So keep yer fingers crossed for me. Thanks!