Byron Jones


I have now made the Wild Thing plunge. I traded off the Zeus Olympus which I loved, to purchase a Wild Thing from a list mate who lives nearby. It was too large a horn for the type of playing he does, and he is now in the process of finding another ml bore horn to purchase with the money from the WT.

I received the horn yesterday, and got about fifteen minutes to try it out, until I went to Lawrence, KS to a salsa gig with my band, Son Venezuela. We had a packed house. It was a magical night. I took the trumpet out in the parking lot and started warming up. I was blowing D’s and E’s like they were an octave lower. I actually had to test the pitch to tell if I was really popping out the E’s. I took the horn up into the higher register for a test drive.

I found G’s and A’s that I have never found before, and they were slotting so easily. I quit the high stuff so I could save my chops for the gig.

I told all the guys about the new horn as we were setting up, and at least our timbales player and the other horn guys were interested. Rich Wheeler, our sax guy, said I’d probably get some high register assistance with the horn being silver. (his first comments). My Zeus was raw brass. When we did our mic check, I got a chance to hear the horn through the PA. I play on an Audio Techinca wireless rig with a clip on microphone. I put it through it’s paces for the check, playing lows and highs, and testing the peak sound. I got cheers from the crowd as I played around. The flexibility of the horn is unsurpassed. Shakes are easy, and the high register was not a barrier.

Anyway, as the night progressed, Rich kept mentioning to me after each tune, how good the horn sounded. I was trying to overblow the WT at first, but started relaxing, and that helped. The entire range of the horn is more centered, and projects more than my previous horn. Also, the flexibility is amazing. Lip slurs are open and not pinched off. It’s like an open tube of sound that you just push up as far as you need to, and there it is: a nice round rich high note as easy as pie. The horn is a great fit with the loudness of our band. I could hear myself all night long. The horn speaks so clearly.

Rich was amazed at the difference. Luiz, our timbales player, also commented after each break, how good the sound was. Got compliments all night. Even the conga player, Fernando, came up to me and commented on how good the horns sounded on Bailemos Otra Vez, a tune he brought to the band. He was all over me for how good the trumpet sounded on that tune in particular!

The Wild Thing plays great, like I hoped it would! Even the sound guy came up to me after the gig and said he didn’t need to add any highs, just a little low end to the mix, since the horn projects so well.

So, all in all, I had a great night, and I am in love with the horn. And the band is, too.
We had a packed house last night, more than we’ve seen at the Granada for a long, long, time. It was a good time to sound good.

Thanks, Flip (this testimonial is completely unsolicited by Flip Oakes!)

I’ll keep ya’all updated as I explore the horn further. Thanks for your patience.


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