For several years we have been working with Ravi Best to come up with a lightweight trumpet he could use in Broadway pits and in some commercial and big band situations where a brighter sound is needed. The problem in the past has been coming up with a design that is comfortable and an easy switch for Ravi, given that his main horn for 10+ years for small group jazz work has been the large, sheet-braced AJNA Bb that has much larger "targets" than any lead trumpet. Once a player gets used to the larger, heavier horns, lighter horns with smaller "targets" just seem too small and stuffy to play with comfort and accuracy.
Enter the new "tall valve casing, wide radius" Monette horns with the new valve drilling pattern made with our CNC machines introduced a few years ago. These new horns with the wider bell and tuning slide bends allow our lighter horns to have much larger "targets" on each note, while retaining the lighter, brighter feel that works in poor acoustic situations and in loud commercial/electronic situations where one needs a sound that “cuts."
We had thought we would eventually build a "wide radius" MF PRANA, thinking that as Maynard got older we might work him into this variation to help him in the final years of his career.
With Maynard’s passing a few years ago, it turned out we never had to build this instrument for him. But with Ravi playing regularly on various Broadway shows and needing a light, bright trumpet, we decided Maynard might be smiling on us and it was time to make this new model instrument.
The end result is exactly what we had hoped for - a very light horn that is extremely easy for players who are used to larger Monette trumpets to switch to when they need a brighter sound or need to play for extended periods in the extreme upper register. This horn provides that brighter sound that "cuts" in both loud electronic and "dead" acoustic situations. And it works great with our new XLT weight Bb mouthpieces designed for extreme upper register work.
Ravi has used the horn extensively for the last year, subbing in all the chairs on Broadway shows such as "The Color Purple," and “Gypsy.” He also gets fairly regular calls to play with commercial groups, and has been featured with such as artists such as Stevie Wonder, Christina Aguilara, Jay Z and Beyonce. If this variety of work isn’t enough, he regularly tours with the Ellington Band playing the "Cootie Williams" book, where he has used the new horn on extended tours.
Ravi recently helped us out during the Adidas Design Group presentation and used the horn in a small
group setting with the Gary Hobbs Trio at the Adidas Corporate Headquarters. The room was quite "dead," but Ravi easily kept everyone’s attention during the concert and reception.
In addition to his freelancing, his work on Broadway and his traveling tour work, Ravi teaches for the youth program at Jazz At Lincoln Center. He also has a private teaching studio at his home in Brooklyn.
Ravi is a remarkably talented and versatile player, and we feel fortunate to be working with him!