2006 News - A Year in Review

December 5, 2006


We called Manny Laureano a few weeks ago to tell him we had a few new shop sample lightweight C trumpets ready to play-test, and he graciously got on a plane and came out to try them out for us. These new C trumpets have all the latest improvements, including the new valve drilling pattern and all-new valve casings and pistons. With Manny's help, we made back-to-back comparisons of our three lightest C trumpets made with the old style valve casings, and the exact same models with all the new high-tech tooling and design improvements. We really, really like the new horns... and so does Manny!

By popular demand, we will soon be posting our informal video takes of Manny play-testing the various C trumpets, both with the camera up close and also with the camera further away. The results of the different weight instruments recorded at different distances are consistent with what we have experienced for almost 30 years now... and we hope these results are fun and informative for our clients and friends to check out.

In the mean time, here is a short video teaser from Manny's recent visit. Manny was joined by Oregon Symphony trumpeter Dave Bamonte. Among other things, they played some Copland for the camera. Manny is using the all-new PRANA LT C trumpet with his C1-4 S6 'SLAP' mouthpiece, while Dave is using the all-new, mid shank PRANA 1 C and the new C1-1 S1 'SLAP' mouthpiece. Please write us a note and tell us what you think. More video clips and horn comparisons will follow in the coming weeks... stay tuned!

October 16, 2006


Our long-time client and good friend Thara Memory has just been released from the hospital after an extended stay. Thara has diabetes, and has recently had his left foot and part of this right hand third valve finger amputated. As anyone who knows Thara would expect, these medical setbacks have not slowed him down one bit!

Thara is a student of Bill Fielder, the legendary trumpet teacher from Rutgers University. Two of Bill's other well known students include Wynton Marsalis and Terence Blanchard. Just like "Prof" (as Professor Fielder is affectionately called by his students) always says, if your air is working, your chops will be fine. Thara had not played for about a month when he visited the shop today, but one would never know it from how he sounded... his air was good, his chops were fine and he sounded GREAT!

Thara will be a featured soloist at the IAJE (International Association of Jazz Educators) convention in New York in January. He will be using his new, "Next Generation" PRANA LTJ Bb, which he just took delivery on during his visit to the shop. We made up a special third valve finger button for Thara, which Thara says we should call the "Memory Facilitator!" With this special finger button, one can play either second valve or second/third combination easily with just the middle (second valve) finger. As Thara gets used to the finger mechanics of playing with this setup, we will no doubt learn more about how to adapt instruments to the needs of players with diabetes-related challenges. If anyone reading this has any experience or useful suggestions for us, please share your thoughts and send us an E-mail: stc@monette.net

September 6, 2006

Maynard Ferguson 1928 - 2006


With Maynard’s passing, I feel the loss of a friend, teacher, mentor and hero.

I first met Maynard, (a line everyone seems to use as a preface when they start to talk about Maynard) back in 1974. And again, like probably everyone else who may read this, it changed my life forever. For me it not only changed my life, but it directly inspired my life’s work. Countless hours I have spent in my shop, working after hours and often pulling all-nighters working on some new project, while listening to Maynard on the shop stereo loud enough to rattle the walls. And if I lost direction and wasn’t sure how to proceed with a new design or idea, I would stop and close my eyes, and Maynard’s sound would tell me what to do. HIS sound - the vitality and sparkle and glimmer in his eyes you can always hear through his horn - what a lesson that is.

Back in 1974 I got my first lesson in how beautiful a trumpet could sound. Years later, as I got to know Maynard personally, he taught me much more. Every time I had the honor and privilege to hang with Boss, I would get another chapter of the continual and ongoing lesson in how to be a better human being. How to love others without judgment or condition, and how to always see the joy in life - even if the band bus has a flat in North Dakota in the winter out in the middle of nowhere at 3:00 AM. This amazing vitality is almost impossible to realize or maintain for most mortals, but it was second nature to Maynard. Maynard’s gig in the larger sense was simply to support others, and make them feel better about themselves so they can hopefully do the same someday for others. His unselfish mission touched millions of listeners Eand me too.

I am humbled to be able to say that Maynard was my friend. Maynard directly helped me realize my life’s dream. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to tell him that, to show him that through the equipment I build, and to call him my friend. Thank you, Boss.

- Dave Monette

August 23, 2006


Maynard and an all-star band recently played a week at the Blue Note in New York, and then took a short drive across the George Washington Bridge to Englewood, New Jersey and Tony Bennett’s recording studio for a week of recording for a new CD. The band was burning! Maynard brought in some alumni as featured guests to augment his exceptional rhythm section. Stockton Helbing, Maynard’s drummer, got to fulfill a lifelong dream as the producer for the session.

Dave Monette was on an East Coast swing at that time, and arrived in NY in time to stop by the Blue Note for the second set Saturday night. The following Tuesday Dave went by the studio for the first day of recording to make sure Maynard’s MF PRANA trumpet was tweeked-up and in A+ playing condition for the recording session.

Maynard received a NEW MOUTHPIECE on the trip, which he immediately used the last few nights at the Blue Note and also for the recording session. It’s the NEXT GENERATION, CNC version of his MF III mouthpiece, the first design of our new “S-Series” or “SLAP” line of mouthpieces. Ed Sargent said Maynard took to the new mouthpiece immediately, and sounded so good on it he kept it in the horn for the week in the studio.

Band personnel for the recording include Maynard’s lead player and Monette client Patrick Hession, and also MF alumni and L.A. studio star Wayne Bergeron, who split the lead book with Patrick.

Ed Sargent, Stockton Helbing and Phil Bulla from the studio were the perfect team to produce this album – and Ed told us earlier today that Maynard had a great week of playing and blowing solos over the band.

Thanks to Maynard, Ed, Stockton, Patrick and the entire band for showing Dave so much hospitality both at the Blue Note and in the studio. The New CD should be released sometime later this year.


Dave Monette had a very full schedule on the East Coast a few weeks ago, and he got to hear LOTS of good music from some of our best friends and clients.

In addition to the work with Maynard Ferguson and the band mentioned elsewhere, Dave also brought a new, “Next Generation” PRANA 3 TRUMPET out to Wynton Marsalis, along with a new MF PRANA for several other friends to check out.

Wynton’s new PRANA 3 Bb, serial number 2070, has all the latest improvements that we have been incorporating in our “Next Generation” PRANA instruments delivered so far this year. Dave also brought a few prototype mouthpieces for Wynton to try. The new PRANA B2S3 is the winner, which Wynton has been playing all year. This is quickly becoming a VERY popular mouthpiece, as it does everthing our B2 does, but better and easier!