I had the pleasure of visiting our Japanese distributor, Shires Co., during my recent vacation to Tokyo. Sanada-san (left) is the owner, and his store is a brass players’ dream with new and vintage trumpets and trombones lining the walls in beautiful displays. Nakagawa-san (second from the left) and Kazutaka-san (right) are trumpet experts and provide the highest level of service to their customers.
My wife and I had a great time visiting the shop and enjoyed some amazing sushi and Fugu, which at the time, we did not know it was the famous blowfish.
I was also lucky to see some customers that have done work with Bob Reeves and myself before. Mukaide-san is a professional trumpet player at Tokyo DisneySea. We did a valve alignment on his vintage Calicchio during our last visit in 2006. He is the leader of a band that plays regularly in the park. He sounded great, and was nice enough to pose for a picture with me!
If you find yourself in Tokyo, please by all means drop by their shop and try out some horns and maybe even a Bob Reeves Mouthpiece or two!
When I asked Bud what I could do for him he said, “I want you to make a new and improved Bob Reeves’ version of my Herrick mouthpiece.”
“You got it!” I replied.
He was playing a custom Burt Herrick piece (pictured left) that I had altered the shank on before. It was a completely custom mouthpiece – hand carved rim and cup, short length and a complex backbore.
It took me most of the morning and afternoon to get the piece done. I was able to modify the piece from the original to give him a little more sound for less work.
I had barely taken it out of the silver-plating tank when he grabbed it out of my hand and started running for the door.
“I have a session I have to get to. Thanks for the piece!” Bud said running out of the shop.
“Hey, don’t you want to take the old one with you just in case?” I yelled out, chasing after him with his old Burt Herrick piece in my hand. I couldn’t believe he would show up to a studio session with a new, untested piece.
“What the hell do I need that old thing for…yours is better isn’t it?”
I stood there speechless.
The session ended up being one of his best recordings with Henry Mancini. He never came back for his old piece, where it has been sitting in the same drawer for 30 years.
2008 marks the 40th anniversary of Bob Reeves opening up shop. In commemoration of this feat, we have started up this blog that will feature news, equipment advice, and plenty of great stories from Bob’s arsenal (at least those that can be repeated!).
Our blog will be updated frequently, so check back regularly!