For more than forty years Mike Vax has wowed audiences with his trumpet playing, performing lead and solo work with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, the Clark Terry Big Bad Band, and the United States Navy Show Band. He’s had the chance to perform and/or record with such greats as Art Pepper, Al Grey, Freddy Hubbard, John Handy, The Glenn Miller, and Jimmy Dorsey Orchestras, and the list goes on and on. Throughout all those years and during all those shows Mike has learned one major lesson. A great player needs a great trumpet and that is what he has found with his new Getzen Custom Series.
Together with Byron Autrey and the dedicated staff in the Getzen ProShop, Mike put into effect the design ideas that he thought would make a great trumpet. What he came up with is the all-new, 3001MV Custom Artist Mike Vax Model trumpet.
This new trumpet is based on the tried and true 3001 Artist Model with a few tweaks. The first, and biggest, is the new #172 hand-hammered, one-piece bell made of lightweight gold brass. This combination creates a wonderfully rich and colorful tone with outstanding response and projection. This makes the 3001MV perfect for anything from solo work in small settings or lead play in large concert halls. The second new feature is the addition of a lower tuning slide venturi tube. This helps focus and concentrate airflow before it enters the valve section reducing turbulence and adding response.
During his week-long visit to the factory in Elkhorn, Mike had a chance to watch the skilled Getzen craftsmen at work. The most impressive thing to him was the people. As Mike put it, “It’s great to see instruments being built by hand again. To see actual people doing the work.” Mike had a chance to see the fruits of this labor himself when he playtested the entire Getzen line of small brass instruments. From top to bottom, the entire line of small brass impressed Mike, especially when he found out they were all production horns taken off the shelf. He was particularly surprised with the quality of the 390/490 Student trumpets. During this playtesting, Mike decided that in addition to the new trumpet, he needed a new cornet and flugelhorn. After trying them all, Mike went with an 800 Eterna and prototype 3895 small bore flugelhorn with a gold brass bell.
All in all, Mr. Vax was very pleased with what he saw, heard, and played during his visit. And now that he’s had a chance to perform on the new trumpet, his audiences and bandmates are pleased as well. Often taking the time to comment on Mike’s fantastic “new” sound. A great player has indeed found himself a great trumpet.