The app-friendly VHT i-16 amp combines real tube tone with 21st century connectivity. Available as a head or combo, it features a tone-enhancing 12AX7 preamp tube running at 300 volts for real tube amp dynamics and texture. The i-16’s Tone-Link jack provides unlimited access to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch modeling amps such as Apple’s Garage Band, IK Multimedia’s AmpliTube, and Positive Grid’s Bias and JamUp.
Blue Spark Blue Microphones’ Spark Digital mic connects via USB and uses the same technology found in studio microphones for professional recording on an iPad, iPhone or computer. Studio controls including volume, gain and instant mute are located right on the mic, which offers zero-latency headphone monitoring. More info:bluemic.com
Pedal to the Metal The Machined Direct Drive (MDD) Pedal from DW features an optimized fulcrum geometry linkage to offer smooth action with just the right amount of beater throw. Other features of the MDD Pedal include a perforated footboard with a contoured heel plate, interlocking delta hinge, threaded bearing technology in the drive linkage and cam, tri-pivot swivel toe clamp and solid-aluminum direct drive cam with pivot adjustment. More info:dwdrums.com
Bell Tones Buffet Crampon’s Icon clarinet bells let players explore different sonorities without changing their instrument. The shape of the Icon bell is narrowed at the midpoint, and the base is ringless. It weighs 30 percent less than a traditional bell, and the flare has been redesigned to optimize projection of airflow. More info:buffet-group.com
Jazz Etudes Kendor Music’s Effective Etudes for Jazz, Vol. 2 includes 20 etudes based on the changes to jazz standards. Useful for jazz ensemble auditions, recitals, festivals and lessons, the book helps players at the student and professional levels learn to improvise over common chord progressions. More info:kendormusic.com
Education Guide Published annually in DownBeat’s October issue
Jazz must not be the property of an elite few who possess a vast knowledge of the music’s history, performers, nuances and intricacies. But since jazz is a very advanced art form and has such a rich history, it’s important to have a grounding in this tradition to fully understand and appreciate what’s happening…More