So I start out with a post on trumpet gear………..go figure!
I’ve had the opportunity to spend some performance time with my newly acquired Charles Davis Copper Wah Wah mute. To say that I am pleased would be an understatement. This mute is unlike any harmon-style mute I have played. Harmon-style mutes never play in tune, but this one is as good as it gets. No longer do I have to pull out my tuning slide; most notes are dead on, and the ones that aren’t are easily lipped into place. The color palette is broad with a golden sheen. No, it won’t quite give you that authentic Flamenco Sketches tone, but it can slot a low F# that sounds like a low F#. Dynamically this mute can do it all, from a gravelly fortissimo with the stem in to a hazy whisper with the stem out. Or, try the inverse and get a clear, woodwind-like piano with the stem or a piercing whine without.
I’ve had great fun using this mute in performances of the Threepenny Opera. Stem in, stem out…….tone in spades either way. Make it “talk” and emulate a singer? No problem.
Yes, this mute costs more than your average harmon-style mute, but this isn’t some cheap hunk of metal. It’s got engineering and performance that others lack. Think Aston-Martin versus Ford Pinto. Well worth the asking price. Photo courtesy of Mouthpiece Express.