Alonzo Anderson, known as Cat Anderson
(12 September 1916 – 29 April 1981) was an American jazz trumpeter
best-known for his long period playing with Duke Ellington's
orchestra, and for his extremely wide range (more than five octaves),
especially his playing in the higher registers.
Cat had some very special mouthpieces. Extremely shallow with a wide
rim. He used to keep a handkerchief draped over the mouthpiece, so the
other trumpet players couldn’t see what he was playing. He was also
very careful not to let too many people see it. Everytime he would have
a rest, he would take it off the horn and put it in his coat pocket.
About his mouthpiece:
Rick Rangno has a copy of Cat's mouthpiece. He sent me some
The other mouthpiece in the shots is a Bach
3. (no letter behind the number) As you can see, Cat's piece is beyond
tiny and about as deep as a potato chip is thick :-)
Left to right, Cat
Anderson's, Schilke 6A4A and 13A4A.
Quite the difference isn't there?
John Harner, who
played with Cat, said this:
I have tested some shallow mouthpieces in
my time. The shallowest was Chase's 6a4a model. Cat's was
about 2/3rds smaller than that. I am sure I could not even
get a sound on it. But it sure worked for him. Every night he would go
out an play a screech solo, playing double c's and triple
g;s. TRULY AMAZING, even after knowing about his small
Cacia also has info about Cat and his mouthpieces. Cacia has a picture
of another mouthpiece Cat used. He also states the Cat used TWO
mouthpieces - one for section work and one for solos. Cacia's picture
looks like it might be the section piece.
Here is his website www.paulcacia.com.
And here a