The Mel Lewis signature range is very jazz orientated but to really get a feel for these it helps to know something about the man himself.
Mel Lewis (1929 -1990) was a determined and opinionated man. His playing was respected by many greats including Buddy Rich and Louis Bellson and many others tried, but failed, to emulate his playing feel and musicianship. The self taught son of a drummer, he played from the age of three, he was professional at 15 and progressed to work with bop and big bands, including with Stan Kenton and his collaboration with Thad Jones. It is said that he is the first drummer to make the Kenton band swing! He strongly resisted the rise of rock music, preferring to pursue “Öreal music’ where reading, dynamics and musicianship were still a requirement. Despite his great technique he was not a showman, preferring instead to play for the music to complement the band or soloist. His cymbal work is often quoted as being exactly right for the moment in the music where, for instance, he would use a low dark ride under a trumpet line to add a fifth voice to the four part ensemble. He is quoted as saying that every one of his cymbals is a ride cymbal and that every one of his cymbals is also a crash!
These 14in hats have a very warm, full bodied sound. Soft, washy and buttery.