Press & Publications

NEW YORK (CBSNEWYORK) - IT WAS A STELLAR PERFORMANCE BY SAM ASH MUSIC STORE EMPLOYEE JOSH LANDRESS ON WEST 48TH STREET IN MANHATTAN.

SAM ASH MUSIC STORE EMPLOYEE BUSTS ALLEGED THIEF FOR STEALING, RE-SELLING $8,000 HORN

NEW YORK (CBSNEWYORK) - IT WAS A STELLAR PERFORMANCE BY SAM ASH MUSIC STORE EMPLOYEE JOSH LANDRESS ON WEST 48TH STREET IN MANHATTAN.

24-YEAR-OLD PORTIA SIRINEK HAD GIVEN LOCAL MUSIC STORES A HEADS UP THAT HER $8,000 FRENCH HORN HAD BEEN STOLEN FROM AN UPPER WEST SIDE RESTAURANT, AND HE RECOGNIZED IT WHEN SUSPECT STEPHEN HORNE ALLEGEDLY TRIED TO HAWK IT TO HIM FOR $1,000.

 

Horn Hygiene by Josh Landress Monday, April 30, 2012 at 1:28PM

BLESSING BRASS INSTRUMENTS BLOG APRIL 2012

Horn Hygiene by Josh Landress Monday, April 30, 2012 at 1:28PM

(Brass craftsman of J. Landress Brass and Sam Ash Music Manhattan)

Just like things we use in our day to day lives, instruments need routine maintenance and cleaning. On a daily basis, musicians come into the workshop with instruments that have problems that could have been avoided by a few simple steps. Typical problems include stuck slides, slow and sluggish valves, holes in the metal, stuffiness or hard to play, and even a foul odor.

When we play our instruments things happen on the inside of the tubing that we don’t even think about. Tiny particles of food can get blown in, saliva and water condense, and oils and grease breakdown -- all of which can accumulate in the horn. Build-ups inside the horn can distort the bore size and even house dangerous bacteria.

The good thing is that with just a few simple steps, musicians can maintain their own instruments, improving their sound and lifespan. You will need a few things with which to wash the horn. I recommend using a good degreasing dish detergent (I prefer Dawn), a snake cleaning brush or other instrument-specific brush, towel, valve or rotor oil, and slide grease, and of course, a place to clean your instrument (I use my bathtub). I recommend following the below steps on monthly basis:

Step 1: Disassemble

Take the instrument apart by removing all the slides, caps and valves (on rotary instruments leave the rotors in) and wiping off all old oil and grease. Make sure to follow the order of slides first, caps second and lastly valves. This will prevent any possible damage to the valve section if some slides are slightly stuck.

Step 2: Wash and rinse

Fill the tub with luke-warm water and mix in the soap. Submerge the body, slides and caps but NOT THE VALVES, and soak for a few minutes. Go through the parts with the snake cleaning brush, gently scrubbing the insides of the tubes. Once the horn has been scrubbed in the soapy water, rinse the horn with clean water until all soap residues are gone.

Step 3: Dry and assemble

Wipe down all the slides, caps, and body of the instrument with a soft towel. Stand the slides up and leave the horn out on the towel until everything is dry. Wipe down the valves with a soft rag and pull the rag gently through the valve ports (be sure to never force the rag or brushes through). If you feel something starting to stick, gently pull it back. If you have a silver plated instrument, this is a good time to polish the horn.

To start assembling the horn, reverse the disassembly order by starting with the valves. Oil the inside of the casing and valve and place back in the instrument. Put the caps on and then the slides back in with enough slide grease to lightly coat the tubes.

Following this process, as well as regular oiling and greasing all moving parts, your horn will last for many years, and continue to play and perform to its intended level.

J. Landress Brass Custom trumpets Old-School Hand Craftsmanship

DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE REVIEW APRIL 2012

J. Landress Brass Custom trumpets Old-School Hand Craftsmanship

With his affinity for 19th century brass instruments, trumpet designer and 
master brass technician Josh Landress of J. Landress Brass has shown that today’s instrument makers have as much to learn by looking back as they do looking to the future.

 “The way I look at it—why reinvent the wheel?” Landress said. “Prewar French Besson trumpets are considered the Holy Grail of trumpets by a lot of people. They were making these without computers.” Landress firmly believes the hand craftsmanship involved in creating each instrument is what makes the difference in sound and playability. 

All of Landress’ custom trumpets are generally handmade on a per-order basis for each 
individual player. He makes his own bracing, bells and leadpipes from sheet brass. “I’m making an average of about five horns a year,” he said. “I make instruments for the individual who’s bought Schilkes, Bachs … they’ve had used horns, they’ve had new horns, they’ve had things tweaked and adjusted. Now they want one horn that can do it all for that specific person.” Some well-known clients of Landress include Avishai Cohen and Vincent Gardner.

The first of the two Landress trumpets I tried was a .460-inch medium-large bore 
horn featuring a red brass bell and mouthpipe. Landress indicated that the trumpet, similar to a Prewar French Besson, has the basic design that is most requested at his workshop, 
which is based out of Sam Ash’s Brass and Woodwind store on New York’s 48th Street. 
The outer slides are nickel-silver, and the rest of the instrument is yellow brass.

The horn played spectacularly. It responded so well, it begged me to play more musically. I could not believe how much fun it was to add new levels of shading and nuance to phrases that I’ve played a thousand times before.

The second horn I tested was a prototype Landress made for Chris Botti, who requested a copy of a vintage large-bore Martin Committee. The horn has a .468-inch bore, a 
red brass mouthpipe and a yellow brass bell. 

This horn was equally hard to put down once I started playing. Its response, evenness 
from top to bottom, intonation, slotting and the dark and smoky tonal characteristics of the old Martin Committee made it stand out from any other horn I’ve played. 

Landress included two mouthpiece sleeves that he has designed to fit on standard-weight 
trumpet mouthpieces. Hand-made from cocobolo wood, the sleeves transfer sympathetic vibrations from the cup of the mouthpiece, making the sound wave more efficient when 
entering the instrument. The 100 model is designed for all-around use; the 200 model 
has a metal band on the top and is specifically designed for lead playing by helping projection and slotting in the upper register. 

I couldn’t believe the difference the devices made on my playing, whether using my legit 
or lead mouthpieces. The effect is like putting your trumpet playing on rails, solidifying and 
focusing the sound, without feeling rigid or constraining as many heavyweight mouthpieces often do.  ——Mike Pavlik

ON DISCOVERY CHANNEL OCTOBER 2011

Josh Landress appears as the call in expert to asses a 19th Century cornet.