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Mel Lewis' Old A Zildjian

zenstat

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He can be seen in photos and heard on recordings playing that cymbal in the modified state as early as the mid 50's, so it seems likely that it was a 40's cymbal. Otherwise, it would have had to develop those initial cracks rather quickly.

The T4 trademark stamp was given years of 1952-1953 by Bill Hartrick. It doesn't fit with it being a 1952-1953 cymbal unless it developed those cracks in just 1 or 2 years to get to mid 50s. Maybe it broke on day 6 of use. I suspect something is out of whack and we need more data on when it was spotted in use with and without the cutouts.

I haven't yet independently checked the factory years of use for Trans Stamps. I'm still working on fixing up all the bogus years for a whole lot of other Avedis Zildjian Trademarks and production method shifts. I hadn't expected that to take this long, but then I hadn't expected so many things to be up to half a decade out. :dontknow: Just as I hadn't expected to see a power hammering machine in use in the K Zildjian Istanbul factory.

kzf-8.jpg


These things take time.
 
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poetman

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Some pictures of the cymbal to liven up an ancient resurrect.

View attachment 594002

View attachment 594003


View attachment 594004

The trademark is a Trans Stamp Type IV. The bell looks a little smaller than the Medium Cup to me. That would make it the Medium Small Cup which is starting to appear on more 1950s and early 1960s cymbals now that we have recognized it. I'm looking to retrieve more info on this. It comes from Cymbalholic back in 2018, but as the site is now offline I can't remember if I had the weight at the time. I'll keep looking in my notes. Also somebody was trying to make a clone of it by doing those cutouts on a more modern A Zildjan cymbal. I can't remember who. @egw was it you or do you or any other Cymbalholics remember?
So is this stamp a Trans stamp (which are from the 40s) and not a 50s stamp?

It’s also amazing how much heavier the rides were, not think like many contemporary guys are after. Larry Bumker’s rides were similarly heavier

“20.5 ride with 7 rivet holes 2340g, 20" ride with 8 rivet holes 2186g”
 

zenstat

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So is this stamp a Trans stamp (which are from the 40s) and not a 50s stamp?

It’s also amazing how much heavier the rides were, not think like many contemporary guys are after. Larry Bumker’s rides were similarly heavier

“20.5 ride with 7 rivet holes 2340g, 20" ride with 8 rivet holes 2186g”
The only Trans Stamp which is actually from the 1940s is the first one T1. 1948ish. The other three are from the early 1950s. That's what Hartrick said. After that everybody selling cymbals seemed to say "Trans Stamp from the 40s/50s" and the misinformation just kept spreading. I've done my best to overcome that, but what can one do? Horses, water, drink. :dontknow:

Later on we get into whether the Mel Lewis cymbal was visible with mods earlier than expected given it has a T4 stamp and would have been made in 1952-1953 according to Bill Hartrick. I'll wait for more evidence. I do think that the quality of information for pinning down each trans stamp start and end years in the factory is sparse. I'm just slowly accumulating better information.
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

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Someone mentioned how it sounded bad when they played it. Keep in mind that cymbals can often sound different in context of the music. And in fact, I think that’s one of the key ingredients to Zildjians in general…They usually sound good in context of the music. Anyways, Mel of course had his touch and whatever sticks he used which has an impact. For what it’s worth, I like the Art Pepper record and I’ve been listening to that forever. But there are lots of cymbals that I like as much or better. Any of the Jimmy Cobb ride sounds are every bit as good to me.
 

Seb77

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Thanks for the Shorty Rogers video. (After the first few seconds, the sound becomes very clear).
I'd say the cymbal became famous because Mel chose to make music with it. He had a special ear for what would work for his playing style, within the ensembles he played in. Pronounced stick with a dry/short crash, stays out of the way sonically ("no middle")
I think the recognizable look is another aspect of its mystique. Sort of a Cinderella/ugly duckling story :)
 

Morello Man

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This may add to the discussion...I believe this was from 1967, in Down Beat magazine, "PLEASE HELP! A bag containing five cymbals, was stolen from Mel Lewis on the night of April 17 in a restaurant in East Hartford, Conn. In the bag were a pair of 14-inch K. Zildjian high-hat cymbals, heavy weight, an 18-inch K. Zildjian cymbal, a 20-inch K. Zildjian with four rivets, and, most unfortunately, an irreplaceable 22-inch A. Zildjian Chinese swish cymbal with many rivets, a type not manufactured since the 30s, a gift to Lewis from Dizzy Gillespie, and the cymbal he had been using with the big band he co-leads with Thad Jones since its inception...Anyone in the New England area with knowledge of the whereabouts of the cymbals, especially the 22-inch, are urged to contact Lewis, who is offering full reimbursement and/or reward with no questions asked...The cymbals are old, not shiny, and tuned with tape."
 


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