Mel Lewis could drive a big band, or a small group, with a fire that few drummers have been able to emulate. He was Istanbul Agop's first endorser. After his death in 1990 and with the blessing of his family, Mel’s chosen cymbals were flown back to Istanbul Agop factory. Every detail of every individual cymbal has been taken in with exacting detail and replicated by the hands of Istanbul Agop cymbal-smiths. These cymbals are Istanbul Agop's way of paying tribute to Mel’s legacy in the best way they know how. Originally created especially for his live performances, these tribute cymbals have highly versatile perspective ranging from small jazz settings to nostalgic big band sounds.
Mel Lewis 20" 1982 Ride
- Projects full sound.
- Produces dark, warm, lush wash of subtle overtones along with a solid stick definition that cuts.
- Its diversity of tones allow for driving ride action along with warm, trashy crash accents with minimal overtone build up.
"I played the Mel Lewis 20" 1982 ride in a few different settings, including blues, light rock, and folky-jazz. The cymbal hold its own under all circumstances. It is pingy, with clear stick definition. But it also produce multilayered overtones that ranged from very light to very dark. When I laid into the ride to play a traditional swing beat, my attack chatters away clearly. However, to my surprise the cymbal also has incredible spread, almost like a current of wind swirling under my wood-tipped sticks. (It would probably generate even more color with nylon-tipped sticks.) It is able to keep time and add surging hisses to communicate with the band in dynamic ways. Next I use brushes to generate a sonic mist. And when I take mallets to the cymbal, a pleasing cloud of dark noise hover over the music like a warm blanket. The ride also records well. Though a simple ADAT and two-mic' setup was all we used, the ride simply shimmers. On playback, my patterns were clear and well defined. The only drawback was the virtually nonexistent bell sound. Nonetheless, this is a great cymbal that would work not only for straight-ahead jazz, but also for big band and soft jazz." - Will Romano
Istanbul Agop has ONE year warranty against manufacturing flaws, starting from date of the purchase.
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