O.J.'s Trumpet Page Artists and personalities

Cat Anderson

Cat Anderson

William 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:

Cat's mouthpiece

Rick Rangno has a copy of Cat's mouthpiece.  He sent me some photos of it and said:

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 :-)

Cat's mpc, 6A4A and 13A4A.
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 mouthpiece. More here

Paul 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 direct link