In 2007 Cannonball started experimenting with a new finish for their saxophones. The result: “The Brute”
We share the story of how the idea came to be and the steps to perfect the finish in this article.
Q: What is the BRUTE, and where did it come from?
The BRUTE ® is an aged brass treatment we developed at here Cannonball in 2007. Here’s the story of how the BRUTE ® came to be:
In 2007, while Tevis and Sheryl were enjoying lunch in a local Italian restaurant, Tevis stopped and stared at thecopper table top where they were sitting. He noticed all of the variances of colors where the drinks and dishes over time had made the copper look old and used. He loved the patina look and suddenly he nearly shouted in excitement, as he often does, “I want a saxophone that looks like this!” Sheryl agreed, and immediately in our Cannonball factory we started experimenting to get that aged-patina look on our brass. It took a lot of trials and several months to create the first prototype. As you can see, it turned out PURPLE! It was wild, especially for the time! One of our hand-engravers decided it was worthy of a dragon engraving and we added Spiderman Jasper for the stones to finish the look.
Our saxophonists were ecstatic about how it sounded and felt, so we knew we were on to something. This first prototype looked great too, but we wanted our brass patina to be more rustic looking (and less purple!) so we continued trying to work towards the aged look with further prototypes. After purple, gray and mustard yellow prototypes we finally got the look just right. One of our Cannonball team members, Ryan Lillywhite, dubbed the name to be “BRUTE ®”. No two BRUTES are exactly alike, so all who own one of these have a customized look. On top of that, where the hands touch the brass over time it starts to appear more burnished-looking, so this individualizes the instrument even further.
In the first part of 2009 we started the BRUTE® saxophones in full production. When our CFO first saw the BRUTE®, she had a dreaded look on her face as she laughed and said, “OH NO! This is the ugliest horn I’ve ever seen! This will be the downfall of the entire company!” Fortunately she was wrong and the BRUTE® was immediately loved! It’s popular not only with our artists and customers, but also with the many other companies who have decided they wanted to copy this look too. So now you know where it first began – where the BRUTE was born – and it was here at Cannonball!
Here is a video with more information on the BRUTE®.
The BRUTE® is available in both Big Bell Stone Series® and Vintage Reborn® Series saxophones, and we are happy to announce that we will have a BRUTE® trumpet available at the end of 2012.