Mallet player headlining-show using the MalletKat

After an awesome week working with MalletKat & Vibes at the Delaware workshop, I thought this was very interesting. It's great to see a mallet instrument used as the main instrument in a big production. This is a promo video I found on youtube. The MalletKat, played by entertainer David Meyer, is having a blast as he is dazzling the audience. Enjoy!

-Randy Cloutier




Comments

it's got that disney thing. but he played flight of the bee really well didn't he.

so he's a great player! so it seems! power to him!

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Tony Miceli
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s k y p e: tjazzvibe
tony@tonymiceli.com
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This reminds me of Ian Finkel -- the xylo player who was a similar headliner in the, what, 1960's? It's the exact same act, with updated music and instrument (although "Flight of the Bumble Bee" is timeless, I guess :-)). Also with the exact same audience reaction. I'm a little surprised that someone is still successful with this formula, but I guess a good show is always a good show.

As far as I can tell about Ian, his musicianship matches or exceeds his showmanship. This is the first I've heard of David -- he's obviously competent, but is there more to him? Although my hat's off to any mallet player who can get 1000+ people to listen to him for a couple of hours :-).

Tom P.

he is a top top notch musician. i mean really. and he plays the xylo sooo beautiful.

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Tony Miceli
www.tonymiceli.com (new)
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
tony@tonymiceli.com
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Well, I don't know what to say about this. Except that it does not move me musically. If you want to check out some hot xylo playing, look up xylopholks on Youtube. There is something to be said for all of these people being excited about a mallet player, but it still smells like a stupid pet trick.

Hi Harvey, Xylopholks! Rule! I'm very familiar with them. gotta love their zoo-character costumes ;-)

....just some other possiblities of using a mallet instrument whether it's vibes, xylo, marimba, malletKat, etc.., bottom line, someone is making, or trying to make a living at what they love doing - making music using a mallet instrument! : )

-Randy

I agree with Harvey. Right after "Flight of the Bumble Bee" he massages the MalletKat. That's bit over the top. Still if it pays the mortgage more power to him. Glow in the dark mallets might be kind of fun too.

Bob Wesner

Harvey -- I agree with you 100%; there's no artistic merit here. I have to admit to a morbid fascination though. Why does such schlock receive so much applause? Why is the name Liberace known to virtually every American alive in 1960, but not Arthur Rubinstein? What's the right balance between being an artist and being an entertainer?

Tom P.

Well, in fairness to this guy - he's playing what I perceive to be circus music; it's all schtick, and 100% Barnum & Bailey. And that is what I'd expect to hear before the dancing elephants come out. If that's his gig, then he's right on target and doing his job admirably well. I started to fast-forward halfway through the clip because I found it too uncomfortable to watch, but that makes sense since I'd never be inclined to watch circus music on youtube. So I find myself giving him the benefit of the doubt because I don't know what his assignment is in that context.

This is killin' - John Tesch meets Jason "Malletman" Taylor !!!
The pieces are incredibly corny, aimed at a Middle American audience,
but imagine a production like this, that was accesible, entertaing & communicative,
but featured really GOOD music. It could be done, but as with commercial TV, producers
shovel sh*t to their audience because they have no respect for them. And as always, as here,
the dollar is king.

-JL

I realized through further searching, the performer in the video is a cruise ship entertainer (plays drums too). This is what you can expect for some of the entertainment on a typical cruise. (I worked on a cruise ship as a show band drummer). Obviously, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but as corny it may seem, (maybe that's our trained ears telling us that) I thought it was interesting that a mallet player was being featured. Believe it or not, there is much more corny entertainment on the ship than this. However, for some reason, the general audience seems to like it. In my experience, guest entertainers are usually, pianists, a multi-instrumentalists, or singers. Entertaining 2000-plus passengers is never easy - many musical tastes to deal with. The cruise lines try to please everyone but obviously, not everyone is going to like the type of entertainment provided. You can choose to stay or leave.
I believe that holds true for any form of entertainment. For example, I went to a well known jazz club (NY) for the first time. I was so excited about going to see this group only to realize by 30 minutes into the concert, I couldn't wait until it was over. The musicians were technically amazing but, the collaboration was not. Not much use of dynamics and the drummer was so busy and loud - seemed like a continuous drum solo from song to song. (Maybe he was working on his circular rhythm ;-) Not to mention I felt like a sardine sitting in the audience, and service was terrible. Unfortunately, the dollar is king here too. Lets face it, $ is king everywhere.

Here's a tip, if you want to hear jazz on a cruise, book a trip during a jazz cruise or, you will be subjected to corny entertainment. Another option would be to bring an iPod with all you're favorite jazz artists and skip the entertainment.

How about a Jazz Vibe cruise in the Mediterranean ?

We could probably get all of the members here to sign-up and charter a cruise and call it "Mallets on the Mediterranean" and of course, have our own "Mallet Idol" :D (Although, we already have some mallet idols here on the site : )

-Randy

if i knew enough people would take the cruise, i have someone lined up that would set it up. she was already on my case to do it, but it's a lot of work. we could have a workshop on the ship! vibes and all!! but i'd need to have about 15 or 20 people who want to pay those dollars. we'd need a private room and a good bass player, etc., etc.

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Tony Miceli
www.tonymiceli.com (new)
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
tony@tonymiceli.com
www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Miceli/604414578
http://twitter.com/tonymiceli
http://www.myspace.com/tonymicelivibes

I went on a cruise to Alaska once. It was the most stupid high dollar waste of time ever.

Bob Wesner

Hey Bob,

Was it a jazz cruise? Try cruising the Caribbean on a jazz cruise.

Here's the 2011 line-up

Although, I didn't notice any vibe artists : ( (Tony, make it happen : )

http://www.thejazzcruise.com

From the website:
"Passenger Jam Sessions
The goal of the Passenger Jam Session is to provide our guests with an opportunity to play music with their fellow guests. This is not a substitute for the scheduled performances, nor is it intended to be a talent contest or an entertainment venue. Guests are encouraged to participate, share the space and time and enjoy the ability to play.

The Jazz Cruise is again happy and thrilled to make the Northern Lights venue available for the entire cruise to our guests who wish to jam and play their own music. Just as we did last year, we will provide, starting on Monday morning, ample equipment for this wonderful activity. And, also as we did last year, from time to time some of the professional musicians will be there to work with you and to sit in."

If the lightweight vibe becomes available soon, pack it and take it with you and play during the "passenger jam sessions" : D

The cruise is not cheap but, I'm sure you can find deals out there. If I had the time and money, I would consider going.

When I was working on the cruise, I was in port with a ship hosting the Blues Cruise, and the passengers from that ship were so excited talking about how great it is to be around listening and meeting some of their favorite artists while on vacation. The ship I was working on was hosting the Smooth Jazz cruise the following week but, my contract ended on the same day the smooth jazz cruise was to start. I think that's a pretty cool way to spend a vacation.

-Randy

No it wasn't a jazz cruise. Music was not a center piece of the tour, but there were a few tired Native Americans banging on drums and dancing around totem poles. They looked sad and humiliated entertaining all of us bozos. I do have to say out of respect for all the people employed by the tour company that they were all very nice and very accommodating. I couldn't have been treated nicer by the staff. It simply felt like a huge floating cattle car stopping occasionally to let us graze in another souvenir village complete with little totem poles that were made in China. I might like a jazz cruise, but the next time I'm able to take another "vacation" I'm headed to another workshop with Professor Vibraphonus Maximus Miceli.

Bob Wesner

Now THAT's a good one!!!!
LMAO

Music from Smalls and reading VW.
Gotta go shed again too. The night is still young.

Todd Canedy
Don't stop asking until you understand. Once you understand constantly confirm it.

Just thinking about floating around on the ocean on a big ship makes me feel like bait on a bobber:)

I'll take a canoe, mountains and fresh water streams and lakes any day over a massive ocean and giant ships.

Todd Canedy
Don't stop asking until you understand. Once you understand constantly confirm it.

But there is no place to plug in a MalletKat and see a show like that one. And how is Tony going to schlep 19 vibraphones up a mountain, much less into a fresh stream to hold a workshop?

You see, as the voice of reason it's my job to think of these things. However, you could also argue that I have way too much free time on my hands if I'm thinking about how to get a vibe up to the mountaintop.

How could I have missed that? You are soooo right.
Oooh ......
Maybe we can get Yahama to sponsor it and we can all get the Yamaha Grizzly 700 to transport our vibes up the mountain. They make everything!

It would make a fantastic commercial for the Grizzly and for vibes!!!!!!!
Who gets to write the jingle?

Todd Canedy
Don't stop asking until you understand. Once you understand constantly confirm it.

Todd, how could I have been so dense as to not realize that Yamaha makes motor vehicles as well as musical instruments??? Of course - the answer is to make it THEIR problem how to get their instruments to the mountaintop. There is a downside in that it would be totally justifiable for Nico to ask for the return of that nice 3.5 octave in Tony's basement if there was a workshop with all Yamaha vibraphones.

I guess the Vibes in the Woods workshop is a great idea that may have been rained out anyway.

if you can get yamaha to make a 4 wheeling set of vibes. nico can HAVE THIS INSTRUMENT BACK!!

but i will get him to make a set of bars for me!!!!!

(i love you nico!!!)

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Tony Miceli
www.tonymiceli.com (new)
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
tony@tonymiceli.com
www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Miceli/604414578
http://twitter.com/tonymiceli
http://www.myspace.com/tonymicelivibes

All Terrain Vibe.
Comes with a complete bow package.

Todd Canedy
Don't stop asking until you understand. Once you understand constantly confirm it.

that would be cool though. go into the woods somewhere with the vibes, and just play and play and play!

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Tony Miceli
www.tonymiceli.com (new)
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
tony@tonymiceli.com
www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Miceli/604414578
http://twitter.com/tonymiceli
http://www.myspace.com/tonymicelivibes

Hey Todd,

Think of it as a floating hotel cruising to several island destinations.

-Randy

Randy,
I've tried that. But every time I envision myself walking to my cabin all the do not disturb signs say DISTURB IF SINKING.

Todd Canedy
Don't stop asking until you understand. Once you understand constantly confirm it.