Not exactly new to the market, but with a style, sound, feel and quality that’s sure to raise an eyebrow or two, the Elvin Jones snare is about as jazz specific as you can get. They say that Jones requested a snare drum that would cover everything from intricate brushwork to dynamic rolls. The result was a 14X7in, all maple 7-ply shell, fitted with vintage wood hoops, small gold lugs and finished in ‘Gold Sparkle’ – to complement the hardware. Fitted with a standard Yamaha coated head, this extraordinary drum has a unique dynamic and timbric quality that will warm the cockles of even the most discerning skin skimmer. Give it a road test – and be amazed.

If you’re looking for a ride cymbal that has all those dark, hand hammered chracteristics, then look no further, this Istanbul 25th Anniversary 20 inch ride is as cool as they come. Thin and flat, this cymbal has a special process applied to the finishing on the outside of the cymbal that gives it a distinctly blue hue and seems to limit the amount the cymbal will open up producing a more unified sound. With a very low pitch, it has a dark, deep tone with a wet, splashy character and a shimmering crash that is not too “pingy”. We really liked the stick sound. But beware, this cymbal is a true jazzer and won’t thank you for getting really stuck in, as the wash will quickly build up to a roar and could easily swamp the sound. Treat it nice and gentle and you can be sure it will deliver all those subtle old ‘K’ type characteristics that you’ve been looking for.

These brand new K Custom Hybrid cymbals are just what the doctor ordered – a cymbal line with maximum versatility, where a natural brilliance and darkness co-exist to create a magical palette of sound. Designed in collaboration with top Japanese drummer Akira Jimbo, the Hybrid cymbals bring a new and innovative design to cymbal making, combining the unlathed, brilliant finish of the K Custom Ride on the inner half, with the traditionally finished K Zildjian lathing on the outer half. This offers the possibility of two different sound dynamics, depending of course on where the cymbal is played. Added to this, the unlathed section helps to control the wash and sustain, making these Hybrids ideal for recording and live situations. Particularly interesting is the new ‘Hybrid hammering’ to the 13 inch hi-hat, resulting in an increased surface area contact between the top and bottom cymbals. This gives a warmer chick and wash than is normally found in standard Mastersound

Meinl has launched a new range of djembes that offers the kind of superior build quality, sound and looks not always found on handmade traditional style models. Though of African origin these Professional African Style Djembes are made in Indonesia and come in two solid mahogany models with different carved finishes. Standing 24in tall with a 12in head diameter, each drum is carved from a solid piece of plantation grown mahogany and comes in a choice of ‘village’ carved shell or traditional hewn shell, both with polished finishes. The drum is fitted with a high quality goatskin head and the bearing edge is smoothly sanded with a soft deep roll that is decidedly hand friendly. Both drums have the traditional Mali-weave tuning system with thirty vertical runners, all made from prestretched 5mm HTP black nylon rope, that keeps the head properly balanced. Straight from the box and correctly tensioned at the factory these drums immediately impress with a bright cutting slap, a deep resonant bass tone in the centre and clean open tones. The tone and fullness of sound is amongst the best I’ve tried in traditional djembes, with a broad spectrum that goes from firecracker rim slaps to a deep bass that really projects and is a testament to the high quality heads and the accuracy of the tuning system – often weak points on most cheaper models. Priced at £226 and £198 respectively they come with a tuning instruction booklet and rope strap. (JN) For more go to

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