FLUGELHORN REVIEW (Bryan Corbett)
Upon opening the package that contained the instrument for
review, the first thing that hits you when you see the new
Taylor flugel is ‘wow', what a horny looking horn!'
The bright orange bell section sparkling, then wrapping the
bell section into a golden mat like orange, with a beautifully
unique curved bow. The flugel oozes quality in both looks
and build. You realise from the minute you pick it up that
you are holding a piece of top quality engineering.
To me the real test is what is produced when blown. If you
see my own horns then you would realise that I don't go for
the pretty shinny finish. Blowing on an equivalent to a 1
1/2c flugel mouthpiece and just focusing on a few long notes,
the immediate sound quality of the instrument comes across.
Every note seems in tune to my ears, no real adjustment in
blowing needed to produce low ‘D' or liping in on middle ‘D&E'
notes. The 3rd valve trigger is largely unemployed.
The notes seem to centre easily and the horn blows freely.
It really gives you the confidence of striking a beautiful
clean, centred note each time. Still in your mind is the feeling
you are holding something a bit unique and special. The different
shape of this flugel gives a slightly unfamiliar feel to that
of a conventional flugel. The weight seems about average,
(no problem for those of you who have a problem with the weight
of Taylor's heavyweight trumpets). The fast, precise stainless
steel valves move beautifully and confidently as you glide
up a down the instrument. You are not only aware of the ease
of blowing, but also the warm, mat like sound that you are
The horn speaks magnificently. The warmth and fat richness
in the sound is very noticeable, (to me how a flugel should
sound), and at low volume produces an essence of air in the
velvet sound. You always feel that the ‘Phat Boy' will take
whatever you can give it, even when you try and give the sound
a real ‘wrasp', the instrument consumes the air-flow to produce
a large, rich fat sound.
For the jazzer the instrument not only offers its sound, it's
slightly different feel is brought into your playing, creating
different line blowing and textures. It all feels fresh and
you are still aware that you are holding a unique hand built
The only real problem I encountered with the Phat Boy was
the positioning of the right hand thumb. It cannot wrap around
the valve block like on a more conventional instrument due
to the shaping of the bell flare. However, after a couple
of days with the horn my thumb found its own position and
holding it didn't present a problem.
For me, the Taylor ‘Phat Boy' gives you a high end flugel
horn of quality manufacture, and where it stands out from
the crowd is it gives you something personal, something slightly
different and unique. If you're in the hunt for a new flugelhorn
give it go. It will stick in your memory for sure!