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1097041 Posts in 72470 Topics- by 19552 Members - Latest Member: ericburger
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21  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Trying basses? on: Jan 28, 2018, 01:40PM
I've played some on old conns and hear the 1662i is very similar and is based off an elkhart 62h, and compared to the bach 50b3, the holton 181, and the xo 1240 I've played, I found them all too heavy. In my tenor playing I use a getzen and find it very nice which is why I'm so set on a lighter horn

The 1662i may be inspired by the old Conn 62H but it is nothing like it. I am not saying better or worse, just nothing like.

Chris Stearn
22  Creation and Performance / Music, Concerts and Recordings / Re: Frank Crisafulli before embouchre debacle on: Jan 24, 2018, 01:45PM
Exactly what is "Chicago sound/style."? Is it also what brought about the changes in the UK orchestras led in part by Denis Wick?

Nope. The NYPO visit to the first Edinburgh Festival after the war is generally credited as being the catalyst for change in British orchestras. I think that the Philharmonia section was the first to buy American instruments, but they were confiscated by UK customs and excise. There was a government ban on importing instruments... without that the change would have happened far earlier.
To hear the classic Chicago sound/style, listen to those old Reiner recordings from the 1950's. I heard them live in 1980 when most of the legends were still on their seats and it was one of the all time great orchestra sounds.... the brass were a totally blended glory.... Herseth at the top and Jacobs at the bottom.... and Crisafulli doing his wonderful thing.

Chris Stearn
23  Creation and Performance / Music, Concerts and Recordings / Re: Frank Crisafulli before embouchre debacle on: Jan 23, 2018, 03:01PM
I just found this in an article from Windsongpress in the biographies section.

http://www.windsongpress.com/brass%20players/trombone/Crisafulli.pdf

This article says that Crisafulli credits Reinhardt as one of his teachers, which I had not found or seen before, so it seems like it was already public information to some extent.

I'm wondering what was considered 'unorthodox' to the others that watched him play, and he obviously had pressures both by himself and other people to change it.

I think that us who are growing aspiring musicians (speaking for myself here) are interested in not only enjoying the great output of the masters, but also learning HOW they got there, what kinds of struggles and what kinds of things can we learn from their upbringing, culture, and journey to get to be who they are today. It allows us to connect with and understand them on a human level. If we are aspiring to be at that level, not only should we know the level that we are at now and the level we want to be, but also all of the levels and the hard work that comes in between, and the continual improvement even after reaching a goal in their careers. I think it comes out of a respect for the musician, not disrespect.

John Clayton is at my university right now giving masterclasses, lessons, and will be doing a combo concert tonight, and one of my favorite stories from his masterclass this morning is hearing about how he grew up and the path he took to getting to play with all of the bands and greats that he did, and hearing about the schooling, the concepts he learned from others, and his approach to music.

I think I will listen to that CSO Low Brass album before rehearsal today...

Now, I come from a generation that would never have dreamt for asking our teachers about their private life.... you just didn't do that. Did I learn less from them than this generation does from their teachers ? I doubt it. Music is what I do as a profession. You don't have to know about me if you take a lesson with me... you want to know what I know about music and playing music on the trombone.... that has nothing to do with the social, family me. Spend a week on holiday with me and you will learn nothing about music and trombone playing.
Each generation grows up in a different world and has to make THAT world work for them.
This media society we now inhabit is obsessed with the person and the personality.... don't be fooled.... it's a sideshow, a diversion.
You want to do music.... talk music, play music... and do it in the world you are growing up in.... it's the only one you have... you can't have mine, I wish you could, but it's gone forever.

Chris Stearn
24  Creation and Performance / Music, Concerts and Recordings / Re: Frank Crisafulli before embouchre debacle on: Jan 23, 2018, 12:56PM
I agree with all of that. (Except I do think the internet has changed everything)
However, I'm not the one who brought it up by starting this thread.
And my whole point is there's no such thing as "unorthodox."
Different from others?  Of course, we're all different.

I know you understand, for the very reasons I stated, but I feel I have to say these things to inform the wider forum population, and hopefully foster a professional approach to discourse here.

Chris Stearn
25  Creation and Performance / Music, Concerts and Recordings / Re: Frank Crisafulli before embouchre debacle on: Jan 23, 2018, 12:47PM
Regarding Conductors and principal players, we always have to remember that professional performance is all about standards. Mess up and you are gone... it's what we sign up to. The crime is when people are sacked even when they are doing a great job.... it happens.
My job is not in the spotlight in the CSO manner, but a job is still never secure.... unless you are.
I have had 5 principal trombones and 5music directors over 33 years and have gotten along well with them all.... my secret ? Pure luck.

Chris Stearn
26  Creation and Performance / Music, Concerts and Recordings / Re: Frank Crisafulli before embouchre debacle on: Jan 23, 2018, 12:32PM
Chris,

Reinhardt did not broadcast who had been to see him at all, in fact he often told me that the professionals who came to him having problems didn't want anyone to know because of the stigma surrounding that situation. 

The world is a different place now, the internet has changed everything.  People used to just retire quietly when their chops stopped working.  Now "focal dystonia" is the big fear and the diagnosis of the day when anybody has problems, and the players who have quit their jobs are well known, as are the ones who solved their problems and came back.

From a pedagogical standpoint there's no longer any point in keeping secrets.  Students used to just do what they were told.  Now everybody questions everything - not always a good approach - there are loads of BS brass methods out there and I know a lot of people think Reinhardt's is one of them.

But the fact is that Reinhardt was the only one who actually recognized that there are different embouchures and variations are completely normal and correct.  I never saw Crisafulli play but his embouchure is consistently referred to as "unorthodox" as if there was something wrong with it.  That attitude is what prompted the whole "debacle" and it was self-inflicted.

I do think that is worthy of discussion.

Well Doug,
I don't think that the internet has changed everything. I think we should respect people's privacy and if there is doubt, assume they would like their privacy respected. The aspect of this forum that picks over the bones of professional players is the area I find least attractive.
You know the level of respect that exists between professionals.... the shared understanding of what it is to exist in the music profession.... even players who hate each other respect what the other does.... in a way that outsiders will never understand.
The need to know should sometimes be tempered.... we have had big trouble in the past with threads that pulled up some very unpleasant history.
I've seen some very 'unorthodox' embouchures produce some of the greatest brass playing ever.... so what do any of us really know ?

Chris Stearn
27  Creation and Performance / Music, Concerts and Recordings / Re: Frank Crisafulli before embouchre debacle on: Jan 23, 2018, 01:09AM
It's a funny thing, there are people in the UK who players can go to for help and that relationship is kept between the parties. We think it is a matter of respect and common courtesy to keep such things confidential.
I can only presume that attitudes have been different in the US and teachers like Reinhardt broadcast who had been to see them.
I think this discussion about deservedly famous players and teachers who are no longer here to clarify the facts, is not going to be of value to anyone.
Lets all tread carefully.

Chris Stearn
28  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: sackbut mouthpiece Romera Daniel Lassalle on: Jan 22, 2018, 10:01AM
I've been following this interesting debate and last night I put on a CD of the players referred to.  I loved it. Really. You see I am old enough now to have remembered how to listen to music, even trombone music and leave agendas out of the way. I don't care what they use... it sounds good and it sounds right. Subjective art form.

Chris Stearn
29  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Mpcs in British orchestras on: Jan 21, 2018, 05:42AM
Ray Premru liked my Bach 50BG3 with lightweight slide quite a bit, and he told me that at some point he bought a single valve with the same specs while on tour in the US. He liked the way it blew and sounded, but after playing it in the Philharmonia for a while, Dudley Bright asked him to switch back to the Holton in order to blend better with the Conns the tenors played.

For what it is worth (not much, I'll admit) I remember walking into Charterhouse Music .... a long since defunct London instrument shop, and the boss of the place telling me that Ray had walked in a few weeks previously and bought said light slide gold bell 50B. He probably forgot when and where he got it after a few years. I don't think it lasted long in the orchestra at all !!

Chris Stearn

30  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Accessories / Re: What leadpipes do you guys use in your TIS Bass Trombones? on: Jan 20, 2018, 01:17PM
Okay, here's another option that has served me well in the past.... a Callet pipe if you can find one... great with TIS Conns.
Regarding ALL pipes, they vary from example to example.... keep looking, keep trying.

Chris Stearn
31  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Mpcs in British orchestras on: Jan 20, 2018, 10:24AM
Interesting (above quote was an answer to a question that asked if UK pro bass trombone players used Wick bass mouthpieces), but I do get a feeling that their bass line is not nearly as complete as tenor line. I tried to like a 2AL for some things for a while, but eventually settled on a Yamaha 58 for that purpose. If they had a little variations, like ABL that they do with some tenor pieces, I might have found something that worked for me. I do love 4BS for both .525"/.547" and .500" though.

I think that it may be not a case of the Wick pieces being bad, but more a case that on the bass trombone there have always been good mouthpieces available and therefore not so much incentive to change to a Wick. Denis did give me one of his heritage mouthpieces when they first came out. It seemed very good, but not enough to change from a  Mt Vernon Bach.

Chris Stearn
32  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: New Wessex PBF565 bass trombone on: Jan 19, 2018, 02:39PM
Bob Hughes was most likely the bass on all those recordings. Also listen to the amazing trumpet of John Gracie.
33  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: New Wessex PBF565 bass trombone on: Jan 19, 2018, 09:56AM
Bob Hughes playing on the Alpine Symphony shows the sound that is possible on a 2g

Oft quoted recording. I should credit Derek Bishop who was the other bass trombone on that recording. Conn 83H and a 2G ... but it's about the player not the horn.

Chris Stearn
34  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: New Wessex PBF565 bass trombone on: Jan 19, 2018, 01:17AM
This different school idea will be seen as quite subtle by most people. With professionals it is an issue that they sometimes discuss, though most are too busy to bother and just play the way they do.
It is easy to settle on commercial playing to represent the classic approach but there are orchestral and ensemble examples out there. Listen to Ray Premru with the PJBE. Bob Hughes with the RSNO,PO and LSO. That style is still the main approach in the UK.
35  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: New Wessex PBF565 bass trombone on: Jan 18, 2018, 09:17AM
Actually it is Paul Faulise on the recording I posted. Dick Hixon did the earlier Elgart recordings-Paul the later. Paul told me this directly-

Ohhh !!!  My bad.... I should check more carefully. Great playing, whoever it is.

Chris Stearn
36  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: New Wessex PBF565 bass trombone on: Jan 18, 2018, 12:20AM
Is this "old school"? = better suited to a smaller mouthpiece?
(Smaller? Brighter? Crunchier?)

Do you have a similarly-arranged link to a "modern" bass trombone sound/feature, for comparison?

(Thanks for this link!... once I figure out what I'm listening to  :) )

That should be Tony Studd... he did most of their recordings.
I don't look at that as brighter or smaller... I look at that sound as interesting and rich. I consider many modern sounds as dull and diffuse... but that is often more due to the mouthpiece and the mindset than the instrument. Just my biased UK take on it.

Chris Stearn
37  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Mpcs in British orchestras on: Jan 17, 2018, 01:15AM
Ray Premru liked my Bach 50BG3 with lightweight slide quite a bit, and he told me that at some point he bought a single valve with the same specs while on tour in the US. He liked the way it blew and sounded, but after playing it in the Philharmonia for a while, Dudley Bright asked him to switch back to the Holton in order to blend better with the Conns the tenors played.

I know where that Bach is....

Chris Stearn
38  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Mpcs in British orchestras on: Jan 16, 2018, 02:14PM
Denis mainly played on an 8H but between the mid '70's and early '80's Denis played mainly on a straight Bach 42 with god brass bell and lightweight nickel slides - I understand that Eric Crees found it for him, but he briefly played on a 42B - it might have been Peter Gane's instrument. He didn't need a valve.

Helen Vollum  is a stunning player - I think she is the player that has impressed me the most in recent years.


Back to the subject - in addition to the Bachs and Wicks there are quite a few Schilkes out there too, mainly 51s or 52s and 5.1s and 5.2s. I've also seen a couple of Hammonds and a few Doug Elliotts.........


I was studying with him in the mid '70's when he switched over to Bachs. He was going to bring back some Conns from a US tour but they had closed down in Elkhart, so he bought 12 Bachs back. He kept a 42B that had a lacquer flaw on the valve tube, so it would be hard to sell on. The 42 came after that.

Chris Stearn
39  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: New Wessex PBF565 bass trombone on: Jan 16, 2018, 12:49PM
Help you, I can.....  Evil Evil Evil Evil

Obi-Stearn
40  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: New Wessex PBF565 bass trombone on: Jan 16, 2018, 08:09AM
Dumb question:
What does that mean, a new school bass vs. an old school bass?
What are the defining characteristics of each?
If I had an unidentifiable bass trombone in my hands, how would I decide which category it fit into?


Not a dumb question at all. Modern American style.... think Edwards, Shires , Yeo designed Yamahas.... trombones that work well with big mouthpieces (though they can work with smaller) and produce a very big, projecting sound. The classic bass is more the old Conn and Holton style .... often happier with the smaller mouthpieces, able to cut through when required.
That's a start. Others may chime in.

Chris Stearn
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