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The Trombone ForumHorns, Gear, and EquipmentInstruments(Moderators: tbone62, slide advantage) Want to buy new jazz horn but want to demo horns for a time, I need help!
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« Reply #20 on: Aug 05, 2017, 10:23PM »

A NY-centric look, I suppose.

Let me put it another way.

In all the time that I have been playing in NYC large ensembles, the only people who have sounded good to me playing lead or in a section on a 2B have been Urbie Green...and he stopped playing it to go to a bigger, less "centered" sound on his Martin Urbie Green model as things changed here...Britt Woodman, possibly Benny Powell (I'm not sure.) and Gary Valente. Britt played a certain way...it was wonderful in the idioms he played, but it was certainly not "modern." Timeless, yes. "Modern?" No. Neither was Bennie's approach, and Gary is a force unto himself. (On a '30s sterling silver 2B with a 6.5AL m'pce...a very uncommon set of equipment to say the least.) I'm sure I'm overlooking a couple of people, but the Conn 6H-ish horns, the King 3Bs and the Bach smallbores pretty much ruled the roost in NYC for about 30+ years, and still do to a somewhat diminished extent as Shires, Edwards, Rath etc. horns have become increasingly popular among working pros.

I didn't mean to ruffle anyone's feathers...sorry if I did. That's just what I have seen here.

Later...

S.

P.S. And Matt Musselman, who sounds so much like a 3B on his 2B that it took me years to realize what he was playing.

Larry Farrell?
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« Reply #21 on: Aug 06, 2017, 05:50AM »

Larry Farrell?

Yup. Great player? I forgot. Haven't played with him in a long while. Silver bell?

S.
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« Reply #22 on: Aug 06, 2017, 07:15AM »

Yup. Great player? I forgot. Haven't played with him in a long while. Silver bell?

S.

You're asking if Larry is a great player? When I've played with him, yes! Silver bell? Yes. What about Keith O'Quinn?
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« Reply #23 on: Aug 06, 2017, 11:19AM »

No feathers ruffled.  A .500 bore horn on lead sounds good. A .508 bore horn sounds heavy to me because most of the players on that size horn seem to be using something larger than a 7c. No flies on their playing, it just sounds heavy to me. I guess I grew up expecting a lead to Player to sound like Urbie, or Rex Peer, or Warren Covington, or buddy Morrow, Et al.  That is the sound I have always had in my ears for lead, with .508 and bigger horns as soloist's horns.  For years I played on one of Kai Winding's horns at .491 straight thru. I now play .500 bore. Such differences in sound may just have more to do with the individuals sound concept than with a bore difference of 8/1000ths of an inch or so.
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« Reply #24 on: Aug 06, 2017, 02:46PM »

You're asking if Larry is a great player? When I've played with him, yes! Silver bell? Yes. What about Keith O'Quinn?

I am not "asking," I know damned well how he plays. We came up together. A wonderful player. (I coulda phrased the response better. Written after a long, long day. Duh...)

Keith" My own single bore .508, gold-plated Mt. Vernon Bach 16 as altered by John "Peppy" Pettinato. A glorious horn. I wish I'd never sold it, but I'm glad it's Keith who's got it.

S.

P.S. Silver bell 2Bs are a different animal timbrally. Fuller-sounding than brass 2Bs at mid-volume/mid-range, entirely different loud and high. A very full sound capped by a real "Zing!!!" at volume and in attacks.
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« Reply #25 on: Aug 06, 2017, 04:37PM »

I am not "asking," I know damned well how he plays. We came up together. A wonderful player. (I coulda phrased the response better. Written after a long, long day. Duh...)
Yes you could've.

Keith" My own single bore .508, gold-plated Mt. Vernon Bach 16 as altered by John "Peppy" Pettinato. A glorious horn. I wish I'd never sold it, but I'm glad it's Keith who's got it.

S.
Had forgotten this-should've remembered..

P.S. Silver bell 2Bs are a different animal timbrally. Fuller-sounding than brass 2Bs at mid-volume/mid-range, entirely different loud and high. A very full sound capped by a real "Zing!!!" at volume and in attacks.

I know a great deal about silver bells. I play one and it's a wonderful horn. I just think too much we get caught up in saying that a Shires, Edwards, whatever drowns out a 2B or any other like instrument.
Truly great players have sounds that soar no matter what they play and you can't help but fall into what they're doing IF you know what you're doing. Amateurs or clueless professional players, god help us all. Nothing will help. Then again it's what our individual ears hear are that matters. I go right for the 2B, 3B, or older style horn before anything else. The rest is white noise to my ears.
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« Reply #26 on: Aug 07, 2017, 07:10AM »

Who said that "...a Shires, Edwards, whatever drowns out a 2B or any other like instrument?" It's not about being "drowned out" or drowning others out. It's about fitting a given idiom and blending.

Great instruments all have their places in different idioms and sub-idioms...local styles, different eras, etc. Tommy Dorsey played a 2B...gold plated...and I would be hard pressed to think of any other trombonist more musical than was he. He had great power, great finesse, pretty much everything in between and he set a standard that still exists in his style of swing idioms 80 years later. At his peak, Jack Teagarden played 4H/24H Conns. I would also be pressed to name a single trombonist whose influence surpasses his on the development of jazz trombone. I own a number of 4H/24H horns...good ones. In most of the ensembles in which I play, I wouldn't even think of bringing one in and using it. They are entirely "other" in terms of timbre. I also own several really good TIS Conns from the '30s. Ditto with them. In spades!!! I actually tried to make one...possibly my favorite horn of all time...work in the NYC scene for about a year, maybe 20 years ago. Couldn't do it.

The 2B is the longest-surviving "older" design to be used in contemporary idioms. That says a great deal about its worth and provenance. But I repeat...I work almost daily in mainstream NYC situations, and 2Bs are very rare today in my own working circle.

I don't know any other way to put it. The OP asked for advice about moving on from his vintage 2b to a new jazz horn. I answered him as well as I could. How this thread morphed into a forum on the worth of 2Bs and silver bells in general is beyond me.

Later...

S.
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« Reply #27 on: Aug 07, 2017, 08:37AM »

Who said that "...a Shires, Edwards, whatever drowns out a 2B or any other like instrument?" It's not about being "drowned out" or drowning others out. It's about fitting a given idiom and blending.

Great instruments all have their places in different idioms and sub-idioms...local styles, different eras, etc. Tommy Dorsey played a 2B...gold plated...and I would be hard pressed to think of any other trombonist more musical than was he. He had great power, great finesse, pretty much everything in between and he set a standard that still exists in his style of swing idioms 80 years later. At his peak, Jack Teagarden played 4H/24H Conns. I would also be pressed to name a single trombonist whose influence surpasses his on the development of jazz trombone. I own a number of 4H/24H horns...good ones. In most of the ensembles in which I play, I wouldn't even think of bringing one in and using it. They are entirely "other" in terms of timbre. I also own several really good TIS Conns from the '30s. Ditto with them. In spades!!! I actually tried to make one...possibly my favorite horn of all time...work in the NYC scene for about a year, maybe 20 years ago. Couldn't do it.

The 2B is the longest-surviving "older" design to be used in contemporary idioms. That says a great deal about its worth and provenance. But I repeat...I work almost daily in mainstream NYC situations, and 2Bs are very rare today in my own working circle.

I don't know any other way to put it. The OP asked for advice about moving on from his vintage 2b to a new jazz horn. I answered him as well as I could. How this thread morphed into a forum on the worth of 2Bs and silver bells in general is beyond me.

Later...

S.

Maybe the first part of your quote here wasn't said on this thread but it is a common complaint and topic amongst many players. I'm sure you've seen it somewhere so I don't think that you need to take too much exception to my statement. Hasn't it been discussed here on other threads why you made the change to Shires equipment? Doesn't it have something to do with sound, specifically size of sound?  I'm not trying to be a smartass but wasn't this stated at some point?
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« Reply #28 on: Aug 07, 2017, 10:10AM »

Actually, the gist of the original post was he wanted to borrow a pile of expensive horns and then buy the one he liked best.

I don't know any reasonable way to do this unless you have a bunch of very generous friends or work in a very well-stocked music store.

Sam's comments about the NYC scene are interesting and maybe appropriate.  Seems the standard now is a .508" bore horn (King 3B, Bach 16M, etc.) since that size is pretty much a chameleon and works well in modern applications.

I wonder what Sam's horn is when he has no idea what they are looking for.  What size does he show up with and would it have an F-attachment?  I know for me that would be a Bach 36 with F, but my milieu is very different from his.
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« Reply #29 on: Aug 07, 2017, 04:55PM »

Maybe the first part of your quote here wasn't said on this thread but it is a common complaint and topic amongst many players. I'm sure you've seen it somewhere so I don't think that you need to take too much exception to my statement. Hasn't it been discussed here on other threads why you made the change to Shires equipment? Doesn't it have something to do with sound, specifically size of sound?  I'm not trying to be a smartass but wasn't this stated at some point?

A Shires, Edwards, Rath, whatever "drowning out" other brands of trombone? No, I have not "seen it somewhere." I made the change to Shires equipment because it could deal with overamplified rhythm sections and overwritten, overplayed big band "backgrounds" and still settle down into a trombone section and blend. This has nothing whatsoever to do with "size" of sound, it has to do with overtones and formants.

Show me somewhere that I talked about "drowning out" other players on any instrument. hat is the last thing I want to do. Hell, when I made that switch I was just trying to defend myself against being "drowned out" by over-amplification and the resultant ensemble overblowing. "DRowning pdeople out" is the last thing hat i might aim for.

S.
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« Reply #30 on: Aug 08, 2017, 05:33AM »

A Shires, Edwards, Rath, whatever "drowning out" other brands of trombone? No, I have not "seen it somewhere." I made the change to Shires equipment because it could deal with overamplified rhythm sections and overwritten, overplayed big band "backgrounds" and still settle down into a trombone section and blend. This has nothing whatsoever to do with "size" of sound, it has to do with overtones and formants.

Show me somewhere that I talked about "drowning out" other players on any instrument. hat is the last thing I want to do. Hell, when I made that switch I was just trying to defend myself against being "drowned out" by over-amplification and the resultant ensemble overblowing. "DRowning pdeople out" is the last thing hat i might aim for.

S.

Sam I didn't say that YOU said you were trying to drown people out. Calm down!! Please. Take a chill pill and get back to me with more of your little quotes when you've taken a break from reading something that you're not reading. That's the problem with these Forums.
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« Reply #31 on: Aug 08, 2017, 06:01AM »

Sam I didn't say that YOU said you were trying to drown people out. Calm down!! Please. Take a chill pill and get back to me with more of your little quotes when you've taken a break from reading something that you're not reading. That's the problem with these Forums.

You wrote that drowning out other brands of horns by newer models "...is a common complaint and topic amongst many players." That's not a "little quote," it's simply something that you are trying to say is common. It is not. Not among good players it isn't. It's also "common" to hear people advocate their smile embouchure, a bunched chin or any one of hundreds of different brass fallacies. They're the wrong people to reference. End of story.

I wrote: "A Shires, Edwards, Rath, whatever 'drowning out' other brands of trombone? No, I have not 'seen it somewhere.'" Neither have I ever heard any complaint like that. Not from me nor from anyone else who has shown even an ounce of trombone sense. It sounds like high school-level ignorance, to me.

Take a chill pill?

Sure.

Say something sensible.

S.
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« Reply #32 on: Aug 08, 2017, 06:14AM »

Something sensible. Okay for clarification. Many of the players I've spoken with have complained that trumpet volumes, amongst other things, have caused them to look for horns, specifically tenor trombones, that "play bigger." This, of course is subjective, but it's been stated here on The Forum and I've heard it in real life. So is someone choosing a, let's just stick to one brand, a certain Shires tenor because it plays bigger than say a Bach 16M? Yes as I've heard it out of people's mouths. YES truly great players can make anything happen on about anything. Mutually agreed upon I'm sure. So to be clear: I've never heard Sam Burtis state that he plays Shires equipment because he's trying to drown out other players. Never. But I have heard other players state that they're looking for something bigger sounding in a .500 or .508 bore instrument. Bet on it.
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« Reply #33 on: Aug 08, 2017, 06:24AM »

Bet on it.

Them's fightin words 'round these here parts.
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« Reply #34 on: Aug 08, 2017, 07:19AM »

Something sensible. Okay for clarification. Many of the players I've spoken with have complained that trumpet volumes, amongst other things, have caused them to look for horns, specifically tenor trombones, that "play bigger." This, of course is subjective, but it's been stated here on The Forum and I've heard it in real life. So is someone choosing a, let's just stick to one brand, a certain Shires tenor because it plays bigger than say a Bach 16M? Yes as I've heard it out of people's mouths. YES truly great players can make anything happen on about anything. Mutually agreed upon I'm sure. So to be clear: I've never heard Sam Burtis state that he plays Shires equipment because he's trying to drown out other players. Never. But I have heard other players state that they're looking for something bigger sounding in a .500 or .508 bore instrument. Bet on it.

You write: "Many of the players I've spoken with have complained that trumpet volumes, amongst other things, have caused them to look for horns, specifically tenor trombones, that 'play bigger.'"

I would suggest two things to all of them:

1-Playing "bigger" will not help with the trumpet thing. Not in big bands and other groups that have that tendency. It may make them more audible out front...at great expense in terms of energy, by the way...but the sound that people will be hearing will be...I guess "too dark" comes close. Too heavy. That is the fallacy that plagued orchestral trombonists for years as far as I am concerned, although over the past decade the tide has finally turned against that approach. What they really need is equipment that will play brighter earlier in the volume scale while maintaining an overall good sound. Also with more percussive attacks when needed.

2-And once again I would suggest a good playing King 3B as the least expensive, least complicated and most easily found solution to that problem. Sure, there are others...smaller, more brilliant m'ces, for example, or learning how to hold the horn so it is not playing directly into the floor or the sax section's backs. And of course the ever-popular modular solution that I have used.

My own "Shires solution" was to build individual instruments that did fairly focused things...one for brilliance and projection power, another for moderately restrained acoustic situations, a third as an "everything" horn, etc...and then learn how to play them.  More trouble than it's worth, probably, but everybody needs a hobby, right?  :/ :/ :/

But to address your point directly...where is the "drowning out" in all of this?

Answer?

Nowhere.

Being drowned out?

Yes.

I know the feeling and I don't like it.

But you cannot stop certain instruments, certain players (really good ones, many of them) and certain styles and situations from being able to cover your sound if that is the case. You have to either be able to play up to them or simply not play in those situations. Or of course...sit there and seethe, the worst solution of all as far as I am concerned.

Before I played my first Shires horn...which I immediately bought after play-testing it in a short concert at one of the NYC Brass Conferences (Maybe...I don't know...20 years ago? More, I think.)...I had bought horns of many kinds, trying to get the projection and core that I needed to play in the NYC idioms in which I am involved. It was a .525 bore, the smallest horn Steve was making at the time. After a while...I lent him a number of classic smallbores to examine...he started making smaller modular tenors and I put one together that did it all. For me. I still play it more than any other horn I own, a medium weight .500 bore/7.75" bell that I eventually gold plated for a little more weight to the sound. Result? No more being drowned out, but still able to play well at any volume.

Could I have done the same thing at Rath or Edwards or Greenhoe? Probably, but Shires was relatively close...a 3 hour drive...and Steve designs and makes great instruments. Could i have continued playing the horns I was playing? Certainly...I was working my butt off in NYC at the time. I just wanted more.

Personally.

But drowning out others?

Never in life.

Sometimes as a lead player I wish that others in the section could/would play up to my volume/attack level, but even in those cases I try to modulate my own playing to get an overall good section sound.

I originally took issue with that "drowning out" thing you originally wrote.

Quote
I just think too much we get caught up in saying that a Shires, Edwards, whatever drowns out a 2B or any other like instrument.

I still do.

S.
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« Reply #35 on: Aug 08, 2017, 08:38AM »

Sam you obviously aren't reading what I wrote so I'm bowing out. I'm not going to get caught up in whatever you're trying to sell. I clearly stated that you never said that and you refuse to acknowledge it. You and I have played trombones long enough that I don't feel like I need to justify anything to you, nor you to me. Enjoy whatever you're doing and I'll do the same.
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« Reply #36 on: Aug 08, 2017, 06:12PM »

Sam you obviously aren't reading what I wrote so I'm bowing out. I'm not going to get caught up in whatever you're trying to sell. I clearly stated that you never said that and you refuse to acknowledge it. You and I have played trombones long enough that I don't feel like I need to justify anything to you, nor you to me. Enjoy whatever you're doing and I'll do the same.

Great.

S.
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« Reply #37 on: Aug 09, 2017, 06:37AM »

Talk about feathers ruffled!  All the yah yah about the 2B is meaningless now.  The "new" Elkhart ones don't play remotely like the classic HN White or UMI horn, or for that matter one made 2 or 3 years ago.  IMHO neither does the 3B.  They are well made, but the real King magic is gone.  Go get a 2B or 3B from the 50's or 60's and you will never think of the Elkhart h o runs as Kings again.
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« Reply #38 on: Aug 09, 2017, 06:42AM »

...70's can be pretty good as well!

...Geezer
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« Reply #39 on: Aug 09, 2017, 06:51AM »

My 1970 3BSS plays really nice.

I haven't tried any of the "new Elkhart" horns from Conn or King. I wonder if the rumours are true... I guess horn guys ditching Conn might as well be proof enough.
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