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The Trombone ForumCreation and PerformancePerformance(Moderator: WaltTrombone) small bore=jazz, large bore=no jazz???
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loveoflobsters
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« on: Nov 15, 2009, 01:51PM »

i wasnt sure where to post this, so i figured this would be the best place.
why do so many people say that you cant use a large bore for jazz? that absoluely makes no sense to me.

i have seen people on this forum say that getting someone a large bore trombone automatically "excludes them from playing jazz"

and many others have said to only use small bore instruments.

could someone please clear up this confusion?
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« Reply #1 on: Nov 15, 2009, 02:55PM »

I think it's just because traditionally, jazz has always been played on small bore instruments.  People say you can't play in a symphony orchestra on a small bore trombone, but they all did many years ago!

Robin Eubanks breaks the mould and plays on a Bb/F large bore.
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« Reply #2 on: Nov 15, 2009, 03:14PM »

If you're in a combo or small group setting, then do what ever you want.
However, if you're playing in a big band section, unless you're playing low third parts, fourth in a five-bone section, or old dance tunes, a large horn just isn't going to sound good in the section. On first, second, and normal higher third parts you'll just get buried in the sound.
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« Reply #3 on: Nov 15, 2009, 04:00PM »

However, if you're playing in a big band section, unless you're playing low third parts, fourth in a five-bone section, or old dance tunes, a large horn just isn't going to sound good in the section. On first, second, and normal higher third parts you'll just get buried in the sound.

I'm going to have to disagree with you completely on this point.
Traditionally a small bore horn is used for most jazz playing for 2 reasons
1. Back in the days of early jazz small was about the only bore of trombone available other than bass (I recall seeing several ads for horns in the 40's refering to a .500 bore as being medium-large) Thus it is the traditional instrument of choice, and we all know how slowly traditions change.
2. It's EASIER to play high, loud, and for extended periods on a small horn. The smaller bore takes less air, and has more back pressure (it's the physics of it). More back pressure makes high playing easier to play high (to an extent).

All of that said: have you ever listened blindly to a player playing large vs small vs medium vs straight vs with an attachment vs ect... An individual who knows the difference and is diligently listening can tell differences between large and small, but most of world won't really hear it.
For that matter, I did a gig just last night where I played 3rd tenor stuff on bass with a tenor mpc and nobody could tell the difference. The director liked my sound, and everybody enjoyed my solo. Life went on and everything was good (The reason I played the tenor part on bass is complicated and was the result on numerous miscommunication and misunderstandings)

The fact of the matter is: a trombone sounds like a trombone. A bigger bore takes more air, and can be harder to play certain things; style, sound colour, blending and all that depends on the player, not the equipment.

So to LoveofLobsters I say this: you CAN play jazz on any horn, but large-bore tenors are discouraged because it's out of the norm and can be harder to do, but one CAN do it.
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« Reply #4 on: Nov 15, 2009, 05:04PM »


The fact of the matter is: a trombone sounds like a trombone. A bigger bore takes more air, and can be harder to play certain things; style, sound colour, blending and all that depends on the player, not the equipment.

So to LoveofLobsters I say this: you CAN play jazz on any horn, but large-bore tenors are discouraged because it's out of the norm and can be harder to do, but one CAN do it.

One can do it. However, being able to do so successfully is rare, and those who do so have a unique niche within jazz. I completely disagree with the notion that "a trombone sounds like a trombone." Could you imagine one player in a modern symphonic trombone section deciding to use a 2B with a bigger mouthpiece? The sound would be wrong altogether. I don't think anyone would recommend that a person try to take on symphonic repertoire with a small-bore given today's tastes in trombone sound.

Instrumentally, you can do whatever you want in jazz provided that the ensemble supports you. I like some of Bela Fleck's stuff. However, I wouldn't want him in the rhythm section of an ensemble covering Ellington charts.  Eeek!

The fact that the people Mouse was playing for couldn't tell the difference when he used a large-bore for music designed for small-bore says one of two things--either they don't know much about trombone sound, or Mouse is extremely controlling his playing and able to overcome the natural tendencies of the large-bore horn. In either case, I don't think any person's individual experience necessarily transfers over to the playing of others.

All this speculation means nothing unless we know more about what the OP plans to do with a large-bore. If he plans to be the next Slide Hampton then more power to him. If he plans to play in a high school jazz ensemble trombone section (which I believe is the case) then I think just about anyone would suggest that he obtain a .500 or smaller.
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« Reply #5 on: Nov 15, 2009, 06:54PM »

Jazz is a musical style that can and has been played quite well with tubas and upright basses. There is nothing preventing a large bore trombone from participation.

However, most of the jazz music parts written for trombones assumes a light, agile small bore horn. Drop it an octave, turn sixteenths into quarters, add style to make up the differenc and it will probably be sweet.

I wanted to play low, sweet and mellow with my Conn88, but the only company I could find to play with was a small combo. The parts of the music we were able to get pushed me into a 697Z cuz it liked them and they liked it.  If I were more talented and creative, I could probably have improvised my way around that with the 88, but playing small-bore parts on a medium was out of my league.
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« Reply #6 on: Nov 15, 2009, 07:34PM »

hey man, I play a conn88 in jazz band, cause, well mostly because i really cant afford two decent horns and people put more expectations on legit music.

I play lead in one of the schools big bands, and no-one has ever said anything to me about the blend of my sound, that being said, the rest of the section plays on large bore horns as well, so i don't compete with small bore sounds

plus, being in school I have to play in concert band too, and I figure that I sound better playing one large bore horn than i sound trying to switch between two different setups

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« Reply #7 on: Nov 16, 2009, 03:13AM »

I think it's just because traditionally, jazz has always been played on small bore instruments.  People say you can't play in a symphony orchestra on a small bore trombone, but they all did many years ago!

Robin Eubanks breaks the mould and plays on a Bb/F large bore.

Don't forget about Slide Hampton.  Large bore, and lefty, no less!
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« Reply #8 on: Nov 16, 2009, 06:24AM »

I'm going to have to disagree with you completely on this point.
Traditionally a small bore horn is used for most jazz playing for 2 reasons
1. Back in the days of early jazz small was about the only bore of trombone available other than bass (I recall seeing several ads for horns in the 40's refering to a .500 bore as being medium-large) Thus it is the traditional instrument of choice, and we all know how slowly traditions change.

That is simply not true. Conn...the dominant trombone maker in the US well through the '40s...offered horns that were .522, .547 and .565 bore in all kinds of models. TIS, bell-tuning, single and dual bore...the works. And they sold lots of them as well. So did King and Olds, although not so many choices. I have played some truly great sounding Conn .547s from the late 1800s, for example. The four best older horns that I own are two TIS Conns...a .522/.547 and a .547/.565 (both w/available F attachments)...from the late '20s/early '30s and two straight Olds TIS horns that are at least .515 bore. Not only were larger instrument available back in the day, they were good. Really good.

You are right about the ads, though.

Of course...ads are for selling horns to people who don't know much.

And you are right about the dominance of small bore equipment in the jazz groups of the first 60+ years of the 20th century as well. But that wasn't because larger horns weren't available, it was simply because smaller horns worked better given the circumstances of the music.

Quote
2. It's EASIER to play high, loud, and for extended periods on a small horn. The smaller bore takes less air, and has more back pressure (it's the physics of it). More back pressure makes high playing easier to play high (to an extent).

The resistance thing? Only up to a point. The fact is that if you can produce the necessary resistance at (or to some degree behind) the lips, it becomes easier to play high with less backpressure from the instrument and m'pce. The fatigue issue then comes in only when the musculature begins to break down.

Quote
All of that said: have you ever listened blindly to a player playing large vs small vs medium vs straight vs with an attachment vs ect... An individual who knows the difference and is diligently listening can tell differences between large and small, but most of world won't really hear it.

That's the truth.

Quote
For that matter, I did a gig just last night where I played 3rd tenor stuff on bass with a tenor mpc and nobody could tell the difference. The director liked my sound, and everybody enjoyed my solo. Life went on and everything was good (The reason I played the tenor part on bass is complicated and was the result on numerous miscommunication and misunderstandings)

The fact of the matter is: a trombone sounds like a trombone. A bigger bore takes more air, and can be harder to play certain things...

True enough.

Quote
...style, sound colour, blending and all that depends on the player, not the equipment.

Not true. Not entirely. I speak from a great deal of experience on that issue, Mouse. It is no more possible to play a good 2nd trombone in a major symphony today on a 2B w/a 12C m'pce than it is to play a good 3rd trombone on a honking .547 w/a 3G m'pce in many powerful contemporary big bands that use primarily .485 to .509-ish bore horns. And 2nd or 1st parts? Fuggedaboudit. Big bore horns in big bands generally sound ludicrous unless that is the established style of that band.

Quote
So to LoveofLobsters I say this: you CAN play jazz on any horn, but large-bore tenors are discouraged because it's out of the norm and can be harder to do, but one CAN do it.

So here I am playing 5 different sizes of trombone (including two different bells on my bass) in high-level NYC jazz and latin groups for the very reasons I sketch out above.

Blend. Style. Endurance.

When I bring the wrong horn? (It happens.) Sure...I can pass. Most of the time.

But sometimes...UH OH!!!

For instance...I like playing my .525 bore horn (w/a pretty good-sized m'pce and an F attachment) on one band in which I often play the 3rd chair. I can blend better w/the bass trombone, the people on the other parts have big sounds even though they are playing smaller equipment and the 3rd parts have a great deal of scalar and arpeggiated motion through the  ->  area. However, the 2nd player does not like to play lead, so when the lead player sends in a sub I usually play the 1st parts. Usually he tells me when he's not going to be there, but a couple of times I showed up w/my large equipment and there I was, playing the lead book. I mean...I made it through, and yes, I suppose the audience didn't really hear much difference, but I sure did and so did the other players in the band.

So it goes.

And when I have to play "modern" jazz...whatever that really means...on a small bore horn I have one hell of a time doing it. I hear (and play) in a bigger horn manner in that idiom, and the sound and blow of my lead horn setup just doesn't work sometimes. I have been refining that equipment over the last few years...gold plated the horn, got an even more open leadpipe and an incredibly good 11C-ish Minick m'pce (An 11C on steroids, I call it.), but still...there are days where it just doesn't cut it as a solo horn for me.

So it goes.

Y'can't win 'em all.

However, generally speaking...



You be bettah off.

Bet on it.

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« Reply #9 on: Nov 16, 2009, 08:21AM »

I suppose the audience didn't really hear much difference, but I sure did and so did the other players in the band.
While every syllable Sam wrote is worth reading and heeding, this one sentence struck as being worthy of emphasis.
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« Reply #10 on: Nov 16, 2009, 09:22AM »

here we go again.  it seems that sweeping generalizations are the preferred method of communication in our current cultural environment.  i just don't think they actually communicate much or invite sincere dialogue. 

good luck sorting all of this out folks.  it might be easier to just do a search for the last 50 topics devoted to this "discussion". 

dg
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« Reply #11 on: Nov 16, 2009, 11:19AM »

Right you are Dave.  I always want to duck for cover when this one comes up!
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« Reply #12 on: Nov 16, 2009, 02:11PM »

here we go again.  it seems that sweeping generalizations are the preferred method of communication in our current cultural environment.  i just don't think they actually communicate much or invite sincere dialogue. 

good luck sorting all of this out folks.  it might be easier to just do a search for the last 50 topics devoted to this "discussion". 

dg

Dave, please forgive me for asking.

Personally I tend towards mostly subscribing to Sam's school of 'horn for the job' mostly since I went into teaching. When I was a (very young) military musician I only owned one horn. In more recent years, One of the attraction of the trombone for me since I was a kid is the huge range of genres available to us trombonists. I have accumulated a bit of a collection which affords me the luxury of picking and choosing the horn that both sound appropriate and gives me an easier ride if the going gets tough.

I (as well as many others) are honestly curious in your perspective of when to switch and when to stick. Are there (or would there be) circumstances which you feel necessitate switching to smaller horns?

Do you see the bore size issue as irrelevant or just irrelevant to your own current situation?

How do you see the perceived link between sound concepts and equipment.

Does playing jazz on a large bore automatically place you in the Curtis Fuller, Slide Hampton, Steve Eubanks (Doh! I meant Robin) school as opposed to more strident approaches or am I stereotyping here?

I turned up once with a small bore to dep on 2nd and struggled to tone it down below a surprisingly dark sounding lead player on a 3B. Would you have a view about someone have 'too bright' a sound resulting from smaller equipment playing in a section below you?

Please tell us.
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« Reply #13 on: Nov 16, 2009, 02:44PM »

Quote
Does playing jazz on a large bore automatically place you in the Curtis Fuller, Slide Hampton, Steve Eubanks school a


I really dig Slide Hampton and Curtis Fuller, but who is this Steve Eubanks guy?  I've got to check him out!  There are so many ways to play the trombone, almost as many ways as players... orchestral/soloist players like Christian Alessi and jazz musicians like Elliot Gilkes. 

Just kidding around-I couldn't resist!  We all make typos-

On a serious note- this has been discussed many times before... have you checked out those discussions yet?  Equipment choice discussions can get very personal, VERY quickly. 

MD
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« Reply #14 on: Nov 16, 2009, 03:19PM »

 :/ Whoops.
Got me feeling a little silly.
I meant Robin Eubanks's playing on Dave Holland Quintet and Big Band CD's

Sure we can answer 'whatever suits you' and I know there have been heated discussions before but...
I was still wondering what........
Like I said.

Maybe there could be some more light in this one without the 'sweeping generalisations'.

Just a thought.

I'll shut up now  Don't know
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« Reply #15 on: Nov 16, 2009, 04:11PM »

Colin,

This has come up quite a bit on the forum, and the debate has often been heated, to say least--almost like discussions over politics and religion.

Dave is one of the large bore jazz players usually cited as an example.  I remember some of his posts regarding this, many along the lines of he was fed up over the vitriol spewed at him regarding his equipment choices.

It often gets quite ridiculous.

But, and however, the problem remains.  I think the question of whether to switch or stick comes down to the make up of your embouchure and facial tissues, and your personal psychology.

Some players adapt well to changing mouthpieces and instruments and do so with ease, some, like me, have GREAt difficulty with it.  Some, like me, get nervous and ill at ease when something feels even slightly wrong when switching, some can easily make the mental adaptation.

I've always found it easier to stay on one and adapt to things stylistically.  Some here will say that's impossible.  I don't think it is, but so this debate ususally goes.

Best of luck

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D Gibson
« Reply #16 on: Nov 17, 2009, 04:08PM »

Dave, please forgive me for asking.

Personally I tend towards mostly subscribing to Sam's school of 'horn for the job' mostly since I went into teaching. When I was a (very young) military musician I only owned one horn. In more recent years, One of the attraction of the trombone for me since I was a kid is the huge range of genres available to us trombonists. I have accumulated a bit of a collection which affords me the luxury of picking and choosing the horn that both sound appropriate and gives me an easier ride if the going gets tough.

I (as well as many others) are honestly curious in your perspective of when to switch and when to stick. Are there (or would there be) circumstances which you feel necessitate switching to smaller horns?

Do you see the bore size issue as irrelevant or just irrelevant to your own current situation?

How do you see the perceived link between sound concepts and equipment.

Does playing jazz on a large bore automatically place you in the Curtis Fuller, Slide Hampton, Steve Eubanks (Doh! I meant Robin) school as opposed to more strident approaches or am I stereotyping here?

I turned up once with a small bore to dep on 2nd and struggled to tone it down below a surprisingly dark sounding lead player on a 3B. Would you have a view about someone have 'too bright' a sound resulting from smaller equipment playing in a section below you?

Please tell us.

please forgive me, but i would rather not inflame the discussion.
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« Reply #17 on: Nov 18, 2009, 01:14AM »


To quote Sonny Rollins on "if jazz is relevant today..."

"I think that the relevance of jazz depends on what you think jazz is. For instance, if you think that jazz is a piano trio playing in a small nightclub - they're good musicians, maybe have a girl singer - and you come in and there are people smoking and sitting at tables ... if that is your conception of jazz then of course jazz is not relevant, because that refers to a time and place. Jazz is something which is much bigger. Jazz has to do with freedom of expression. So is jazz still relevant? Of course, because there are always people trying to express themselves in music. I think of jazz as having the big umbrella, so that a lot of styles of music that have merged over the years all fall under the umbrella of jazz. The act of trying to create something musically and spontaneously is something that is a part of life. It's like the weather - it's always there. Jazz as something that fits into a narrow little remembrance, no, that kind of jazz is not relevant. But jazz is as relevant today as the yearning for people to be free. That's how relevant jazz is."


If we can operate from that mindset, the question of relevance becomes a little clearer as it relates to a conversation on the intricacies of what size instrument a trombonist uses...

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« Reply #18 on: Nov 18, 2009, 03:43AM »

hey   lob  !!!!!!!!! does  any  of these  posts  answer  your  question ??????????
------------
thanks  for   posting  -if  you geta  chance   hit  sam burtis  open horn  and 
  check out  some of  robin eubanks   threads on the jazz corner 
   and  mike dease  recordings/reviews  posts [a thread  about quality post content  is interesting]
      i  heard  sam  blow in  denmark  he subbed  for ben van dyke 
        he  didnt do it  on  a  2b 
   mike dease  playing  is  still evolving   -does nyc  have  a school  of  big bone  jazzers  ????
 
------------
recently  in miami  some  columbians  are  coming into  the  bands '
 reports  are they  are  using  straight  42s and sounding   good
---------
christine  chung   recently switched  from  a  36bo    to  a vintage  hn white king  tempo 
-------
joe scocco  is  going out w  the paul  whiteman  orchestra   
 he is   searching for a  highly engraved  king or other  trombone   without  bell  or slide lock
    not a  sterling bell    preferably   silver   or  gold plated
---------
ben griffin  is  still  playing a  recent  shires  485/485   gold outers /nickle  crook  sub  8 in  bell
---------
  koz   is  still attempting to  adjust to  another  main horn  because his  old  bach  16 m  is 
           very very   worn and has become  fragile
----------
 then  you  have   shout  bands  //is it  jazz  ?????????????????? the sonny rollins  comment
-------------
  can you play  rock  and roll on  a  nylon string  classical  guitar ??
------
some people  cant  play  jazz  on a radio
----------
hey  lob   whatta   you  doin over there  ????????????? wake up  !!!!!!!!!!lob  you still  there  ?????????
----
  looky  here  kid  you wanna  play jazz   eat  some o  these  beans 
   do  somethin w  that  shirt  --
========
 Embarrassed! Embarrassed! Embarrassed! Embarrassed! Embarrassed! Embarrassed!
YOU CALL  THIS  AN ANSWER  ???????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(
=======================
 
 



i wasnt sure where to post this, so i figured this would be the best place.
why do so many people say that you cant use a large bore for jazz? that absoluely makes no sense to me.

i have seen people on this forum say that getting someone a large bore trombone automatically "excludes them from playing jazz"

and many others have said to only use small bore instruments.

could someone please clear up this confusion?
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« Reply #19 on: Nov 18, 2009, 05:53AM »

hey   lob  !!!!!!!!! does  any  of these  posts  answer  your  question ??????????
------------
thanks  for   posting  -if  you geta  chance   hit  sam burtis  open horn  and 
  check out  some of  robin eubanks   threads on the jazz corner 
   and  mike dease  recordings/reviews  posts [a thread  about quality post content  is interesting]
      i  heard  sam  blow in  denmark  he subbed  for ben van dyke 
        he  didnt do it  on  a  2b 

No, I did it on a honking big dual bore bass trombone. Why? Because it was the right...or at least the best available to me at the moment...tool for that particular job.

I can...and do...play jazz solos on any instrument that I own, including valve trombone and euphonium. I started out as a tuba player, and love soloing on tuba. As a soloist I actually prefer to play on a .525-ish or larger horn, and if I was trying to make my living as a small group soloist I'd probably be playing a trigger instrument with a dual .525/.547 bore and a 4G->5G-ish sized m'pce. But there are so many variables going on in a musical life that choices must be made.

My first choice as a soloist...above all others...is that I want to be heard acoustically if at all possible. That is an economically driven artistic choice...if the musics that I choose to play paid enough so that I could afford truly top-level amplification all of the time, I would have no trouble with mics. But of course they do not, and the way I am set up as a human being...a set of genetic accidents as are we all...I simply cannot deal with bad sounds as a soloist.

So...I compromise in terms of equipment so that I can be heard acoustically in the scenes in which I generally function.. That idea combined with the further idea that music itself...all music...is an infinitely larger and more important system than is my own desire to be a soloist, that I am literally a servant of that system has led me to a position where I have assembled a set of instruments that are the right tools for the roles that I am asked to play inside of that system.

Thus I have had to learn how to solo on smaller, brighter equipment than might be my first choice if things were different, and on bigger equipment as well.

So it goes.

Do I solo as well on that other equipment? I don't think so. I regularly run into walls...technical walls, range walls, resistance walls, flexibility walls, endurance walls, all kinds of walls...on too large or too small equipment as a soloist.

So that goes as well. I have gotten much better at not running into those walls over 30+ years of effort but still, if I forget myself for an instant and start to play naturally on bass trombone or small tenor...BAM!!! There's one of those walls.

Like I said...so it goes.

Just as I run into walls as an ensemble player when playing a tool that is wrong for the job.

Y'pays yer money and y'takes yer chances.

Is my life as a soloist more important to me than my role as a servant of the music?

No.

It never has been. All I can do is quote the 14th century persian Sufi poet Hafiz-

Quote
I am
a hole
in a flute
That God's breath
moves through --

Listen to this
music.

Dig it.

Quote
   mike dease  playing  is  still evolving   -does nyc  have  a school  of  big bone  jazzers  ????

Of course. The Slide Hampton school, for one, in which Dave Gibson solidly resides. Probably the best of the bunch, really. Plus people like John Mosca and myself who were heavily influenced by Jimmy Knepper. And Jimmy Bosch in the latin field. Steve Turre, Robin Eubanks,  and Lewis Kahn, all essentially unclassifiable. Cllifton Anderson. Ray Anderson for many years. Bob Suttman. Tim Sessions. Others I am forgetting.
------------
Quote
recently  in miami  some  columbians  are  coming into  the  bands '
 reports  are they  are  using  straight  42s and sounding   good

The result of Jimmy Bosch's influence...and his influences as well. Bet on it. None of us live in a vacuum.
---------
Quote
christine  chung   recently switched  from  a  36bo    to  a vintage  hn white king  tempo 
-------
joe scocco  is  going out w  the paul  whiteman  orchestra   
 he is   searching for a  highly engraved  king or other  trombone   without  bell  or slide lock
    not a  sterling bell    preferably   silver   or  gold plated
---------
ben griffin  is  still  playing a  recent  shires  485/485   gold outers /nickle  crook  sub  8 in  bell
---------
  koz   is  still attempting to  adjust to  another  main horn  because his  old  bach  16 m  is 
           very very   worn and has become  fragile
----------
 then  you  have   shout  bands  //is it  jazz  ?????????????????? the sonny rollins  comment
-------------
  can you play  rock  and roll on  a  nylon string  classical  guitar ??
------
some people  cant  play  jazz  on a radio
----------
hey  lob   whatta   you  doin over there  ????????????? wake up  !!!!!!!!!!lob  you still  there  ?????????
----
  looky  here  kid  you wanna  play jazz   eat  some o  these  beans 
   do  somethin w  that  shirt  --
========
 Embarrassed! Embarrassed! Embarrassed! Embarrassed! Embarrassed! Embarrassed!
YOU CALL  THIS  AN ANSWER  ???????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(
=======================

Yes.

I do.

Thanks, dj.

S.
 
 



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Visit <http://samburtis.com/>. Lots of information on that site in the form of articles plus a link to my method book "Time, Balance & Connections-A Universal Theory Of Brass Relativity" which includes several chapters of the book.
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