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The Trombone ForumCreation and PerformanceMusical Miscellany(Moderators: JP, BGuttman) a discussion of music and the trombone
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« Reply #80 on: Feb 01, 2011, 01:44AM »

Just finished really listening to the whole thing through.  It did come off as music, not just great trombone playing.  A great record. 
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« Reply #81 on: Feb 01, 2011, 10:52AM »

GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE(r)

I've thought all this time that the Cobbler was titled the Gobbler - it's got that down home thanksgiving dinner kind of feel.  I guess it's about shoe makers and all this time i've had visions of family gatherings and cranberry sauce.

It's my morning ear-worm. 
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« Reply #82 on: Feb 01, 2011, 01:44PM »

Nope...it's a delicious dessert with fruit filling.
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« Reply #83 on: Feb 01, 2011, 02:33PM »

Kind of like the tune... i guess i was close with my first impression?

bwah behp!  (bohp buhn) Behp! (bohp buhn...) behbadobahdudehp!

you must get as excited as i do about well prepared desserts
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« Reply #84 on: Feb 01, 2011, 04:41PM »

Kind of like the tune... i guess i was close with my first impression?

bwah behp!  (bohp buhn) Behp! (bohp buhn...) behbadobahdudehp!

you must get as excited as i do about well prepared desserts

there's a story that goes with it.  can't tell it here.  you dig?
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« Reply #85 on: Feb 01, 2011, 06:04PM »

dig... i'll call you about it sometime if you don't mind
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« Reply #86 on: Feb 01, 2011, 06:33PM »

indeed.
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« Reply #87 on: May 19, 2011, 04:15PM »

Oohh its a long time since somebody post here. I have one more post that maybe fit inside this topic. I don't know. But maybe it fit here so I don't have to start a new tread. Its my usual Norwegian/English so you are warned.

I have listen a lot to the high end players. Both tenor and bass players. Trying to figure out both what they do and not do. When listen close, the things they not do is interesting. Compared to me, they do less work and still it sounds like they get much more music out. I figure out they have one thing in common. Less is more. They do what they need to do with more finesse. So the result seem to be more. And they don't force anything to much. I believe this is because of a great technique and also an intelligent way to make music out of the instruments weak and good sides. If you see what I mean.

Its not fair if I compare to me, because my technical skills are not at the level where you can do anything you like. I don't think these good players have so much more musical feel inside than me. OK maybe a bit. But I think a lot of people have that, also listeners and none musician. But what I think is these "good" players use their musical skills more intelligent to make that music we love. Its a blend where they know what the instrument can do, where they know their own strong and weak sides, where they put inside their feelings and musicality, but always in a intelligent way. Then I have to explain intelligent way. They balance all their skills, musically and technicality, with their knowledge of the instruments character it self, into a musical output that is "good" for all to listen. Puuhh sorry that long sentence. But there is some of the "mysteries" about how to make music? Or? I don't believe these people go around and think about it so much. Its a "sum" of many years work, experience and musicality that make it I believe.

Well, I just had to put some words on it to try understand a little. Understand what I need to work on.  Please share your thoughts? (Hope its possible to understand my writing?)

Leif
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« Reply #88 on: May 19, 2011, 06:44PM »

There's a Terence Blanchard record I'm currently listening to called Romantic Defiance - I'm also watching the NBA Western Conference Finals Game 2, but listening intently. On the record is a tenor player that I wasn't able to guess after some though.

For those of you who have the record, you know that the person playing tenor is not a tenor player familiarly - he is an alto player, by the name of Kenny Garrett.

It's hard for me to stop listening to him on tenor. Clearly Kenny Garrett is one of the baddest alto players today, but on tenor there's something that lessens the bite to his sound on alto because it is placed into a lower register. It's still soulful, it's just more mellow. His ability to bend certain pitches, combined with the way he articulates certain notes, leads his solo on Premise to be driving as all hell, but still contained.

What I notice the most about Kenny Garrett on tenor, however, is that it does not sound like someone else because he is on another instrument. It sounds like Kenny Garrett, playing a tenor saxophone. I feel the same way about Jackie McLean on tenor, or Bird on tenor, or Sonny Stitt on baritone, or John Coltrane on alto. With very few exceptions (and this is just my opinion), the instrument is simply an extension of the musical ideas and sound concept contained in one's mind. There are two things that separate a novice musician from a master musician in my opinion, and indeed these are not simple things. The first is experience. Even if you figure out what sound you are going for on any given night on any given tune or piece, you won't be able to truly piece it together without having ever played it for people. The second is a clarified concept of what you want to sound like. How clarified? The more clarified your concept, the more you will sound like it, and the better it will sound. What do I mean by clarified? Compare where you are to the level of the players you are currently trying to reach. The more you realize that comparison both mentally and in terms of realization in the real world, the farther you will progress towards that level.

If you decide to apply your concept to your horn once your concept is as together as you can make it at any given time, with experience, not only will that concept come to fruition (practice, life stuff, gigging, etc.), but your concept will broaden to include things in your playing you haven't thought of, thus changing your concept in some way and allowing for new possibilities and a higher quality. The next step is to reimagine one's concept again, and to go through the cycle indefinitely. The goal is not to get to a point where that concept does not ever change, but to get to the next time where you feel your concept is together, only to have it torn down by new information. I feel this applies to life as a whole.

The trombone is described as an instrument that may be less inviting towards the full ability for one to execute every musical thought going on in said musician's head. When I hear Kenny Garrett on tenor, though, I know that Kenny Garrett on tenor is just Kenny Garrett on alto, on tenor. Kenny Garrett is Kenny Garrett, and on any instrument he will always be Kenny Garrett. Steve Davis on trombone does indeed sound like Steve Davis on piano, or Steve Davis on bass, or Steve Davis on drums. The way he sees the whole instrument like a palette, no matter what it is, is the way he thinks. Trust me: I study with Steve Davis.

I saw the post about how one person feels about the alto trombone, the tenor trombone, and other instruments. My thoughts are that the instrument will function as a reflection of the person inside. The instrument will not play relaxed until the person is relaxed. The instrument will not play in tune until the person can hear themselves sing that note that they are trying to play in tune. You will not write your name cleanly until you know how to write your name cleanly and what that feels and looks like. You may know what it looks like, but you may not know how to write it out, or what the form should be. 75% of the form and 50% of the look may translate to 62.5% of the cleanly written name. If you're going for 100%, you need to average 100% and 100%. If you want a beautiful sound, mature ideas and a lot of language, you have to know what that sounds like, perfectly, and how to execute that on the horn. I'm still figuring it out, which is why you've never seen me at a New York jazz club. I know what I have to do, but I haven't done. More will be revealed to me, at which time I will BEGIN to realize what my concept should next allow to join it as a segment.

As a jazz musician I can look at two completely different trombonists, like Wycliffe Gordon and Steve Davis. They were raised in two entirely different environments, think in two entirely different ways and play more unlike each other than any other two trombonists I can think of. They are both extremely bad at what they do. The trombone is such a unique instrument that it deserves to be played in a plethora of different ways. Each player will play it differently. The whole concept I want to portray onto hear is that each instrument can play any way. Any instrument, I feel, can play any role in any ensemble. There are too many ensembles in the world of African-American classical music that put themselves into a hip box, but a box nonetheless. One can come up with an ensemble that has no historical precedent, that sets its own example and has its own hit records. John Coltrane created something different out of everything else that had ever been done. He borrowed from Eastern meditational concepts and he borrowed from Stravinsky and Slonimsky. All different types of trombonists are doing it. It's no secret. It's a matter of opening your mind to everything that will influence the gravity of one note.

And if one note is all it takes to display the influence of an entire human being, imagine what is possible with music, and with the trombone.
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« Reply #89 on: May 19, 2011, 08:59PM »

i got that album when it came out, spent a few days with it on repeat - didn't leave the house.  i still get chills when "morning after celebration" comes on... great album.

a lot of great voices on that disc.
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« Reply #90 on: Jul 03, 2011, 10:36AM »

Giving this topic a bump since my mind has been cookin' a bit, of late.

I recently listened to an interview with author David Brooks about his new novel, The Social Animal. This one is on my personal reading list and I sent it to my dad for Father's Day.  In the interview, Brooks explains that he wrote the book as a fictional representation of many of the behavioral studies he's read over the past few years.

One of the points he made was related to patents. An analysis of patents and the previous patents upon which they were based revealed that the new and old patent holders lived and worked in close geographic proximity to one another. In many cases, the new and previous patent holders knew one another. Why is this important?  They SHARED their knowledge and experience with one another and a better understanding was built from doing so. They BRAINSTORMED and created a new way of thinking that incorporated different approaches.

I bring this up because I see THIS PLACE as a way to get closer and get to know one another in spite of our geographic separation. It's an imperfect solution, as Brooks also sites evidence that face-to-face communication is still a necessary and superior form of communicating, but we can benefit greatly from this place if we use it with wisdom, discipline, restraint and respect.

Contrary to the idealism of a group discussion or brainstorm, I frequently observe lectures and debate from fixed positions wherein arguments are created by resistance rather than understanding.

I'd like to challenge all reading here to SHARE their knowledge rather than wielding it as a weapon against those with whom you disagree.

More brainstorms and fewer lectures could benefit us all, IMHO. We play music because we enjoy it....or at least we did when we started. We come to this place because we enjoy discussing music and the trombone. Everyone should be able to leave this place feeling like they enjoyed their experience. This challenge might also entail that you enjoy your time here without minimizing another's enjoyment.  I believe the music we make will benefit and we will benefit.

DG
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« Reply #91 on: Jul 03, 2011, 10:51AM »

One thing about the patents.

Many times a patent will be taken out on a product that already exists in order to do two things:

1.  Make it better.
2.  Extend the patent coverage since the thing requires the new innovation.

Naturally, the people doing the development all know each other.  They probably all worked on the development even though only one of them may be actually listed.

I think a healthy discourse among us is useful for all.  We all need to learn to listen to each other and listen to each other to learn.

If you want an example of the opposite, look at some of the discussions in Purely Politics, which consist of two sides talking past each other.  Totally not productive.
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« Reply #92 on: Dec 08, 2011, 01:46PM »

Giving this topic a bump since my mind has been cookin' a bit, of late.

I recently listened to an interview with author David Brooks about his new novel, The Social Animal. This one is on my personal reading list and I sent it to my dad for Father's Day.  In the interview, Brooks explains that he wrote the book as a fictional representation of many of the behavioral studies he's read over the past few years.

One of the points he made was related to patents. An analysis of patents and the previous patents upon which they were based revealed that the new and old patent holders lived and worked in close geographic proximity to one another. In many cases, the new and previous patent holders knew one another. Why is this important?  They SHARED their knowledge and experience with one another and a better understanding was built from doing so. They BRAINSTORMED and created a new way of thinking that incorporated different approaches.

I bring this up because I see THIS PLACE as a way to get closer and get to know one another in spite of our geographic separation. It's an imperfect solution, as Brooks also sites evidence that face-to-face communication is still a necessary and superior form of communicating, but we can benefit greatly from this place if we use it with wisdom, discipline, restraint and respect.

Contrary to the idealism of a group discussion or brainstorm, I frequently observe lectures and debate from fixed positions wherein arguments are created by resistance rather than understanding.

I'd like to challenge all reading here to SHARE their knowledge rather than wielding it as a weapon against those with whom you disagree.

More brainstorms and fewer lectures could benefit us all, IMHO. We play music because we enjoy it....or at least we did when we started. We come to this place because we enjoy discussing music and the trombone. Everyone should be able to leave this place feeling like they enjoyed their experience. This challenge might also entail that you enjoy your time here without minimizing another's enjoyment.  I believe the music we make will benefit and we will benefit.

DG

David, I like you! This as balsam to my bleeding soul. I'm going to try to eventually read through this whole thread, but I'm having trouble keeping up with mine.
Thank you so much for starting it.

A fellow Rath man
Bruce
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« Reply #93 on: Dec 08, 2011, 03:03PM »

A lot of the discussion on the forum has to do with conventional technique--developing slide and articulation technique that makes the trombone sound closer to the articulation of other instruments. Makes sense, because that's the application most of us are going to see.

Still, one of the reasons most players don't use quarter-tones is that they're too hard to play. They're a snap on trombone. How many guys use them? Trumpet and sax players sometimes use smooth glissandos to show off their technique--trombonists seem to avoid them because they're too easy.

So, here's my question:

Do the Monks and Ornettes of the world necessarily learn conventional technique first?
Is there room in the trombone world for someone who finds some new sounds from the horn without necessarily learning the traditional vocabulary and technique?

I've been asking my self these questions for years now. Mainly because I stopped playing jazz when I went to college. A trombone player who I respected told me I had to decide, either classical or jazz, you can't do both. I chose classical and quit jazz, a decision I now bitterly regret.

I do now play jazz now again, although seldomly, but I'll be the first to admit that I not a great improviser, I do it but I don't really feel I'm on top of the chords, so I play instinctively. Some would call it faking and it probably is but sometimes it works, not always. I have the technique and chops to play pretty much anything I want to but I'm lacking that traditional vocabulary and technique and I don't really have the time to learn it all and make up for all those missing years. So I ask myself exactly these questions, can I make up for a lack of traditional knowledge with my technique and/or creativeness? Or should I just leave it.

Oh, and by the way, I love quarter tones, and sixth tones, and eighth tones and....

Bruce
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« Reply #94 on: Dec 08, 2011, 04:09PM »

A lot of the discussion on the forum has to do with conventional technique--developing slide and articulation technique that makes the trombone sound closer to the articulation of other instruments. Makes sense, because that's the application most of us are going to see.

Still, one of the reasons most players don't use quarter-tones is that they're too hard to play. They're a snap on trombone. How many guys use them? Trumpet and sax players sometimes use smooth glissandos to show off their technique--trombonists seem to avoid them because they're too easy.

---snip---

"Quarter tones," eh?

Now...if you are measuring in an academic sense, they are hard to play. In fact, only machines (and occasionally people who want to play like machines, I suppose) can actually play them accurately.

But as blue notes? As bends and idiomatic content the world over? As they appear in the untempered harmonic series? They are as common as an A 440. Quarter tones, eighth tones, even some semi-mythical note like a 264th tone? No matter. Sinatra sang them; Pops played and sang them and every musician with any blues roots who doesn't play a fixed pitch instrument has used them since childhood sing-alongs. Ditto most good Western European-style non-academic soloists and singers and ditto twice the players of almost every other non-Western musical idiom. You know...people who pl;ay for people? People who play for their supper instead of writing grants? Hell, when Thelonious Monk couldn't play them on piano, he played the notes on both sides of them simultaneously. Loudly and relatively undisguised by other, more neutral notes. It worked, too.

And here we are, back to the academic/non-academic argument that I have been trying to make on this site and elsewhere for years. In academe, the "scholars" dissect music just like biologists dissect animals. But neither of those groups can actually put an animal to life. They can only examine what is no longer alive. They can create theoretical simulacrums; they can do robots; but they can't put a swinging life form on the planet anew. The Schrödinger's Cat principle in real life. In order to examine something you first have to stop it from happening. Once you do that you can no longer observe it in flux.

Forget about "quarter tones!!!" Just play what you really hear inside of a naturally occurring idiom and you'll be playing them without thought.

Just music.

Like it's s'pose to be.

Bet on it.

Later...

S.
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« Reply #95 on: Dec 08, 2011, 04:21PM »

....I have the technique and chops to play pretty much anything I want to but I'm lacking that traditional vocabulary and technique and I don't really have the time to learn it all and make up for all those missing years. So I ask myself exactly these questions, can I make up for a lack of traditional knowledge with my technique and/or creativeness? Or should I just leave it.

Oh, and by the way, I love quarter tones, and sixth tones, and eighth tones and....

Bruce

words are strung together to convey thoughts.  you have a small vocabulary?  it just means you'll have to be VERY particular about choosing your words.  it's the THOUGHT that counts. 

my students frequently get caught up in imitating vocabulary that they don't even understand because they pursue the appearance of eloquence.  but, there is rarely a thought that unifies the words.  therefore, it always comes off as gibberish. i think of it as being similar to all of the misspelled facebook status updates...or posts on this forum.  the details are missing...mostly the detail of meaning to the words. 

but, i always encourage my students to use the vocabulary they HAVE and use it to communicate a THOUGHT.  even a 2 year-old can say, "I love you."  not too many words, but a BIG idea. 

no need to "learn it all"....know what you want to say and find the words to say it.  everyone doesn't have to love it, but it may just enrich your life in unexpected ways. 

good luck.

DG
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« Reply #96 on: Dec 08, 2011, 07:21PM »

More on so-called "quarter tones":

You want to witness a truly masterful use of idiomatic quarter tones and other non-tempered notes?

Tune into the "A Skaggs Family Christmas" show. It's available on RFDTV and probably elsewhere on cable as well. Yeah. I know. Don't turn your nose up at this suggestion if you are in any way curious about what I have been saying. Ricky Skaggs and the people with whom he has surrounded himself for several decades are so deep into the bluegrass/country tradition that their sheer musicality is awe inspiring. Especially Ricky Skaggs, who could no more sing a bad or awkward note than could Sinatra in his prime, Ray Charles or Jessye Norman.

"Corny?"

Only if you are deaf to the eternal progression of the overtone series.

"New music?"

Every time they lay hands on it.

Bet on it.

Wake the frack up.

It's everywhere...except where many of you are searching.

S.
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« Reply #97 on: Dec 08, 2011, 11:00PM »

I go back to this often:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtgUbJN8oPE

Lester Young's solo, he's the second tenor player to play for those who don't know. 

What beautiful, intricate, perfect, heartfelt, and masterful music! What deep understanding he has, what sensitivity! Lester Young's use of the notes to say exactly, exactly what he needs to say is it, in my opinion.  Dave touched on the point about his students knowing vocabulary but not knowing its meaning...This! The opposite.  He is playing only a few notes, takes only a chorus, but if I could ever, ever even have just a shred of that beauty and understanding in my playing I die fulfilled. 

Not to mention everyone else's playing. 

(Just a side note.)
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« Reply #98 on: Dec 08, 2011, 11:17PM »

@Sabutin:

Ricky Scaggs is amazing. I was flipping through channels years ago and stumbled across his band playing. I was familiar with his name but in my mind lumped him together with other radio country acts, which I generally don't listen to. His band made my jaw drop. Every time you thought you heard the best country solo in history, the next guy would play something better.
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« Reply #99 on: Dec 08, 2011, 11:27PM »

"Quarter tones," eh?

Now...if you are measuring in an academic sense, they are hard to play. In fact, only machines (and occasionally people who want to play like machines, I suppose) can actually play them accurately.

This reminds me of a joke. A couple of fly fishermen walk down a little draw into a creek bed and surprise a grizzly sow with cubs. When the bear spots them one of the guys starts peeling off his rubber boots.

The other guy says, "You can't outrun that bear, even in your sneakers."

He answers, "I don't have to outrun the bear. I have to outrun you."

You're obviously a great musician with a great ear for pitch. Granted, you couldn't probably play quarter tones with the same subtlety and refinement with which you approach normal chromaticism (because chromaticism is more ingrained). But if it sounds good to you, it's probably going to sound good to your audience.

In other words, you don't have to outrun the bear, only the listeners.

I wasn't thinking of quarter tones as adjustments to notes. I was thinking about playing licks that incorporate quarter tones (you could call it the 'double chromatic scale') like Don Ellis used to do on trumpet. Where the quarter tones are discrete notes, maybe passing notes between half-steps, rather than expressive versions of scale tones.
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