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The Trombone ForumCreation and PerformanceTrombonists(Moderator: zemry) Trombone players with great Articulations
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Johnston93

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« on: Jun 01, 2016, 06:55PM »

Hi all,

I'd like to start a list of trombone players that have great articulations. You can also include your own experience(s) of what makes a great articulation, and things that have worked for your own playing. Going into depth is strongly encouraged. I want this to be an articulation version of the great threat below which focused on professional trombonists with great sounds.

http://tromboneforum.org/index.php/topic,19673.msg1116499.html#msg1116499
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To start the list of trombonists I believe have great articulations:

Jay Friedman - http://www.jayfriedman.net/articles/roots
Tom Riccobono - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rafMg78tzvg
Bob McChesney - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56AKl4uHKjA
« Last Edit: Jun 03, 2016, 07:09AM by Johnston93 » Logged
sabutin

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« Reply #1 on: Jun 01, 2016, 08:44PM »

J.J. Johnson (and his acolytes...especially Curtis Fuller and Slide Hampton)

Urbie Green

Tommy Dorsey

Jack Teagarden

Teagarden was so good you didn't even know if he was articulating.

Dorsey pretty much invented...or so I have been told by people who were there at the time...the "legato" tongue which is now mainstream in the orchestral world. Before Dorsey? The so-called "portamento" style...much more vocalistic.

Urbie? Where did his across the grain slurs end and his articulations begin? Damned if I know.

J.J.? He found a way to tongue...and coordinate that tonguing with the slide...that made him sound like Clifford Brown down an octave or so.

S.

P.S. I leave out the doodle tongue masters because they need a mic to get over...it works, but it's essentially electronic music.

P.P.S. Then there's Frank Rosolino...beyond category, as Duke Ellington used to say. Like Clark Terry...one of a kind technically. Also Jimmy Knepper. He didn't so much "articulate" as he used fantastic slide technique...including the mastery of extended positions right up past the 8th partial...equally fantastic flexibility (and the use of the tongue only when all else failed) to be able to play just about everything he could hear. Another "beyond category" master. Bet on it.
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« Reply #2 on: Jun 02, 2016, 02:58AM »

Joe Nanton - now there's a whole different set of articulations...

Bill Harris - a personal favourite of mine

Si Zentner - He divides opinion. I like his playing but probably wouldn't play like that myself. I think his command of a wide vocabulary of articulations across ranges, tempos and dynamics is very impressive.
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bigbassbone1

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« Reply #3 on: Jun 02, 2016, 03:17AM »

I was VERY impressed with Peter Moore's articulation. My favourite aspect about his playing actually. Had the chance to watch him live a handful of times in recital.
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patrickosmith

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« Reply #4 on: Jun 02, 2016, 04:01AM »

There are a few dimensions to this question. The ability to play fast and varied articulations is one aspect. The ability to play legato with beautiful sound throughout is another. For me, I am most impressed by the ability to play any given note with immediate and full resonant sound and without any hint of the percussive presence of too much tongue. There are probably other dimensions as well.
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Graham Martin
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« Reply #5 on: Jun 02, 2016, 05:59PM »

There are a few dimensions to this question. The ability to play fast and varied articulations is one aspect. The ability to play legato with beautiful sound throughout is another. For me, I am most impressed by the ability to play any given note with immediate and full resonant sound and without any hint of the percussive presence of too much tongue. There are probably other dimensions as well.

Indeed there are many dimensions. One might almost say that 'great' articulation is in the ear of the listener. For instance, Vic Dickenson's articulation is one of my very favourite sounds but others might think it is a bit sloppy. J.J. did not think he was sloppy though and said that, in order to developed his approach to the articulation of fast Bebop phrasing, he listened a lot to Vic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-ZACVSRJxA

I was interested in what Sam had to say about the likelihood that it was TD who invented the legato tongue. I have been listening a lot recently to those early 1940s hits he had with Frank Sinatra - "The Essential Frank Sinatra with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra" - and TD's statement of the melodies is absolutely incredible. You can only use another of Sam's descriptions of TD and say that it is "seamless"! Good!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ePSl0tviHI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlLnemWL7jo&list=PLTFzQlK7fWk8sxZgCZLwkRoEkj3qelM4M&index=3

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADyEw89hI2M
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« Reply #6 on: Jun 02, 2016, 07:38PM »

I won't add to the list of jazz greats, but need to add Dave Taylor's name to the list.

Articulations, of any kind, in any genre of music is what sets Dave apart from us mere mortals.

Whatever the music requires, he can make happen.

It's pretty unbelievable what he can do on the bass trombone, and his perfection of any articulations make the music.

Whether it's a duet with a flute, playing with a string quartet, big band, some super hard contemporary solo piece, improvising an etude to introduce a classical transcription or whatever, he pretty much sets the standard in my book of make magical notes come out of the end of the bell thanks to his mastery of articulations.
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« Reply #7 on: Jun 02, 2016, 08:47PM »

Having finally heard Joe Alessi live, you can add him to the list. You could feel his attacks in your chest.
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« Reply #8 on: Jun 03, 2016, 05:29AM »

Glad to see the Alessi comment, as I thought I would be taking this thread into left field by leaving the jazz genre.

For me, the greatest, and indeed the only articulation that stands out in my mind is Scott Hartman from the Empire Brass days in their rendition of the Lt. Kije Suite on the Class Brass album. At the 1:00 mark he executes a brief double-tongue figure that is the epitome of what tonguing should be, and it has stuck in my mind for over 25 years as THE model to strive for. He puts the art in articulation, but the rest of the group are no slouches either. That entire track is a great example of what clean and crisp articulation is about.
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Matt Hodgson
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« Reply #9 on: Jun 03, 2016, 06:24AM »

Here's a unique player who played classical music and jazz. Czech trombonist Zdenek Pulec. He was the winner of the classic competition "Prague spring" in 1963. His jazz records were published in the USSR a million copies. He had good articulation.

http://yandex.ru/video/touch/search?filmId=FWK9oa4PUXI&text=zdenek%20pulec%20trombone%20YouTube
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« Reply #10 on: Jun 03, 2016, 06:41AM »

Here's a unique player who played classical music and jazz. Czech trombonist Zdenek Pulec. He was the winner of the classic competition "Prague spring" in 1963. His jazz records were published in the USSR a million copies. He had good articulation.

http://yandex.ru/video/touch/search?filmId=FWK9oa4PUXI&text=zdenek%20pulec%20trombone%20YouTube

That's a new name to me. Nice player!

Horrible reverb on some of the recordings, though...
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MikeBMiller
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« Reply #11 on: Jun 03, 2016, 06:50AM »

After hearing Jim Nova triple-tongue pedal G's perfectly cleanly at STS last summer, he should be on the list for sure.
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« Reply #12 on: Jun 03, 2016, 08:23AM »

In the classical world, how about Doug Wright at Minnesota?  Where some people play footballs and others bricks, he plays gage blocks. 

In the commercial world, I was always amazed at what Mike Suter could do. 
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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #13 on: Jun 03, 2016, 09:05AM »

So many great players out there. Great articulation is often connected to great time. Musicality. Legato is also articulations. The best legato I ever listen was my teacher, Aline Nistad. Solo trombone in the Oslo Philharmonic orchestra. It is unbelievable and of course all other articulation she make is just perfectly fitting the music character.

Some people just have it, but I know she worked hard to get it. I once had a bass trombone student with an attack that was just amazing. I was a little jealous every time he played....some just have it.

Ralph Sauer...just listen he do the long remington tones, its heaven for us trombone souls...Doug Yeo, the same. Jeff Reynolds, George Roberts...so many. But like I told, articulations have something to do with timing and musicality, its not only technical. Well, I have to practice, that's sure.....and listen. What about singers, violin or even piano.

Leif
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Chris Fidler

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« Reply #14 on: Jun 03, 2016, 10:11AM »

Marshall Gilkes.
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« Reply #15 on: Jun 03, 2016, 10:29AM »

off of the top of my had that have not been mentioned in no particular order:
Bill Watrous
Jim Pugh
Mike Davis
Carl Fontana
Dick Nash
Arthur Pryor
Harold Betters
Jiggs Whigham
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« Reply #16 on: Jun 03, 2016, 10:58AM »

Jim Markey. My lesson with him was focused mainly on articulation, and his immediacy of sound was insane. Complete control over it.
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« Reply #17 on: Jun 03, 2016, 12:58PM »

I love Norman Bolter's control of articulation. Amazing.

Second for Alessi and Markey.
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Kris Danielsen
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« Reply #18 on: Jun 11, 2016, 09:40AM »

Si Zentner. You either love his playing style or hate it. I happen to be a great admirer of Si's trombone playing. He could certainly play the trombone, and his excellent articulations were a big part of his playing style.
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« Reply #19 on: Jun 14, 2016, 10:51AM »

After hearing Jim Nova triple-tongue pedal G's perfectly cleanly at STS last summer, he should be on the list for sure.
Thanks Mike!
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