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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
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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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« Reply #20 on: Jun 14, 2016, 01:33PM »

Jimmy Cleveland!
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« Reply #21 on: Jun 14, 2016, 06:50PM »

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


Two of these guys play nice ballads, but that's about it, and the extent of their articulation. 

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« Reply #22 on: Jun 16, 2016, 07:38PM »

You've Got to be Kidding. If you really mean that. I feel bad for what you're missing......
I guess this just proves that everyone Does hear differently....
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« Reply #23 on: Jun 17, 2016, 11:12AM »

Two of these guys play nice ballads, but that's about it, and the extent of their articulation. 


So who do you think doesn't deserve to be on the list?
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« Reply #24 on: Jun 17, 2016, 11:23AM »

I kind of understand where Baileyman is coming from.

Several of those players have made choices about how they play, and play mostly in one particular way that suits them. Bill Watrous, Carl Fontana, Urbie Green, maybe Dick Nash sort of fit this description. We associate them each with one particular style and it would be nice to hear some more variety. Earlier in his career, Bill Watrous played with a bit more variety. Urbie Green is terrific in a burner (no surprise), but he just didn't play or record much like that.

For me, the whole point about articulation is variety, so we can articulate different things on the horn to make a musical result. It's not a technical exercise. George Robert's playing illustrates this well. He emulated Frank Sinatra, rather than going by the Trombone Technique Handbook.
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« Reply #25 on: Jun 17, 2016, 11:33AM »

TD & Urbie have already been mentioned so


Ian Bousfield!
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« Reply #26 on: Jun 18, 2016, 08:21AM »

Luckily there are a few real world experiments out there to call on for evidence.  Here's one:

https://www.amazon.com/Nice-Easy-Carl-Fontana/dp/B00000K2AQ

Unfortunately there do not seem to be any tracks available on youtube or other sites. 

A good listen is in order before making judgement, but below is my take on the side by side comparison.  Really, a good listen is the first thing to do before reading what I have to say. 

My take:

One guy has terrific range, hears all the harmony and plays great ballad.  However, he ain't got rhythm and maybe indicates the beat once every two measures with a style one might describe as "gestural" or "sketchy" or maybe "impressionistic".  One struggles to find a definitive articulation.  It seems he has far more ideas than can possibly be played on a trombone.  His timing fully relies on the time of the band as on its own it's hopelessly off.  He once said he did most of his practicing on a plane in his head.  It shows.  In his defense, a buddy stated the guy played good lead in periodic Kenton Alumni band meets, which means at least in ensemble with a written page he has good time.  A terrific promoter and entrepreneur.

The other guy has decent range, spectacular time, huge rhythmic variety, sparkling accents, shading and inflection.  Notes often take on a spoken quality with so much stylistic treatment.  His articulation adds to the time feel of the band.  Notes have several initial articulations, a variety of dynamics and vibrato in the duration and different endings.  Fast notes are on time, distinct, as reliable as the drummer's hat.  Every idea can be actually played.  His tone quality suffers, but he is at the end of his life and has Alzheimer's. 

The first guy has some of the worst articulation and time among the pros, but he's by no means alone--bad time and articulation is pretty common, so common it seems to be perceived as a jazz trombone characteristic sound, and therefore partially excused.  And so he's not alone listed in this thread. 

These "best of" topics seem to go along until such a point when everything becomes nominated as a "best of".  See the "darkest horn" topic for another example.  Everything is darkest to somebody. 

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« Reply #27 on: Jun 28, 2016, 06:50PM »

I'm so sorry that once again I was foolish enough to think there might some sense of what really is good by great players can be heard,appreciated and enjoyed by a supposed community of folks wanting to promote the instrument of their choosing, and would not be dismissed in such a... to my ear uninformed and condescending manner. All I can say is a lot of the members of this forum could really benefit from learning to show at least a little respect at the very least. It's a shame that because these are the kinds posts that really only show why so few really great pros participate on these Forums.

No harm meant here.Only a comment on what I see far too often on here.

Bob R
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« Reply #28 on: Jun 29, 2016, 03:20AM »

OK...let's get real. Let's define the way that we are using the word "articulation" before we go any further here.

Wikipedia has a fairly good one:

Quote
In music, articulation refers to the direction or performance technique which affects the transition or continuity on a single note or between multiple notes or sounds.

Now let's talk about the slide trombone.

What is the operative word...the defining word...in that name?

"Slide"

We have so many possibilities for affecting "the transition or continuity on a single note or between multiple notes or sounds" that we cannot even agree about who does what well. Was Willie Dennis...who developed a rapid jazz improvisation technique that used almost almost no tongue at all, just across the grain slurs..."articulating?" You could hear and understand the lines he was playing, right? Guess so. In Brad Edwards'a wonderful Lip Slur Melodies books...Rochut-like melodies which are constructed so that they can be played very musically (another word that needs definition here) entirely without the use of the tongue after the initial attack of each phrase...is there any "articulating" going on? Bet on it. Slide articulation. Slide technique. Can valved brass instruments and other keyed winds do this a thousand times more easily than can we? Bet on that as well. Does the well known  ->  gliss in Tiger Rag in the key of F count as an "articulation?" Damned right it does!

So...what are we really talking about here? Is "articulation" all about speed? Ask Tommy Dorsey. Ask Joe Alessi. Of course not. It's about music.

And here we are stuck on that other definition.

What is "music?" Was Kid Ory "musical?" How about Tricky Sam Nanton? Roswell Rudd? The freshman trombonist who was trundled out in front of the school band to massacre IGSOY in Bb? At least he's trying, right? Strange "articulators," all of them. Strange compared to common practice, anyway. So was Clark Terry. Check out what he thought about articulation!!! (Here at about 24:30.)

So what does this all boil down to?

It boils down to two things.

1-What you like. What is "musical"...meaning pleasing...to you.

and

2-What you are physically capable of doing as a trombonist coupled with what you want to do. What is "musical" within your own capabilities and likes/dislikes..

For example...I'll use myself. I played with Bill Watrous a great deal...I played lead in his NYC band for several years, and his musicality is beyond argument as far as I am concerned. But I personally had other "musicalities" that I wished to pursue, ones that asked for more volume and variance of attack than his very quiet, very controlled doodle tongue style allows. Thus I did not try to copy his approach. I'll amend that statement. When I did try to play like that I found it very limiting. For me. And since "me" is all I have to work with, I did not pursue it.

Now...all of us have the same limitation. Ourselves. I have heard people put down Watrous and Fontana because they did not play loudly or aggressively. I have heard people put down J.J. because he used a great number of formulaic licks. I have heard people put down players like say Vic Dickenson because their playing was "sloppy." I have heard people put down great orchestral players because they are not good improvisors. I have heard people put down Urbie Green because he didn't play more "modern," or Tommy Dorsey because he didn't play "hot." But they all...and every other successful working trombonist...had good enough articulation (no matter how you define the term) to produce something that was recognizably "musical" enough for a sufficient number people to pay them to do it so that they could make a living at it.

Just like some truly fine players simply cannot master the altissimo or bass ranges no matter how hard they try...their physicality is simply wrong for those ranges...some people's tongues simply cannot be taught to single tongue past a certain speed. Others seem not to be able to doodle tongue at any speed. Some people are not gifted with great speed in general. Or great endurance or great flexibility. Look at athletes. Same same. LeBron James is the exception that proves the rule. They deal with what they have. They deal with themselves.

Us too.

Now that we have maybe thought a little more about articulation...on with the show.

S.
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« Reply #29 on: Jun 29, 2016, 06:33AM »

 All I can say is a lot of the members of this forum could really benefit from learning to show at least a little respect at the very least. It's a shame that because these are the kinds posts that really only show why so few really great pros participate on these Forums.
Bob R
[/quote]


I am enjoying this thread a great deal. I am still fairly new here, and would like to add that I have seen some pretty heavy handed responses...I think much of this disrespect has to do with the anonymity of the internet...Back to the subject of the thread.. If one is attempting to make a living playing their music, then the style they choose to play will be greatly influenced by the response/demand of their audiences as well as the support/demands from their personal lives...In short there are technical and practical limitations that determines ones playing style/abilities...

Nice post Sam...

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« Reply #30 on: Jun 29, 2016, 07:20AM »

Great post, Sam.

As is obvious, you can't be everything.  Sometimes what is needed for one application is the exact opposite of the needs of another.  We have to pick and choose and find our way.
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« Reply #31 on: Jun 29, 2016, 08:31AM »

Hmmmm articulation. It's do do with the manner in which you start a note and how you get from one note to the next. Sound envelope (dynamic level within the note) is very important. I agree with Sam that the slide can hinder us but overall, I think it offers more articulation possibilities than hindrances. Other continuous pitch instruments (cello, voice, erhu, theramin) seem to manage OK and develop all sorts of techniques for nuances and virtuosity.

I don't think it's right to jump on baileyman for calling it as he hears it. There shouldn't be any sacred cows. I've heard ALL my favourite players play badly occasionally. ALL of them have aspects in their playing that I wouldn't care to have in mine. Sometimes it's a matter of taste and subjective preference, sometimes an actual flaw. Doesn't mean that any of them are rubbish. Doesn't mean that I'm disrespecting their skills: the very opposite in fact. Note that bailey man's criticism was balanced out by an equal amount of praise.
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« Reply #32 on: Jun 29, 2016, 08:55AM »

I will second Ian Bousfield. Christan Griego just did any interview wit him on the horn they developed together and Christan brought up his fantastic articulation in the video.

Also, Jimmy Clark from Dallas, Tx. There is a quality about articulation that a lot of people just don't get. I was told at one point after playing a technical etude "You studied with Jimmy Clark didn't you" after playing a technical excerpt because of the a quality in articulation I was using.
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« Reply #33 on: Jun 29, 2016, 09:23AM »

Hmmmm articulation. It's do do with the manner in which you start a note and how you get from one note to the next. Sound envelope (dynamic level within the note) is very important. I agree with Sam that the slide can hinder us but overall, I think it offers more articulation possibilities than hindrances.

---snip---

I wasn't really saying that it is a "hindrance," SS. It makes certain articulation approaches more difficult and other ones easier. So it goes. Overall? I guess it's a wash.

Someone at a clinic once asked Jimmy Knepper if he tried to make his horn sound more like a trumpet or a french horn. He took a typically laconic Knepperian pause and then said "Well...I try to make it sound like a trombone."

That goes for articulations as well.

S.
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« Reply #34 on: Jun 29, 2016, 09:56AM »

Well we do listen differently, it is not only that we hear different things, sometimes we hear the same things but maybe understand what happens differently.
I haven´t listen to the CD Nice ´n´Easy for a long time, I am glad that I got an reason to put it on.
When it comes to articulation there is lots places that show both players ability to articualte good and the ability to vary the articualtion. I don´t hear Jiggs "bad timing" but I hear his slightly draging sometimes that I take as a way of expresion.
Sometimes he does some spectacular things with the rythm. To me Carl sounds terific as he did allways.
The both played fantastic to my ears.
I was playing in the SFB band in Berlin where Jiggs often was soloing, often doing rythmic things when he trusted the rythm section. As it was on the CD.

That is what I heard, not putting down Bailyman, music is like beauti it is in the eys of thebeholder.
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« Reply #35 on: Jun 29, 2016, 11:26AM »

I've heard Bill do things (live) that to this day I'm not convinced are actually possible. 

Anyone who's witnessed him demonstrate his doodle tongue LOUD can appreciate what a monster he truly was.  And his softs were like he was breathing into the note-- but the note started immediately every time.  Unreal.
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« Reply #36 on: Jun 29, 2016, 02:13PM »

Great to read Sam! Thanks! Sometimes I'm jealous even when listening some few of the kids I teach. They seem to make so clear nice attacks without any thoughts about how they do it. But they also often have a weakness since they cant vary it that much. Like Svenne told, that's the clue to make different styles and musical expressions.

I think the ability to vary articulation is the clue to express our self and make music. No one have the exact same and that's why I believe articulation is a part of our personal musical "fingerprint".

How to get it is a long way with listening, personal development, and practice...practice. I feel I never get it....so I still wake up and try every day.

Most pro people I have listen have very good articulation. But also many amateurs, even some of them dont know they have it.

We will get many names here because its also a question about taste.

Leif
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« Reply #37 on: Jul 03, 2016, 01:41PM »

I like to hear the click, not a thud or rim shot or a woof. It's subtle. For many years things were a bit woofy, in Russian orchestras it can be rim shot-y. Bousfield talks about the 'just a touch', for him and Denis and many others that works great, the click emerges. After all these years I'm still experimenting. The 'just a touch' from behind the bell doesn't sound clean enough when I use it but maybe in front it's great. I need to record it more......
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« Reply #38 on: Jul 07, 2016, 09:06AM »

A player whose articulations I really admire is Ben Van Dijk.

To my ears, the fronts of his notes are so round and nebulous and yet so precise time-wise. I hear this quality at all dynamic levels and musical contexts on the recordings of his that I own.

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« Reply #39 on: Jul 07, 2016, 09:40AM »

Not a trombone player, but I just heard a recording of Alison Balsom playing Gymnopédie No.3 and her first note is arguably the best note beginning I've heard come from any brass instrument.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQE4c3MjjRg

There's also Scott Hartman's stupidly clean multiple tonguing in the Empire Brass recording of Lt. Kije

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H768XDdOI3E
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« Reply #40 on: Aug 01, 2016, 03:14PM »

I just came across a recording of Martin Wilson playing the solo from "Czardas":  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaPmysTfVFI.

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« Reply #41 on: Aug 03, 2016, 08:10AM »

Nice.  I really like the tasteful slide vibrato in a classical piece. 
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« Reply #42 on: Aug 07, 2016, 01:38AM »

Not a trombone player, but I just heard a recording of Alison Balsom playing Gymnopédie No.3 and her first note is arguably the best note beginning I've heard come from any brass instrument.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQE4c3MjjRg

A touch hard maybe for that piece??.......
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« Reply #43 on: Aug 07, 2016, 04:24AM »

I just came across a recording of Martin Wilson playing the solo from "Czardas":  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaPmysTfVFI.


That's not bad. I like to play it 10%, sometimes 20% faster.

...Geezer
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« Reply #44 on: Aug 07, 2016, 07:22AM »

Christian Lindberg's CDs "unaccompanied" and "Trombone and Voice in the Hapsberg Empire", two of his most unlistened to CDs, probably also contain some of his most musical playing, and also some ov the best examples of artuculations.

Just realize that most of the "Unaccompanied" CD, as with many of his CDs, is performed on alto.
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« Reply #45 on: Aug 11, 2016, 12:11PM »

I'd like to add "Blondell's High Speed Wail" featuring Jon Blondell on Trombone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7Fkk1he2B4
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« Reply #46 on: Nov 30, 2016, 09:00AM »

A little late to the party, but the LSO's section playing in this live recording gives me chills.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POixs_rUkNw

The piano section of the March is just amazing.
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« Reply #47 on: Nov 30, 2016, 12:50PM »

Haven't see James Pankow mentioned yet.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlJNXws70nM&index=5&list=PLtAoi_auLvVTHmVOajuvSAn7I3pNGRVac

Or Bruce Fowler.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bnb2D2BZRBs
Just playing the written chart would obliterate most humans. Then there's his solo, starts at about 3:15.
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« Reply #48 on: Nov 30, 2016, 04:01PM »

Haven't see James Pankow mentioned yet.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlJNXws70nM&index=5&list=PLtAoi_auLvVTHmVOajuvSAn7I3pNGRVac

Or Bruce Fowler.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bnb2D2BZRBs
Just playing the written chart would obliterate most humans. Then there's his solo, starts at about 3:15.

Nice to see some Zappa music referenced...He did many more traditional arrangements that might have more mass appeal....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zodxwk13HkQ&index=10&list=PLMjqlD2XPIbwMEuGwz9uQqGMUK_8NfQZw

Enjoy the trumpet beginning and if you want to skip Frank on the guitar, why would you,pick it up at 4:40 to hear Fowler on the bone...a great piece...He had some of the best players in his band...

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« Reply #49 on: Dec 07, 2016, 07:57AM »

Actually 3 people comes to my mind...

Bill Watrous
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_1NwRkfn0Q

Bob McChesney
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56AKl4uHKjA

James Morrison
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUfge7nUuiE
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« Reply #50 on: Dec 17, 2016, 11:55AM »

Gardell Simons, John Coffey, Milt Stevens, Jim Nova, Of course Mr. Allessi, must be included.  Simons, according to John Coffey, may have been one of the first to teach legato tonguing.
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« Reply #51 on: Dec 03, 2017, 10:10AM »

OK...let's get real. Let's define the way that we are using the word "articulation" before we go any further here.

Wikipedia has a fairly good one:

Now let's talk about the slide trombone.

What is the operative word...the defining word...in that name?

"Slide"

We have so many possibilities for affecting "the transition or continuity on a single note or between multiple notes or sounds" that we cannot even agree about who does what well. Was Willie Dennis...who developed a rapid jazz improvisation technique that used almost almost no tongue at all, just across the grain slurs..."articulating?" You could hear and understand the lines he was playing, right? Guess so. In Brad Edwards'a wonderful Lip Slur Melodies books...Rochut-like melodies which are constructed so that they can be played very musically (another word that needs definition here) entirely without the use of the tongue after the initial attack of each phrase...is there any "articulating" going on? Bet on it. Slide articulation. Slide technique. Can valved brass instruments and other keyed winds do this a thousand times more easily than can we? Bet on that as well. Does the well known  ->  gliss in Tiger Rag in the key of F count as an "articulation?" Damned right it does!

So...what are we really talking about here? Is "articulation" all about speed? Ask Tommy Dorsey. Ask Joe Alessi. Of course not. It's about music.

And here we are stuck on that other definition.

What is "music?" Was Kid Ory "musical?" How about Tricky Sam Nanton? Roswell Rudd? The freshman trombonist who was trundled out in front of the school band to massacre IGSOY in Bb? At least he's trying, right? Strange "articulators," all of them. Strange compared to common practice, anyway. So was Clark Terry. Check out what he thought about articulation!!! (Here at about 24:30.)

So what does this all boil down to?

It boils down to two things.

1-What you like. What is "musical"...meaning pleasing...to you.

and

2-What you are physically capable of doing as a trombonist coupled with what you want to do. What is "musical" within your own capabilities and likes/dislikes..

For example...I'll use myself. I played with Bill Watrous a great deal...I played lead in his NYC band for several years, and his musicality is beyond argument as far as I am concerned. But I personally had other "musicalities" that I wished to pursue, ones that asked for more volume and variance of attack than his very quiet, very controlled doodle tongue style allows. Thus I did not try to copy his approach. I'll amend that statement. When I did try to play like that I found it very limiting. For me. And since "me" is all I have to work with, I did not pursue it.

Now...all of us have the same limitation. Ourselves. I have heard people put down Watrous and Fontana because they did not play loudly or aggressively. I have heard people put down J.J. because he used a great number of formulaic licks. I have heard people put down players like say Vic Dickenson because their playing was "sloppy." I have heard people put down great orchestral players because they are not good improvisors. I have heard people put down Urbie Green because he didn't play more "modern," or Tommy Dorsey because he didn't play "hot." But they all...and every other successful working trombonist...had good enough articulation (no matter how you define the term) to produce something that was recognizably "musical" enough for a sufficient number people to pay them to do it so that they could make a living at it.

Just like some truly fine players simply cannot master the altissimo or bass ranges no matter how hard they try...their physicality is simply wrong for those ranges...some people's tongues simply cannot be taught to single tongue past a certain speed. Others seem not to be able to doodle tongue at any speed. Some people are not gifted with great speed in general. Or great endurance or great flexibility. Look at athletes. Same same. LeBron James is the exception that proves the rule. They deal with what they have. They deal with themselves.

Us too.

Now that we have maybe thought a little more about articulation...on with the show.

S.

Just read this. It is a GREAT post.
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« Reply #52 on: Dec 04, 2017, 12:38PM »

Nobody mentioned Wycliffe...!
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« Reply #53 on: Dec 05, 2017, 06:08AM »

Nobody mentioned Wycliffe...!

You just did! :shuffle:
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« Reply #54 on: Dec 22, 2017, 06:47PM »

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. 

You and me both!
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« Reply #55 on: Dec 22, 2017, 07:51PM »

Brian Hecht...sheesh.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vAzFVMhIjo
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« Reply #56 on: Dec 23, 2017, 02:49AM »


And a great sound, is that a brass bell?
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« Reply #57 on: Dec 23, 2017, 01:03PM »

And a great sound, is that a brass bell?

Yup, yellow.
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« Reply #58 on: Dec 23, 2017, 01:38PM »

I do prefer the sound of a brass bell, there's something of the "GR" in his tone.
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