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

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

Jimmy Cleveland!
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baileyman
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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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Bob Riddle

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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....
All My Best, Just the same.

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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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vegasbound
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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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Bob Riddle

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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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sabutin

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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.
« Last Edit: Jun 29, 2016, 08:37AM by sabutin » Logged

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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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BGuttman
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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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Screamin Trombone Playa

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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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