Bill Ortiz, what's he playing ?

Discussion in 'Horns' started by Veldkamp, Jul 11, 2004.

  1. Veldkamp

    Veldkamp Piano User

    Mar 29, 2004
    the Netherlands
    Hi Larry, do you now what horn Bill Ortiz is playing ?

    I just saw him with Santana on the Northsea Jazz Festival in Holland and his horn had a huge bell. I think it was a 6" bell.
  2. Larry Gianni

    Larry Gianni Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Hi Eric,

    Sorry for the delay in answering , but I wanted to get ahold of Bill to confirm the answer. Last time I saw him, he was playing a pre-war Martin large bore with a Holton custom made 6" bell which he still plays.

    The bell is installed by Dick Akright at Union Music in Oakland...he's also the maker of the Bel Canto line... and he was the one who first introduced the "6 bell for Mic Gillette and Bill Lamb of Tower of Power fame, back in the 70's.

    He choose the Holton bell because of Holton making the Martin line and he could get a LB Holton/Martin bell flair. It's fairly easy to make a larger flaired bell if the bell mandrel is at least 6 1/2 or 7" round at the large end which leaves roughly 3/8" of an inch to fold over the bell bead: the bell is cut to the end of the mandrel edge instead of the usual point and a large bell flair ( choke ) make a 6" bell play and sound better... a better extension of the flair. I asked Zig Kanstul if he could make a 6" bell and he said he could with both the Wild Thing and WB1600 bell mandrel and of course Calicchio can also make 6" bells... I would suggest the #3 bell if you want one because of the natural extension of the flair.

    Back to the Pre-War Martin #3...

    The pre-war Martin #3 is similar to the post-war but for a few details. The pre-war does not have a poly bore design with a reversed leadpipe, the water keys are mounted in-line with the crooks instead of on the side, and the third finger ring is mounted on the top of the slide instead of on the side, but the large bell flair is evident on both models. The tuning slide has no brace between the upper and lower slide.

    Chris Botti also uses a pre-war Martin #3 LB. In fact , I had Zig restore slightly and then gold-plate my pre-war Martin #3 and Chris happened to be in town to do a video for Sting and went down to the Kanstul plant. He happen to see the finished product , played it and called to see if I wanted to sell it . Chris also mentioned he wanted to use it for the video shoot because gold plate job.

    I told him I didn't want to sell, but he could use if for the video if he wanted, which he took me up on. ( no mutes, please )

    So I figure if I won't be famous at least one of trumpets can.

    Take care Eric and I really like you website... all of you out there should visit this site and enjoy Eric's playing skills.


    PS - Bill told me he also played on Beyonce's last released album... nice to see trumpets being used on " pop " recordings again.
  3. Veldkamp

    Veldkamp Piano User

    Mar 29, 2004
    the Netherlands
    Thanks Larry for your extensive reply.

    I've never seen such a large bell so I was wondering what the heck he was playing. He sounded really good on it. The sektion sounded fat with just 1 trumpet and 1 trombone !

    I had a Monette B993 for a while, that had a 5" bell. I thought that was a large bell until I saw Bill Ortiz with that 6" bell !

    I'm testing some new horns (Hub van Laar) on wensday. I'm in the very nice situation to help him out finding a good setup for a new line of leadhorns. The first prototype was really good so he made some variations on it that I'm going to try out next week.

    Maybe I can convince him to make a extra large bell for me...

    Take care,

  4. CJDJazzTpt

    CJDJazzTpt Pianissimo User

    May 31, 2004
    New Orleans, LA

    The Monette 993 and 997 both have 5 5/8" bells. Thats 'close' to 6".

    I definitely think that the heavier trumpets (Monette, Taylor, etc,) need the larger flaired bells. But when a 6" bell is put on say a Calicchio or a Martin then the sound is very beautiful as well and works very well if that is the desired sound that you want.
    It does tend to freak people out that aren't used to seeing that.

  5. Veldkamp

    Veldkamp Piano User

    Mar 29, 2004
    the Netherlands
    The difference is that a 6" bell on a Calicchio or Martin looks twice as big compared to a Monette. I first thought he was playing with a trombone bell ! :lol:

    It first looked like a mellophone to me but later I saw that it was a trumpet with a 6" bell. It's always hard to see what the brass is playing because they are not in the front. You always see a few shots of them on tv.

    Another question is what Greg Gisbert is playing. I saw him also on the Northsea Jazz Festival with the Jaco Pastorius Band and he sounded pretty awesome to ! It looked like a Calicchio but I'm not sure.

    P.S. Richard Bona was playing bass, ouch....
  6. Bay Area Brass

    Bay Area Brass Piano User

    Mar 2, 2007
    San Francisco
    Hey guys-that horn I was playing at the time was a Martin but it was made for Mic Gillette, which he owned before me. It had a 6" bell and was designed by the great Dick Akright, but it was a Martin of early '70's design. I used to have 2-the one I used at the north sea was .468 bore. The horn I had before that was identical except that it was .484 bore. I played that horn for 15 years before switching to the .468 horn in 2000. About a year and a half ago I made the switch to a '51 martin committee deluxe #3 (.468). I love this horn and wish I switched years ago-warmer core, better intonation and easier in the upper reg. and easier to play soft. It played better too when i had it gold plated. I also recently started playing a vintage martin flugel as well-still play the cuesnon flugel though-they are totally different horns. What are you folks playing on these days? best of luck all!

    Bill Ortiz
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2007

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