Eddie Henderson, Bob Summers, Wayne Bergeron...

Discussion in 'Jazz / Commercial' started by NickD, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. NickD

    NickD Forte User

    These are just a few random ideas that popped up into my head, and they are OPINIONS only!

    First, I have never listened to Eddie Henderson until last week, but after the purchase of the Time and Spaces album, I have become obsessed with the musicality and beauty of this mans work. I can't stop listening to this CD. It's playing as background music in my physics lab right now! There is something transcendant about it.

    Next, I had some strange gigs last week, and I worked in the afternoon on both Saturday and Sunday, so I was able to hear the evening concerts of the New Trier HIgh School jazz festival. The guests of honor was the Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band.

    These guys played with astonishing precision and energy - just amazing. However, I couldn't help compare them to the Mintzer band from last year. Man is the difference between an East Coast band and a West Coast band striking! Chicago musicians tend to NYC way of thinking, fwiiw, but none of this is meant as a judgement in any way (Herb Alpert once told me to never judge art, and I take him at his word here). My TASTE, personally, favors the Mintzer thing, fwiiw.

    Now Wayne Bergeron was amazing, as expected. He deserves all of the accolades and success he is enjoying.

    However, I was there to hear on of my favorite and most unique trumpeters from the MFO alumini - BOB SUMMERS!

    Much to my disappointment, he hardly did more than just play second and third trumpet parts. Solos were reserved largely for saxes and a couple of trombones and rhythm. Of course Bergeron played a big feature - lots of high notes and some absolutely stellar playing. But Summers was asked to just sit there and play quiety, which he did with an effortlessnes that stood out to anyone who was alert.

    Then came the very last tune of the evening - a chart based on the changes from Sweet Georgia Brown. It was obvioulsy the "clean up chart" to bring out neglected soloists. Well, Summers came out and just blew the doors off the place! He still sounds, to me, like a cross between Clifford Brown, Clark Terry and Chet Baker and he plays as effortlessly as a Ron Romm! The guy is brilliant.

    Well, this AM I talked to some of my students who are in the bands. Guess who is the ONLY guy they talked about! Take a minute.....

    Did you say Wayne Bergeron? Yup! In fact, NONE of them even recognized the NAME Bob Summers!

    Now W. B. DESEVRVES the adulation. However, IMHO (o = opinion), so does Summers! He didn't play above a high C, but the music he made in those two choruses was wonderful. My brother and I used to go to MF concerts when we were in college to hear Summers, because he'd just play so much music, and he'd just stand there and play - almost no body movement, music just POURING out of him. He did that last weekend, and it was terrific.

    I think Goodwin has an obligation to HIGH SCHOOL students at festivals like this to feature guys like Summers more. Last year Mintzer had the East Coast conterpart, Marvin Stamm, and he head the presence of mind to have him featured rather prominently, and it was worth it. Stamm, a master musical craftsman built some sheer beauty that only true seasoning can build. Summers did so as well, but it was treated by Mr. Goodwin as an afterthought, and that's a big shame.

    It is to Goodwin's credit that he at least had him blow at all. I'm glad he did. I am most certainly not angry or upset with Goodwin. On the contray, my son, at 14, plays tenor, flute and piano and is a piano player in the NTHS freshman jazz band and tenor in MYA jazz band, so Goodwin was a role model and inspriation for him. I was thrilled with his presence this weekend. I was just disappointed in his treatment of one of the seasoned masters in his band.

    This may be odd coming from me, but my mind set has been going through a metamorpphsis for the last couple of years. But, high notes are only a very tiny part of playing. Even Bergeron recognizes this, but the kids were really only focused on the high stuff.

    They need to be exposed to Miles, Clifford, Chet, Lee Morgan, Bobby Hacket, et al.

    They needed to be exposed to Summers!

    The concert was terrific. It was an inspiration to the kids - to MY kid. I just hope that kids see the big picture. You see, I used to play more high notes in my solos, but after years of witnessing people putting thier fingers in their ears as I was playing brought home an important fact to me: most of the people who CONSUME music as listeners are NOT trumpet players! High notes are like sugar - some is good but too much is flat out bad! I'm trying to mitigate this tendency in my playing - only using them as spice (my success or failure at this is for folks like Dr. Stewart, who stands next to me when I'm soloing in a big band, or Mike Finnerty, with whom I jam regularly in night clubs). Bergeron clearly undertands this, but the KIDS don't get it right away.

    Ok, I'll shut the heck up, and grab my flame retardant suit.

    OK, Im now switching CD's in my lab from Eddie Henderson to Lee Morgan. There's another guy! Wow!

    Peace all!

    Nick Drozdoff
  2. jazz_trpt

    jazz_trpt New Friend

    Jan 28, 2004
    Champaign, Illinois, USA
  3. NickD

    NickD Forte User

    Bob Summers!

    I tired to look at that file during a break. It wouldn't come up. I'll have to try at home.

  4. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004
    As I once heard... 90% of all music is below high c, but 100% would be boring without the 10%. HAHA. I also heard, Lead players are a dime a dozen. Anyways, in my younger students, I try to stress that if you get good fundamentals and learn the horn, your high notes will come. There is sooooooooooooo.....sooooooooo....sooooooooo much more to playing trumpet and being a good musciian then jut high notes. And that's saying a lot since I'm a lead player and it's mainly what I do. lol.

    I would rather hear a tight balanced section ripping through some complex lines than a loose band with a screaming lead... IMHO. Of course, a tight band with the screamin' lead... well, that's why they get paid the big bucks.

    I do agree that a lot of folxs don't get teh recognition they deserve. Too bad, hopefully we can change that.
  5. bigaggietrumpet

    bigaggietrumpet Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 23, 2004
    Nazareth, PA
    I think we'd all agree that's one of the main reasons that Bill Chase's group was as awesome sounding as they were.
  6. NickD

    NickD Forte User

    The Phat Band was as tight as tight could be...

    Great responses!

    As a sidebar, the GG Phat band was in EVERY way as tight as tight could be - precise, flawless and near machine-like. I'm NOT exaggerating. It was downright spooky. There was only ONE clam all night, but it was an effort on the part of someone doing something rather extreme, so most turned a blind eye. It was incredibly tight, though.

    Even the solos seemed that way. That kinda bugged me, just a little. However, the SEASONED players showed a lot of heart and soul in their solos - they didn't sound like they were being careful.

    Summers, showed that in brilliant fashion - seasoned artistry.

    FWIIW coming from me.

  7. jazz_trpt

    jazz_trpt New Friend

    Jan 28, 2004
    Champaign, Illinois, USA
    Re: Bob Summers!

    There were some bad links on that page that have now been fixed -- sorry for the confusion. Should work now.


Share This Page