Leon Merian

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by linktrek, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. linktrek

    linktrek New Friend

    46
    4
    May 14, 2013
    Palm Bay,FL
    I was wondering if anyone ever heard of him. He was my trumpet teacher and mentor when I was in highschool back in 1974. He was like my trumpet hero. I'm curious what you guys think of his playing abilities.

    This is a recording of him playing with a local high school concert. It's funny.. The band was made up of all high school kids but he made the whole band sound good!

    BHS Jazz Band: Satin Doll (with Leon Merian) (1980) - YouTube
     
  2. linktrek

    linktrek New Friend

    46
    4
    May 14, 2013
    Palm Bay,FL
    I suppose Leon is just a memory now. The best part is at the end. This is sad.
     
  3. jmberinger

    jmberinger Pianissimo User

    97
    23
    Jun 5, 2007
    Long Beach, California
    While Leon was ill, before he dies, there were many comments on TPIN regarding his ability as a trumpet instructor and player, as well as a person. However, that is the first time that I actually got to listen to one of his performances. Not only an excellent performance, but one with personality, warmth and inventiveness. Such a sense of humor in the solo section.
     
  4. linktrek

    linktrek New Friend

    46
    4
    May 14, 2013
    Palm Bay,FL
    Leon was as very loving person and a very sharing individual. He did more than play the trumpet for you. He used to share his abilities and with his friend. He made you believe that you were the one playing the trumpet and playing like you could almost dream to play like him. When he played in front of you it was like being infront of a living stereo only it was a real trumpet in front of you and a real person. It was an incredible experience to be Leon's friend and to study under him. He always told me to forget about the high notes and practice your techniques. Of course as an 18 year old kid, I didn't listen to him. Now that I am 57 it is only now that I appreiciate his techniques. Almost anyone can play high notes now adays. Even I am starting to play them. But to play like Leon... I won't rule out anything because that is what Leon taught me. But I will say that it is highly unlikely that I will every play as well as Leon. His rich sound can not be touched by even the best! Dizzy Gillespie called his playing "a sweet sound"
     
  5. Jerry Freedman

    Jerry Freedman Piano User

    291
    41
    Mar 4, 2005
    Leon was legendary and not only for his trumpet playing. I was hearing tales of his exploits long before I met him. Older musicians from the Boston area can entertain themselves for hours sharing tales of Leon. He was not only a great trumpet player ( with an ego we can only dream about ) but probably the smartest guy I have ever met. He was president of the national federation of language teachers( might have the name of this group but you get the idea). He had two books out. The first is a chop strengthening book "Trumpet Isometrics". The second is a autobiographical collection of anecdotes by and about him. Its a fun read, especially if you knew him. Its called "The Man Behind the Horn". Don't have any idea where to get either book but they are out there somewhere
     
  6. Dupac

    Dupac Fortissimo User

    2,759
    1,589
    Aug 19, 2008
    Bordeaux, France.
  7. rockwell

    rockwell Pianissimo User

    246
    46
    Dec 6, 2011
    I have two models of Leon Merian Jet Tone mouthpieces an LM X and an LM EX. They are similar in shape and mass to the Megatones by Bach. The LMEX, slightly shallower, is my regular mp. Very centered timbre (to my ear).
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  8. linktrek

    linktrek New Friend

    46
    4
    May 14, 2013
    Palm Bay,FL
    I don't know which model Leon used. But he made me one of his mouthpieces for me. It was a very shallow mouthpiece. It would knock you out pretty fast unless you had a very good embrochure. I always had to use jewler's ruge to rub on the rims of the cup to keep from getting my top lip cut. His mouthpiece was not meant for me. But like any teacher, Leon believed that his equipment was good for anyone. The truth is that eveyone's anatomy is different. You have to see which mpc is meant for you. I believe the same with the horn. You have to test out a bunch of trumpets to see which one plays with you and not against you. That's why this $99 Chinese trumpet is playing so well for me. It has the right bore and stuff for my anatomy.
    And I do stand corrected in my opinions.
     
  9. Jerry Freedman

    Jerry Freedman Piano User

    291
    41
    Mar 4, 2005
    I had few that Leon modified for me right in the studio. I gave them to Jeanne Pocius who took them to Haiti. Funny but some people wouldn't even try to play em. I was at a parade a few years ago and one of the trumpet players couldn't find her piece. I offered her a jet tone and she quickly refused.
     
  10. Pete

    Pete Piano User

    358
    52
    Nov 17, 2007
    Massachusetts
    Leon was a legend in Massachusetts. I actually met Mr. Merian at Tottle's in Boston while buying some mouthpieces back in the early 70s. He was a fine player.

    Pete
     

Share This Page