More on the AL HIRT Trumpet mystique

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by gatorman, Jul 28, 2015.

  1. gatorman

    gatorman Pianissimo User

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    Being an eternal Al Hirt admirer I wanted to add more info on his LeBlanc-Courtois models----Another trumpet player sent me a LeBlanc brochure/ leaflet from years ago denoting the models they built for sale.The "707A" was definitely the model assigned to Al Hirt's autograph model.Part of the riddle of this anomaly revolves around Al Hirts ending association with LeBlanc when they acquired Holton.I still do not know what actual date Jumbo ended his sponsorship from LeBlanc.The 707A did have a .468 bore-I have 5 of those horns and all match up as I measured them- after initially having a different number on the caliper.LeBlanc(Courtois) had made an identical horn called the X707 which was the "non Al Hirt" large bore model in their line up- I have 2 of those.Elaborate engraving up the bell and bell tube.There was probably a "707"or 708 in med large or med bore produced also to add to the confusion.The real confusion for me begins as to what/ when- horn Jumbo played after the disassociation from LeBlanc.LeBlanc became the importer for COURTOIS who built most(possibly Selmer was in there building some 727Herriot models) the LeBlanc brass up until they bought Holton.Then a lesser quality Holton Al Hirt Special horn came out several years after the acquisition, BUT Jumbo still had a model MADE by COURTOIS the "217" which had an Antoine Courtois bell and an Al Hirt on the receiver but a LEBLANC medallion on the tuning slide brace(I have one)!!!.Why this occurred I dont know!!Residual contract? Unused surplus brass -medallions-horns in Courtois factory in Paris?,New contract with Al and Courtois and LeBlanc so as to keep Jumbo in the loop?Man I wish someone would give it up before old age takes the answer from us.Al never played the Holton version of that horn.I 've seen other TM members write that Jumbo played a "708"--but thats a Leblanc model number.Courtois still made horns for Big Al and shipped him quite a few and he was notorious for giving horns to people he liked.I know he liked Courtois built horns!!I do have a horn that was considered-experimental- prototype that was acquired from the LeBlanc -museum back in the early 2000's when they made them available for sale- no marking on the horn or medallion -receiver- bell other than LeBlanc-its .468 bore & gold plated and visually the same as a X707..It has provenace also.That horn was probably produced in the mid seventies(date uncertain) because apparently LeBlanc still had Courtois building 707A -Hirt models thru that time period-but I just dont know WHEN they stopped their production contract with Courtois-certainly it was WAY AFTER they bought Holton in 1964.I have a picture of Jumbo holding an elaborately engraved trumpet on the LP cover" Al Hirt- Trumpet and Strings"-1963- that was not a Leblanc ( Martin Committee perhaps),but in 1964-65 he is shown with the LeBlanc-Courtois on another cover "AL Hirt Live at Carnegie Hall" with the LeBlanc in his hand.So 1964 he was signed on with LeBlanc but LeBlanc bought Holton that year!!!.From then on thru at least 1968 and probably into the seventies the Al Hirt Model horn was produced by Courtois for LeBlanc and even possibly co produced by Holton as a Special--very strange...Its obviously not a huge mystery but I'd like to get the time period straight as to when Jumbo ended his LeBlanc business association!!!-and how long Courtois built the 217 afterwards with Jumbo's LeBlanc medallion on it?????Jumbo died in 1999 and some of those answers might have also.I would like to think he was still playing those marvelous French built trumpets until that time
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2015
  2. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

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    Cool stuff! I don't know how accurate trying to date album cover pictures might be, though. The year the pic was taken won't necessarily correspond with the date the album was recorded or released.
     
    edfitzvb likes this.
  3. gatorman

    gatorman Pianissimo User

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    True - not an exact date but the LP producers didnt hold out too long after the event/ recording--time is money and contracts are contracts--dont know what other reliable source there is unless someone was there!!! Thanks
     
  4. Bill Dishman

    Bill Dishman Piano User

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    Not really about his trumpet but....

    Am finishing up a wonderful book on Frank Simon (Willow Echoes composer/performer) and there is a section about how he helped Al Hirt get some early instruction and how great a student he was during his teen-age years.

    Bill Dishman
    Gainesville, Florida
     
  5. gatorman

    gatorman Pianissimo User

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    Fascinating--- I'll bet not much is known about Alois in his teen years and his ensuing acceptance to the Cincinatti Conservatory-then on into WWII.I have to admit Al influenced me greatly during the sixties -- what other trumpet player in music history had his own TV show??His technique ,power, high low high slurs, clarity and phrasing were like no other.Just watching his cheek muscles when he played was powerfully instructional. Thank God I got to meet him once as a 18year old backstage.!!!Go Gators!! and thanks (I am one) shb
     
  6. J. Jericho

    J. Jericho Fortissimo User

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    gatorman, I really like your incorporation of Marty Feldman, self-proclaimed as "the world's worst trumpet player" in your signature.
     
  7. gatorman

    gatorman Pianissimo User

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    THanks ... never knew that - I liked the "ABBIE NORMAL" routine in the scene -thats why I put it there...Truly a funny movie-so MANY great ONE LINERS!!!
     
  8. J. Jericho

    J. Jericho Fortissimo User

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    ...like "That's pronounced 'Frraahnkensteen'" :lol:
     
  9. Yamypappy

    Yamypappy New Friend

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    Thanks gatorman. Interestingly, I was listening to Al Hirt yesterday, between practice sessions. Great stuff, and yes tremendous technical facility. Truly a joy to watch.

    Wade
     
  10. BrotherBACH

    BrotherBACH Piano User

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    I am a huge Al Hirt fan. I was surprised to learn that in the early days he was second trumpet to George Rock prior to his Spike Jones days. When you list to George Rock, I believe that you can hear a bit of Al in there.

    BB

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w11O8XFvO0Y
     

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