question about gillespie's style

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by frankmike, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. frankmike

    frankmike Piano User

    440
    16
    Dec 5, 2008
    why was Dizzy Gillespie blowing his cheeks so much? what is the use of it?

    also it seems Chet Baker never ever blow, he was so flat.

    can someone explain?

    thanks
     
  2. eisprl

    eisprl Mezzo Piano User

    Age:
    35
    602
    1
    Sep 26, 2004
    Halifax, NS CANADA
    I heard that his cheeks are a result of the lack of elasticity that keeps the skin secured to the muscle. (like someone who can stretch their neck flab over their face or pull their elbow skin to great lengths). Underneath all the muscles are there and working properly. When he exhaled the air would force the cheeks out.

    (Someone correct me if I'm wrong. I can't remember where I heard this).

    YouTube - Rubberskin :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
  3. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    939
    210
    Aug 14, 2005
    In his book 'To Be or Not To Bop' Diz says that the puffing of the cheeks happened naturally, over time. It wasn't something that he ever started doing on purpose. He also said that he noticed that there were some African tribes that played large horns, similar to Alpenhorn, who did the same thing.

    Just one more thing that points out the differences in peoples' physiologies. There are no absolute 'rules' when it comes to the trumpet....

    bigtiny
     
  4. Snorglorf

    Snorglorf Pianissimo User

    211
    0
    Nov 13, 2008
    Didn't they just stretch over time cause he puffed them at first?

    Don't puff your cheeks!
     
  5. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    939
    210
    Aug 14, 2005
    He didn't puff them out when he was younger.....it happened gradually.....

    BTW....if you haven't read the book....get it. It's excellent.

    bigtiny
     
  6. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    Age:
    69
    1,465
    127
    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    In the mid to late forties Dizzy had a very small air pocket. Over time it got worse partly because he cultivated it. If you listen to him in his later years, his playing was minimal to those "early" years. The streching became so extreme that his check muscles could no longer contract and there was actual damage to the check muscle. The doctors even gave it a medical term called "Gillespie's Pouches".
     
  7. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    939
    210
    Aug 14, 2005
    Where did you get this information? Unless I'm misremembering (and I guess I could be...it's been a few years since I read the book) Gillespie says that he didn't really intentionally develop this cheek expansion. What do you mean his playing was minimal to those early years? I've seen Diz play with the puffed cheeks many times and play his ass off. His playing was minimal when got older, but I don't think it's fair to make the leap that it's because he puffed his cheeks. I'd also like to know your reference for the fact that "his cheek muscles could no longer contract and there was damage..."? I've heard the of the term "Gillespie's Pouches", but I've never heard or read that the term implied any damage necessarily.

    bigtiny
     
  8. jason_boddie

    jason_boddie Piano User

    263
    1
    Dec 26, 2008
    Jacksonville, FL
    That dude actually has a Desease called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome> It is a collegen defect that prohibits the proper formation of connective tissue in the body (skin, tendons, ligaments, and cartalidge). It also produces excess skin wihich is why the dude in the video could stratch it out like that.

    I know all this because I have the desease, so I am obviously pretty familar with it.

    I play with it, and dont have puffy cheeks. If Dizzy had it, maybe playing long term effected him. I doubt it was though, I think it was just Dizzy.
     
  9. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    Age:
    69
    1,465
    127
    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    Yes, as I said when he was younger he played his ass off. when I played behind him in the mid 80s. he wasn't playing with the fire and endurance he had had. his ideas were still great, great lines, and he could still play briefly up to around high C but not like in the 40s and 50s when he stayed around high Fs. The info about his checks was in an article I read in the ITG Journal many years ago. I never said he did this on purpose.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2009
  10. YamaMan

    YamaMan Pianissimo User

    109
    1
    Nov 29, 2008
    I have to ask you to elaborate on your Chet Baker statement... I'm not sure I understand what you are asking.
     

Share This Page