Roy Eldridge Range

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by limepickle, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. limepickle

    limepickle Piano User

    Aug 30, 2013
    Dallas, TX
    One of my favorite players is Roy Eldridge, and I think that one of his greatest records is "Heckler's Hop."
    Here is a link of that song: Grooveshark - Free Music Streaming, Online Music

    One part of this record that really stands out to me is at about 1:33 when Eldridge hits what I think is a
    double A. However, this double A has a remarkable clarity of tone that I've never heard any trumpet player
    get in that range. Certainly, players since have gone higher and higher than that. But I've noticed that even the greatest
    professional players tend to have a change in timbre in that part of the upper register that comes off as a more pinched

    Do you guys think that even a lot of pros are copping out when it comes to playing the super high notes properly? If so,
    what is the reason for this? I've read that Eldridge had false teeth and consequently had to really limit mouthpiece
    pressure. Maybe players are using more pressure to supposedly seal the air than they really need to?
  2. ConnDirectorFan

    ConnDirectorFan Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2010
    United States
    How about [cliche warning] Bill Chase or Maynard Ferguson? They locked in on notes much higher...! [I think the note you refer to is High A, and the C above that, Double C, is where the Double notes start]

    But you make an interesting point - but I have heard many good trumpet players who don't seem to have issues with high register playing.
  3. limepickle

    limepickle Piano User

    Aug 30, 2013
    Dallas, TX
    The thing is that Bill Chase and Maynard can definitely play in the upper register well and with power, but in comparison to Eldridge, they still sound noticeably pinched to me.
    The power of the sound is still professional, but the quality of sound is very different. IMO, it's not ideal.

    For comparison's sake, I've tried to track down some high As:

    Maynard Ferguson at 1:20
    Doc Severinsen at :24
    Bill Chase at 3:20

    There's always the day to day factor :dontknow:

    It seems like a clear difference to me; I guess part of it is just from that 70s screamer style that still persists among the high note gurus of today.
  4. Ed Kennedy

    Ed Kennedy Forte User

    Nov 18, 2006
    Recording technology could be a factor in the difference.
  5. ConnDirectorFan

    ConnDirectorFan Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2010
    United States
    I can hear the difference, but I think Eldridge's sound is perhaps "fuller" due to recording distortion like Ed said...I can hear more low-frequencies in the recording of Eldridge playing the High A, but not much. It sounds more like a whistling effect since it's not locked-in-solid like Chase and Maynard. Perhaps that creates the idea that it's more "free", and perhaps "open".

    That's where perception [and preference?] come into play. I think Chase, Maynard, etc. have better upper register sound since there's no mistaking it.

    I think Eldridge's high register sounds more undeveloped because it isn't laser beam accurate - not to say that Eldridge was lacking in ability at all, but that note sounds like a 1920s B. A. Rolfe "whistling trumpet" solo recording because it isn't piercing, scintillating, and chilling to hear. Maybe this ties in to the old argument on "DHC on a 3C or 3E?" question, or "do I need a lead mouthpiece?" - the support and bright tone associated with Chase and Maynard isn't present with Eldridge, almost likening it to the sound difference in high notes played with one mouthpiece or another of a different type...

    Perhaps we expect performers to play high notes in a certain fashion...
  6. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Interesting observation. I don't think I have ever heard Maynard's high sound referred to as pinched. I've always had a problem describing his sound. To me he had an extremely wide or broad tone. Not at all compact or overly focused. Think that the recording mics didn't do justice to the spread of his sound.
  7. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
  8. limepickle

    limepickle Piano User

    Aug 30, 2013
    Dallas, TX
    Great record- I noticed that the quality of sound on the high notes on this one seems more like that of Maynard and Chase. So maybe it is
    just a recording difference as Ed and ConnDirector have suggested. Then again, Eldridge is almost 20 years older on this one, so who knows
  9. strad116055

    strad116055 Pianissimo User

    May 27, 2014
    i think i might be hard to compare roy eldridge to bill chase or maynard because you have to compare not only the trumpet player, but the band. roy is playing over an accoustic rhythm section. the drummer is playing with brushes. there's no brass section. his A is real, no doubt. but he's pretty much alone up there. its still great playing. but compare that to chase with woody. still an accoustic bass for much of the 60's, yes. the drummers have completely changed their approach. there are 8 brass to blow over, and those guys are blowing. bill chase definitely led that band, whether he was playing in the stratosphere or not. but his sound had to be much different than roy's in order to do that. from there he goes to his rock group. everything was amplified. that band was LOUD. if you listen to maynard with kenton, you have a huge band he was blowing over, even if the 50's. his english band, the largest one, was in some ways the most lyrical sounding. macarthur park is a lot more accoustic sounding than rocky. even though the bands got smaller, they got louder. the style of the music also changed. rhythm sections were no longer even remotely accoustic. all the horns were amplified to keep up. the sound of high note trumpet players went with the style of music they were playing. so i think you might be comparing completely different music, besides comparing different players. one is not necessarily better than the other, but they are certainly different.
  10. peanuts56

    peanuts56 Pianissimo User

    Jan 18, 2009
    I believe Roy also played a good portion of his career with false teeth. I'm not 100% sure on that though.

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