So I mentioned to a friend the other day that I picked up the trumpet again after ... 20 years? 25 years? Anyway, his grandfather is a retired French horn player, played with an orchestra professionally his whole life, and when he heard me mention jazz as my motivation for picking up the trumpet, he made a comment that was kind of surprising. He said that jazz trumpeters played jazz because they couldn't play in orchestras. I (politely) inquired what he meant by that, and he said that jazz horn players had such horrible tone that no self-respecting orchestra would let them in. My respect for my elders thus tested, I changed the topic, but thinking about it later, I have to (maybe) admit that he might be right (just a little). Miles Davis seems to be the most egregious. He fluffs notes shamelessly. In fact, most trumpet players I think are great don't really seem to be trying to get that perfect "liquid-gold" kind of tone that, say, sax players seem to have (like Stan Getz). Trumpet playing seems a lot more rough and ragged than other instruments in jazz (starting right from Louis Armstrong). Why is that? I mean, I doubt it's a lack of ability on the part of the players. Miles went to Julliard, after all. Even Wynton Marsalis seems to be playing two different instruments when he plays jazz and classical - one rough, one a lot cleaner - so it must be even kind of intentional. I can't imagine Wynton delivering a blistering 32nd-note barrage with the same "and the heavens opened up" tone that he uses when he plays Haydn. What's going on here?