Trumpet Section Protocol

Discussion in 'Jazz / Commercial' started by psalt, Jan 23, 2004.

  1. psalt

    psalt New Friend

    Jan 15, 2004
    When 3 or 4 trumpets are booked for a casual gig, how do you determine who plays what part if there is no direction from the bandleader? In my experience, there is usually but not always an unspoken acknowledgement of the trumpet hierachy. The two chairs usually fought over are the 1st and lowest.
    Any great stories on this awkward topic?
    Peter Salt
  2. kdawg

    kdawg New Friend

    Nov 19, 2003
    no great stories... but our director just gives us the parts and expects us to fight over them. but it always usually ends up w/ me on lead, so it's not on huge mess or anything
  3. trumpet

    trumpet New Friend

    Dec 30, 2003

    As much as I love lead and the solo part, sometimes I enjoy being a 3rd or 4th trumpet because playing the harmony can be a challenge.
  4. Larry Gianni

    Larry Gianni Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Hi Peter,

    Johny Audino made it a habit of arriving early for a session ( any other job than the tonight show ) and take the 4th chair. Usually he would change seats unless be asked by the leader or forced by the other players to sit lead , but until then, he didn't presume, he was hired to play lead trumpet and sat 4th, out of respect for the other players on the session.

    I have a VHS tape of a Ray Anthony Show, circa 1960 ish with a Section of Jack Laughback , Conrad Gozzo , Ray Trisari and Johny Audino on the 4th book.

    John also played 4th on the original Hollywood Palace Variety Show with Don Smith ,Ray Trisari Mannie Klein and John Audino in the trumpet section. Don Smith was Les Brown's lead trumpet at the time ( and for all those Bob Hope shows and USO tours ) so that chair went to Don and Johnny stayed in the 4th chair for the duration of the show. What I'm told, Johhny got to the first rehearsal before Mannie Klein, who also like to sit as low in the section as possible, until asked to move up.

  5. TangneyK

    TangneyK Pianissimo User

    Nov 10, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ
    Greg Hopkins (professor at Berklee, jazz trumpet player, writer/arranger extraordinaire) was out in Phoenix a year ago to play with some of the guys out there. On one of the gigs, they were setting up the trumpet section, and he was the last one to get there. He was older than most of the cats, and so out of reverence, the left the lead book open for him. He thanked them, but half-way through the job Fred Forney (jazz trumpet player, writer/arranger extraordinaire)--who was sitting on the solo book--saw that Greg was having trouble playing lead with his big equipment (1C mouthpiece!!!) and offered to take the lead book.


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