Trumpeters in 2005 - Higher, Faster, better tone, better in

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by bandman, Jan 27, 2005.

  1. bandman

    bandman Forte User

    Oct 16, 2004
    Lafayette, LA, USA
    I'm working on a project here at my home putting all of my old trumpet recordings (hundreds of records) onto CD's. It is a time consuming project because unlike today when we can copy a disk, I have to do real time recording. I must say that I'm enjoying listening to records that have been put away for 10-15 years.

    I'll be the first to admit that the analog recordings were not the best quality compared to today's digital recordings, but I must say that it has become obvious that the majority of today's players are superior to those from the past. They play faster, higher, better in wine with better tone, and the accuracy of today's artists is amazing.

    I always was one of those guys who told young trumpet players "man you should have heard __________", but the truth is that the young people of today are listening to the best group of trumpet players to have ever lived. Sure there were the few freaks in the past, but take out those old records and give them a listen. You will be shocked at how much better the bands, and specifically the trumpet players are today.

    One last comment on this subject is about the bands that back up other players/artists. TOday I was listening to the Frank Sinatra's Duets CD that he recorded in 1993. I was amazed at the fantastic playing on that recording, and took a chance to look at the trumpet players in his band. Frank Szabo, Bob O'Donnell, Charlie Davis, Conte Candoli, Jack Nimitz, Ocsar Brashear, Rick Baptiste, Warren Luening, Jerry Hey, and Gary Grant. They are as good, and tight, as any band section that plays together all the time, and the recoded accuracy of those guys can't be hidden in a digital recording.

    I guess my point is that we are lucky to have the wonderful players we have today.
  2. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004
    USA lot's of vids/clips/etc of GREAT players both past and present.... Take the time to let the maker know you appreciate his site.
  3. bandman

    bandman Forte User

    Oct 16, 2004
    Lafayette, LA, USA
    I think you’re missing the point. I appreciate the great players of the past, and I’ll be the first to admit that they were wonderful, but I’m amazed at how the number of great players today is increasing. Even many of the players today that are considered average pros are fabulous! It's funny that you included Maynard in your list. It was actually some of his recordings that caused me to start noticing so many cracked notes and poor intonation. He had many wonderful recordings, and so many of his, and his band members, were wonderful on a majority of recordings, but many of them are also not up to today's standards.

    Go back and listen to his recordings of Got the Spirit, At the Sound of the Trumpet, and others in that time period and you will wonder why they included them on his records. On the same recordings are some other tunes that are an 11 ona scale of 1-10. Today those weak recordings would have never been released. So my question is why were they acceptable 30-40 years ago?
  4. old geezer

    old geezer Pianissimo User

    Dec 26, 2004
    I think one of the reasons we are seeing more young lions is that we have a lot more great teachers and places to learn and study the trumpet. I believe ( and I am probably wrong ) lot of the old guys were just loaded with natural talent and were hitting the road playing great as teens. Now they are studying and working into their 20's before hitting the paying jobs. Just some rambling from an old guy who is lucky to find his way home at night. old geezer Dave :cool:
    p.s. the older generation didn't have tv's to distract them so they spent more time practicing.
  5. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Also, let's not forget that with each new astouding recording and each up and coming new artist, the bar is continually being raised. Every new player striving to make it in the world of music, whether they like it or not, is going to be compared in some way to the recordings and players that came before them. Their only choice is to do it better, higher, faster. If they can't, they won't make it.

    The same thing goes for athletics. If you were to take the best NFL football team of the 60s or 70s and run them up against the tops teams of today, today's teams would mop of the floor with them. It would be a blowout of immense proportions.

    Players like Maynard, Doc, Gozzo, Candoli, etc, simply made the world aware of what a person was capable of with a horn - they set the standard. They gave the young whipper-snappers something to stive for. And strive for it they have. Some have even surpassed it when looking at it from a raw chops perspective.

    However, something intangible that cannot be measured is the artistry of some of these players. You cannot surpass the musical genius of soloists like Miles or Diz just because you want to. You can play high all you want, but nothing is going to give you Maynard's swaggering style combined with that HUGE sound. That has to come from within.

    But, with teaching being the way that it is, with the mechanics of the embouchure de-mysitified, there are a lot more players coming up these days that have the ability to play in the stratosphere. Maybe one day we'll see another "Maynard", but for some of those guys, Maynard, Doc, Diz, Miles, etc, they were one-of-a-kind and no one can truly "beat" them at their own game no matter when they were recorded.
  6. bigaggietrumpet

    bigaggietrumpet Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 23, 2004
    Nazareth, PA
    I agree with that. We do have some amazing up and coming musicians. Very talented. And I think that if they got into a duel of technical battles, Wynton probably could take Harry James or Rafael Mendez. But, the one thing that is just absolutely disappearing, is SOUL. You didn't just hear the old guys play, you felt it. There is NO ONE who can evoke the same feelings I get when I hear Harry James play. It was just there.

    I also think something could be said for the loss of quality due to the analog recordings. The quality just doesn't come close to what we have today. Which really just fries my mind when I think about how my "Jazz Session" album would sound if Harry had recorded it with today's equipment :stars:

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    I think it was telling that when they had the Ferguson reunion, that some of the great trumpet players of today had an awful time playing Maynard's charts.

    It was very telling. No, IMHO, there is style to consider, and better recording studios, and better mixing, and it is easier to do more takes than it used to be.

    I was really shocked at how some of the big names could not play Maynard's charts all that well, and certainly not with the flair and style -- and these guys played with Maynard -- it is not like they didn't know how the charts sounded.

  8. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I remember back in the late 80s, early 90s when Jon Faddis was coming out in a big way. He was all the rage when I was at the Armed Forces School of Music when I was there in 89 and 90. I even went out and picked up the cassette "Into the Faddisphere".

    I quickly tired of it and went back to listening to my recordings of Maynard, which I have yet to tire of.

    There is no doubt that John Faddis has incredible chops, but what he lacks, in my humble opinion, (keeping in mind that I wish I could play 1/10th as good as John Faddis) is style - a sound all his own.

    I don't mean to be dissin on Faddis, and I know that there are going to be some that vehemenently disagree with me, but has there been a trumpet player before or since Maynard's heyday that can really drill that sound right into your bones, AND do it with style like Maynard? Some might say Harry James, some might say Mendez. The only one that I can think of the even comes close was Bill Chase.
  9. hsa-arch

    hsa-arch New Friend

    Mar 30, 2004
    New England
    You guys are all right in part. Todays trumpet players are technical masters when compared to the guys that were playing 50-60 years ago, but wouldn't I love to hear Ellington, Basie, and even Miller during thier hayday play a four hour gig and blow the roof off the place. I'm not sure we're comparing apples to apples here. I wonder if todays recording technologies take some of the excitement out of the music and add a level of techincal prowess that really isn't there, sometimes it's almost too perfect..... When I hear guys like Wayne play live I wonder if he's human but that's another topic..

    I think all the greats mentioned earlier should be forever thanked for raising the bar and giving us a huge gift.

    Conrad Gazzo, Pete/Conti Candoli, Ernie Royal, Miles Davis, Snookie Young, Clifford Brown, Rafael Mendez, Maynard Ferguson, Maurice Andre, Bud Herseth, Vincent Chicowitz, Bud Brisbois, Semour Rosenfeld, Bernie Adelstein, Nat Adderley, Frank Kaderabek, Louis Armstrong, Bill Chase, Chet Baker, Woody Shaw, Lee Morgan, Harry James, Ziggy Elman, Mel Broils,Will Scarlet, William Vacchiano etc, etc, etc.
  10. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    Dizzy Gillespie.

    No one has come close to Diz. No one.
    I have one Maynard record. I don't play it much.
    Young Diz.......Young contest.


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