[Trombone-l] your choice

Chris Tune crtune at adelphia.net
Wed Nov 16 15:12:19 CST 2005

Exactly right and here's a very good way of expressing it to students 
(courtesy of Harold Diner, my teacher, also taught Ira Nepus and Steve 


"You have to get to a certain level of mastery. . .master all the techniques 
so you can play anything. . .but then you will eventually DEVELOP YOU OWN 

Hal conceived that much of our duty as a musician is to gain technical 
mastery of our instrument (he was already working with such persons as Bill 
Bell and Harry Glantz by the time he was sixteen. . .so we're talking 
teenage prodigy).  We need to be able to read our butts' off. . .play with 
fabulous tone quality, be totally attentive to styles of music and the 
"musicology" of what we're playing.  We need to have practiced our scales 
and arpeggios. . .loud and soft and in-between. . .crystal clear attacks. . 
.liquid smooth legato. . .excellence in high range. . .low range. . .mid 
range. . .flexibility. . ability to play fast and very slow, these are the 
components of excellent basic techniques.

I would add to that certain additonal advanced techniques such as 
"buzz-slur". . .circular breathing. . .multi-phonics, across-the-grain 
technique, jazz grupetto style playing. . doodle-tonguing technique. .

Hal went on to say that when you attain it, "your style" is uniquely yours. 
. .it is an expression of yourself. . .almost (this is me, paraphasing) as 
though you cannot help but have your own voice, which simply arises from the 
fact that no-one is able to completely imitate or mock some other person.

It certainly is educational to encompass the licks that you hear from 
others.  Transcription is a good way to get these things are incorporated.

Chris Tune

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <dslide13 at aol.com>
To: <georgecarr at gmail.com>
Cc: <Trombone-l at server5.samford.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2005 1:23 PM
Subject: Re: [Trombone-l] your choice

> exactly.
> David Gibson
> trombonist/educator
> www.jazzbone.org
> -----Original Message-----
> From: George Carr <georgecarr at gmail.com>
> To: dslide13 at aol.com <dslide13 at aol.com>
> Cc: Trombone-l at server5.samford.edu
> Sent: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 15:49:37 -0500
> Subject: Re: [Trombone-l] your choice
>  I agree with everything you're saying here.  Part of learning the
> instrument is learning the "state of the art" - what the commonly used
> basic techniques are, and being able to sound like you know what
> you're doing.  That standard keeps rising: for instance, in jazz, more
> and more "standard" tunes must be memorized, and in orchestral
> playing, more and more excerpts must be mastered.  Players who can't
> play up to the "state of the art" find their employment opportunities
> (and probably their satisfaction behind the horn) limited by it.
> But past that basic threshold, there's a whole universe of
> individuality and innovation going on: Joe Alessi doesn't sound
> anything like Ron Barron, who doesn't sound anything like John
> Marcellus, and Slide Hampton doesn't sound anything like Conrad
> Herwig, who doesn't sound anything like Wycliffe Gordon.  The types of
> innovation are different (e.g. sound, projection, breathing,
> articulation, and for improvisors, harmony, thematic development,
> etc.), but the principle is the same: beyond just "making the gig,"
> players should inject their own ideas/feelings/nuances into the music.
> That's when a listener can identify them ("wow, what a huge sound on
> the Mahler 3 solo - that must be Joe Alessi's seminal 1989 recording
> under Bernstein" or "wow, I'd recognize Rosolino's soloing anywhere"),
> and that's when the craftsmanship turns into artistry.
> George
> On 11/15/05, dslide13 at aol.com <dslide13 at aol.com> wrote:
>> I think that my initial point was to illuminate the difference between
>> being a "craftsman" and being an "innovator". One is not necessarily
>> better than the other, but there could certainly be a difference in
>> profitability. I used JJ, Curtis, Slide and Frank as my
> templates...but
>> I have gotten to a point in my life where I want to be me.
>>   One evening at the NYC Blue Note, Slide and I were warming up
>> together. We started playing some standards as a trombone duet. When
> we
>> finished Slide says to me, "David, you have your own language!" I was
>> shocked. I thought about it during the next set and approached him
>> after the gig. I said, "Slide, I don't understand how you can say
> that,
>> since my whole approach is based on one solo you played in 1969." But
>> now, I realize that I can never really sound just like Slide. I
> embrace
>> the fact that even while I was using concepts and ideas that were
>> introduced to me through his playing, I can only tell my story. Around
>> that time, I was approached by a long time associate of Slide's who
>> asked me if I studied with Slide since I sounded "just like him". Soon
>> after, I began to embrace the idea of being "me". Now when people in
>> the know, like Scott Yanow, talk about my playing, they refer to me as
>> "a slightly more modern Curtis Fuller." Is that progress??? :-\
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