[Trombone-l] your choice (Slide H.)

David Oliver dcoliver at msn.com
Thu Nov 17 00:45:41 CST 2005

I saw Slide Hampton perform tonight with the Colorado University Jazz 
Ensemble I at Macky Auditorium in Boulder, Colorado. It was a free admission 
concert. The turnout was good.

According the bio, he's 73 years old now, but still going strong. He plays 
what looks to be a bass trombone bore straight horn with a big bass trombone 
bell. The sound is very dark, as in addition to the big horn he also plays 
with the mike way in the bell. He can still range way up there.
I'd never seem him perform before, but have long read his name on the 
t-list. I was glad I was able to finally see and hear him.

I know we've covered the "mike or not mike" thing before, but as I type my 
ears are still ringing (a lot) from the loud amplification in Macky. I was 
kicking myself for not bringing my fancy custom ear plugs. It was very 
different from when I saw the the Summit Brass play there the summers of 
2003 and 2004. I only remember the recording microphones.
Everyone (including the trumpets) had microphones. The trombones were really 
hard to hear when one of them wasn't playing a solo, even though they 
apparently had microphones as well.

Macky has such great sound already (the Summit Brass made a wonderful 
recording there), and just the leaving out the loudness factor, the 
*quality* of the sound seemed to suffer with the microphones. A faculty 
guest artist (Brad Goode, trumpet) performed as well and his sound improved 
to me when he stepped back from the microphone to let it rip.

If you amplify them at all, do it more tastefully and don't mike the 
trumpets at all - darn it. I was yearning to hear just one arrangement with 
a "power outage" - except maybe still have a microphone for Slide.
The next time I go there for Jazz Ensemble concert I'll be prepared...

David Oliver
Broomfield, Colorado  USA

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <dslide13 at aol.com>
To: <georgecarr at gmail.com>
Cc: <Trombone-l at server5.samford.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2005 12:41 PM
Subject: Re: [Trombone-l] your choice

> 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??? :-\
>  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 11:41:50 -0500
>  Subject: Re: [Trombone-l] your choice
>  > All of the people
>  > you mentioned have influenced me directly, or through
>  > recordings,etc...but I respectfully choose to be me and find what I
>  > have that makes me unique.
>  Two things on this point:
>  1 - lots of famous guys have made their mark by trying to copy other
>  guys. E.g. Shorty Rogers repeatedly insisted in interviews that when
>  he put together the Giants, he was just trying to copy Buck Clayton,
>  and that he still believed he'd be a better player if he sounded more
>  like Buck. E.g. Thelonious Monk insisted (during one of his lucid
>  moments) that he created his style by trying to play James P. Johnson
>  'stride' and screwing it up. So, even though we can all aspire to
>  copy super players' attributes (e.g. Dick Nash's breath control,
>  Frank's flexibility, JJ's and Conrad's harmonic ideas, etc.) we'll
>  never really succeed: only Dick Nash sounds just like Dick Nash. So
>  there's no harm in trying to copy great players, but no real end point
>  to it, either.
>  2 - an exception that proves the rule: a friend of mine got tired of
>  playing bass in a Jaco Pastorius tribute band and started a solo
>  project "to express his real inner voice." I cought up with him after
>  a gig with that band, and his big complaint was: "I keep trying to
>  search for my own voice, but when I search, all I find is Jaco." He
>  folded the band shortly thereafter.
>  George
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