Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

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Everything that appears on this blog is the copyrighted property of somebody. Often, but not always, that somebody is me. For things that are not mine, I either have obtained permission, or claim fair use. Feel free to quote me, but attribute, please. My photos and poetry are dear to my heart, and may not be used without permission. Ditto, my other intellectual property, such as charts and graphs. I'm probably willing to share. Let's talk. Violators will be damned for all eternity to the circle of hell populated by Rosanne Barr, Mrs Miller [look her up], and trombonists who are unable play in tune. You cannot possibly imagine the agony. If you have a question, email me: jazzbumpa@gmail.com. I'll answer when I feel like it. Cheers!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Arsenal

These are the horns I play regularly.  On the left, a Reynolds Contempura dual-trigger bass.  In the middle, my beloved King.  To the right, a Holton TR-161 large bore tenor, with F-attachment - my symphony horn.

Here is a closer view of the bell sections.   Each of them is special, in its own way.   The bass bell is either pure copper, or a very copper-rich alloy.  It is extremely soft and easily wrinkled, as I once learned to my chagrin.  The king bell is sterling silver - heavy, man.  The Holton has a rose brass bell.  This is a higher copper alloy than yellow brass, and is supposed to deliver a dark, rich sound at lower dynamic levels. 



J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JadeLD said...

I'm so impressed by people who can play musical instruments. I used to play the clarinet in school but I never really felt like practicing. I wish I'd tried a bit harder though.

Jazzbumpa said...

J -

How can we argue if you keep deleting your posts? Anyway, it's not heresy - different strokes, y'know?

Jade -

I'm impressed by people who can sing. It's always somethin'. Oh - practice. Damn.


J said...

Es Tut Mir Leid. My post seemed a bit non-tangential, and you didn't respond for a few hours, so, like ah deleted it in the name of Anti-hegemonic unPropriety.

That said, I envy your 'bone playing--especially if you do bop or Mingus like stuff.

I've been working at Chopin etudes, Bach preludes, a bit of jazz ala Bill Evans for like about 20 years, but find it remarkably difficult to break into the expert-Bill Evans or Jarrett mode (then some of us have to work, and haven't the time --or wherewithal--for urban jazz scenes, or big bucks for lessons from Keith Jarrett or something). So, it's frustrating. I'm more involved in writing, computing, education now.

I'm also a fairly solid e-bass player, tho' sort of semi-retired from the Ellay/CA muzak scenes (and can walk jazz lines, rock, read bass clef, charts, etc.). A few years ago after landing a decent day job, I decided I had sort of had enough of loudness, drunkenness, stoned-ness, studio-BS, rock-ed ness--not to say the LAmusic biz being chock-ful of all sorts of amazing players, on bass, keys, guitars, etc. --and most of them not really making it.

I've been at jams in the Valley with like some Hendrix like players, or Corea-level dude on keys, Cobham-like drums, etc, and then you realize they're all working at bad jobs, or family men, and never really made any decent cash playing fusion/jazz/rock, etc. So, f**k it. Disco/hiphop/ranchero BS pretty much ended the LA band scene, except for a few ritzy clubs. That goes for even the top-notch jazzers (most of them live in New York anyway)

Maybe I'll put a link up to a CD-- the Best of J--in a while.

Jazzbumpa said...

Ach. I was deeply engaged in menial manual labor. Being retired does not get me off the hook for household tedium, alas.

Never be put odd by the lack of an immediate response.

Anyway, by way of full disclosure I'll say I'm a community band/community college kinda guy. No great shakes, really, but a solid enough section player, and I can do a little jazz sometimes, if the stars align properly.

And I play in an amateur symphony orchestra. It astounds me that such a thing even exists.

I spend my Monday evening with Basie, Ellington, Kenton, and Gordon Goodwin, speaking of L.A.

My Wednesdays are devoted to Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikowsky, Sebelius, etc.

But I do love me some Led Zeppelin.

Jzb the strictly amateur trombonist

BadTux said...

Musical instruments are never a waste of money, in my opinion.

I need to get all my musical instruments together in one place and take a photo of them. Let's see, that's three guitars, a keyboard, a selection of harmonicas, a selection of Irish whistles, and a recorder (the whistle, not the tape deck ;). Yes, I can play all of them, with the exception that I'm really rusty on the keyboard.

But two things I have *not* had any success playing are horns and flutes. Yes, I've tried them at a friend's house. I don't know why, but "just pucker your lips and blow" doesn't do anything for me. Story of my sex life too, alas ;). So my props to you for making the horns work for ya.

- Badtux the Musical Penguin

J said...

Led Zellington?

Some trad. jazz moves me: say, Cherokee done well--whoa. Or Victor Young tunes--tho' not really big bandish. Stella by Starlight or Beau.love sounds like jazz to me. Then I tend to listen to piano-ish jass, Evans, ECM stuff rather than big band....the older bop was wild but sounds sort of hyper-aggressive and manic at times: these days I prefer like Getz's sound to say Coltrane (a great technician, but rarely does he play pleasant/interesting motifs). At times jazzmusick may be quite splendid but then some--a great deal, actually--sounds like speakeasy musick to me (even Duke, tho' he was a talented boy, ah guess)--and generally noirish. Ive sort of cooled on jazz--and traded in most of my rock LPs a decade ago (tho will spin like Exile on Main Street once in while.....watts/wyman --that was a rock riddum section).

I have a Sibelius CD and enjoy at least half of it. Brahms et al I find entertaining for a few minutes and then lose interest. Brahms is one of those composers we are supposed to like, but his music while formally precise lacks melodic or harmonic character: like most Germans he's so obsessed with development, form, dynamics the melody and...really the dance is lost. I find most (not all of ) of the great Ludwig Van to be like that as well. Sounds cartoony now as well. Brahms was also sort of ..puritanical I believe.

I prefer Wagner's greatest hits (or even some baroque musick), tho' Wag. did some Disneyish schmaltz at times (more schmaltz than great). Russian music can be quite tasty but tends to tearjerking. For great tear-jerking Chopin, or Scriabin are tops--tho' some of Chopins' best pieces (not just his parlor tricks) ranks among the greatest musick ever produced, I believe.

Jazzbumpa said...

I have a funeral to get to this morning. Back with more commentary later.

JzB the somber trombonist

Jazzbumpa said...

J -

I'll leave Led Zellington to someone with less imagination.

I love big band and combo jazz. Stella and B. Love are both great trombone songs - J.J. Johnson, natch.

Can't agree with you on either Brahms of Beethoven. Love the melody, love the dance. From what I think I know of Brahms, he was an arrogant stick-in-the-mud.

For sheer tear-jerking beauty, you can't beat the 3rd movement of Rachmaninoff's 2nd Symphony.

But as Diz said, it's all music.

Tux -

I've had the King since 1963. A friend of mine found the Holton in a little music store in Pontiac. I bought the bass from the widow of its former owner. I also took over his 4th bone part in the band, which I guess belongs to that horn. All were pretty cost effective, come to think of it.

I tried to play guitar. I completely defeated me. I think I could learn some low level of proficiency in keyboard or elec. bass, but I don't see it happening any time soon.