Friday, June 23, 2017

The Trumpet and its Masters

A trumpet is a blown musical instrument commonly used in classical and jazz ensembles. The trumpet group contains the instruments with the highest register in the brass family. Trumpet-like instruments have historically been used as signaling devices in battle or hunting, with examples dating back to at least 1500 BC; they began to be used as musical instruments only in the late 14th or early 15th century. Trumpets are used in art music styles, for instance in orchestras, concert bands, and jazz ensembles, as well as in popular music. They are played by blowing air through almost-closed lips (called the player's embouchure), producing a "buzzing" sound that starts a standing wave vibration in the air column inside the instrument. Since the late 15th century they have primarily been constructed of brass tubing, usually bent twice into a rounded rectangular shape.

There are many distinct types of trumpet, with the most common being pitched in B (a transposing instrument), having a tubing length of about 1.48 m (4 ft 10 in). Early trumpets did not provide means to change the length of tubing, whereas modern instruments generally have three (or sometimes four) valves in order to change their pitch. Most trumpets have valves of the piston type, while some have the rotary type. The use of rotary-valved trumpets is more common in orchestral settings, although this practice varies by country. Each valve, when engaged, increases the length of tubing, lowering the pitch of the instrument. A musician who plays the trumpet is called a trumpet player or trumpeter.

Masterful Trumpet Players

In early jazz, Louis Armstrong was well known for his virtuosity and his improvisations on the Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings. Miles Davis is widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century—his style was distinctive and widely imitated. Davis' phrasing and sense of space in his solos have been models for generations of jazz musicians. Dizzy Gillespie was a gifted improviser with an extremely high (but musical) range, building on the style of Roy Eldridge but adding new layers of harmonic complexity. Gillespie had an enormous impact on virtually every subsequent trumpeter, both by the example of his playing and as a mentor to younger musicians. Maynard Ferguson came to prominence playing in Stan Kenton's orchestra, before forming his own band in 1957. He was noted for being able to play accurately in a remarkably high register.

Some other notable jazz/commercial trumpet players include James Morrison, Roy Eldridge, Nat Adderley, Bud Brisbois, Randy Brecker, Chet Baker, Clifford Brown, Chris Botti, Allan Botschinsky, Donald Byrd, Bill Chase, Doc Cheatham, Don Cherry, Kenny Dorham, Dave Douglas, Don Ellis, Ziggy Elman, Jon Faddis, Thomas Gansch, Tim Hagans, Roy Hargrove, Tom Harrell, Erskine Hawkins, Al Hirt, Freddie Hubbard, Roger Ingram, Harry James, Ibrahim Maalouf, Chuck Mangione, Wynton Marsalis, Billy May, Blue Mitchell, Lee Morgan, Fats Navarro, Nicholas Payton, Louis Prima, Uan Rasey, Claudio Roditi, Wallace Roney, Arturo Sandoval, Manfred Schoof, Bobby Shew, Dale Turner, Doc Severinsen, Woody Shaw, Tomasz Stańko, Markus Stockhausen, Clark Terry, Wayne Bergeron, Allen Vizzutti, Cootie Williams, and Snooky Young.

Notable classical trumpeters include Maurice André, Armando Ghitalla, Alison Balsom, Hakan Hardenberger, Tine Thing Helseth, Adolph "Bud" Herseth, Malcolm McNab, Rafael Méndez, Maurice Murphy, Sergei Nakariakov, Uan Rasey, Charles Schlueter, Philip Smith, William Vacchiano, Allen Vizzutti, and Roger Voisin.

Notable natural trumpet players include Valentine Snow, for whom Handel wrote several pieces, and Gottfried Reiche, who was Bach's chief trumpeter.

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