"Jazz Mute"

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"Jazz Mute"

Post by Mikebmiller » Mon Apr 02, 2018 3:25 pm

I just got the book for Guys and Dolls and there are several places where it just says "jazz mute." So what the heck is a jazz mute? Cup? Plunger? Also, it calls for Derby in a few spots, which I don't own and and am not planning to buy for one show. I am thinking I will just play in the stand for that one as I don't see how that mute really changes the sound of the horn.
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Re: "Jazz Mute"

Post by BGuttman » Mon Apr 02, 2018 3:34 pm

For Derby I use one of two techniques: (1) play into stand, or (2) hold Plunger about 3 inches from bell and play into it. Option 2 doesn't work well if you are playing trigger notes, though.

For the "jazz mute" try a Harmon (Wa-wa), a Solotone/ClearTone, or a small metal straight mute. I don't remember what number you need it for. I can't recall if I even saw that when I did the show.
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Re: "Jazz Mute"

Post by Kbiggs » Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:37 pm

Is the “jazz mute” the Pixie and Trixie combination (very small straight mute + plunger)?
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Re: "Jazz Mute"

Post by Neo Bri » Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:39 pm

Good question.
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Re: "Jazz Mute"

Post by Doug Elliott » Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:34 am

Use whatever sonically fits the part.
I would first assume it's a solo and would be plunger. If it's not a solo, maybe whatever the trumpet is doing.
It seems like often the person who wrote or copied the parts doesn't really know what they want, so it's up to you to make a good choice.
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Re: "Jazz Mute"

Post by BrassedOn » Thu Aug 23, 2018 5:29 pm

Old post, but good question.

Yes to solotone or pixie. for whatever a jazz mute is. And if you have to buy something, these two these come up more often. Pixie will change your pitch by 1/2 step. I pull my main tuning slide on longer passages and fudge longer positions on shorter passages. If pinched for cash, use a tight cup and see if anyone notices.

On a classic jazz gig, I'll often use the pixie and my plunger. If arranger intended harmon, they should say because harmon is not the more common for bone in shows, and solotone is the closest substitute and probably satisfy the conductor. In bigband, I used plunger, straight, cup, pixie w/plunger, bucket, in that order of frequency. In NYC, I often saw berets used for buckets.
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