Frank Crisafulli before embouchre debacle

ttf_Pre59
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Frank Crisafulli before embouchre debacle

Post by ttf_Pre59 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:53 am

Quote from: Geezerhorn on Jan 24, 2018, 06:36AMI listened to them. I enjoyed them, but did not comment due to a lack a creds on that genre.

...Geezer

Exactly what is "Chicago sound/style."? Is it also what brought about the changes in the UK orchestras led in part by Denis Wick?
ttf_blast
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Frank Crisafulli before embouchre debacle

Post by ttf_blast » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:45 pm

Quote from: Pre59 on Jan 24, 2018, 06:53AMExactly what is "Chicago sound/style."? Is it also what brought about the changes in the UK orchestras led in part by Denis Wick?

Nope. The NYPO visit to the first Edinburgh Festival after the war is generally credited as being the catalyst for change in British orchestras. I think that the Philharmonia section was the first to buy American instruments, but they were confiscated by UK customs and excise. There was a government ban on importing instruments... without that the change would have happened far earlier.
To hear the classic Chicago sound/style, listen to those old Reiner recordings from the 1950's. I heard them live in 1980 when most of the legends were still on their seats and it was one of the all time great orchestra sounds.... the brass were a totally blended glory.... Herseth at the top and Jacobs at the bottom.... and Crisafulli doing his wonderful thing.

Chris Stearn
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Frank Crisafulli before embouchre debacle

Post by ttf_Pre59 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:16 pm

Quote from: blast on Jan 24, 2018, 01:45PMTo hear the classic Chicago sound/style, listen to those old Reiner recordings from the 1950's. I heard them live in 1980 when most of the legends were still on their seats and it was one of the all time great orchestra sounds.... the brass were a totally blended glory.... Herseth at the top and Jacobs at the bottom.... and Crisafulli doing his wonderful thing.

Chris Stearn

So what relationship does the "Chicago" sound have to the contemporary American one, and has it influenced the modern ideal?
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Frank Crisafulli before embouchre debacle

Post by ttf_bigbassbone1 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:32 pm

Quote from: Pre59 on Jan 24, 2018, 02:16PMSo what relationship does the "Chicago" sound have to the contemporary American one, and has it influenced the modern ideal?


I dont think I can answer your question specifically sorry, but personally I dont think you can use a blanket statement like "American sound".... to me thats like saying "european sound". There is so much diversity within those categories....

From a guess I would say the influence from the chicago sound came mostly from students taking away the concepts of playing from the performers in that orchestra. If you play brass, learning from someone in the CSO has been a goal for soooooo many students for a very long time. I think a large number of players currently in brass jobs in either America or europe at some point studied with Chicago symphony players. Even a few of the trombone players in the Berlin philharmonic list study in Chicago on their bio's.
So I suppose what the "Chicago sound" has influenced in the modern ideal is just good brass playing?  Image
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Frank Crisafulli before embouchre debacle

Post by ttf_anonymous » Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:51 pm

Quote from: Peter Ellefson on Jan 23, 2018, 12:57PMI will try to stay out of the who “got him straightened out” discussion. We really don’t know who helped (or hurt) and to what extent. It is all pure speculation and hearsay so many years after the fact, fueled by the “everybody needing to know everything” ethos that the internet fosters. Several of us on TTF were students of Frank Crisafulli and I venture to guess that he had a similar impact on each of us.

I will speak from years of lessons with him both while in school at NU and off and on for years after (yes, in the same room; yes, seeing his embouchure; yes, hearing him in person; yes, hearing him in the CSO etc.).

First hand experience revealed to me the following:
1. He was never happy with a particular embouchure and was constantly fiddling and rethinking. In later years some dental troubles exacerbated his embouchure fixation. The adjustments he made were all relatively slight.
2. No matter which setting he was using, how much he complained or self-effaced, he sounded pretty much the same: core-filled, resonant, meaty and in tune. His sound projected.
3. The benefit of hindsight shows that his embouchure wasn’t as 'unorthodox' as he would lead one to believe (or himself believed).
4. Whatever he was doing, it worked. It may not have worked to Reiner’s satisfaction on Bolero and in another era, he may have not had to accept the 2nd chair. He "made lemonade" for decades after.
5. The experience scarred him and was a further catalyst for the experimentation to follow. See point #3.
6. While in the CSO, his product never sounded all that different from era to era. He was never 'broken' and never 'fixed' at least to my ear.

He sounded great and taught his students well, as people and musicians. For me that is more important than who helped/harmed him or what his embouchure looked like. Of course, as students, we are biased in favor of our teachers. There are many videos available of the CSO while he was a member. That section was electric.

For further listening, don’t miss the 1967 CSO Trombone Quartet recordings (available on CD), with Friedman, Dodson, Crisafulli, Kleinhammer sitting down and reading quartets and recorded by WFMT to be used as intro and exit music to other programs on the network. Just great, straight ahead, nuts and bolts playing, with no rehearsal. Four legends.

PE


I took lessons from Mr. C all the way through high school and college. This discussion, particularly Peter's synopsis, may have provided some insight to me as to his tolerance /sensitivity in listening to student-induced fixations. A college professor had made comments through out my high school years (at Contests..actually made comments on my adjudication forms... and Invitational State symposiums where I was selected as among the best in the state..) about my "Big Horn" inhibiting my skills. The horn was a stock 9-inch Holton 150 yellow bell, purchased via Mr. C's contact. To make a long story short, the professor's comments created self-doubt, at times, about my upper register strengths. Mr. C scoffed it off, told me to ignore the professor...but one day after a very good lesson it surfaced again.  This time he set me up with Bob Boyd in Cleveland...who still had his King 5B is his collection inventory. I played the King and the Holton for him. After two lessons back-to-back, staying at relatives in Ohio, the psychological  hang-up  ended. Where Mr. C was bemused by the goofy comments on horn size, Bob was actually pretty ticked off.  I have always believed that Mr. C and Ed Kleinhammer should have co-authored a book on the Art of Teaching, not just trombone playing, as they were both as exceptional in that regard as they were fine players.
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Frank Crisafulli before embouchre debacle

Post by ttf_paulyg » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:02 pm

Quote from: WayneB on Jan 24, 2018, 04:51PMI took lessons from Mr. C all the way through high school and college. This discussion, particularly Peter's synopsis, may have provided some insight to me as to his tolerance /sensitivity in listening to student-induced fixations. A college professor had made comments through out my high school years (at Contests..actually made comments on my adjudication forms... and Invitational State symposiums where I was selected as among the best in the state..) about my "Big Horn" inhibiting my skills. The horn was a stock 9-inch Holton 150 yellow bell, purchased via Mr. C's contact. To make a long story short, the professor's comments created self-doubt, at times, about my upper register strengths. Mr. C scoffed it off, told me to ignore the professor...but one day after a very good lesson it surfaced again.  This time he set me up with Bob Boyd in Cleveland...who still had his King 5B is his collection inventory. I played the King and the Holton for him. After two lessons back-to-back, staying at relatives in Ohio, the psychological  hang-up  ended. Where Mr. C was bemused by the goofy comments on horn size, Bob was actually pretty ticked off.  I have always believed that Mr. C and Ed Kleinhammer should have co-authored a book on the Art of Teaching, not just trombone playing, as they were both as exceptional in that regard as they were fine players.

Teachers should have their own Hippocratic Oath (First Do No Harm!).

I feel that in the long term, bad/ill-considered advice from my teachers has made me a better player, but it wasn't fun at the time.
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Frank Crisafulli before embouchre debacle

Post by ttf_kbiggs » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:37 pm

I’ve heard some people say that the Chicago style is nothing more than... what people say the Chicago style is...

I probably remember this incorrectly, but I thought I had read that Jay Friedman said “The Chicago School” or “style” was really about good ensemble playing (matching articulation, timbre, note lengths, balance, etc.), or playing as a trombone section rather than three individuals.
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Frank Crisafulli before embouchre debacle

Post by ttf_Pre59 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:10 am

Quote from: bigbassbone1 on Jan 24, 2018, 03:32PM
but personally I dont think you can use a blanket statement like "American sound".... to me thats like saying "european sound". There is so much diversity within those categories....


Not half as much as there was 40/50 years ago. But I was wondering if the Chicago sound was mainly a tone concept, but it seems to be a lot more than that.
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Frank Crisafulli before embouchre debacle

Post by ttf_patrickosmith » Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:12 am

Quote from: kbiggs on Jan 24, 2018, 10:37PMI’ve heard some people say that the Chicago style is nothing more than... what people say the Chicago style is...

I probably remember this incorrectly, but I thought I had read that Jay Friedman said “The Chicago School” or “style” was really about good ensemble playing (matching articulation, timbre, note lengths, balance, etc.), or playing as a trombone section rather than three individuals.

I would agree with this. If you listen carefully to the recordings posted here, you can tell that Crisafulli, Jacobs, and Herseth --I put these players in their order of appearance in the CSO-- are matching their style pretty well. In particular, the front of the notes have very clear articulations with great, solid, immediate and sustained sound (even on the shorter notes). In addition, the length and taper of notes mirror what you would hear from the entire string section of an orchestra. Schilke is not quite fitting into this style as much. As you say (or as you quote), Schilke is playing more as an individual. In later years, Schilke is replaced by Cichowicz who matches the style (and solid sound) of those three cosmic greats perfectly and he also plays at the level of these cosmic greats of the Chicago style (in my opinion). Case in point, listen to the 1966 live recording of the CSO Brass Quintet in the Auditorium Theatre. 

Perhaps the best way to summarize the "Chicago Style" is to say that the brass players emulate the string section but with the power of a brass instrument.
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Frank Crisafulli before embouchre debacle

Post by ttf_patrickosmith » Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:45 am

Quote from: Peter Ellefson on Jan 23, 2018, 12:57PM--snip--
1. He was never happy with a particular embouchure and was constantly fiddling and rethinking. In later years some dental troubles exacerbated his embouchure fixation. The adjustments he made were all relatively slight.
--snip--
It's always great to hear from one who has had so much first-hand experience. While we are off on a tangent anyway, one thing I can add to this is what Crisafulli came to realize himself (probably as a result of his harrowing experiences): breath is crucially important. "Breath is subtle. Lips are physical. You can feel what you are doing and they bother you from one day to the next." With my 9 years of lessons with him and after many years of reflection and re-learning the trombone as a beginner in three separate occasions, I believe that that statement points to one of the most fundamental and unique aspects of his teaching. There is a great deal of depth behind that concise statement. Stringing together a few more related quotations:
"One should consider that fundamentals are really very, very basic. They often require the greatest finesse in the use of breath."
"From the first breath there should be a feeling of a pulse so that there is a direction of going somewhere. In this way, everything will fall better into place."
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Frank Crisafulli before embouchre debacle

Post by ttf_anonymous » Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:55 am

Quote from: patrickosmith on Jan 25, 2018, 03:45AM
"From the first breath there should be a feeling of a pulse so that there is a direction of going somewhere. In this way, everything will fall better into place."
This might be what Michael Mulcahy recently cited in a video clip as: "first, hearing the music."
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Frank Crisafulli before embouchre debacle

Post by ttf_patrickosmith » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:21 am

Quote from: WayneB on Jan 25, 2018, 03:55AMThis might be what Michael Mulcahy recently cited in a video clip as: "first, hearing the music."

I would say that particular statement (regarding a feeling of pulse) aligns more heavily with the teaching of Carmine who emphasized the importance of *time*

sabutin may feel compelled to chime in on this at some point.
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Frank Crisafulli before embouchre debacle

Post by ttf_anonymous » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:42 am

Quote from: patrickosmith on Jan 25, 2018, 04:21AMI would say that particular statement (regarding a feeling of pulse) aligns more heavily with the teaching of Carmine who emphasized the importance of *time*

sabutin may feel compelled to chime in on this at some point.

What Mulcahy was referring to is hearing in advance what you want to sound like...preparing to take your model in your head, your sound...live, before the mouthpiece buzz.
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Frank Crisafulli before embouchre debacle

Post by ttf_patrickosmith » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:11 am

Quote from: WayneB on Jan 25, 2018, 04:42AMWhat Mulcahy was referring to is hearing in advance what you want to sound like...preparing to take your model in your head, your sound...live, before the mouthpiece buzz.

Yes, I get it. Many folks are quite familiar with that very important aspect of performing.
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Frank Crisafulli before embouchre debacle

Post by ttf_Gabe Langfur » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:26 am

The "song" in "song and wind" needs to be extremely specific.
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Frank Crisafulli before embouchre debacle

Post by ttf_anonymous » Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:14 am

 Image
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Frank Crisafulli before embouchre debacle

Post by ttf_anonymous » Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:02 pm

Quote from: robcat2075 on Jan 23, 2018, 01:58PMHe's been dead for 20 years. When does the moratorium end?


Crisafulli was a very important performer and teacher who was instrumental in coaching and developing many leading professionals on the pro circuit today (including members on the TTF site). He is a genuine legacy, and merits as much discussion as we desire to have about it.
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Frank Crisafulli before embouchre debacle

Post by ttf_patrickosmith » Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:58 am

Quote from: WayneB on Jan 25, 2018, 01:02PM
Crisafulli was a very important performer and teacher who was instrumental in coaching and developing many leading professionals on the pro circuit today (including members on the TTF site). He is a genuine legacy, and merits as much discussion as we desire to have about it.

Indeed, the lessons he learned for himself created a pedagogy for brass players that lives on. A lot of it sounds trite when written down, deceptively simple and easy to forget. But the most fundamental aspects are often just that: simple and easy to forget. Relatively few have had the gift of first hand contact, however, his teaching in now spreading into the 2nd and 3rd generation of instructors. Here is one such chain: Frank Crisafulli -> Peter Ellefson -> Toby Oft -> 3rd tier students -> 4th tier students.

Attempting to convey the quality of his sound in live performances to those who did not hear defies description, but, many of his recordings do live on.
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Frank Crisafulli before embouchre debacle

Post by ttf_patrickosmith » Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:58 am

Quote from: WayneB on Jan 25, 2018, 01:02PM
Crisafulli was a very important performer and teacher who was instrumental in coaching and developing many leading professionals on the pro circuit today (including members on the TTF site). He is a genuine legacy, and merits as much discussion as we desire to have about it.

Indeed, the lessons he learned for himself created a pedagogy for brass players that lives on. A lot of it sounds trite when written down, deceptively simple and easy to forget. But the most fundamental aspects are often just that: simple and easy to forget. Relatively few have had the gift of first hand contact, however, his teaching in now spreading into the 2nd and 3rd generation of instructors. Here is one such chain: Frank Crisafulli -> Peter Ellefson -> Toby Oft -> 3rd tier students -> 4th tier students.

Attempting to convey the quality of his sound in live performances to those who did not hear defies description, but, many of his recordings do live on.
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