Dixieland Jazz

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Wiggers
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Dixieland Jazz

Post by Wiggers »

Hi all
Just joined up and just wanted to start a thread to draw in your opinions on this -
Which is the best or most appropriate trombone for playing Dixieland Jazz?
Been playing years but would love to hear your opinions on which horn you’d recommend and why 👍
cb56
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Re: Dixieland Jazz

Post by cb56 »

Papa Jac and Fred Asunto of the Dukes of Dixieland played Olds Recording trombones. Bob Havens played King 2b. Jack Teagarden played Conn 4h.
Anything small bore would be typical BUT I think the guy from the preservation hall jazz band plays an 88h.... go figure.
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JohnL
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Re: Dixieland Jazz

Post by JohnL »

A King 2B is pretty much the default choice; there's a lot of them around and they really do the job well.

There are a LOT of nice small to medium-small bore trombones out there that would be a good choice for trad jazz. Unless it's just a bad trombone overall, any one of them would be suitable.

Curiously, I've haven't seen many Bachs used in trad jazz settings. Not sure why.

Some trad jazz players go for a horn with "style"; some visually element that makes it look a little different. A Conn Vocabell, for example.
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BGuttman
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Re: Dixieland Jazz

Post by BGuttman »

I have a Holton Stratodyne (67) that belonged to a local guy who was a well-known Dixieland player. I used a Martin Imperial with my band (had a little more strident tone than the Martin Committee I preferred for Big Band).

Note that Dixieland players in New Orleans often were cash strapped and played anything cheap.
Bruce Guttman
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra
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Posaunus
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Re: Dixieland Jazz

Post by Posaunus »

I've used several small-bore trombones for my (not-very-professional) Dixieland ensemble.
My favorites:
• 1954 Olds T15 Studio (2-tone bell - yellow brass stem, nickel-silver flare)
• 1968 Olds R15 Recording (visually stunning - red brass bell, nickel-silver outer slide)
• 1958 King 2B Liberty (just a marvelous trombone that plays great)

The point of Dixie is (I think) to play with style, improvise somewhat creatively, have fun, and entertain the audience - NOT to make a classical sound with an orchestral tone, or to peel the paint off the back wall.
OneTon
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Re: Dixieland Jazz

Post by OneTon »

I am hardly an expert. I have heard quite a few trumpet players overwhelm their clarinet and trombone associates. I don’t want to be that guy. There are undoubtedly some closet Steve Turre or Wycliffe Gordon players on this site. For them truly anything would work. Anything over 0.508-0.510 is pushing my luck, starting to get awkward in articulation, and just plain work to maintain balance. I like King 2B, Bart van Lier ~0.480-0.488 with a 7 inch bell, or similar, the best. I like to let the horn do the work, whether it is jazz or symphony orchestra. No greater than 0.510 for jazz and mostly no less than 0.525 for orchestra. A Bach LT6 will sometimes work for chamber music.
Richard Smith
Wichita, Kansas
brtnats
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Re: Dixieland Jazz

Post by brtnats »

I play in a fairly good Dixieland group. Here’s what you NEED:

1. It’s gotta be light enough and easy enough to play a 45 minute set on. Or 3 45-minute sets.
2. It’s gotta project when you push and be warm when you don’t.
3. It needs a fat middle and low range. This music doesn’t usually go above a high Bb unless you’re soloing, but low Bb to F is super common. Being able to punch in that register counts.
4. F attachments not needed. I’ve never seen a Dixieland chart that expected the trombonist to have one.
cb56
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Re: Dixieland Jazz

Post by cb56 »

Dixieland....... Chart?
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BGuttman
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Re: Dixieland Jazz

Post by BGuttman »

cb56 wrote: ↑Fri Apr 19, 2024 8:14 am Dixieland....... Chart?
Oxymoron
I have a bunch of charts for Dixieland. When I was learning they were invaluable. Now I need them a lot less.

Many of them were the Combo Orks. All of them are currently out of print (probably permanently).
Bruce Guttman
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cb56
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Re: Dixieland Jazz

Post by cb56 »

I appreciate you opinion and value your input on this site but I think your opinion comes from the point of a "legit" or "symphonic" player.
Any real dixieland group would laugh someone off the stage if they showed up with their ax asking "where's the charts?"
Dixieland is an improvisational form of music.
Posaunus
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Re: Dixieland Jazz

Post by Posaunus »

Our group uses David Littlefield's "Dixieland Fakebook" as a jumping-off point. This useful resource has choruses (and often verses) for more than 200 Dixie and "trad jazz" tunes - more than any of us could possibly keep in our heads. We usually play each piece one time together (verse if its interesting, and chorus) and then take off improvising. We discourage each other from simply playing the melody, instead trying to see what we can play that's interesting and entertaining. Good old-fashioned fun!

Once we've played a piece a few times, we've pretty much got it down, and needn't refer to the Fakebook - but the written melody lines (and chords) have certainly been helpful in learning the tunes (especially the bridges). After a few years together, our group can probably play 50-80 Dixie "standards" without referring to the "charts." But we're just a bunch of amateurs, not a New Orleans combo on tour. It's a great way to spend a few hours together every week. :)
cb56
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Re: Dixieland Jazz

Post by cb56 »

Sure learning the "Head" or melody from a book is fine but learning by listening is better. Usually trumpet plays the melody 1st time through not necessarily note for note while the clarinet trombone CREATE the parts behind the melody not playing a memorized note for note arrangement.
I've never memorized a dixieland tune and have played decades worth of gigs. I learned a lot of melodies that I didn't know by listening to the trumpet player play melody while we backed him up.
Not putting down anyone's way of playing music, just saying if the Arrangement (not just the solos) isn't improvised it isn't really dixieland.
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