Jazz Seminar: Carnegie Hall Jazz Band Trumpet Sectional
Friday, May 26 5:15 p.m
Joseph Bowman, Reviewer
A last minute change in locations slightly delayed, but did not deter the start of the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band Trumpet Sectional, conducted by Jon Faddis. The members of the section included Lew Soloff, Byron Stripling, Terell Stafford, and Scott Wendholt. Faddis began the session by mentioning that the key to developing a section sound was to achieve balance in all four parts. The entire section was very laid back and shared several humorous moments with the audience yet still provided the audience with masterful section music making.
The first piece was Slide Hampton's Shiny Stockings. Faddis instructed the section regarding phrasing, releases, and dynamics. He explained that it is the conductor's prerogative to ask for a section "one more time." In addition, it was emphasized that players should not be shy about asking to rehearse their parts with the group. At this point, Faddis joined the group to have all five parts and the section locked in. The group moved on to Michael Abene's chart You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To. Faddis suggested that the group horn level should be above the stands so the audience could enjoy the playing as much as he was. The entire sectional was geared to explain the fact that you can have fun and still get meaningful work accomplished. Giant Steps, a Frank Foster arrangement, followed and then the group worked through a special arrangement for the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band of Slide Hampton's Frame for the Blues.
At the close of the session, Faddis asked each player to identify what he looked for in a jazz trumpet section. Soloff mentioned the idea that the section players should produce enough volume to support the lead, and they should have good ears as well. Stripling agreed with the idea of support for the lead player, and added that the lead player needs to lay his/her part down with the hopes that the others will do the same. He noted that having a section of players that improvise helps the swing feel. Stafford mentioned the fact that section players need to be flexible in order to match styles with many different lead players. Wendholt also noted that playing fourth requires the ability to adapt to different section's styles. (Joseph Bowman, D.M.A. student, Arizona State University)