Friday, January 12, 2007

Rosolino and Technique

I was listening to Frank and his video of him doing Monk's "Well You Needn't" and was astounded as he did the melody over both in the low octave and in the upper octave. You should note that this is a leaping melody which starts on a low C and leaps up a fourth to an F and then does a "bebop" sounds down to F# (with a sort of tritone sound to them). The point is that there are these very high brief upper notes to the "bebops". . .the "tops" of them, so to speak.

The range is very, very high. And Frank sounds like this is simply not very difficult at all. This tune was the last one played on this half hour show. He then immediately launches into the theme music and again plays in tessiatura that is simply not supposed to be on the trombone -- it is more trumpet range, if you look at the orchestration books.

Now Frank played a very small mouthpiece but a medium bore conventional trombone (a Conn 6H. . .a .500 bore medium trombone model common in 1945 through 1979. . .really this is the most common of common horns).

The mouthpiece is supposedly the equivalent of a Bach model 15. . .a very small and likely shallow mouthpiece. . .but come on!. . .He doesn't squeak out double high G's . . . .he simply WACKS them out. . .virtually blasting them! His command of high range is akin to the way Nash could do it. Simply oddball-astounding.

Now the main ingredients of high playing are similar to that of good jazz playing. Good ear training (to hear the pitches properly). Cool and calm, and confidence. . .(so you don't get psyched-out of the idea of hitting these pitches) and mainly - STRENGTH.

Strength comes from face time. You get more muscle from using your muscles to exhaustion and then recovering. This is strength training in a nutshell.

Imagine all the time this guy must have spent playing the trombone. Phenomenal!

Chris Tune

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