[Dixielandjazz] Re: J.J Johnson

Edgerton, Paul A paul.edgerton at eds.com
Thu Jun 22 11:58:20 PDT 2006


Okay, I concede: you're right -- J.J. Johnson sounds like he's playing
valve trombone and to hell with what any of us think. :|

Seriously though, a slide trombone is mainly an unrestricted tube (there
are but two gentle bends) whereas the valve instrument has many tight
bends and is often described as "stuffy" by those who play both.  You
can hear the difference in sound very clearly when a player substitutes
a valve section for the slide on the same horn. 

On the other hand, the valve instrument is blessed with what we may call
"keyed articulation" which easily matches the sort of legato
articulation produced by the reeds and trumpets.  Players of the slide
trombone must work very hard to match that style.  Arranger Bill Russo
has stated that he would love write for a section of "proper valve
trombone players."  Think Supersax for trombones.

-- Paul Edgerton

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