[Dixielandjazz] Two horn ensemble

Larry Walton Entertainment - St. Louis larrys.bands at charter.net
Fri Sep 15 12:27:03 PDT 2006

I think that Ken has it pretty well nailed.  I do a lot of question - answer 
between the Cornet and I (soprano Sax).  I think that's what Ken means by 
chasing.  If I'm wrong let me know Ken.  Sometimes with two horns I play a 
sort of trombone line too.  I'm not always real comfortable playing a third 
above the melody because I hear more counterpoint and movement but a lot of 
Dixie tunes are written with the clarinet hugging the melody a third up.

By the way if you put a melody and chords into Band in the box you can get a 
pretty good third above part.  Just make sure it isn't transposing when you 
do it.  If anyone wants to know how to do it just let me know off list. 
This won't do you any good with counterpoint or Q&A but it helps me with the 
third above part on some tunes where it is appropriate.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ken Gates" <kwg28 at sbcglobal.net>
To: "Dixieland Jazz" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Friday, September 15, 2006 12:30 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Two horn ensemble

> The basic New Orleans ensemble mix of the three horns is pretty well 
> established
> as to the role of each horn.  Melody established by trumpet (cornet if you 
> prefer),
> counter point and flowery embellishments above the melody line by the 
> clarinet,
> bass line counter point and rhythm support from the trombone, and each 
> horn
> to leave space to allow the others to do their thing.
> In a two horn front line, ensemble passages take a different 
> form----looking
> to see if you experienced musicians think I'm on the right track----------
> Reference to the melody line is an on going exchange.  This exchange of 
> who is
> doing the melody reference and who is doing harmony, chasing, 
> embellishing, or
> whatever interesting support is going on-------can change at any 
> time---and this
> requires keen listening and two musicians on the same wave length to make 
> this
> work really well.  Because there is less "structure" as to the role of 
> each instrument,
> this can become a very interesting conversation when done well.
> For what it's worth---
> Ken Gates
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