The Book Of Jazz - online reference book

Its Nature, Instruments, Sources, Sounds, Development & Performers

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tempi; a remarkably flexible sense of dynamics, and an extra­ordinary overall technique. Despite his occasional lapses from taste he may be the most successfully versatile of all jazz trumpeters; whether involved in a pianissimo souffle* with Kirby or a triple-forte ensemble finale with Dorsey, he has never failed to adapt himself to the requirements of the setting.
The *30s, a rich decade for jazz horns, were the halcyon years for Cootie Williams, an Ellington giant both in growl style and with full-toned open horn; Bunny Berigan, the lyrical beauty of whose work was more impressive in the lower register of the horn (I Can't Get Started, with his own band, earlier passages) than in the upper brackets (Marie with Tommy Dorsey); and Harry James, who, before Tin Pan Alley put him on a bland diet, was better known as a jazzman, with Ben Pollack (1936), Goodman ('37-8) and his own pre-strings band, eloquently saluting Spanier and Armstrong in his crackling, hard-driving solos.
Frankie Newton, an unappreciated, long-forgotten artist who died in 1954, earned a small but faithful following in New York around 193741 with John Kirby and later with various groups of his own. His style had much of the intensity of Eldridge; he made effective use of a strange contraption known as the "*buzz mute", which sounded like the product of an illicit meeting be­tween a trumpet and a kazoo,
Tommy Ladnier, who like Newton died in obscurity and was not too well represented on records, has shared the fate of Beiderbecke in that his posthumous acceptance has surpassed any recognition earned during his lifetime. Some authorities have likened Ladnier at his best to the early Armstrong.
The turning point in trumpet styles was, of course, one that was to prove no less significant to the whole of jazz, the advent of Dizzy Gillespie. His style, growing out of what had at first been a Roy Eldridge influence, found its mooring in harmony rather than in any essentially different approach to the instru­ment. (Gillespie's tone, rather anemic and much criticized in the early years, was unimportant: for once the familiar Sy Oliver axiom "Tain't whatcha do, it's the way thatcha do iff was reversed.) Where earlier trumpeters had expressed themselves,