Blindfold Bootleg Series: Trent Austin
Trent Austin is one of the great trumpeters of his (of any really) generation. He’s one of those rare artists that can easily command the lead chair and turn around and improvise with the best of them. And on top of that he’s recently opened one of the premier brass shops on the east coast and he makes marvelous mouthpieces. As soon as he sent me one of his pieces to try out, set aside my Monette B2 of 12 years and haven’t picked it up since. Trent also works closely with the great Miel Adams! Here’s what Trent had to say after hearing the examples:
Example 1-Dave Douglas Live at R-bar
After: Dave has always been one of my favorite players. I got this one in a few seconds due to his IMO very original sound, vibrato touches, and personal style. His work is so incredibly diverse player who can jump over any style be it totally straight ahead to his work with John Zorn. This one for me was a fairly easy one with some of his inflections he uses that IMO are very much his own. It was a fantastic example of how I should listen and transcribe him some more. I love the way his compositional mind works during this improvisation.
Example 2-Wynton live with Freddie Hubbard NYC
Wynton (trying to sound like Freddie) love the sound of the Bach!
After: I have to admit hearing this before, perhaps even from you. It still got me for a few seconds. I literally said out loud “That’s Freddie… oh wait, that’s Wynton”. It’s pretty cool to hear him playing like this although at times it’s pretty disjointed. His sound and control are constant reminders to me that he is still the hands down best player in the world. I especially love his sound and articulations on his Bach. I personally feel coming from someone that makes equipment these days he had the best recorded sound speaking only on a “trumpet” side of things on the Bach. While he’s such a deeper musician than he was in the early 80’s I strongly feel that the Monette has hampered his tonal color spectrum on recordings. Of course me critiquing the greatest player in the world is a bit silly so I’ll go back to my corner and practice my long tones 😉
Example 3-Ryan Kisor Live in Japan
After: One of my absolute favorite (if not my favorite player) out there. I have not met many folks that can do what Ryan does. The fluency on those triplets! Man such amazing technique! Perhaps Ryan and Greg Gisbert are two of the most versatile cats out there who can literally sit in any chair and any musical situation regardless of style and crush it! Was he playing cornet on this? I don’t think so this sounds like a trumpet to my ears. I know he’s recently been doing a lot of his solo work on an Olds Super Cornet lately and has inspired me to check out playing more cornet in my own work.
Example 4-Tom Harrell with Johnathan Blake
After: Genius… enough said… Every time I hear Tom I hear just how his complete melodic sense and compositional mind inspire me to seek out more of the inner lines he plays. I have transcribed so much of Tom’s work and I think this one will be next on my list. Listen to that space he uses. A lot of folks listen to his latest playing and wish he would play more like the 70’s/early 80’s versions but for myself he’s playing so much more melodically!
Example 5-Keyon Harrold live in NYC
Josh Evans? (One Finger Snap… silly burning)
After: Bummed I didn’t get this but I know Keyon is one BADDDD cat. Such a titanic solo full of virtuosity. What an inspiration to listen to and get myself back in the practice room. Keyon is someone more people should know about as he can hang with anyone for sure!
Example 6-Christian Scott Live at the R-Bar
Nick Payton (this one was particularly tough… not totally sure)
After: AGH! This one got me until I sent you my before and then I heard something in Christian’s tone and inflections that made me pick up on him after sending you the before. I didn’t think it was Nick but was fairly confident it was a New Orleans player. The vibrato on the F on the second or third chorus gave it away to me. I think there still is a lot to be said about regional styles and the influence the local traditions have on players. It’s harder and harder to hear this in players today (both in improvisational music and orchestral style as we continually head to more homogenized sounds which in my opinion is not a good thing). Also didn’t think of Christian initially due to the fact his current music is so different than this clip. He’s a wonderful cat, great spokesman for the trumpet, and really a wonderful example of always committing yourself in the moment as I have never seen a bad performance from Christian. He was one of the first guys to hip me to Adams and I am so thankful for that as it truly changed my life (Adams were the first company to urge me to start my business).
Example 7-Art Farmer live in NYC
After: Art plays with so much and is a master of economy! Great to hear him (although I’m pretty sure he was playing the flumpet on this clip and I preferred him on the Besson flugel as again it had more of a variety tonal spectrum) and how he winds through Recordame. One of my heroes Herb Pomeroy always stressed finding the “sweet notes” in a solo. Those notes that give you the most color for the chord or pivotal notes to signify harmonic motion. Art was always someone I could hear that in. Another thing I love about Art is that he never stopped shedding. I met him near the end of his life and he told me he still spent numerous (3+ daily) in the shed.
Stay afloat with what’s going on in Trent’s career by visiting his website!!