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Thread: Best Euph for Jazz Playing

  1. #1
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    Best Euph for Jazz Playing

    I'm a Rich Matteson fan. (he sure is missed). I enjoy his improvisational ability but also the skills he displayed when he played. Incredible jazz vocabulary, incredible sound and range. Playing on a non-comp Yamaha Euph I think. What are modern jazz improvisers who play Euphonium using? Non-comp or comp euphs? I play tested a Yamaha 321 tonight using a 6.5AL small shank mp. I was comparing it to playing my Mackbrass Euph (642 copy). My range and control were much improved on the Yamaha. I got a much bigger sound on the 642 copy. The small shank mp allowed me to have much increased range and more command over the instrument. I'm sure the smaller bore size helps with that also. I will say that I'm a tuba player that plays Euphonium, so Euph is a second instrument for me. What are your thoughts?
    John 3:16

    Yamaha YSL-630 Trombone
    Conn 15I Euphonium
    Mack Brass Euphonium
    Conn Victor 5H Trombone
    Yamaha 354 Trombone
    Mack Brass 200S BBb Tuba

  2. #2
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    You’re right that Rich Matteson played a Yamaha 321. Wow, what an artist he was may he Rest In Peace. The bore of the 321 is .570 vs .590 (or more) on compensators so its tone is different. I’m pretty sure Jim Williams (Snorlax) plays a 321 for his jazz work so hope he chimes in.
    Rick Floyd
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    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
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  3. #3
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    I believe David Bandman, who is a MONSTER jazz euphonium player with incredible technique, plays on a Yamaha 321. I saw him play on something like a Besson once just to show he could, but for his jazz I think he prefers the 321. He has incredible range as well.
    Last edited by John Morgan; 08-21-2019 at 01:42 PM.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
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  4. #4
    Yes, I would agree that something like a 321 is a good choice for jazz.

    • First of all, in jazz you don't really want a large sound; it's not characteristic. This is, perhaps, because of the history. I believe the early jazz euphonium players like Gus Mancuso, Chris Kellens, Kiane Zawadi, Betty O'Hara, etc. played on smaller equipment, usually American-style euphoniums.
    • Recordings of jazz instrumentals are usually done with close microphones, where a horn with a large sound is a disadvantage.
    • And then there is the playability factor, particularly in the high register, where a smaller horn helps.


    Our situation is not much different from the world of jazz trombone. I can't think of a jazz trombonist who used/uses a symphony tenor.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
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    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  5. #5
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    Good point about jazz trombonist playing on smaller equip. Art Sares played a King 2B most of the time. He was a giant jazz player who played with Frank Sinatra. Played in Las Vegas for over 20 years.
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (on long-term loan to grandson)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank


    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
    Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches
    When the Saints Go Marching In (arr. Mashima) at ACB Conference Ft. Lauderdale
    Cell phone video of : El Cumbanchero:

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Morgan View Post
    I believe David Bandman, who is a MONSTER jazz euphonium player with incredible technique plays, on a Yamaha 321. I saw him play on something like a Besson once just to show he could, but for his jazz I think he prefers the 321. He has incredible range as well.
    Thanks John. I've been checking out Youtube to see him play but couldn't tell what horn he was using. Tremendous player!
    John 3:16

    Yamaha YSL-630 Trombone
    Conn 15I Euphonium
    Mack Brass Euphonium
    Conn Victor 5H Trombone
    Yamaha 354 Trombone
    Mack Brass 200S BBb Tuba

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    Yes, I would agree that something like a 321 is a good choice for jazz.

    • First of all, in jazz you don't really want a large sound; it's not characteristic. This is, perhaps, because of the history. I believe the early jazz euphonium players like Gus Mancuso, Chris Kellens, Kiane Zawadi, Betty O'Hara, etc. played on smaller equipment, usually American-style euphoniums.
    • Recordings of jazz instrumentals are usually done with close microphones, where a horn with a large sound is a disadvantage.
    • And then there is the playability factor, particularly in the high register, where a smaller horn helps.


    Our situation is not much different from the world of jazz trombone. I can't think of a jazz trombonist who used/uses a symphony tenor.
    Dave - I completely agree about not having the large sound. Even Maynard Ferguson in earlier years played on a Baritone horn on more than one album. "Boy with Lots of Brass" and "Swingin my way through College" come to mind. I appreciate the names that you mentioned. I was familiar with Gus Mancuso but not the others. I will check them out.

    I do a lot of Big Band playing and play trombone. I agree that traditionally the smaller bore horns are used. I'm currently playing on a .525 bore Yamaha but sometimes use a .500 bore instrument. I am seeing more and more large bore tenor players playing sectional jazz. I do not like that sound for a big band though. Also the Bass Trombones of today are huge in comparison of the Bass Trombones of the Big Band era. It changes the sound. You don't hear the "growl" in the Bass Bone notes with the bigger horns. Just my opinion/preference. I've always wondered what jazz musicians in the 1930s thru the 1950s would think of the large trombones being used today! Slide Hampton played a lot on a King 4B. He also used small bore horns as well. There aren't many other jazz players that I am aware of that have used the large bore as you mention.
    John 3:16

    Yamaha YSL-630 Trombone
    Conn 15I Euphonium
    Mack Brass Euphonium
    Conn Victor 5H Trombone
    Yamaha 354 Trombone
    Mack Brass 200S BBb Tuba

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickF View Post
    Good point about jazz trombonist playing on smaller equip. Art Sares played a King 2B most of the time. He was a giant jazz player who played with Frank Sinatra. Played in Las Vegas for over 20 years.
    A tremendous player! Bill Watrous played on small bore Bach instruments and early on had an Olds Super. There is a great interview with Bill by Michael Davis on YouTube in his "Bone to Pick" interview series. Really interesting to watch. Frank Rosolino played on a Conn 6H. They were both virtuostic players. Rosolino's suicide and circumstances surrounding it were very tragic. What a terrible thing.
    John 3:16

    Yamaha YSL-630 Trombone
    Conn 15I Euphonium
    Mack Brass Euphonium
    Conn Victor 5H Trombone
    Yamaha 354 Trombone
    Mack Brass 200S BBb Tuba

  9. David Bandman played a 321 exclusively until he purchased a Besson 2051 (small bell) Prestige. I know he uses a small mouthpiece (Bach 7 to 12) on the 321 and am not sure what he uses on the 2051.
    Sterling Virtuoso 1052HS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HS baritone & Conn 24I/25I euphonium
    New England Brass Band/Metropolitan Wind Symphony
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by daruby View Post
    David Bandman played a 321 exclusively until he purchased a Besson 2051 (small bell) Prestige. I know he uses a small mouthpiece (Bach 7 to 12) on the 321 and am not sure what he uses on the 2051.
    Thanks Doug. I appreciate the info! He's a tremendous talent.
    John 3:16

    Yamaha YSL-630 Trombone
    Conn 15I Euphonium
    Mack Brass Euphonium
    Conn Victor 5H Trombone
    Yamaha 354 Trombone
    Mack Brass 200S BBb Tuba

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