FB: Umm, we did talk at one point about the Comrade reddit, one develops with members of a section uhh, when you're sitting up on the back row or that was in the orchestra, symphony orchestras with two hundred bars between blasts.
TE: Right um. You learn to become good friends. In fact in the freelance world, um ya know, your sitting there and you have three movements of a symphony you might be sitting around waiting to play in the less moving or at least you have, your counting, groups of ninety bars rests. And there's kind of a heirarchy in freelancing where the first trombone player makes decisions and interacts with the conductor and makes any stylistic desicions maybe looking down, noticing, saying, play it shorter. The second trombonist counted, kept track of where we were so that the first and third player could be doing somthing else, maybe even reading during movements you weren't playing in, but he would keep track of where we are. Third trombone player went out for coffee. That was the heirachy in freelancing. The trombone umm, some people say trombone players get along so well and its kind of a fraternity, its because all the mean cells in the brain are destroyed by that air coming back up and it just wears out anything nasty in the head. So trombone players get along. But really there's something about a group of trombone players getting together there so vocal in nature. You put three trombone players together, especially if one's a bass and you have two different size tenors umm, the senority is wonderful. You can play chords, umm, you put four trumpets together that could be great, but you got four trumpets and except with maybe the use of mutes and all umm, you don't get qeute the senority or umm, richness of sound I think and overtones that you would get from trombones. And uhh, and as we discussed earlier you brought up the fact that the trombone is such a vocal instrument. Its very simple. What you do with your lips and how you use your airstream and how you form the aural cavity is how the sound is produced. As true a french horn and a trumpet also, but on trombone its purely the change of slide position and manipulation of the lip that affects the range. So its a very very simple instrument at its basic level and I think that pulls trombonist together. Its a simple instrument in concept and yet to play it well is very very difficult. Umm, again going back to Bobby Brookmeyer, there's an expression he made that kind of sums up what trombone players go through. The trombone is cold in the morning, and it hurts at night. And so its a real dedication I think to play the trombone. Umm, I mentioned Spike Jones earlier. They are wonderful musicians. They were humurous performances. They featured the trombone in glissandos and different kinds of vocal sounds which you can do a stronger umm, variety of diverse sounds with vocal influences in the trombone than you can in trumpet because the larger size. Actually, you can do more with tuba than you can with trombone. But hearing the trombone in that capacity and being drawn to it, sometimes people are drawn to it are extraverts, or people who really like to have fun, and the glissando is an awfully strong attraction.
TE: The first time you hear it you go "wow that is great." And I think there is a sense, certainly a commerodity and maybe a fellowship in humor amongst trombonists. And, it doesn't matter what style you play, people don't get uptight who's playing first who's playing third, umm, its a real family and I've not seen that to that degree among any other combination, or any other instrumental family.
FB: There's also a sense of circling the wagons because the trombonists don't get called as often as an alto player or ya know, a drummer.
TE: Right, so often they set up their own playing. They'll get together and play duets, they'll play trios. And uhh, I mean more so you think there's some trombone bands. You think of J and K. I mean uhh, there are groups trombones have gotten together because they sound good and also because they want to play regularly. Ya know there's uhh, a story I'm sure you've heard that uhh, what you call a trombonist with a beeper? Ya know, an optimist. Hoping the phone will ring.