17 February 2016


One of the greatest pleasures a traditional jazz trumpet (or cornet) player can have is being in a band in which the other players are all excellent musicians who listen and respond creatively to each other. The rhythm section intelligently provides a steady pulsing beat with clear chords and nobody playing too loud; and in the ensembles the clarinet and trombone players put in such wonderful supporting and decorative notes that the trumpeter has little else to do than state the melody for them to hang their phrases on.

In a six-piece (or seven-piece) ensemble, the best effects are achieved if the trumpet lead plays far fewer notes than he or she would in a smaller group, such as a quartet, where the trumpet player has to work harder and feels obliged to play more notes to try to keep the music interesting.