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Harry James Mouthpiece


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skootchy
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:15 pm    Post subject: Harry James Mouthpiece Reply with quote

Does anyone know for sure if Harry James switched mouthpieces toward the end of his life or did he continue to play his Parduba?? If he did switch than what did he switch to and why?? Just curious as some of his later stuff has a slightly different sound.
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plankowner110
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HJ was playing a Parduba on his King trumpet when I last saw him in 1981. He passed away in 1983. Photos on his last LP albums done in the 70s show him playing a Parduba as well. The "change" in sound you hear may be due to changing recording quality and technology. When I heard him in his later years, he could still peel paint off the wall!

King introduced the King 2000 series professional trumpets in late 1980 and someone from King took a large bore model to HJ to try out. He wasn't interested in switching from his King Symphony, so it would be my guess that he wouldn't be switching mouthpieces either at that point in his career. An exec at King told me that story over twenty years ago.
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Acolyte
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2005 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is the Parduba Harry James Standard Double Cup Mouthpiece fairly well respected? I don't hear it mentioned too much...
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Rich G
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2005 2:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Harry James Mouthpiece Reply with quote

skootchy wrote:
Does anyone know for sure if Harry James switched mouthpieces toward the end of his life or did he continue to play his Parduba?? If he did switch than what did he switch to and why?? Just curious as some of his later stuff has a slightly different sound.


I posed that question, during a gig, to my trumpet buddy, Louise Baranger - trumpeter in Harry James band shortly before he died. She said he used that same Parduba mouthpiece right to the end.

Louise has spent the last few years promoting a musical tribute to Harry James, personally playing many of his most famous solo's from the original arrangements.

http://www.trumpetblues.com/
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skootchy
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I guess the difference in sound must have been the recording/technology. I knew he could "peel the paint" right to the end I just thought his sound was a lot fatter than the Parduba would allow. As far as the Parduba being respected today...I guess that depends on if you play one or not. I love mine. I use the 5* Harry James model for pretty much everything. If I am forced to play symphony work I use my 5 1/2 * Harry James Model. (LOL)
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Rich G
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

skootchy wrote:
I knew he could "peel the paint" right to the end


Absolutely. There was a lot of nonsense going around that Harry James didn't have any range. Louise told me that he had an effortless A above high C as big as a house - anytime he wanted it!

BTW, skootchy, you live in Naugatuck? I live in Bethany...
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OCTA-C
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The change in sound in the later years could also have accounted for his wearing of dentures when he played. The embouchure does change slightly and the sound does also. JMO
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stevecass
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello! I have it on record that my father made Harry James a mouthpiece. I'm am estimating around the early 1960s.(though it is very possible that he did not use it until much later, or only in the studio.) The Harry James use of Al Cass is also somewhat similar to the Louis Armstrong story. Even though Al Cass made Louis Armstrong 3 mouthpieces, (2 of which are in the Louis Armstrong archive) Louis told my father that even though it seemed "good". He said, "You don't change horses in the middle of the stream". BUT, never gave him the mouthpieces back. So my father passed away thinking that Louis never used his mouthpiece but had hoped by him keeping them that he would. (My father used to say the piece he was using was killing him). But more recently, I have heard that Louis did in fact use the pieces my father made but only in the later private studio recordings, not at public appearances.(if you view the archive, the pieces have definitely been used to some extent, and I have the first of the three he made, which is also very worn,(this was the piece exchanged back and forth several times before he got it right)) If you guys out there are saying there was a noticable change in JAMES' sound, it might be because Harry was using the Al Cass, in a similar way that Louis did. A lot of big players did not want to jump to "endorse" something in which their endorsement could potentially make someone else rich! ..... and/or didn't want to break previous ties with current manufactures who they just recieved a hefty check from. Here are Harry James specs from my father's notes. O.D. -1.113, I.D. .641,cup 613, Face 11/64ths,Bite 1/16th,Cushion 1/8th. (I also have a Louis Armstrong Giardinelli, that Louis gave my father at his initial consultation, and I have Harry James' Parduba doublecup he gave my father as his consultation. It is also interesting that Mr. Armstrong, had also previously used a Harry James model Parduba)Thanks for bringing up this interesting topic.
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LeeC
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve,

Good share on your dad's mouthpieces.

Do you have the stats on the 1-28 or the 3X series? I mean what were the inside diameter depths? Other pieces too?

Also could you compare the 3X4 & 3X5 to Schilke? it is my feeling that the depth of the 3X4 was close to the 6A4a.

Best regards,

Lee
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stevecass
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Lee! Thanks for asking this question.

You know.....I DON't HAVE SPECS that say, a 3x1 is......and a 1-28 is......

What I do have, is notes, that only refer to a certain player, and the dimensions of the piece they were made. In a couple of instances, there is just the model # and no related specs.

When my father died, I think it was his full intention to never reveal what he did. And as he used to say, even if "they knew". "They" could never translate the why's and why nots.

I never divulged what was in the note books until I saw the potential in the trumpet herald. I have decided it is beneficial for both my father as well as others, to not keep his notes "hidden" from public view, because I think it is important that other's can have a glimps inside of his idea's through the specs he did write down, and to me, can help others and at the same time, show the many variables and combinations of designs within mouthpiece making that other's thought never existed, which I believe can only help reveal the level of his work and why so many other great players saught him to make them their piece.

I wish I had exact specs for every piece made. That would be GREAT! Certainly a lot less headache for a lot of people. But.....that's what he wanted. Not to share his genius, unless you used his pieces. Even then, he never told you what he did that solved your problems.

I think he is extremely happy looking down on this forum. Just the fact he is being talked about and mostly in high esteem. I am sure was his purpose for living.

Thanks Lee! How's it goin? I went into see Emilio, he looks really good. He just refuses to age. I mentioned you and he lit up. He also couldn't stop talking about the 1-28. He said his boss swore by it.
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LeeC
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevecass wrote:
Hello Lee! Thanks for asking this question.

You know.....I DON't HAVE SPECS that say, a 3x1 is......and a 1-28 is......

What I do have, is notes, that only refer to a certain player, and the dimensions of the piece they were made. In a couple of instances, there is just the model # and no related specs.

When my father died, I think it was his full intention to never reveal what he did. And as he used to say, even if "they knew". "They" could never translate the why's and why nots.

I never divulged what was in the note books until I saw the potential in the trumpet herald. I have decided it is beneficial for both my father as well as others, to not keep his notes "hidden" from public view, because I think it is important that other's can have a glimps inside of his idea's through the specs he did write down, and to me, can help others and at the same time, show the many variables and combinations of designs within mouthpiece making that other's thought never existed, which I believe can only help reveal the level of his work and why so many other great players saught him to make them their piece.

I wish I had exact specs for every piece made. That would be GREAT! Certainly a lot less headache for a lot of people. But.....that's what he wanted. Not to share his genius, unless you used his pieces. Even then, he never told you what he did that solved your problems.

I think he is extremely happy looking down on this forum. Just the fact he is being talked about and mostly in high esteem. I am sure was his purpose for living.

Thanks Lee! How's it goin? I went into see Emilio, he looks really good. He just refuses to age. I mentioned you and he lit up. He also couldn't stop talking about the 1-28. He said his boss swore by it.


Emilio still working let alone alive?!

Shouldn't be surprised. He tried to mentor my brother John down at Rayburn's in the early 1970's. But John was a veritable vacuum cleaner of knowledge and soon took over the whole amplifier, and guitar related sales and repair. Talk about a pair of geniuses under the same roof.

Me? I was so obsessed with high notes as a kid that I'd go into Rayburn's and do nothing except blow loud obnoxious high notes and clams in the practice room on every mouthpiece they had in the shop. Can still hear Emilio Lyons saying.

"Now a boy, justa play somethin a nice and sweet a lika dee Haydn a
trumpet concerto. Please a sonny".



Good to hear from you Steve. Even better that your words are in public view on the forum. Certainly an asset to all the others.

(Take notes on these posts of Steve's everybody).

And yes your Dad is smiling upstairs. Standing right behind Diz looking over his shoulder.

Another thing that Al Cass did that was ahead of his time was to increase the mass of the mouthpiece below the cup similar to tone rings we buy these days or the long block on Monettes, some Bachs and other pieces. the extra brass isn't so pronounced as those but it was there.

I always had a feeling that the outer design made a difference. Perhaps it was psychological but that's certainly part of the game too.
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skootchy
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While we are on the subject; Harry James also gave his trumpet section Parduba's (Standard not the shallower Harry James model) to play on. I was wondering if this practise continued until the end or when/why it stopped.
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stevecass
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

have all of you ever seen the Parduba double cup? Reminds me of something out of a 19th century dental kit.
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Rich G
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got more information from a member of Harry James trumpet section regarding the Parduba mouthpiece.

The late Chris Griffin confided that all three of the Goodman trumpets (Chris Griffin, Ziggy Elman, and Harry James) played Parduba for awhile. Chris said he couldn't make it work so he went back to his good old Bach 7C - which he played until he retired. (FWIW, Chris Griffin had one of the most beautiful trumpet sounds I ever heard).

According to my source, Louise Baranger, "Harry and Ziggy kept playing the Parduba. I'm not sure if Ziggy played it after he left Benny- but Harry was still playing it when I was with his band in 1983".

Believe it or not, Fred Mills played a Parduba for awhile during his time with the Canadian Brass, probably around 1993. After a few months he gave that up and went back to a custom Reeves. Fred Mills could get a beautiful sound out of that shallow thing - but hey, it worked for Harry.
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stevecass
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My father's favorite trumpet player and probably most influential person in his life, certainly his idol, was Harry James.
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trumpetplayer09
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

so which one is better a parduba standard double cup or a Harry James standard double cup.
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stevecass
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wasn't this mp designed for Harry James?
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trumpaholic
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry did a lot of his recordings on a Paris Selmer trumpet. I blew one yesterday, serial number 12,xxx and in mint condition. This horn had a Selmer mpc, an exact replica of the Parduba number 5 which came with the horn. The timbre on this trumpet was so gorgeous, and the condition incredible, of course the guy will not part with it.

I am not certain when he changed to a King, but perhaps that is the difference in tonal quality which would I think be brighter than an old Selmer.[/b]
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norwegiantrumpet
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

trumpaholic wrote:

I am not certain when he changed to a King,


Harry switched over to King in 1954 I believe.

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skootchy
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe that Mr Parduba introduced Harry James to his already existing double cup design and Harry fell in love with it. I don't believe it was designed "for" Harry... "So which one is better a parduba standard double cup or a Harry James standard double cup?"...That depends on what you want. The Harry James model is slightly shallower than the standard model. I like that one better. But to each his own. I am not sure what folks are calling the shallow cup wide rim tight backbore mouthpieces these days: "cheaters", "screamers" or the more politically palatable moniker "lead mouthpiece". If you are not use to this type of mouthpiece it will take a little getting use to so don't judge it too harshly too soon. If your friends start kidding you about playing on that "thing" than just look down at the floor sadly and tell them it use to be much worse that you use to play a Rudy Muck. Their disdain will instantly turn to sympathy. LOL Or you can just play your ass off and stare them down.
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