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What was Schilke thinking?



 
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JetJaguar
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:35 pm    Post subject: What was Schilke thinking? Reply with quote

What was the committee of one thinking when he designed the horn? Was he intending it to be a smoky jazz horn to be played in smoky jazz clubs with the player holding a cigarette while he plays? Or was it to be a symphonic instrument? Or something else?
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Didymus
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:29 pm    Post subject: Committee of One, Famous Feedback Reply with quote

jetjaguar wrote:
What was the committee of one thinking when he designed the horn? Was he intending it to be a smoky jazz horn to be played in smoky jazz clubs with the player holding a cigarette while he plays? Or was it to be a symphonic instrument? Or something else?


Yes, I read somewhere that the "committee" was actually the group of play-testers who reported back to Renold Schilke. I can't remember the entire list, but I do know that it included players like Bunny Berigan, Rafael Méndez, Charlie Spivak, and a former 1st cornet player with the Sousa band. (No, I'm pretty sure the last fellow was not EF Goldman nor Herbert Clarke.)

I have never played a vintage Committee, so I can only guess what the thought process was in an abstract way. Maybe the feedback committee's consensus was for an instrument that can "pop" out of the texture with tradition trumpety brightness when pushed, while being able to sound darker when the player laid off a bit, all with the flexibility associated more with cornets from the previous century.

Nearly 30 years ago, I remember a salesman at International Woodwind & Brass in Manhattan explain to me that the Committee was considered to be a trumpet which played on the brighter side. Miles Davis's tonal concept was greatly helped by the deep mouthpiece he used with his Committee, as well as his approach to working the mike at close distance at low volume. The IW&B salesman thought that Davis had a sweet tone which was a bit brighter than Dizzy Gilespie's tone, although it could be that he was talking about when Gillespie was using a tilt-bell King Silver Flair. (And yes, I know that the Silver Flair is considered a "bright" playing trumpet.)
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Last edited by Didymus on Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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MrOlds
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the time there might have been a (few) hundred symphony orchestra trumpet players making their living doing mostly that. There were fewer full-season orchestras in the US than there are today.

On the other hand there were thousands of trumpet players playing popular music, jazz, in pits, clubs, touring bands and a ubiquitous presence in radio, jingles and movie soundtracks. 70-80 years ago popular music trumpet players were everywhere.

Its a good bet that Martin and Mr Schilke were designing a tool for the larger market.
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OldSchoolEuph
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to a Martin advertisement published a couple years and some 500 retail sales after the horn launched, the Committee was: Fred Berman (On air performer), Otto Kurt Schmeisser (BSO, DSO), Jimmy Neilson (Band Director, Oklahoma), Dana Garrett (Sousa Band), Renold Schilke (CSO) and Charlie Spivak (Band leader) with endorsements from Rafael Mendez, M. Thomas Cousins, Bunny Berigan and Charlie Teagarden.

When asking what Schilke intended, one must consider that the original Committee pre-WWII was a different, tighter slotting, more traditional horn than the post-war redesign everyone covets. Schilke played a role in both. While the original still reflects the original Imperial it replaced, it has a familiarity of feel playing relative to the Holton tradition Schilke came from. It is a unique creation – just not all that I suspect most, including the Holton team, expected Schilke to go for. It is very conservative compared to the ideas he was trained in and then worked to expand upon at Holton. Holton was concerned enough about this that they designed the Revelation Model 48 with the first multi-inflexion leadpipe, a single radius slide, and many features to create a more open and loose horn than ever before. Schilke then seemed to “catch-up”, consulting on the redesign after the war that pushed further in that direction than the Holton – which had proved considerable competition for the original Committee (until all those leadpipes, stretched by the sharp inflexions in the mandrel, cracked – and people replaced them with 50s Committees).

What Schilke was interested in can be seen in the progression from the early Revelations concurrent with his apprenticeship, through the Llewellyn, Gustat and Berry models that experimented with radical new concepts in trumpet architecture, to then the Revelation 48 built anticipating what he could have done for Martin, to the 2nd generation Committee and finally to his own B-series designs. But for the original Committee, he was likely thinking “how do I build a horn that gets me more jobs doing this – play it safe!”
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AJCarter
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting! For some reason, I was always under the impression the "committee " was a team of people designing the horn, not players e endorsing it. Learn something everyday I guess...
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Christian K. Peters
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:49 am    Post subject: What was Schilke thinking Reply with quote

Hello all,
I read where Schilke, Bach, Benge and Foster Reynolds all had input to the build, though Schilke claimed to be a the committee of one. The players mentioned above, probably the test pool. Certainly 1939 was the year that Schilke and Benge were testing the waters to build their own horns. I don't know about Eldon, but Schilke was cobbling/modifying horns at that time. I have a Buescher that Renold converted to a D trumpet for a former student in 1942, when that student was taking lessons with him.
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just guessing ... but I imagine the other 'advertised' members of the 'design committee' were at least content with the final outcome and willing to have their name associated with it.

Schilke might have been the one who took the various comments and 'sonic requests', and produced the physical designs to accomplish those wishes.

Does anyone know if the other committee members have gone 'on record' about the collaboration that produced it?

Jay
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OldSchoolEuph
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:56 am    Post subject: Re: What was Schilke thinking Reply with quote

Christian K. Peters wrote:
Hello all,
I read where Schilke, Bach, Benge and Foster Reynolds all had input to the build, though Schilke claimed to be a the committee of one. The players mentioned above, probably the test pool. Certainly 1939 was the year that Schilke and Benge were testing the waters to build their own horns. I don't know about Eldon, but Schilke was cobbling/modifying horns at that time. I have a Buescher that Renold converted to a D trumpet for a former student in 1942, when that student was taking lessons with him.


In 1938 when the Committee began, Reynolds was pre-occupied with building a year and a half old company in his own name with brother Harper and Max Scherl, and Bach was struggling against depression economics to get his own horns to sell (even acting as the muscle for collections because he couldn't afford anyone else). There is no way either would have contributed to making a better competing product.

Benge on the other hand logically would have been involved, as he and Schilke were neighbors, professional collaborators both as CSO players and makers, and friends. It was Schilke who gave Benge his training in the field and the Committee doubtless served as a design study as Schilke mentored his friend who by then was already rebuilding Bessons and making his own parts. Schilke was building optimized hand-build Llewellyns for Llewellyn & friends 1929-31 was involved in R&D at Holton for years before Martin.
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