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Lee Morgan's Trumpet


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Leeway
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 5:29 pm    Post subject: Lee Morgan's Trumpet Reply with quote

Does anyone know what horn Lee played during his time whith Art Blakey? It cant have been his 8B as they didn't come out until '63.

I've heard 50s recordings where he is almost certainly playing a Committee, his sound is way darker than later in his solo career when he played his Conn. But on albums like The Big Beat, his sound has changed, but this is pre 1963.

Puzzling...
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Bill Ortiz
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He was on a Martin Committee for a while before the Conn, and before the Committee I read he was on a French Besson Brevete...
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theslawdawg
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any idea what mouthpiece?
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Leeway
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

theslawdawg wrote:
Any idea what mouthpiece?





I've read he used bach 6C
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theslawdawg
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leeway wrote:
theslawdawg wrote:
Any idea what mouthpiece?





I've read he used bach 6C


I watched the documentary on him "I Called Him Morgan"....really good. Tragic, but really good.
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Bill Ortiz
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also read that he played on a Bach 6C
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Leeway
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a listen to a French Besson Brevette on youtube and I'm starting to think Lee may have been still playing that horn at times during the Jazz Messengers days. The Besson has that bright sizzle that is so synonymous with Lee's sound. Maybe he was using the Martin on ballads and the Besson came out when it was time to into the stratosphere.....

I'm gonna check some film clips....
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Leeway
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

theslawdawg wrote:
Leeway wrote:
theslawdawg wrote:
Any idea what mouthpiece?





I've read he used bach 6C


I watched the documentary on him "I Called Him Morgan"....really good. Tragic, but really good.





I'd love to catch that Film, unfortunately it hasn't been released on my side of the planet and probably wont be either

Well, my ears weren't lying, if you watch the 1961 Messengers performance in Tokyo, you will see he is indeed playing a Besson.

I just developed a new Holy Grail Horn fixation!
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Voltrane
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leeway,

As you are new to the forum and may be not French speaking, I must remind you, before you buy a Besson Brevette, that:

1- Brevette does not exist. Only Breveté, meaning patented in French
2- Many, many Besson horns are patented whatever the model meaning that something technical was patented
To sum up, when you are told Lee Morgan played a Besson Breveté period, you don’t have any accurate information about the model he played.
If you want I can sell to you a Besson Breveté cornet of 1915, a Classe A C trumpet Breveté @1930 and so on. Tongue in cheek of course only to say: be careful before buying your patented holy grail, a Breveté can hide another Breveté 😩
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Leeway
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Voltrane wrote:
Leeway,

As you are new to the forum and may be not French speaking, I must remind you, before you buy a Besson Brevette, that:

1- Brevette does not exist. Only Breveté, meaning patented in French
2- Many, many Besson horns are patented whatever the model meaning that something technical was patented
To sum up, when you are told Lee Morgan played a Besson Breveté period, you don’t have any accurate information about the model he played.
If you want I can sell to you a Besson Breveté cornet of 1915, a Classe A C trumpet Breveté @1930 and so on. Tongue in cheek of course only to say: be careful before buying your patented holy grail, a Breveté can hide another Breveté 😩






Thanks for the heads up voltrane, I had gathered that all is not as it seems with Besson.
Lee's horn could have been pre war and made in Paris, or post war and made in London for starters. The info out there is confusing with some saying no Parisian production after ww2 and others saying this is incorrect. Serial no. 92000 also gets put forward as the 'cut off' number for an 'authentic Breveté, if there is such a thing. I certainly wont be rushing into a purchase with my very limited knowledge of these horns.

Maybe you can enlighten me as to the pros and cons of the different models and what to look for?
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Voltrane
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would be happy to help but I am not really a Besson specialist and not really a vintage fan (so many great horns today)!
If I were a vintage Besson fan I would buy a French model with a...name, for instance Meha.
That said I had the opportunity years ago to buy a Meha a horn a lot of people
are looking for, but it was in such a shape that I gave up.
There is a lot of knowledgeable people in this forum that can help you. I hope they will answer more accurately.
Good luck
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding Lee's mouthpiece, I have read here that Bach's were larger in the "old days" than they are now. So, if you wanted to play something similar to Lee's (or Chet's) Bach 6C, what current size should one choose?
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yourbrass
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a photograph of Lee Morgan early in his career in which he's playing a tilt-bell Dizzy-style Martin Committee. This was a small production horn for them, I've only seen one in all the years I've been doing repair work. The one I saw had two bells to choose from.
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Leeway
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yourbrass wrote:
There's a photograph of Lee Morgan early in his career in which he's playing a tilt-bell Dizzy-style Martin Committee. This was a small production horn for them, I've only seen one in all the years I've been doing repair work. The one I saw had two bells to choose from.





Apparently Lee was given a tilted bell Committee when he left Dizzy's Big Band around 1957. I've read that Dizzy gave his whole Trumpet section these horns when the band dissolved at that time. I dont think Lee thought much of it as he didn't seem to play a Martin for very long.

As to the 6C question, that's an Interesting point about sizes having changed over the years. No idea if that's correct, but it's not like anyone is going to sound like another player by using the same mouthpiece anyway. Mind you, I have been curious to try a 6C just in case.....
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leeway wrote:
As to the 6C question, that's an Interesting point about sizes having changed over the years. No idea if that's correct, but it's not like anyone is going to sound like another player by using the same mouthpiece anyway.


LOL no, no magic bullets as to sounding like Lee. Matter of fact sound is important but in Lee's case especially, articulation, phrasing and soul-bluesy oriented elements make up most of it and that doesn't come with a new mouthpiece.

Still, I'm curious about the size.
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Leeway
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kehaulani wrote:
Leeway wrote:
As to the 6C question, that's an Interesting point about sizes having changed over the years. No idea if that's correct, but it's not like anyone is going to sound like another player by using the same mouthpiece anyway.


LOL no, no magic bullets as to sounding like Lee. Matter of fact sound is important but in Lee's case especially, articulation, phrasing and soul-bluesy oriented elements make up most of it and that doesn't come with a new mouthpiece.

Still, I'm curious about the size.





I'm curious too!

You are spot on about Lee's articulation and phrasing. A lot of his 'language' does come from Fats through Clifford, but Lee did bring something quite new to the intrument. That tounge of his seemed to be able to do somersaults!

Now, to train my tounge do do better than its lazy efforts so far! Being a 'comeback' guy, I'm only just getting a nice crisp TA, rather than the 'tha' that has plagued me for the last few months.

The original Bessons with the backwards 2nd valve slide and 3rd valve throw underneath seem to be very collectable now and very exy. I may be onto a nice 8B though......
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's also a youtube video that someone posted here years ago where Morgan plays an Olds Ambassador cornet! Sounds as swinging and beautiful as ever.
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Leeway
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yourbrass wrote:
There's also a youtube video that someone posted here years ago where Morgan plays an Olds Ambassador cornet! Sounds as swinging and beautiful as ever.





I've seen that. Sadly, it was probably the case that Lee's Besson was in hock at the time to fund his habit.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I started playing on a 6c after finding an old one in a case and giving it a go.

Now it's my main piece. It turns out it's the one that fits me (though I never tried one earlier because of the tendency to go from 7c to 3c to 1.5c to whatever custom business...)

Helps me with the sound in my head. Doesn't give me any more notes up top (what piece does?) but the sound is fat and compact, with core and an articulate edge. Rim is super comfy.
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plankowner110
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I remember, the inside photo on his LP album "Caramba!" shows Morgan holding his Conn 8B trumpet and you can read 6C on his Bach mouthpiece.
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