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Which Flugelhorn for Jazz?


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Ed Kennedy
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check your messages.

Namaste,
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Stephen Haynes
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 5:16 pm    Post subject: Flugelhorn Reply with quote

As with your trumpet, one humans ceiling is another's floor. Great recommendations on this thread all 'round. You may enjoy reading Jim Donaldson's iconic article on the subject. Very useful.

https://everythingtrumpet.com/gearhead/Flugelhorn_Guide.html
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Bflatman
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forgive my untechnical contribution.

Look to the pianist

We trumpet cornet and flugel payers bring our instrument with us.

The same is true of bass trombone sax drums and almost every instrument.

The pianist must play what he finds at the gig.

I dont hear a pianist saying oh no this is a Steinway it is only suitable for orchestral works I need a Bechstein or a Bluthner to play jazz.

The pianist makes the jazz and the piano allows the pianist to express himself transparently.

The jazz is inside you.

We can play jazz on any instrument we are the jazz instrument not the flugel.

I know what you mean I am not being flippant here some flugels are more suited to your style of jazz playing but jazz is such a broad discipline of techniques you need to understand your own jazz needs and concepts to answer this question.

I could say the yam or cousenon is the best for jazz because it is best for many players jazz but is it best for your jazz.

Perhaps the best jazz flugel is the flugel that lets you explore your capabilities and express yourself the most eloquently in your phrasing and articulation. The rest is button pressing and blowing.
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Grits Burgh
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jhatpro wrote:
Scodwell. Great sound, excellent intonation.


I doubt you could find a Scodwell for what the OP wants to pay, but the Scodwell flugelhorn has THE sound in my opinion. It's a great horn.
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etc-etc
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ed Kennedy wrote:
Dkjcliff wrote:
I'll also put in a plug for Yamaha flugels. I recently unearthed my 635T that had been in storage for quite a while. After I cleaned it up, I was amazed at how well it played and sounded. Very mellow and rich, and great intonation throughout. I realized I never really appreciated this horn for how good it is, partially cause when I was playing it a lot back in high school and college I had a lot of embouchure problems, which I'm now correcting. The 635T wasn't in production all that long so it can be harder to find. But if you have a chance to try one, I'd highly recommend it.


Bobby Shew scolded me when I said that the 635 was modeled after the Quesnon. Chastened, I was informed that it was modeled after the French Besson. The Z flugel is indeed modeled after the Couesnon. Bobby was reputed to have a fairly large collection of Couesnon Flugels.

My former teacher, Leon Merian (RIP) Played a 635T and seemed quite happy with it. PM me with an email address and I'll send you a cut with him playing it.


Which flugelhorn was used as the model for Yamaha 631?
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Trumpetstud
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2021 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I'm just learning jazz and really wanted to try and stick with the traditional main street sound and thought the Couesnon was the horn of choice. Maybe it doesn't matter any more what you play with. Just my thought. I'm concerned that they don't have the third valve tuning slide). My teacher has a Couesnon and told me there are better horns out there. I'm not sure if he's saying I would have a hard time with it or he really thinks there are better horns. I guess I better ask. I see one on Ebay being sold from Japan. It looks like it's in terrific shape but....
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HERMOKIWI
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2021 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is no specific flugelhorn that has the perfect sound. That's because flugelhorns don't play themselves. The sound depends primarily on the player. Two players can play the same flugelhorn and sound totally different. So thinking that this, that or some other flugelhorn will automatically give you the perfect sound (whatever that means) ignores the most critical element: The player.

Clark Terry played many different flugelhorns over the course of his career. He sounded about the same on all of them so the horn didn't really matter. No one says, "Gee, if only Clark had played an XYZ horn."

I think the best approach is to play a number of horns and choose the one on which you sound closest to your sound concept, whatever that sound concept may be. Then, stop looking for horns and focus on developing your skill.
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delano
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2021 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HERMOKIWI wrote:

Clark Terry played many different flugelhorns over the course of his career. He sounded about the same on all of them so the horn didn't really matter. No one says, "Gee, if only Clark had played an XYZ horn."


Don't agree at all.
IMO CT sounded the best on that weird Selmer flügel. After that one he changed, maybe gradually, to a more commercial (and complete different) sound I believe, never liked it as much as the Selmer sound. I don't know any player who changed his sound on a flügel so drastically. Still I think it was a pity. But maybe it was better for him to have a more universal, commercial sound that could blend with almost everything as he changed as a player from an orchestral player (Ellington) to a world known solist with possible other requirements.
So gee, if only Clark had continued to play that Selmer flügel...
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Halflip
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2021 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

delano wrote:

IMO CT sounded the best on that weird Selmer flügel. After that one he changed, maybe gradually, to a more commercial (and complete different) sound I believe, never liked it as much as the Selmer sound. I don't know any player who changed his sound on a flügel so drastically.


So funny, delano -- I both agree and disagree with you.

I saw some YouTube videos of CT, and I was immediately struck by how different he sounded on that Selmer as compared to his later Olds signature model. However, when I heard him on the Selmer, my immediate reaction was, "If he wants to sound that way, why doesn't he just use his trumpet?". I much prefer his later sound (fluffy, pillowy, more like what I think makes a flugelhorn sound distinctive).

Given some of your comments in other posts regarding European versus American tastes in flugel sound, I'm not surprised that our preferences differ. To each his own!
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delano
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2021 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Halflip wrote:


Given some of your comments in other posts regarding European versus American tastes in flugel sound, I'm not surprised that our preferences differ. To each his own!


Yes I know. Of course tastes can differ and let's be happy with all the different sounds. Still I don't think CT had a trumpet sound on that Selmer flügel, I really like his pure and great resonance on it. In fact I think CT's trumpet sound was also a little flugelish. Maybe that has something to do with his unsurpassed attack of the notes which seems to give it a more flugelish rounding of the notes. But maybe some here have a much better analysis.
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HERMOKIWI
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2021 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

delano wrote:
HERMOKIWI wrote:

Clark Terry played many different flugelhorns over the course of his career. He sounded about the same on all of them so the horn didn't really matter. No one says, "Gee, if only Clark had played an XYZ horn."


Don't agree at all.
IMO CT sounded the best on that weird Selmer flügel. After that one he changed, maybe gradually, to a more commercial (and complete different) sound I believe, never liked it as much as the Selmer sound. I don't know any player who changed his sound on a flügel so drastically. Still I think it was a pity. But maybe it was better for him to have a more universal, commercial sound that could blend with almost everything as he changed as a player from an orchestral player (Ellington) to a world known solist with possible other requirements.
So gee, if only Clark had continued to play that Selmer flügel...


Gee, that's one opinion out of the world population. Not very persuasive.

Keep in mind that what you hear on a record can be engineered and if it's a live recording at a jazz venue or you're hearing the player live at a jazz venue it's affected by the environment. Different environments = different sounds on a record or live even with the same horn.

Clark changed his sound "drastically?" No, Clark sounded like himself on all of the horns he played. His sound was consistent and unmistakable.
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delano
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2021 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HERMOKIWI wrote:

Gee, that's one opinion out of the world population. Not very persuasive.

Keep in mind that what you hear on a record can be engineered and if it's a live recording at a jazz venue or you're hearing the player live at a jazz venue it's affected by the environment. Different environments = different sounds on a record or live even with the same horn.

Clark changed his sound "drastically?" No, Clark sounded like himself on all of the horns he played. His sound was consistent and unmistakable.


First, maybe I'm a big exception here but I never, never need the support of any group for my opinions. And I never knew that there is/was a measured world opinion about CT's playing but maybe it's done.

Second, your post is highly discrepant. You see, there are two possibilities, or the sound is the same, consistent and unmistakable, or the sound is different but in your view only the result of different engineering (where did I hear that before?) or of different surroundings. But the sound can not be the same and different (for whatever reason) at the same time.
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Halflip
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2021 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HERMOKIWI wrote:
Gee, that's one opinion out of the world population. Not very persuasive


Well . . . two opinions out of the world population (I guess you didn't read my post quoting delano). By the way, the video clips I heard were of live dates.
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delano
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2021 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Halflip wrote:
HERMOKIWI wrote:
Gee, that's one opinion out of the world population. Not very persuasive


Well . . . two opinions out of the world population (I guess you didn't read my post quoting delano). By the way, the video clips I heard were of live dates.


Thanks for the support, there are not many here with that courage.

BTW, I got lot of support on my posts in this thread by pm and by e-mail. Thanks for that too. Someone of Maine send me a youtube interview with an artist woman, born French, but living for over 45 years in the USA, with in it some interesting stuff about the problem of that using not enough sugar can be interpreted as rude or even insulting. For me this give me a real insight in some flavours of American ways of behaviour. I think I have to incorporate that in my thinking in a certain way but still don't know how to do that in an integer manner.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ze0Pm4mXDtk

Especially from minute 8 where she explains why she has to move back from San Francisco to NY. For me a moment of recognition.
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tomterriff
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2021 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of great comments above. In the $1000-2000 price range the consensus seems to be Yamaha 631 (if you prefer a large bore flugel,) and a Couesnon (Iif you'd prefer a small bore horn.)

My preference for jazz is a lighter more agile horn. Big copper bell horns like the Kanstul 1525 seem too big and cumbersome for jazz. The Bobby Shew Model is their Yamaha's bore horn and is worth trying and Kanstul makes a lighter, bottom sprung model that was once called the "Chicago" which is a nice choice. My personal preference is a 70s era Selmer (Paris) model that has a small bore, small bell, and bottom sprung valves, that is ideal for my needs. They don't show up often are usually very reasonably priced.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2021 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tomterriff wrote:
Lots of great comments above. In the $1000-2000 price range the consensus seems to be Yamaha 631 (if you prefer a large bore flugel,) and a Couesnon (Iif you'd prefer a small bore horn.)

My preference for jazz is a lighter more agile horn. Big copper bell horns like the Kanstul 1525 seem too big and cumbersome for jazz. The Bobby Shew Model is their Yamaha's bore horn and is worth trying and Kanstul makes a lighter, bottom sprung model that was once called the "Chicago" which is a nice choice. My personal preference is a 70s era Selmer (Paris) model that has a small bore, small bell, and bottom sprung valves, that is ideal for my needs. They don't show up often are usually very reasonably priced.


As Kanstul has closed, one would be able only to find used and NOS items.
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Jon Arnold
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2021 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will share you some thoughts based on personal experience. I will start by saying I have owned several fine flugelhorns in the past and they all have different qualities. So you need to decide what sound concept you are striving for. I also look for ease of play and intonation. My sound concept is inspired by Bobby Shew and Tom Harrell. I also love Roy Hargrove's flugel sound.


1. Couesnon. Great sound. Wonky intonation. I had two of these and I liked the tone and blow better with a french taper leadpipe. I also had a GR pipe and did not like the sound as much, but it did improve pitch.

2. Yamaha 631. Played an older version for several years. Valves were terrible and hung up all the time. Drove me nuts. Had a nice dark tone. This was the predecessor to the 631G. I believe it had more copper content in the bell.

3. Adams F1 and F5. Owned both. Liked the F1 better with the two piece bell.
Super easy to play and had excellent intonation. The F1 is very light. I owned a F5 for a while and did not like it as much. Some people like the F5 but I regretted getting rid of the F1. The F5 was harder to play in the upper register.

4. Conn V1. One of my favorite flugels I owned in the past. Played on for several years and it played with a quick response and had solid intonation for the most part. The one I owned was real sharp in the low register.

5. Stomvi Elite. I am currently playing on Stomvi horns and I love this flugel. It is very similar in terms of tone to the Couesnon out of all other horns I have played. Has the copper bell and is so easy to play with excellent intonation. I am keeping this horn for a very long time.

6. Kanstul French Besson copy. A former student of mine bought a Kanstul made French besson copy. It was actually my first flugel from high school. The guy I sold it to contacted me to let me know he was selling it. My former student bought it and let me play it.
It played awesome and I loved the tone. The last time I played it was in high school and I am now in my late 40's. I am much better now and thought, why did I ever get rid of this horn? Would be a great used horn if you can find one.I It had a french taper leadpipe.

Just my opinion. Lots of great choices out there. Enjoy the journey.

Peace.
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tomterriff
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2021 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't pretend to be mainstream at all. I agree about the Kanstul 1525, too dark and too bold. I prefer subtlety. I've had great luck with Selmers from Paris. My 1970's Selmer is light and agile and is great for relaxed passages and actually plays easily up to C above the staff.

I also have more modern Selmer Concept that has a lovely, rich sound, though it doesn't match the earlier model for range and agility.

They don't come up for sale often but I think you'd like one if you found one.
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windandsong
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2021 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have a Conn V1 GP which is very good. Often get a pat on the back after I've been on this thing.

Jeremy Pelt played one on early albums if you wanna hear what they sound like. Pretty dark.

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Bill Ortiz
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2021 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still love my Couesnon-it gives me the nice Freddie Hubbard/Donald Byrd vibe. As for intonation, once I sent it down to Bob Reeves for a PVA the intonation got much better. I tried on of the GR lead pipes on it but didn't like it because it lost it's distinctive tone. A lot of good horns out there-depends on what you like.
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