Warming Up

Warming Up

Monday, January 31, 2011

Guess The Trumpet Player Winner

The winner of the third installment of the Outside Pants Guess The Trumpet Player contest is……..Ian Carey of the San Francisco Bay Area!  Nice work, Ian. And, the correct answer is…….Ron Miles. 

The name of this tune is “Illuminator” and it comes from Ron’s 2006 double album “Stone/Blossom” (Sterling Circle Records).  I picked this tune specifically because it has a country flavor and, because Ron is a Midwesterner (living in Denver since he was a kid), I thought that this country flavor might help listeners determine that this was not another East Coast or West Coast trumpet player, but perhaps someone in between.  I like Ron Miles’ trumpet playing and music a lot.  I think he is a truly singular artist. The first album of his that I bought was his 1996 (Grammavision) record “My Cruel Heart.”  On first listen I thought it was cool and then put it away for a while.  The next time I played the CD I started to really get into it (love it when that happens with an album – lost but rediscovered!) and then I went out and bought all of his other records as a leader and some where he is a sideman, specifically Bill Frisell’s albums (I’m a big Frisell fan too – another guy who spent time in Denver).

Ron Miles is kind of a weird trumpet player.  He can get a really beautiful and pure trumpet sound and play some really pretty lines.  And he can certainly play straight ahead jazz, swinging and threading changes.  But he also flirts with avant-garde styles and is a master of some of the trumpet’s extended techniques.  The crazy thing is, he might do all of this in the space of one song.  And for my money, I think he can usually pull it off.  His albums as a leader have been pretty varied and I would count him as one of those artists whose music I would buy as soon as it comes out.  That’s high praise from me because I’m cheap :).   

I wrote to Ron Miles a while back and told him that I would love to come to Denver to take a lesson from him.  He wrote back, was very nice, and said yes.  I have an aunt and an uncle in Denver who I’ve wanted to visit for some time now.  Hopefully soon I can get out there, visit with some family, and hook up with Mr. Miles.  I think it would be an awesome trip.

So, thanks to all of you who gave this track a listen.  It seemed as though at first that I had picked a player who is too obscure (one listener really didn’t like the track – and that’s cool.  I appreciated the honesty, for sure).  But Ian nailed it.  I’ll have an easier Guess The Trumpet Player this week so stay tuned.

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