8508Re: Instrumentation similar to the KOCJB
- Feb 28, 2011Louis was of course as an aspect of his genius extremely aware of harmony, and I would conjecture on a firm basis of evidence that what he did as second cornet to Oliver was as innovatory as anything he did subsequently. Of course he was also matching Oliver in numerous respects which distinguish Oliver as the great musician he was. I think that particular combination of lead and two-cornet work was an innovation almost beyond emulation. Nothing shameful in not being able to do it. Who could? Other than by quoting.
I do remember a couple of years ago Ken Mathieson's octet playing on an open-air stage in Glasgow, and as a matter of dynamics his wholly admirable and ever lyrical trumpeter (very good on Bix and King Oliver) coped well but took a lot of punishment (as became clear only later in private.
I can see King Oliver needing support in his Chicago venue and going for as good as he could get and things following from there. Oliver had very definite musical ideas, and an unlyrical power merchant was hardly on the csrds. Louis wasn't just second cornet, he was second cornet to King Oliver. There were other related contexts featuring multiple trumpets, from marching bands to Doc Cook etc.
Of course a unison lead might not be needed in a studio though useful in a dance-hall, or even necessary in the absence of amplification.
I think the Oliver-Armstrong twosome marks the supreme advantage of seeking a sound solution to a practical problem rather than in fact just doing away with the problem by making sacrifices elsewhere
The Mitchell-Dominique front line has always seemed to me a little brass-bandish. Maybe it was the studio?
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