Getting up to speed on great music
February 21, 2020 8:56 AM   Subscribe

After a decade-long hiatus, I just started playing trumpet again. I have been blown away by how much joy it brings me; it feels like rediscovering a long forgotten part of myself. As I work on getting back up to speed, I am trying to listen to music critically again. Please give me your suggestions for musicians and music in jazz, modern classical music, or other genres that can help me become an informed and growing musician again. Trumpet/cornet/brasswind performances preferred, but I am open to learning!
posted by skookumsaurus rex to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Jaimie Branch is worth checking out.
posted by outfielder at 9:05 AM on February 21, 2020

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah too, for taking trumpet in new directions.

For modern large ensemble composition, two of my favorite albums are Fire Orchestra's Exit which is sorta like Alice Coltrane and Led Zeppelin at the same time, and Nicole Mitchell's Mandorla Awakening II, which explores Afro-futurism and Chinese classical.
posted by bendybendy at 9:51 AM on February 21, 2020 [4 favorites]

I came to post Christian Scott, but got beat to it. I'll add Cuong Vu.
posted by jonathanhughes at 10:07 AM on February 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

Theon Cross - Fyah
Kamasi Washington - The Epic
The Comet is Coming - Channel the Spirits

There was a good post on The Blue lately about brass house, acid brass, techno marching band music like Meute, Too Many Zooz, and more.
posted by jzb at 10:13 AM on February 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

For modern classical I keep an ear on Linn Records, who have introduced me to many things -- also the recording quality blows me away. Conveniently for right now, they're having a sale on their brass back catalogue.
posted by clew at 10:34 AM on February 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

Louis Armstrong
Clark Terry
Arturo Sandoval
posted by kbuxton at 11:21 AM on February 21, 2020

Some great current trumpeters: Nate Wooley, Susana Santos Silva, Axel Dörner, the aforementioned Jaimie Branch, Niklas Barnö, Emil Strandberg, Peter Evans, Goran Kajfeš, Ife Ogunjobi and Aquiles Navarro.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 12:03 PM on February 21, 2020

This is definitely a bit out there but anyone who is rekindling a love of trumpet should at least briefly check out Too Many Zooz. Bari sax/trumpet/drums trio born out of the street performer scene. They call their genre "brass house"
posted by SaltySalticid at 12:13 PM on February 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

The clasical trumpeters Tine Thing Helseth and Alison Balsom are worth a listen.
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 12:33 PM on February 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Excellent suggestions all! Please keep them coming; I am particularly interested in works a little outside of the mainstream, by diverse composers and performers. I'm just thrilled to open my ears back up.
posted by skookumsaurus rex at 2:09 PM on February 21, 2020

This video Showing Happy Birthday in the style of ten composers is very complex and way better than it sounds. In addition to playing the pieces, there are subtitles indicating precisely what aspects of the composers’ styles are being used, so you get a bit of an education in how styles can vary. It’s piano, not trumpet, but it’s unbelievably cool.
posted by FencingGal at 3:58 PM on February 21, 2020

Here are some jazz recs:
A couple contemporary players I like:
Ambrose Akinmusire
Dave Douglas

If you are also into some slide trumpet then Sex Mob is worth checking out, as well as any other stuff by their trumpet player Steven Bernstein.

Lee Morgan is a fave of mine among 50s/60s hard boppers , especially his work the Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.

EDIT: Wadada Leo Smith is another current player who I have heard good things about but haven't spent much time listening to myself.
posted by Television Name at 4:56 PM on February 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

So many good recommendations here! I'll add Arve Henriksen.
posted by merocet at 9:12 PM on February 21, 2020

I can't believe I forgot Wadada Leo Smith! He's absolutely fantastic. "A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke" - the album that Television Name linked to - is a good entry point into his universe.

I'll add Stephen Haynes to my list, as well. And his teacher, the sadly departed Bill Dixon, is an amazing player.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 1:40 AM on February 22, 2020

Watch David Bruce's YouTube channel. He's an English composer, and its just about the most interesting YT channel I know.
posted by SemiSalt at 5:05 AM on February 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Tongue by Anenon is a beautiful one--classical and electronica with some brass and woodwinds.

Are you familiar with Art Ensemble of Chicago? They pre-dated your hiatus but worth looking into.

I love The Necks--not brass but all their albums and all their songs are one long improv that moves between classical and jazz

A contemporary classical album that blew my mind last year was Carolina Eyck Elegies for Theremin and Voice.
posted by mermaidcafe at 1:57 PM on February 23, 2020

So glad you're playing again!

Seconding, thirding, and fourthing Ambrose Akinmusire, and thirding Wadada Leo Smith.

Also, Sean Jones and Laura Jurd are both great.
posted by kristi at 5:50 PM on February 25, 2020

Snarky Puppy is well worth checking out. This piece, Kite, has a flugelhorn solo. I think they're better known for this one, Lingus, which has an insane keyboard solo. I don't think I could hit random keys as quickly as this guy makes music.
posted by cali59 at 6:36 PM on March 4, 2020

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