Playing Trombone again

Posted: January 2, 2011 in General Music, Jazz Music, Music, Personal Manager

King 2B Trombone 1963

About a year ago I went on E Bay, took a chance and bid on a Student Model trombone for $45 and won.

It arrived and of course it was not too good an instrument but playable.

It had been 15 years since I had played any sort of gig and the two incredible Trombones and a 4 Valve Euphonium I had in those days had long gone to pay the rent in more difficult times.

They were a King 3B that I had purchased new in the UK in the late 60’s , a Bach Stradivarius that was picked out by Bill Watrous from Peppys in New York when Bill was recording the “Leprecaun” with Chick Corea in the 70’s and I later got a deal on a Yamaha 4 Valve Euphonium for use with the 13 piece band tour in 78/79 on an arrangement of “Duel of the Jester and the Tyrant “ from The Return to Forever play-book.

What an arrangement that was by Chick and we played it all over the world when I had the honor of being 2nd Trombone to Jim Pugh,a REAL trombone player!

That was an amazing band that only really recorded on one  album called Secret Agent that also featured Al Jarreau (I’m not sure if it is out on CD as I have never been able to find it).

I even got a 12 bar solo on that album and it was atrocious solo but you have to live with those things…..

So I started practicing with my King Student model and a slide that would stick most of the time but that helps develop the lip I guess?

Then in November 2010 I got an offer of a gig with a small dance band here in Clearwater that I accepted and played my first gig in 15 years and had a great time.

There is something about going back to the basics of what started you in the business in the first place and that was for me the love of playing music itself.

So many top Music Industry people I know are actually musicians and for me I had forgotten how hard it is to be a musician and play well and the hours that go into practice and developing ones craft.

Then a couple more gigs came along and the limitations of my instrument began to show so I decided to treat myself at Christmas and buy a new instrument.

I went back to E bay and there were 100’s of trombones for sale including my favorite King 3B but they were expensive plus one never knows their condition really and how good the slides actually are until it arrives at your doorstep.

So I decided to go to Sam Ash on US 19 and try some new horns which I did and the young brass salesman who seemed very disinterested in selling me one mentioned that Sam Ash in Tampa near the Bucs ground had more horns so I gave them a call and one Saturday drove across the Causeway up Dale Mowbry Way to the Sam Ash store.

They had more horns for sure but still mostly the student models or overpriced F Change and Classical type horns that are no real use to a Jazz type player.

Then at the end high on the wall there was this Silver Trombone with a price tag that said “Silversonic” the magic word as it had to be a King!

With great anticipation the very helpful salesman, Michael, got down the horn and sure enough it was a King 2B in perfect condition with a Silver bell and a slide that actually worked  .

Perfect instrument with a smaller bore than the King 3 B which was ideal for someone who doesn’t play so much anymore and who needs to redevelop his embrasure like yours truly plus there was 10% off.

How could I refuse so I didn’t and walked out the store  with my King 2b in an original King case in perfect condition (See picture above).

I tracked down the serial number on line and it was made sometime in 1963 in the best years 1960 to 1965 for these instruments and made in the original H.N.White factory in Cleveland.

Now if you listen carefully while driving through Florida you will hear Clearwater’s Andy Martin struggling to play along with the Gorden Goodwin Big Band Trombone play along CD.

Not pretty for sure but I’m having a great time playing again and as a Personal Manger friend of mine said to me “Oh no! is that what happens to managers when they get old ,they end up as trombone players?”

There’s a joke there somewhere which reminds me.”Whats the difference between a dead Squirrel and a dead trombone player lying in the road?

Ans: “The Squirrel was on the way to a gig”

  1. Eric says:

    Very cool you got this horn! Good point on what it takes to be a good musician. I have to get back to playing as well.

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