Jazz for Seniors, by Carl Poole
Performance notes and trumpet recordings
David enjoys playing both jazz and classical duets with all his trumpet students. If you take private trumpet lessons, ask your teacher to make duet playing part of each lesson. They are fun and educational.
Here are recordings of two duets from the jazz duet book Jazz for Seniors, by Carl Poole. The title refers to the fact that this is the second volume of jazz trumpet duets by Carl Poole. The first volume is entitled Jazz for Juniors and is good practice for students who have been playing the trumpet for just a few years, or good sight reading for any level trumpet player.
Jazz for Seniors continues in the same style as volume one. The duets in both volumes are not quite as rhythmically or harmonically advanced as say the Lennie Niehaus jazz duets or the Bop Duets by Bug Bower. Nevertheless, they are fun to play and often described by students as “cute”. Unlike many jazz duet composers, Poole has taken the time to give each duet a title. Some of them are clever plays on the musical content of the duet.
As the cover of the book mentions, these books, written in the early 1960’s were originally conceived to aid students in the reading of “dance band music”. A reference to jazz big band and combo jazz that still was popular as dance music at that time.
The composer, Carl Poole, got his start in the Big Bands of the 1940s and eventually was a member of the NBC Orchestra, playing trumpet on the Tonight Show for many years.
Playing Jazz for Seniors on Trumpet
Unlike Poole’s first volume of jazz trumpet duets, there are no metronome markings in Jazz for Seniors. Instead, the tempo markings are limited to descriptions such as “Medium Bright” and “Medium to Bright”, thus giving the performer leeway in interpreting tempo.
David has recorded the first duet Six Cents at a metronome marking of quarter note = 132. (The tempo marking is “Medium”). The first page of this duet begins with a simple theme which is then developed. The second page includes some blues motives and some repeated triplet figures. (Note that all of David’s duet recordings include some space at the beginning and a couple of measures of clicks to help students who would like to play along with the recording).
David’s recording of the second duet in the series Minor Major is at a metronome marking of quarter note = 144. Again though, this is somewhat arbitrary as there are no metronome markings. This one is marked “Medium Bright”, which would seem to indicate a tempo a bit faster than the first duet.
This duet contains a bit more syncopation than the first one. It also features an ending that includes notation that David has interpreted as a longer “half-valve” marking, up to a blue note.
Duet Recordings and More Resources for Trumpet Players
David enjoys playing these duets with his advanced high school trumpet students, college students and adult trumpet students. He has recorded all eleven of the duets in this series and many other series of jazz duets as a practice aid for his trumpet students.
See more information about taking quality private trumpet lessons from David Summer.
As a trumpeter, you might also be interested in David’s Selected Duets for Trumpet Podcast. Also, try reading his article on Recording Brass Instruments that was published in Electronic Musician Magazine.
If you live in Massachusetts or Southern New Hampshire see information on taking quality beginning, intermediate or advanced trumpet lessons from experienced music teacher David Summer.
Happy trumpet duet playing!