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Author Topic: Martin Handcraft Committee Trombone  (Read 2336 times)
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dr blast
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titaniumtrombone
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« on: September 24, 2004, 02:15:46 PM »

Lion with an M between its paws...

For the past several years I've been playing a 1939 Martin Handcraft Committee, COMM=M -- a very responsive and dynamic horn -- but haven't seen but a couple, either on the internet, ebay, or heard from many people who have had experience playing this prepectual instrument.
 Miles Davis exclusively used Committee Trumpets throughout his life, which suited his affinity for pitch manipulation.  
 I've found this trombone equally as impressive.
 However, I've been hard-pressed to find any recordings of Committee trombone players, nor found much history concerning it.

This horn is a .465 bore, with a bell roughly 7 inches, managed to pick it up from an antique shop located only 2 blocks from where i live. One owner only; the previous owner's son mentioned that his father played it throughout WWII, the Texas A&M, U.S. Naval Aviation, subsequently after the war played in the Maroon Band at Mississippi State University and various other bands throughout the 50's, early 60's.  Apparently he put the horn in the attic in the mid-60's and there it sat until his death in the late 90's.  There are a couple minor spots where dings were knocked out in a bygone decade, but professionally done.  Still plays and functions as if it came straight out of the Martin factory in Elkhart.  The original mouthpiece was stolen from the case when the horn was in the antique shop where it sat for a year or so before i came along, the "right" person for the horn according to the selective proprietor.  If anyone has any information on what type of mouthpiece originally came with the horn, or any pretaining to the Committee trombone, i'd be grateful.
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Bob Wambold
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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2004, 02:22:46 PM »

GREETINGS, Dr. Blast! Martin horns have always been a kind of, "sleeper," I think. Their saxes were mighty nice, too. I know Si Zentner played a Martin much of the time and Lou McGarity, too ... Si was a big band leader/trombonist and studio man famous for high range ballad but with a style much different than TD. McGarity was the jazz soloist for Benny Goodman in the 30's and his sextet man for along time. The new, "Urbie Green," model Martins are much like these old timers. Rather like a cross between a Conn and a King, I thought ... Nice, round sound. "Comfy," little horn.
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dr blast
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« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2004, 03:52:45 PM »

Hi, Bob!  the most interesting thing i've managed to find out about these horns is the thought and collaboration put into their design and creation.  if i'm not mistaken a committe was called --  Schilke, Bach, Reynolds, and a symphony player (rumor is Schilke was the committee) -- and from this meeting came the committee model's -- how they thought a particular instrument should be built.  the thing that really gets me is how and why the martin brothers managed to get these fellas involved.   needless to say i'm a thorough believer in these horns.  if i had the dough i would be purchasing every one i could get my greedy talons on :twisted:
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sabutin
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« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2004, 05:12:30 PM »

Jack Jenney played his famous "Stardust" solo on a Committee model.

 I think the ones I've seen have been more like .500 bore, though...

Guaranteed it was a relatively small m'pce, probably more funnel shaped and lighter than Bachs. I've been experimenting with using old m'pces like that on older jazz pieces, sometimes with the original horns, and they work great as long as you don't try to force them too much.

(It was a quieter time…)

Anyone ever seen the m’pce Dorsey used? Almont was the name, I think?  Betcha it was like the ones I’m describing.

S.
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dr blast
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« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2004, 05:56:40 PM »

your description of the mpc is accurate, it fits the description of the picture i managed to acquire of the original mpc of a '38 committee.
i'm playing a Frank Holton #80 (vintage i think) .. narrow rim, shallow v-cup ... gets a nice crisp sound and is good for cutting across the drummer, bassist, keys and guitar ... also use a bach 3 to get a mellow sound and it fits some of the music we play, at least when i need beauty in my tone rather than funk.
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