Bargeron, from the heart of New England, may be jazz's
own Thoreau. Inner-directed, introspective and
articulate, you've heard him. Check out Johnny
Griffin's Dance Of Passion, Michel Camillo's One More
Once, Gerry Mulligan's Re-birth of the Cool or Miles
& Quincy Live at Montreux, and he's there -- the
trombonist, the backbone of the ensemble sound.
a long time I never felt comfortable making a record
myself," explains Bargeron, who spent eight
years and 11 records with Blood, Sweat & Tears and
currently works with the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band.
"It was me and this unwieldy trombone that I
wanted to wrap around a post most of the time.
you imagine having this music run around in your head,
your soul, your heart, for 30 or 40 years, and not be
able to play it? It's been terrible at times;
that's why I also play the tuba, the euphonium:
because I found some movement possible on them.
Now I've superseded them -- with my own instrument --
and I'm flying, I'm off the ground! Now it's
time to make a record," Barge Burns...Slide
Flies (Mapleshade Records)-- with BS&T cohort
Larry Willis on piano, Kenwood Dennard on drums and
Steve Novosel on bass -- debuts a number of originals
by Bargeron, several Willis tunes and one standard, a
straight-ahead "There is No Greater Love."
his recent breakthrough to a special valve he invented
for his mouthpiece, which he calls the Bargeron Rapid
Articulating Valve Option, or BRAVO. Briefly,
BRAVO is a stem that travels in a rectangular slot cut
perpendicular to and through the throat of Bargeron's
mouthpiece, a Bach 6.5 AL. In the stem are two
holes, separated by a solid section. As the stem
is depressed, it moves through the solid section,
momentarily closing off the air stream.
doesn't change the basic integrity of the slide
trombone at all," he says. "It's
far clearer and cleaner than any double-tonguing
technique. It puts a beautiful, clean point on
the beginning of notes, no matter how fast they're
played. It takes time to get it together, but
it's well worth it."
is emphatic about it not being a gimmick or shortcut.
"My only impulse has been to further the music,
to play what I've been hearing for all these
years." ...Meanwhile, Verve has scheduled a
CD release of Howard Johnson's Gravity, a tuba sextet
plus rhythm section, featuring Johnson and Bargeron as
soloists, due out in February.
very confident now, in a peaceful way," Bargeron
says, reflecting on his recent achievements.
"It's not ego now. It's like, man, I know
that I can do this, and I know who I am, and I am
getting better all the time."
with permission of author.
Earlier versions of BRAVO were constructed in the
mouthpiece as mentioned in the above article.
Current models stand alone: you plug your mouthpiece
into BRAVO and BRAVO into the horn.
B.R.A.V.O is not available for sale at this time
all text and images on this website
are ©2013 by Dave Bargeron and may only be reused by permission of