Uncle Jim's Trumpet - Vintage Selmer Manhattan

This vintage Selmer "Manhattan" trumpet from the early 1920s has a remarkable history. It belonged to my great-uncle, Jim Vickers. Uncle Jim played this trumpet all over the world and even in a performance for the King of Iraq - with the Royal Signals.

The instrument is what we would now call a 'small bore' trumpet. I used to think that it was the early 1920s recording techniques that were responsible for the trumpet sounding quite 'tinny' on those early recordings from the likes of Louis Armstrong. In fact, these recordings seem to be a quite good representation of the sound of the trumpet of the time - which is really quite flexible and expressive.

Two short examples:
West End Blues - Louis Armstrong
Lil' Darlin' - Neil Hefti (played with the cup mute)

N.B: I don't have a harmon mute for this trumpet, so I used the cup instead for Lil' Darlin'.
Both played 'by ear' - so I'm sorry if they aren't 100% accurate to the originals.

Russell Gilmour
Russell Gilmour Blog
writing on music, photography, engraving, travel and life as a freelance professional musician.