|Scott Englebright Interview
Scott Englebright was one of the best lead trumpet players to ever tour with Big Bop Nouveau. Almost amazing as his range was his ability to play unthinkable notes while exhibiting no visible effort. Scott recently took a few minutes to answer a few questions for us.
- What makes up your musical background?
Well it all started back in the 1800's when I was raised by wolves. Oh wait a sec... Well I started playing piano when I was in first grade. Then, in 5th grade I picked up the trumpet. I continued to study piano privately for 11 years. I came from a very musical family. Everyone on my mother's side played some kind of instrument. As for my father...I think he knew how to turn on the radio. :-)
- Who are your musical influences?
I grew up as a hard core MF fan like many other trumpet players. As I matured, I started listening to different trumpet players. Chet Baker is one of my favorite players. I love listening to and playing along with Claudio Roditi. Now I listen to just about everything from Bobby Shew to the new alternative band out there today. I'm also a huge fan of vocal jazz.
- What are some of your favorite jazz albums or artists?
Anything with me on it. Just kidding. I'm a huge fan of the west coast big bands. I love all the Tom Kubis albums and Matt Catingub stuff. I don't think I have a favorite album that I listen to a lot.
- Growing up, were you a fan of Maynard's music?
Yes. Very much, as I already mentioned. I think I have just about everything he has recorded.
- What is your favorite Maynard album?
I would have to say MF Horn I and II.
- How do you feel about the fact that dozens of Maynard albums are no longer available, such as Live at Jimmy's?
I haven't thought about it that much. It really doesn't bother me. There's so many used record stores out there. Some of that stuff can still be found.
- How long were you with Maynard?
I started in the summer of 95 and did it for a year and a half (I think). Then I went back later and filled in on a couple tours when they needed me.
- How did you get on the band?
I believe a recording of the song "Maynard Ferguson" was sent to Ed Sargent at one point. I guess they liked it. :-)
[editor's note: Scott recorded the tune "Maynard Ferguson" in college]
- Why did you leave the band?
I just got tired of being on the road so much and playing the same tunes night after night...
- Which Maynard album(s) did you record on?
I played on "One More Trip to Birdland" and another compilation Christmas album for Concord records. Unfortunately I don't remember what that one is called.
- How was playing with Maynard's band different from other gigs?
Well for one thing, it was one of the loudest gigs I have played. It can be very tiring because it's a lot of high, fast, and loud in a short amount of time.
- Any particular gigs stand out in your memory?
Yes, as a matter of fact. We were in England on my Birthday. The band decided to play a little trick on me during one of my solos. I played Maynard's part on a tune called Hoochie Cootchie Man. Anyway, I went out front to play my solo just like I do every night. Halfway through the tune the band stopped playing. I had no clue what was going on. The band then went ahead and sang Happy Birthday to me on stage. It was a great birthday present.
- What Maynard song did you most enjoy playing during the time you spent with the band?
I think I like playing the song Cajun Cookin'. Not really because of that tune, though. There really isn't a whole lot to it. In the middle of that chart the band goes to walk out in the audience and play all the old songs that we grew up on like Mac.Park, Chameleon, and Hey Jude. Lots of fun.
- Do you have a favorite solo from the tunes you recorded with Maynard?
I really love Tom Garling's solo from "You Got It'. I actually transcribed it and played it for him.
- Do you have a favorite story from playing with the band?
Well,l yes I do!! This happened my second week on the band. We were playing somewhere in Vermont and the next day we had to fly to Chicago for a jazz festival. When I got on the plane I realized that I had left my horn on the bus. So immediately the manager got on the phone to Holton to get me a horn for the concert. The horn happened to be a student model. Yuck!!. Plus I didn't have my mouthpiece. I had to borrow a mouthpiece from one of the other players on the band. The gig wasn't too good to say the least. When we met the bus again I went straight back to my area to find my trumpet. I couldn't find it anywhere. All of a sudden I heard Maynard playing taps on my trumpet from the front of the bus. It turns out that the manager got to the bus first and had my trumpet. Once I was at the back he gave it to Maynard. It was pretty funny. I thought I was going to get fired for sure.
- Besides yourself, who do you think the greatest lead players are today?
Well...let's see. Roger Ingram, Bobby Shew, Carl Saunders, Frank Szabo, Wayne Bergeron, Greg Gisbert, George Graham, Craig Johnson, Dan Fornero,...the list goes on and on and on.
- How do you achieve the high notes? Is it natural ability or conditioning or both?
I think it was pretty easy for me in the beginning. I just put on my albums and started playing. Some of it's natural. Some of it's from listening. I would hear something and try to sound that way.
- What equipment do you use?
I play on a Bach Strad model 37 with a Marcinkiewitz Bobby Shew 1 model.
- What projects are you involved in now?
I just recently played on Carl Saunder's big band album along with Frank Szabo, Bobby Shew, Ron Stout and Bob Summers. I'm the newest member of Paul Anka's band. I took over for Roger Ingram. I'm also playing with Woody Herman's band.