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How can I reproduce the muted trumpet sound of Dizzy Gillespie's that can be heard in many of the early bebop recordings together with Charlie Parker?

I believe he was using a cup mute, but is the material and/or other properties of the mute relevant? What do I need to emulate this sound?

Here are some listening examples with the sound I'm asking about:
* Bloomdido (Melody plus solo @1:26)
* Mohawk (Melody plus solo @1:48)
* Groovin' High (Melody plus solo at @1:34)

share|improve this question
Why the close vote? This is on-topic. – NReilingh Jun 11 '12 at 14:51
The vote wasn't for off-topic :P. That said: Is it? We had song and genre identification as off-topic in the FAQ, and instrument ID questions have been closed (and I added it to the FAQ just now to reflect that). I don't see this as any different, and it tends towards the "shopping recommendation" side. I think if this were focused on reproducing the sound it would be OK, but not as-is. – Matthew Read Jun 12 '12 at 5:19
@MatthewRead: Hmm. How could I rephrase it to focus on how to reproduce the sound? That is my main interest - and I think the material and model (or rather the shape) is key to the this interest. Would it be enough to drop question 4? – Ulf Åkerstedt Jun 12 '12 at 5:39
I would drop 2, 3 and 4. If you directly ask how to reproduce the sound I'm sure someone will mention those details if they're needed. The material is likely relevant, but at the same time it's very possible that you can get very close with something else, so I wouldn't make it a sticking point. Something like: "How can I reproduce the sound of Dizzy Gillespie's trumpet mute from his early bebop recordings? I believe it was a cup mute, but is the material relevant? What do I need to emulate this sound?" You don't need to take my advice exactly, I'll re-open now and trust you to rework it :) – Matthew Read Jun 12 '12 at 15:30
Thanks for the help @MatthewRead. Feel free to edit improve the rephrased question if needed. – Ulf Åkerstedt Jun 12 '12 at 22:08
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Bobby Shew names a mute made in Sweden (how ironic, given your name) in the following words:

There is a company in Sweden that makes the Dizzy Gillespie model mutes which, when you can find them, are worth purchasing although very expensive. The cup in this set is made of a white plastic and separates into two pieces, one of which looks like a straight mute and which could be used as one, and another piece which is similar to a plunger which snaps over the end of the straight to form a cup. It has a surprisingly good sound for being plastic. It lacks the hard, brittle quality which makes the metal mute undesirable,

People at thetrumpetherald seem to think the brand name is Ullven:

They don't seem to be in business anymore, and I am not even sure that that is the model Gillespie actually uses.

Bobby Shew seems to like the Humes & Berg MIC-A-MUTE,

which is the same as the basic cup with a rubber ring around the edge of the cup to control the seal or space near the bell of the horn. This mute also has a soft fuzzy material covering the inside of the cup area, the purpose of which is to soften the "wooden" hardness of the sound of the regular cup.

I believe this could be the best you can aim for?

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Thanks Gauthier! I also found some other indications that this was the mute Dizzy actually used, but I'm still not sure. Plastic huh! - It would be really interesting to see and hear this live and to be able to compare the sound to other cup mutes in order to determine the sound impact of using this specific mute, and what it would take to emulate the sound of Dizzy. – Ulf Åkerstedt Jun 26 '12 at 19:24

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