I met Dick Titterington before an event a couple of years ago after I heard him sound- checking with his band. He was Unaware that I was so close in proximity, working behind a curtain next to the stage. It was as if somebody snuck up behind me and started blasting a trumpet up my ass.
…But I'm listening and I'm listening some more...and it is easy and profound. Suddenly it sounds too dark and deep and wait, that’s a… okay, he's got a flugelhorn also… It is a sound I have never heard so sweet and bare though it evoked memory of a particular church service in my childhood. In retrospect, this is at least part of the reason the sounds are hitting me on such an emotional level.
So I’m actively fighting the emotion because I’m trying to get some work done. Meanwhile the guy is just practicing scales and gibber- jabbering with his band mates… Next he’s back to the trumpet and quickly it’s too high pitched and brilliant to be believed and, OK: he has also a piccolo trumpet. Likely I’ve heard one of these at a Christmas concert one time, but again, not so intimately or with anything like such brilliance in my memory.
An hour or so later he sat next to me where I was then working on a couch and we talked. He gave me a CD of his ‘3 trumpet band: Salt Mines’ album which I listened to more than 50 times in the following couple months. It is funky, quirky very literate jazz that is largely over my head. But with my relative musical illiteracy in context, this record passes the test of being a magical experience that has you perfectly enamored by something that you do not fully understand...not unlike love or lust.
It took me over a year to get the nerve to ask Dick if he would work with me. With my request he subjected me to some light- hearted hazing, but in the end he was game!
I was thrilled when he brought over all four horns: trumpet, piccolo trumpet, coronet and flugelhorn. His approach in improvising on my work was super easy and conversational. I got to observe some of his depth of knowledge of musical archetypes, as he would briefly verbalize ideas and make quick decisions. I saw that he had a wide set of options to consider after listening to a song or song part, though he never second-guessed or stopped playing for more than a minute to ask me for my thoughts or switch horns.
I’ve never worked with such a professional before or known any trained artist with a better handle on the scope of creative possibilities within their art.
Dick is a composer/ arranger and an established, active, freelance trumpeter in the Northwest. His credits include: Father John Misty, Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, Franky Valli, The Smothers Brothers, Don Rickles, Bob Newhart. Broadway shows - Cats, Book of Mormon, Westside Story, The Producers, Beautiful, Wicked, Chicago, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
Recordings as leader - “Amber Eyes”, “PDXV Volumes 1 & 2”, “Yellow Dance”, “Threnody”, “Salt Mines”, “Live At The 1905”.