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Caricature of Kai Winding by Bill Utterback for Playboy Enterprises, Inc.
These drawings were created for each of the Jazz Poll winners each year.
Kai placed third place in this particular poll (1966), right behind J.J. Johnson and Si Zentner, just ahead of Bob Brookmeyer.
This drawing was done in February 1967.


 

 EQUIPMENT: Kai and the King® Trombone--What Kai Played

 


Kai Winding played King trombones exclusively for most of his career. King still makes the 2B and 3B model of professional jazz tenor trombones and these models are pictured below. The following quote is from the King instruments website:

"Over the years, many famous professionals have endorsed King instruments. Tommy Dorsey used a King trombone throughout his career. His brother, Jimmy, also played King instruments. Others include William Bell, Ray Anthony, Vaughn Monroe, Johnny "Scat" Davis, Harry James, Nat Adderley, Kai Winding, Yusef Lateef, Cannonball Adderley and Mel Davis."

 


King Model 2102  Straight Tenor Trombone
Legend, 2B model, .481/.491" (12.22/12.47mm) dual bore, 7-3/8" (187mm) bell, nickel silver outer slides, lacquer finish.
This classic jazz trombone is noted for its projection and excellent upper range.

This is but one style of the King 2B jazz tenor trombone.  There is an additional model of it not pictured here which difference includes a sterling silver bell (Model 2102-SGX). Kai may have used the 2102 version of the 2B (pictured above) because his wife recalls the following: "It was hard to tell [which model he played] because he had them modified and the weight with the brand removed.  He had the whole thing dipped in acid to lighten it and then had it replated."

And from discographer Piet VanEngelen:

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[Photo of Kai Winding's own trombone]

"He always played a 2B, only at the end of the 50s and beginning of the 60s he had a 3B.  Ezshwan gave me one of his horns and I still play it. As you probably know, a standard 2B is a dual bore horn (.481 .491) - Kai would use .491 on both slidehalves. Then the slide was lighweight, e.g., he used a trumpet spitcrane. Also, the bell was lightwight.  The one I have was and is goldplated.  Jiggs Whigham's horn looks a bit like Kai's. I remember talking to him about this. At that time, however, he had a special 2B with a red brass lightweight bell. Kai's horns were built at King by Chuck Ward."

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[Photo of mouthpiece belonging to Kai Winding]

"Kai used a specially-made Giardinelli mouthpiecer [pictured above], rather small, something like a Bach 12C".

 


King ® Model 2102L  Straight Tenor Trombone
Legend 2B, lightweight.
Jiggs Whigham model, .491" (12.47mm) bore, 7-3/8" (187mm) bell, nickel silver outer slides, lightweight slide, lacquer finish.
An ultra-lightweight horn for exciting jazz lead performance.

The more commonly seen model of the King 2B jazz tenor trombone, which comes without the counterweight on the main tuning slide. This particular model as seen here is pictured on many of Kai Winding's albums and also on his music books. There is also a variation of this model (Model 2102LS) which has the purpose of providing a short tuning slide for extended first position in order to do a true slide vibrato in first position.

 


King Model 2103  Straight Tenor Trombone
Legend 3B. The preferred jazz trombone.
.508" (12.9mm) bore, 8" (203mm) bell, nickel silver outer slides, lacquer finish. 
The most versatile commerical trombone in the world, suitable for both lead and solo playing.

Also available as Model 2103-SGX with sterling silver bell.  It is most likely that Kai Winding did not play this particular model himself, but it is included here to complete the series of professional jazz tenor trombones that King manufactures. The primary differences between the 3B and 2B models is the larger inner bore and larger outer bell size of the 3B.

 


 

METHOD: How did Kai play? (as related to the Pivot System® playing method for cupped mouthpiece brass instruments)

The information below was discovered, researched and throughly documented by Dr. Donald S. Reinhardt, inventor of the Pivot System® for cupped mouthpiece brass instruments. The diagram below is taken from his "Encyclopedia of the Pivot System" published by Charles Colin Publishers, New York, (1964) and the text contained in the Adobe Acrobat documents below is also copyrighted by Dr. Reinhardt and quoted from books he wrote on this method. The Encyclopedia is still available for purchase from the publisher.

The assistance of David Sheetz - who is carrying on the teachings of the Pivot System® for Dr. Reinhardt - is gratefully acknowledged for providing these materials for use on this site.  Also, and just for the record - Kai Winding's framed photograph hung in the downtown Philadelphia studio of Dr. Reinhardt.  Both Kai and J.J. Johnson were present in Doc's studio for lessons on occasion (see story below). The framed photo of Kai hung there in the studio as a permanent fixture for many years.

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Kai Winding was classified as a "Type IVA" player in the Reinhardt Pivot System®.  A thorough, technical explanation of what this means is contained within the Adobe Acrobat documents below. Simply put, it means that Kai's mouthpiece placement on the embouchure was very low and that the direction of the airstream into the trombone mouthpiece was upwards, not downwards. Kai also held his trombone at a downward angle as opposed to straight out or parallel to the ground when he played, and all of these factors together classify him as a "Type IVA" player.

 

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For the following pages you must have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader installed or the browser plug-in to view:

  dsr-1.pdf - Page one of Dr. Reinhardt's explanation for what constitutes Pivot Classification Two and how this type of player ascends and descends in their playing.

  dsr-2.pdf - Page two of of Dr. Reinhardt's explanation for what constitutes Pivot Classification Two and how this type of player ascends and descends in their playing.

  dsr-3.pdf - Page three of Dr. Reinhardt's explanation for what constitutes Pivot Classification Two and how this type of player ascends and descends in their playing.

  Printed-pivot-1.pdf - material on Types IV and IVA, directly from the original Encyclopedia of the Pivot System.

  Printed-pivot-2.pdf - material on Types IV and IVA, directly from the original Encyclopedia of the Pivot System.

For more information and instruction about Dr. Reinhardt's PIVOT SYSTEM® method of playing (of which Kai Winding was a student), visit the Airstream Dynamics website which is run and maintained by Dr. Reinhardt's successor, David Sheetz.

 

Kai and J. J. in Doc's Studio

"...Kai and J.J. were seen in Doc's studio quite often. Kai had several problems, not the least of which was to "keep up with JJ's fast tongue". Doc taught Kai the rapid Legato Double Tongue (a forerunner to the doodle tongue) and worked with him on his extremely low placement. Doc has said that the lower rim of Kai's mouthpiece would be "almost off his chin".

--Thanks to Dave Sheetz for permission to use this story from his "PivoTalk" (Volume 2, Number 4, Page 2) 1994 Newsletter.  The PivoTalk Newsletter is now out of print, but alive and well on the internet at PivoTalk on the Net.



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