Alexandre Herichon is an eclectic musician, at home playing lead trumpet, improvising, and as a composer/arranger. He shares some trumpeting thoughts as well his experience with his new Agami trumpet.
What first drew you to the trumpeting the early days?
My parents listened to jazz music when I was a kid, and we saw, sometimes, some jazz bands with horn players, so I think it impacted me, but I can’t say why the trumpet, specifically. One thing is shure, I never quit, even in the hard times, since I began, when I was 10.
Who or what were your early musical influences?
My teachers of course, who gave me the passion of music, the older musician in the music school orchestras and at the early beginning, the fact to play at church with my family. After came the big names and the jazz records.
Do you have any particular practice regimes? Does this change a lot depending on whether you are doing more lead playing, or jazz, or funk for instance?
Yes, it changes sometimes, and especially depending on what I have to play. The most important for me is my flexibility. So, I always do tongue flexibility exercices to be shure I’m easy with it. Notice that I say, “tongue”, not lips! I do like a kind of whistle and my lips respond to it naturally. Then, if I’m more on a jazz/improvisation gig, I’ll work the most fingering and harmonic exercises on all the range. If I’m on a lead gig, I’ll work some muscles exercises, like Caruso, and be shure to hit the high notes perfectly.
What do you think are the most important elements of music and trumpet playing that young players should focus on?
Regarding the trumpet playing, the two most important basics are, the air and the tongue position in the mouth. For the music, you can do the kind of music you like and want, but, in all case, do it seriously, spending a lot of time on details and trying to reach perfection. Play all time at 100% trying to make the band or the orchestra sounds greater as possible. Always be invested in the music and it will gives back to you.
Can you talk a little about your Agami trumpet, why you play it, and the process of selecting it?
Agami trumpet are great horns, really! Love it!I first saw pictures on Instagram (go follow him-> agami_music_france 😉) and said to myself “wow, those horns are beautiful!” So Thierry Sohier (from Agami) contacted me to organize a meeting and invited me to try the trumpets. I directly felt good playing it. Easy, great sound, warm on the low range and bright on the upper register, polyvalent. Anyway, all a trumpet should have as qualities. I tested it some months, on many different gigs and adopted it. I feel I can do what I want on this trumpet!
What are some career highlights to date?
I had and still have the chance to play with many great bands and artists around the world, Electro Deluxe in Japan, No Jazz in India, Etienne M’Bappé in South Corea, Panam Panic in Marocco, Big Funk Brass, Ben l’Oncle Soul and more!
Like many artists, I guess that your work has been badly affected by the pandemic? How have you found keeping up the playing to a high level, and getting back to (hopefully) being much busier now?
Yes it was a strange periode… But I have the chance to be a teacher in jazz music conservatory and private lessons so it kept me in touch with people and music, so it helped me a lot. I began to work on music producing too, and it takes a lot of time so it was on point. Some home recordings and tv sessions happened too in the second part of the pandemic and the work began to come again. Now it’s ok and we hope the worst is behind us now.
And what projects do you have coming up?
My personal projects, Big Funk Brass and Panam Panic have released their albums not long ago (go check it too 😉) so this year will be a booking and touring year, between the other projects and lessons. I’m beginning to think about my new personal project too, kind of new jazz 5tet. I’ll let you know about that when it’ll be more clear.
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