Noel has been working in London as a freelance trumpeter since 1985. He has also been professor of trumpet for post graduate students at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama for 15 years. In great demand as a lead player and soloist with the UK's top jazz ensembles he also makes frequent guest appearances with many of London's world renowned symphony orchestras and contemporary music groups.
He has worked extensively as a session musician in Movies and Television and has performed on countless studio sessions and live dates with many of the world's leading artists in jazz, rock, pop and R&B.
Having over 20 years of experience as a valued player in West End Musicals Noel is currently playing lead trumpet on the award winning London production of The Producers.
NOEL ON ECLIPSE TRUMPETS
Over the last two years I have worked closely with Leigh McKinney on the development and refinement of the Bb range of instruments and been involved in the creation of the highly acclaimed C trumpets and flugelhorns. In fact I count myself extremely fortunate to have had the pleasure of test blowing about 95% of the Eclipses in existence - the remaining 5% are the ones which get sold right off the bench while they are still warm!
I have been playing my Medium Yellow Eclipse, finished in scratched gold plate, since January 2003. Not only a beautiful piece of engineering, this horn is also my workhorse and bread winner. During a varied and grueling two year work schedule the trumpet has proved 100% reliable and has been able to handle any demands I have made of it, whatever the musical context.
I have never felt so at ease with any trumpet before and feel that the Eclipse has been instrumental in raising the standard of my playing to new levels. I find that the integrity of the pitch centres, the consequent evenness of tone, the fast response and effortless projection inspire a feeling of great confidence. The ground breaking Eclipse design means I need less effort to produce and control the sound, leaving me to concentrate my energies on making music.
I would strongly encourage anyone, who aspires to earning a living from trumpet playing, to give one of these instruments some serious consideration.
I also have a custom built Medium Heavy Red which I use primarily for solo work in small jazz ensembles. Like all Leigh's creations this is a work of art and I like to save it for special occasions.
Last year I chose to use it on a trip to Paris with the Andrew Hill Big Band. I had two tours with Andrew last year and it is interesting to note that by the second tour each member of the trumpet section was playing an Eclipse. I took the MHR partly because I knew that its darker timbre would blend well with the other MHR, the Large Copper and the XLR that my colleagues were playing. I was slightly concerned when I received a late call, actually on the train back from Paris, to go straight to a rehearsal and live recording for the BBC Concert Orchestra backing Lionel Ritchie. This was a high octane lead trumpet job, but there was no time to go and pick up the MY, which would have been my automatic choice, especially considering how tired I was.
I needn't have worried. The horn was a revelation to me on that gig. It was equally sure footed as the MY. It has a richer, darker sound with wonderful projection and it blended perfectly with the orchestral section. Inspite of the heavier gauge bell, it has great responsiveness and allowed me to shape all the phrasing just the way I wanted. I have subsequently used this horn in a much wider range of settings than I originally imagined.
Most recently I became the very proud owner of an Eclipse Red Flugel. This is simply the best sounding, most in tune and easy to play flugelhorn I have encountered. It is the flugel of my dreams.
I would like to thank Leigh and all at First Class Brass for their dedication, skill and passion for their craft. Their hard work, vision and attention to detail has lead to the creation of a line of instruments which are, in my opinion, without equals. I count myself as blessed to have been given the opportunity to become part of the Eclipse team and look forward to continuing my relationship with them in the future.
Noel Langley Eclipse Artist [email protected]