Reuben Fowler writes:
Remembering Laurie Frink, jazz trumpeter and educator, who died this week at the age of 61.
I was only lucky enough to meet and study with Laurie Frink on one occasion, however she was without question the ‘go to’ chops doctor in New York and an invaluable mentor for jazz trumpeters worldwide. The thing that struck me first as a nervous student struggling with the trumpet was her ability to make me feel instantly at ease, jokingly inviting me to sit in the ‘victim’s chair’ and tell her what was bothering me. She was instantly supportive and direct, with a dry sense of humour.
In addition to her teaching, she was also a terrifying trumpet player- having toured with Benny Goodman as a lead trumpet player in his last touring band, Maria Schneider, Mel Lewis, Darcy James Argue and Gerry Mulligan’s large ensemble.
A protégée of Carmine Caruso, she developed a personal teaching style, tailoring a system for each student individually. Student and renowned trumpeter Dave Douglas recalled of her: “She would take each player and find out what was causing the problem — and then do it to herself, so she could figure out a solution…[it] was like a combination of therapy, gym instruction and music lesson.”
John McNeil who co wrote the acclaimed trumpet method ‘Flexus’ with Frink said: “She was one of the most accurate trumpet players I’ve ever heard.”
Her playing, advice, guidance, personality and sharp wit will be missed.