The Role of the Trumpet
The trumpet has always been an integral part of the traditional big band, both as a lead instrument and as a soloist. The section consists of four players, with the first chair being labeled the "lead" chair and the second part generally considered the "jazz" chair. Although improvised solos can be played by any of the four players, the second trumpet is usually depended upon to cover the solos within the section when needed.
It is the "lead" trumpet that carries the melody over all other musicians during full band sections. This important position carries quite a large responsibility, mainly because it is he/she who is called upon to play the highest notes within the ensemble sections.