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gmonahan

Alto, Cello and Ukulele? Looking for recs for my grandsons

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Ok, my three grandsons have taken up musical instruments, which is wonderful. The oldest, age 12, is learning alto sax. The middle one, age 10, is playing the cello, and the youngest, age 9 is working on the Uke. I'd like to get each of them one, maybe two cds for Christmas, preferably some kind of comp,, of music on their chosen instruments. Obviously, I'd prefer jazz, but I'm open. Suggestions??

 

 

 

gregmo

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Before I give my highly-subjective picks: do kids that age use CDs? Do they even have a CD player? Wouldn't it be better to buy them some downloadable music from their service of choice, or a Spotify subscription (if they don't have one already) and make them some playlists? None of the kids I know use CDs, but I'm in the heart of Silicon Valley. Then again, we more or less agree with Portland on everything, so... :)

 

Agreed on the Casals. Anything by du Pré (like the Brahms sonatas or this compilation) or Rostropovich is also worthwhile. And everyone else will get him Yo-Yo Ma, so no need for that. :) (That said, the Bobby McFerrin-Yo-Yo Ma collaboration Hush is probably great for a ten year old.)

The most entertaining jazz cello I have is Mike Karoub's playing on the first CD by the Royal Garden Trio: allmusicamazon. They have two newer albums, but I have not heard them.

Finally, you've seen these two Croation guys, right? 2cellos Their YouTube channel has a bunch of things kids would love, I suspect.

 

Alto sax...do you need recommendations? I suspect you have jazz favourites in that realm already, but just in case I'll recommend the Ellington & Hodges albums.

 

I have nothing to suggest for that third so-called instrument, except that I have too many friends who think it's oh-so-cool to pull the thing out randomly. It's like it's the guitar of the 2000's: "Yeah, I play"—proceeds to strum two chords, one of which is wrong. I assume there's worthwhile music, though, so I'm actually kind of curious to see what people recommend.

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I heard somewhere that this guy was a decent alto player...

Image result for charlie parker savoy dial masters

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22 minutes ago, felser said:

I heard somewhere that this guy was a decent alto player...

Image result for charlie parker savoy dial masters

I think 12 year olds need melodies, not random notes. *ducks for cover*

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12 is about the age where Grace Kelley videos might start to have an effect. Not records, and hopefully not "musically", but, you know, this shit is more than old and/or dead people in black and white videos, and ok, maybe a band nerd can have a girfriend, and maybe I SHOULD learn to dance!. Ends, not means.

Although, you might need to buy headphones to go with it. Apparently you have to wear those to hear her?

I almost hate to say this, but I don't hate that.

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4 hours ago, lipi said:

I think 12 year olds need melodies, not random notes. *ducks for cover*

How about Paul Desmond with Brubeck then?   "Take 5"; "Blue Rondo A La Turk", etc.

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59 minutes ago, felser said:

How about Paul Desmond with Brubeck then?   "Take 5"; "Blue Rondo A La Turk", etc.

I think that's a great suggestion.

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Thanks for the suggestions! Yes, the choices for the alto are *many*, but I didn't know much cello, so I really appreciate those! As for the Uke, my third grandson was disabled by a play accident a couple of years ago. He can use his left hand, but the right is pretty well useful only for strumming--thus the Uke. Someone out there must have a favorite Uke band?!

 

 

 

gregmo

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I'd recommend  ncd-39_cv.png?format=500w

the alto player and the cellist could enjoy it together

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Jake Shimabukuro is THE MAN to go to for ukulele inspiration.

 

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3 hours ago, uli said:

I'd recommend  ncd-39_cv.png?format=500w

the alto player and the cellist could enjoy it together

yeah, that works!

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Where%3F_%28album%29.jpg

Eric Dolphy on alto, and Ron Carter on cello -- what's more to like? ;)

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And you could follow it up with

R-2563977-1480364159-1002.jpeg.jpg

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More cool suggestions! Thanks!

 

 

gregmo

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Let me advocate for this once more. I've seen her do it live and it was intense.

 

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For the ukulele, I recommend this performance

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEhHXqWMpzs

For me, at least, the instrument is a pleasant instrument that is usually played in a corny way. No real problem, but this lad manages to make it sound very cool. Give it a listen.

His name is Robin Skinner, currently about 19. His performance is very mature for such an age. No apologies needed here.

Most pop singers are handsome boys or pretty girls who are picked for looks and for being willing to co-operate with the system. I haven't heard many that can really sing. As you know, they run their voices through autotune. (There is a house music mixer that automatically pulls each note onto an exact concert pitch - that would be needed mainly to cope with vinyl, because you can lock the pitch for a CD or mp3, regardless of tempo.) Because there is so much junk in the pop world, I feel a duty to give praise where praise is due.

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On ‎11‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 4:01 PM, duaneiac said:

Jake Shimabukuro is THE MAN to go to for ukulele inspiration.

 

Cool! I didn't know the uke (and someone playing it) could do that. Now I do.

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I ended up getting my uke playing grandson two discs by Shimabukuro, my alto playing grandson Bird's recordings with Strings and a Brubeck Greatest Hits compilation, and my cellist Oscar Pettiford's jazz cello stuff and a Pablo Casals disc (if he sticks with it, I'll get him the Alisa Weilerstein disc next Christmas, Jim!). Many thanks again for all the great recommendations. We'll see if they play them and like them. If so, there will be more to come!

 

 

 

gregm

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Every jazz cellist I have heard plays out-of-tune, usually painfully sharp, so I avoid recordings with it. They also tune it in fourths, which is wrong.

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It might be fun for them to listen to some of the simpler Chico Hamilton sides with Fred Katz, and get the kids to play them together, with the uke playing the guitar part, and the alto playing the alto part. Maybe they could find some of their friends to act as rhythm section. But Fred Katz made some cello records on his own that the kid might enjoy.

Alto player Hal McKusick made an album with four cello players, "In a 20th century Drawing Room" that's been re-issued on Lone Hill Jazz as "Hal McKusick Quartet; The Complete Barry Galbraith, Milt Hinton, and Osie Johnson Recordings". A very enjoyable album with good arrangements by Manny Albam.

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2 hours ago, gmonahan said:

 (if he sticks with it, I'll get him the Alisa Weilerstein disc next Christmas, Jim!).

And if he's long gone with it by then, order one for yourself! :g

Seriously, I've seen her live three times now, the first one in a solo recital, the other two as soloist with the DSO. She is a truly great player, somebody I want to hear at every opportunity.

And quite apart from that, I think it's a blessing that young people today don't have to pick a musical "ghetto" to reside in. They have access to all of it. If that means that "street" jazz is disappearing (or relocating, which is what seems to be the case), so be it. There is so much musical knowledge available now, so much, when I talk to young kids now (and my kid's friends all seem to be into some kind of music or another at a pretty serious level), I plead, cajole, harass, berate, BESEECH them to open themselves to things beyond what they already know and to just grab that knowledge, any of it and all of it. For too long, it's been kept secret, kinda, you had to know that it even existed and then you had to figure out where to go to START looking for it. Not true today, at least not as much. So much of it is just THERE. I mean, hell, you get on YouTube and free-associate, my god, before you know it, you might have heard damn near ANYTHING, and none of it in your pre-existing knowledge base. It's glorious!

It can also lead to a genetic, non-principled eclecticism, but at some point, personal character will start kicking in and then, uh-oh, look out people start elevating that.

It's a great time to be young right now, enough old people left to tell the truth about what they saw, and enough young people to eat it all up and shit it back out. But always remember - manure is the best fertilizer!

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I also want to expose the youngsters to this superb body of music, especially when pop music is largely very low-grade (looking at it totally objectively, not as an older person). They just aren't hearing it through the media. You don't have to settle for crap.

We are up against what Cannonball said: "Being hip is not a state of mind: it is a fact of life.". It is my experience that one has to be born with the love of jazz. It got to me when I was a toddler. My daughter (who lives with me) will hear a top-notch jazz album being played, and say "Dad, that's awful!". Ha ha, she also said that when I was doodling on my soprano saxophone in the kitchen - maybe she's right. Anyway, after years of hearing jazz, she is as deaf as a post toward it.

I did manage to "seduce" a friend of my son's into jazz, and he's now well acquainted with the likes of Sonny Clark and Grant Green (not just the most famous ones). Currently, we are digging Lou Donaldson's "Here 'Tis", which I only got to hear recently, because there is a new extra track on a CD of the Oriental persuasion. Man, that session really grooves! It is easily the best of "Baby Face's" four Blue Note sessions. That organ cooing behind the solos is awesome. Typically, the top note of the chord is a 7th, and he drops it a half tone, to give the 3rd note of the 4th chord, on a blues. This is out of Freddie Green, of course. I could play that album all day.

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I know he did the royal (whot?) wedding and stuff, Sheku Kanneh-Mason seems to be a talent to watch ... saw him in recital in December (with big sis Isata on pianer), they did a Boccherini virtuoso thingie to kick off the concert, then the Poulenc sonata, and after the break the Debussy, and one of fhe Brahms sonatas, and then the above Holst piece as an encore ... while it was not a polished presentation by far, and while I think he needs to work on projecting his sound a bit more, it became quite clear that he's really into it, not a wunderkind or anything like that, but a gifted you artist that hopefully will stick with it and develop into a truly outstanding musician.

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