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Shrdlu

The bass clarinet

38 posts in this topic

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I often have the pleasure because Gunter lives in Göttingen ...

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Bass cl is my favorite horn to play.  I was very lucky to find a ca. 1960 Selmer Series 9 in a pawnshop.  It's a great horn.

Edited by Randal

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I've been hearing Jason Stein and I can't remember a couple of others (bass cl players).    

 

Edited by Randal

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Gotta say, I'm really enjoying Mat Walerian's bass clarinet playing at the moment on his records with Matthew Shipp and others (e.g., last year's Every Dog Has Its Day But It Doesn't Matter Because Fat Cat Is Getting Richer on ESP). 

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I've read these posts quickly so perhaps I missed it, but no mention of Harry Carney!!??

Edited by medjuck

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Joe and jazztrain both mentioned him in this thread. I should have mentioned him, and Ernie Caceres as well.

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I found out that the bass clarinet on Lionel Hampton's "High Society" was not played by Hymie Schertzer. It was a while ago, and I forget who the player was - sorry. Typically, in a saxophone section, the bass clarinet was played by either a tenor player or the baritone player (Harry Carney being an example).

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On 2/17/2021 at 5:20 PM, danasgoodstuff said:

Bass clarinet?  Oh, everybody plays those now, whatcha need is a bass tarogato:

(10) Tárogató-addiction . Gregus Pal bass tarogato. « Contradanza »P De Riviera - YouTube

and, yes, there is a contra-bass too.

Holy shit, that’s NICE. Me likey, likey!!!

Is this like the bass version of the insanely nasally sounding clarinet-like instruments I heard in Spain some 25 years ago?? Ear-splitting, my wife would call them.

But man, that bass version is sweet!!!

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29 minutes ago, Rooster_Ties said:

Holy shit, that’s NICE. Me likey, likey!!!

Is this like the bass version of the insanely nasally sounding clarinet-like instruments I heard in Spain some 25 years ago?? Ear-splitting, my wife would call them.

But man, that bass version is sweet!!!

Not sure what you heard in Spain, tarogato is a Hungarian instrument (or rather two, an ancient dbl reed and a modern single reed which is conical like a sax but wooden and fingered like an albert system clarinet)

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Yesterday, I put on the CD of Buddy Defranco's 1964 album, "Blues Bag" again. The listing is here

https://www.jazzdisco.org/art-blakey/discography/#641201

Buddy decided to play a bass clarinet on the session, possibly for the first time ever. I heard that, a couple of weeks before recording, he got hold of one and practised on it. He was just as fluent on it as on the standard instrument. There is total mastery. 

It provides a way of judging whether the instrument is suitable for blowing instead of a saxophone. What struck me is that there is such a sharp contrast between its grunting low register and its rather thin middle register (above the "break") that it does not succeed as a blowing horn. It is inconceivable that anyone could play it more fluently. So, I think that it is best used as an ensemble tone color.

Eric Dolphy's work on it, with his unusual style, is the exception that proves the rule. His contributions to Trane's "Spiritual" and Andrew Hill's "Point Of Departure" are immense.

The Defranco session comes across like a Jazz Messenger session with bass clarinet instead of a tenor saxophone, it having the likes of Lee Morgan and Curtis Fuller. Very enjoyable to hear.

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Shrdlu: Do your comments above encompass David Murray's playing of the instrument on his "Ballads for Bass Clarinet" on DIW?

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