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bass clarinet


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An interesting instrument, especially in the the hands of Eric Dolphy. In my opinion he is the top player

While definitely a major influence on the instrument, would it be fair to say he may not be the only valuable game in town? Dolphy is a huge, huge figure in this music but there are other bass clarinetists I listen to with more frequency and attention nowadays. Thoughts?

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And didn't Buddy DeFranco do an album under L. Feather's auspecies on Bass clarinet with the then current Jazz Messengers? I think I own this...or maybe it was a dream?

Pretty much. He played it on Blues Bag (Vee-Jay, 1964) with Blakey, Victor Sproles, Freddie Hill or Lee Morgan, Curtis Fuller & Victor Feldman. It was part of the Feather Encyclopedia of Jazz. Very, very weird one, as you can tell. They do Ornette's "Blues Connotation"!

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I have sent Gunter Hampel (*1937) a link to this topic. Here is his answer - with his permission:

"1964. Eric Dolphy was checking my vibraphone, I got bis bassclarinet on my request. I play clarinet since I was 11. After we both had a jam, he on my vibes, I on his bcl, Eric said, I should buy me one!

Some times later, 1966, I was playing with my quintet at the Blue Note in Paris, opposite the Kenny Clarke Quintet. They played one set, we played one set, 3 or 4 times each night. Kenny was holding drumworkshops at Selmer. They sold me a flute and a bassclarinet. I got the one, which goes to the low Bb, which I still play today.

On my recording "The 8th of July 1969" I pinned sections with two bassclarinets (me and Willem Breuker, who was playing in my band for over 6 years) + a contrabassclarinet (Anthony Braxton) + Jeanne Lee on voice and great Steve McCall on drums. A few years later I got from Selmer a contrabassclarinet from wood. Anthony's is from metal. If you like, you can go to "youtube" and hear and see a piece I performed solo in the Philharmonic Hall in Berlin on that huge horn. I used to play both bcl and contra-bcl a lot with the Galaxie Dream Band, in which I was featuring a string unit with violin, cello and two contrabasses and a clarinet group with two clarinets, alto-clarinet and bassclarinet. It is all documented on Birth Records + voice of Jeanne Lee a.o. ... and still available."

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Harry Carney played bass clarinet occasionally in the Ellington band.

I seem to recall it being particularly prominent during one portion of TONE PARALLEL TO HARLEM.

Glad someone mentioned Bennie Maupin. He's great on BITCHES BREW, and also on THE JEWEL IN THE LOTUS.

In "live" situations Harry Carney played bass clarinet in a number of compositions.

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Chris Cundy

http://www.chriscundy.com

Just heard him perform a magnificent set - something by Wolff and a piece by Ton De Leeuw called 'Mountains' (http://webshop.donemus.com/action/front/sheetmusic/1360/Mountains)

Oh here is the Wolff piece https://soundcloud.com/chris-cundy/christian-wolff-isnt-this-a

talking about wolff .Was listening to this 074wolff.jpg recently[tilbury/snowdrops) checking out Roland Dahinden on the tube and also this by the alphorn/ trombone player/ braxton collaborator/composer.inspired by Jackson Polock and Eric Dolphy's Serene:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_w1ULt27r8

Edited by uli
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Chris Cundy

http://www.chriscundy.com

Just heard him perform a magnificent set - something by Wolff and a piece by Ton De Leeuw called 'Mountains' (http://webshop.donemus.com/action/front/sheetmusic/1360/Mountains)

Oh here is the Wolff piece https://soundcloud.com/chris-cundy/christian-wolff-isnt-this-a

Yes, of course. I'd recommend his duo album with Dominic Lash 'Two Plump Daughters' on Creative Sources

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talking about wolff .Was listening to this 074wolff.jpg recently[tilbury/snowdrops) checking out Roland Dahinden on the tube and also this by the alphorn/ trombone player/ braxton collaborator/composer.inspired by Jackson Polock and Eric Dolphy's Serene:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_w1ULt27r8

That's Hugo Queirós on bass clarinet in the clip. He's got lots of videos up on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JeBmqf-x5s

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John Gilmore: Fantastic solo on Andrew Hill's Compulsion, and some great spots with Sun Ra (I think the big feature is called Adventure/Equation, can't remember which album it's on). He said that he loaned his instrument to a colleague who dropped it and broke it and that he (Gilmore) never played it again. Eloe Omoe did some great bass clarinet work on some of Ra's 70s albums as well, including one on the long bonus track on the Universe in Blue reissue that has shown up on ITunes, Spotify, eMusic, etc. And I think Robert Cummings (sic?) had some impressive solo spots in the 60s with Ra as well. Apologies for being to lazy to look up the details! No discographies to hand at the moment...

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