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Clarinets Jazz and the Clarinet

Two Voices

Senior Member
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1,113
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United Kingdom
I love Jazz and it is that love that got me interested in playing the saxophone in the first place. That said I think I’ll always be a keys player first and foremost but sometimes I find it a little boring sound wise. I suppose that’s why I love my synths and workstations as they add some spice to the mix. I also love playing the organ which is also great for jazz and it certainly spices things up from a standard acoustic piano.

Personally speaking when playing or listening to jazz I am biased to instrumentals. Essentials instruments (in my opinion of course) is drums, bass (double bass is my favourite) and a piano / organ. A guitar however is optional and doesn’t always work. As there aren’t any vocals I think a Brass or woodwind instrument is needed and truly believe the saxophone is the ultimate beast. That said that I find a trumpet, trombone and clarinet are also worthy lead instruments.

To the crux, as you know due to hearing related issues last year I had to stop playing my beloved saxophone and that really bummed me out. I started again properly after Christmas this year and I’m getting back on form, albeit slowly. I had all the typical issues that I’ve overcome one by one. The only thing left to overcome now is the palm keys. Not attempting the altissimo yet and may put that off for a while longer.

However despite being able to play again I’m still finding that the tenor uncomfortably loud at times and still causes tinnitus. Nothing like it was but enough to make me struggle to hear the notes and if I can’t hear, can’t play!

So to get around this problem I’ve opted to take up the clarinet. Naturally in Bb as I can play the same pieces. Without a doubt it’s a quieter beast to the Tenor Saxophone. I call it a beast as it’s in my opinion harder to tame than a tenor saxophone or might be because I’m so used to the relaxed embouchure of the tenor. It’s certainly easy to record with compared to the sax.

I’m settling down nicely with the clarinet though and I’m intonation is improving. Getting used to the keywork was weird to begin with despite the sam fingerings. It seems like a good alternative to the saxophone for me. It doesn’t take long to adjust to the tenor even if I’ve not picked it up for a week so I pleased about that.

I just wondered how many of you play the clarinet in a Jazz environment as well as which tunes and clarinetists you prefer. Sidney Bechet playing “Blue Horizon” is one that springs to mind for me. If any of you know of the clarinat being used in a Jazz-Fusion / Jazz-Rock please let me know!


 
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Messages
514
Locality
kent
Hello i play clarinet in various jazz outfits and also occasionally in a rock setting,there are several old school players,Benny Goodman,Artie Shaw and Jimmy Dorsey to name but three
and where modern players are concerned, i really like Eddie Daniels.
As for tunes,Stardust ,Bach goes to town, Georgia, the list goes on and on!
 
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Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
Locality
United Kingdom
Hello i play clarinet in various jazz outfits and also occasionally in a rock setting,there are several old school players,Benny Goodman,Artie Shaw and Jimmy Dorsey to name but three
and where modern players are concerned, i really like Eddie Daniels.
As for tunes,Stardust ,Bach goes to town, Georgia, the list goes on and on!

I'll check out Eddie Daniels as I've not heard much of his stuff. Been listening to the old school players.

Just out of interest what mouthpiece and reeds are you using?
 
Messages
514
Locality
kent
I'll check out Eddie Daniels as I've not heard much of his stuff. Been listening to the old school players.

Just out of interest what mouthpiece and reeds are you using?

Ive tried lots over the years but the one i use at the moment is an old unnamed piece that come with the clarinet,it just seems to work, it has a medium open chamber, reedwise Rico Royale 2s
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
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The Palm Tree strewn Wandle Surf Beach under the o
Add Woody Herman and Jimmy Giuffre to your list.
 

saxplorer

Senior Member
Messages
878
Locality
Surrey, UK
Stumbled over Edmond Hall the other day, really enjoyed what I heard.
 

Kingsleyhk

Senior Member
Messages
507
Locality
Nr. Bandung, Indonesia
Try:

Buddy de Franco - one of the few who could do bop on the clarinet - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJq97OI_F1Y

Evan Christopher - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JsazOf3bWs

Eiji Kitamura - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rgz1OndBEIg

Kenny Davern - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VB9t7hGCkYA - this one with de Franco and another great, Bob Wilber (who sat in - on soprano - with one of our local bands when he visited Hong Kong a few years ago - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLRKmEZBjC0&feature=related)

Pee Wee Russell - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uchUku2Lu9M

Closer to home:

Sammy Rimmington - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMoNQUioCEE&feature=related

Dave Shepherd - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbKao6G0JUc&feature=related

Acker Bilk. Sandy Brown, Terry Lightfoot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mG20xs_NLck

Alan Barnes - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUtJQQWMcHE&feature=results_main&playnext=1&list=PL0ECB547CD8F1E077

That should keep you going - great instrument, which I've never been able to play!
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
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12,321
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London
Tony Coe !!!!!!

Jimmy Giuffre has been quoted already, but please note that every recording is different.

three 1963 (maybe) is my favourite.
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
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Tony Coe !!!!!!

Jimmy Giuffre has been quoted already, but please note that every recording is different.

three 1963 (maybe) is my favourite.

Ah! Come on Al. You don't believe I read other posts, do you? >:)
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
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1,113
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United Kingdom
That's brilliant thanks guy's :D I'll check those out this afternoon!
 

ilovebech

Member
Messages
142
Don't forget Johnny Dodds,second only to Bechet as the greatest New Orleans player.The technicians,Goodman and Shaw leave me cold.If you want to hear a true master of the clarinet see Martin Frost.Stunningly brilliant but like his name cold,emotionless.
 
Messages
514
Locality
kent
Don't forget Johnny Dodds,second only to Bechet as the greatest New Orleans player.The technicians,Goodman and Shaw leave me cold.If you want to hear a true master of the clarinet see Martin Frost.Stunningly brilliant but like his name cold,emotionless.

So you don't think Goodman and Shaw were masters of their instrument?
 
Messages
514
Locality
kent
Yes, and that's it,brilliant players, all over the instrument,but ultimately nothing that you remember.

Well i guess we all have different ideas of what is memorable,but it appears to me that to have held the high position
that both player held both as artists and bandleaders,is something to consider.
you may dismiss them as unimportant but check out any whos who of jazz and i guarantee you will find them there.
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
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The Palm Tree strewn Wandle Surf Beach under the o
Wally Fawkes, Humphrey Littleton.
 

OutToLunch!

New Member
Messages
23
Locality
California, USA
John Carter is insane; completely and utterly mastered the Bb soprano. Amazing player. Check out Dauwhe and Fields Of Ghana.

Don Byron is also a great clarinetist, plays bass as well. Check out Tuskegee Experiments and ​Romance With The Unseen.
 
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