less standard jazz instruments... [Archive] - Sax on the Web Forum

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beth
06-07-2003, 08:29 PM
hehe, i always feel quite backwards when i say i prefer to play flute/alto flute and bass clarinet for jazz and saxophone for classical, but i just feel each one better suits me in their respective genres. are there any other jazzers out there whos primary instrument they use in combos and such isnt saxophone (or tpt, bone,gtr, bass, drums or pno for that matter)? I still play sax for jazz, i play it in jazz bands/big bands and an occasional tune in a combo, but my primary focus is flute/bass clarinet. i'm just wondering how many other weirdos there are out there like me :P

on that note...
i was wondering if anyone can reccommend some bass clarinet mouthpieces that wont cost a fortune; jazz or just an all-around, i dont care so much. I just want a piece that'll give me a dark fat sound, lots of freedom in the altissimo, and as few squeaks as possible, lol.
and who are some good bass clarinetests to listen to? ive been listening to eric dolphy and chris potter recently, anyother good players out there to seek out?

i want to tame this beast, muhaha

Mikes87
06-07-2003, 08:56 PM
Hehe, I myself don't play an oddball instrument, but one of my friends played flute in our jazz band this year, she was pretty good. Then we had a TUBA also in our jazz band, let me tell ya, you haven't lived until you've heard a tuba solo on 'round midnight. My private teacher also plays his French horn in his Nonet(sp?). So you're not alone beth!

Tom Goodrick
06-15-2003, 02:29 PM
My primary instrument is trombone, secondary trumpet or flugel and tertiary is tenor sax. But when playing in a small combo, my main axe is the sax. If I have to play lead most of the night, the sax takes the load off the lips for the other horns so that, when I play them, they sound fresh and good. I can blow the sax all night without difficulty. On big bands years ago, I always played trombone with an occasional stunt on trumpet or flugel. I suspected the sax players had less trouble with fatigue. So I took up the sax on my own to see what it was like. It is great in many ways, especially for jazz because the tone can be so much more expressive. But it galls me how easy the sax players had it on a four-hour gig. They have it almost as good as the accordian player whose only problem is tired arms and a sore face from grinning all night!

Dave Dolson
06-15-2003, 04:43 PM
Beth: Paul Whiteman's orchestra often used a bass clarinet for effect. I recall Hoagie's WASHBOARD BLUES as having a bass clarinet in the mix. Some will say Whiteman was not really jazz, but with Bix and Tram, Eddie Lang and others, they played some hot choruses in their day.

Tuba is widely used in trad jazz today. Listen to King Oliver's Creole Serenaders from around 1930 for some wonderful sousaphone work. Today's New Black Eagle Jazz band from Mass. has a virtuoso on tuba, Dr. Eli Newberger (sp?), as did many of the West-Coast-Revival school (Turk Murphy and Lu Watters, to name two).

Sidney Bechet (who is credited with introducing soprano saxophone to jazz) used a contra-bass sarrousophone on MANDY, MAKE UP YOUR MIND in about 1923 or 24.

There is a LONG history of odd-ball instruments in jazz - youngsters seem to think jazz started with Charlie Parker, but not so. DAVE

Big Nick
06-15-2003, 09:08 PM
For another bass clarinetist to listen to - try John Surman.

MS
06-15-2003, 10:13 PM
BIll Street in Gorham Maine makes a good Bass Clarinet mps. Calll him and tell him what you want: (207) - 839 - 2231

Roger Aldridge
06-16-2003, 11:29 AM
One older bass clarinet player not to overlook is Danny Banks. You'll find him on the Miles Davis & Gil Evans recordings. Gil wrote beautifully for the bass clarinet! In fact, if memory serves I think that he used TWO bass clarinets at times on the Miles Ahead sessions. Danny Banks was also a featured player, along with Phil Woods, on a number of the Oliver Nelson big band recordings from the 60's. Great stuff. Danny has an absolutely HUGE bass clarinet sound. I've never heard anyone else with a sound like Danny Banks. He's a MUST LISTEN TO!

Also, how could we talk about bass clarinet players and not mention Harry Carney with Duke Ellington?

Ralph Morgan's bass clarinet mouthpeices are worthy of being added to your list of ones to check out.

bari_sax_diva
06-16-2003, 08:59 PM
And, a few more more jazz bass clarinetists...


Bob Mintzer - better known for his tenor, Bob does a lot of recording on B.C. as well. You'd probably find it any of his big band albums.

Bennie Maupin - one of the greats. I recently had the uncomfortable experience of being just about to make an instrument switch to bass clar. for a part in "Little Sunflower" when Bennie walked in the room and sat down to listen. Nothing like having to trot out a double when a reigning master is on hand to hear it. Needless to say, I'm spending the summer working up my bass clarinet chops, just in case he sticks his head in again.

Tim Price - he's great, and a regular poster 'round these parts. If you can't find a recording of his, ask him--he's always willing to help people learn.

Have fun,
Leanne

knighttrain
06-17-2003, 01:04 AM
Modern Jazz Group with Bass Clarinet - Yellow Jackets

Pete
06-17-2003, 03:03 AM
I played backup for Dave Boyer when he came to my old church awhile back. (His music is basically swing/jazz, with a heavy dollop of the Guy Lombardo orchestra.)

Anyhow, the charts he brought were from his CD with the Ralph Carmichael big band. I play bari, but the parts had lots of doubling -- for bari, bass clarinet, regular clarinet and alto flute. (I can't play flute with any degree of competence, so I transposed for clarinet.)

IMHO, one of the best jazz voices out there is flute. I dunno if alto flute would be more appropriate, but I've gone to a concert that featured bass and contrabass flutes and I thought that was a kewl sound.

=======

On my bass clarinets I've used a really nice Selmer HS*, a stock Buffet hard-rubber 'piece (this was about a 50-year-old pro horn) and a couple of Vandorens -- and I've played Buffet, Selmer, Leblanc and Bundy (shudder) basses -- all intermediate wood horns, except the Buffet and Bundy.

Unfortunately, I don't recall the Vandoren model I used, but I thought tit was decent, even compared to my Bb soprano 'pieces -- a Vandoren B40, a Vandoren B45 and a Selmer C120/85 custom (my main 'piece).

I did prefer the HS* on the bass, but that's a tad expensive.

Check out the Vandorens: they might have even better ones now.

========

I started my musical career playing clarinet and switched to sax. I generally play classical on both, but enjoy playing in jazz ensembles.

beth
06-17-2003, 11:04 PM
thanks for all the info you guys!
ill start looking into mouthpieces soon and probably pick one up from the city or wwbw. atleast ill have a decent piece to play on while im at home and playing on an old vito. when i go back to p'dam ill be able to play on my friend's pro buffet prestige low C bass -drools-
that thing blew like a dream even with a chipped stock bundy mouthpiece and broken ligature...lol...

if only i had $5000....

mike
06-17-2003, 11:56 PM
I don't think anyone has mentioned Herbie Mann, yet. His album "Great Ideas of Western Mann" might be the first with the bass clarinet as the primary horn on the entire album. Buddy DeFranco has also recorded on bass clarinet. Bill Holman did a nice arrangement of "the Peacocks" for bass clarinet and big band, and Bob Efford (I think) played the BC solo (the album is "A View from the Side").

If you want to move out of strictly jazz playing, there are some pretty good classical/avant garde players like Michael Davenport (from Seattle) and Michael Lowenstern (from NYC). Davenport has also recorded an album of jazz duets (with pianist Al Hood) on which he plays a lot of BC.

And as to mouthpieces, there are a number of hand-faced pieces that won't kill your piggy bank: Roger Garrett makes a nice piece and it is probably still in the under $100 range (I got one several years ago and it was about $60, then). Clark Fobes makes a student piece in the $100 range. As for stock pieces, also check out Selmer C*'s, although many people have them refaced (Walter Grabner refaces them).

michaelbaird
10-03-2003, 09:49 AM
Marcus Miller plays bass clarinet on Miles Davis Tutu and Amandala CDs, along with sax. His tone is funky but who cares, so is the music.

Vortex
10-24-2003, 03:38 PM
I remember distinctly hearing some bass clarinet in the 1970 Freddie Hubbard cd "Sky Dive". The CD also had at least 2 flute solos. Very wide variety of "weird" jazz instruments on this album.

Lambik
10-25-2003, 08:27 PM
You may laugh (and so did I :p), but I actually have "created" a type of instrument with a very particular sound, which I do want to use once on a gig.

I called it the "Vanhovophone" (my last name is Vanhove).
It's like this:

you take a recorder
you turn it upside down
you put a mouthpiece of a sax on it, and with your embouchure you press it against the back of the recorder. Then blow.

Very funny sound, but useful nevertheless :p
It is to be played like a recorder, but then upside down.

The hole you used to play a low C with on a recorder, becomes your highest tone hole on the Vanhovophone etc.

It makes a point like "we shouldn't take jazz too serious, it's only for fun after all".

Jon B. Bop
10-25-2003, 11:18 PM
The trombonist Steve Turre (sp?) has become well known for playing the Conch Shell. :roll:

michaelbaird
10-26-2003, 10:14 PM
I can play tunes on a full bottle of beer...must be glass preferably a long neck.

Hornlip
10-27-2003, 08:02 PM
Once saw a guy playing jazz on a contra-bass clarinet -- the kind that looks like a big metal paperclip, or part of a radiator.

I really liked it, & I've been kinda intrigued by the contra-bass ever since. Maybe one day I'll pick one up, if I get rich or someting. They're pricey, even used!!

top_gun25
10-27-2003, 11:09 PM
My Highschool has a contra....

and the conch is called an OCHARINA i believe.... we are using our tbone to play one right now for MAZAMA.

Tho funniest jazz instrument i have seen was the band director playing his ZITHER in jazz band... ( dont think i spelled zither right).

tho we use an F trombone for jazz... is that odd?
how bout the vibroslap?

THAT WORD IS FUNNY!
VIBROSLAP! :lol:

olivier_roinsol
05-31-2004, 10:30 AM
Scott Robinson is a GREAT player, musician and guy (I know him quite well but never met - he wrote a piece for a contemporary music concert I did, a piece for two contrabass clars, two basset horns and contrabassoon......)
You can buy to him his recordings, or on Tower Records or...

-the first one, "Multiple Instruments" : he plays ophicleide, helicon, SATB saxes, C-melody, C soprano, flute and piccolo, drums, banjo, cornet, trombone, recorders, clarinets, trumpet, bagpipes, mellophone.............. GREAT GREAT GREAT (he was 23 old......) LP only ;

-the second one he introduces bass flute and bass sax (LP too) ;

-Magic Eyes with a czech trio is on SS and TS with one piece on euphonium and one on muted cornet ;

-Thinking Big : mainly 30's classicals (Stompin at the Savoy, Koko, Mood Indigo.......) ; he plays SS, AS, C-mel, TS, BS, BassS, ContraBassSax (wonderfull), a great solo on Mood Indigo with his metal bass clar, Bb clar too, Theremin, and contrabass sarrusophone on "Mandy, Make Up your Mind" as played by Bechet ;

-Melody from the Sky : Only on C-melody sax........... :-) Jay Easton wrote me it's the best thing you can do with a good setuped C-melo !

-The last one, he plays the music of Satchmo and adds F-mezzo sax !
ophicleide too, double belled euphonium, double belled cornet.....

Scott plays too slide-saxophone of Sex Mob (Steven Bernstein group) last CD..........................

Draconistarum
06-01-2004, 09:04 PM
I use my main concert instrument for jazz band. It's a straight line of saxophones until you hit the end, where I site with an Eb contra clarinet.

Flower Power
01-14-2005, 01:20 PM
and who are some good bass clarinetests to listen to? ive been listening to eric dolphy and chris potter recently, anyother good players out there to seek out?

i want to tame this beast, muhaha

I definatley would recommend Louis Sclavis. He is awesome! His main isntrument is bass clarinet, but I also like his soprano sax tone.

Greetings
Flower Power

Rahspeak
01-14-2005, 01:55 PM
Heck, I wouldn't consider the bass clarinet an "oddball" instrument at all. It seems many cats are playing it these days, especially in the modern mainstream genre. For names of players not mentioned check David Murray and Marty Erlich. I don't play it myself because my practice time is somewhat limited right now and I find it's beneficial for me to ONLY play tenor and try to morph into one with it, but if/when I'm satisfied and want to branch out to other woodwinds the bass clarinet is at the top of my list. What a sound! You've picked well.

olivier_roinsol
08-14-2005, 10:53 AM
Hi there !

I will play in a really fun sextet in 2005-2006, In France and Italy. This is a tribute to Steve Lacy by Francois Dumont d'Ayot, an excellent musician who well knew Steve...
Francois plays "normal" SAT saxes, but mainly straight horns : soprillo, sopranino, Bb and C-soprano, saxello, Conn-O-Sax (NOT A JOKE !!!), stritch (the only real stritch, made by King in the 20's) and a LA straight tenor.

For the Lacy project, the froup will be :


François Dumont d'Ayot on saxes, clarinets (in metal, from Eb to bass...), flutes

me on C-soprano, F-mezzo, C-melody, Db piccolo, alto flute, basset horn and contrabass clarinets

Marc Girardot on ophicleide, cimbasso, serpent, trombones, tubas

and accordion / bass / drums


weird group, isn't it ??
:-)

olivier_roinsol
08-14-2005, 11:06 AM
Hi there !

I will play in a really fun sextet in 2005-2006, In France and Italy. This is a tribute to Steve Lacy by Francois Dumont d'Ayot, an excellent musician who well knew Steve...
Francois plays "normal" SAT saxes, but mainly straight horns : soprillo, sopranino, Bb and C-soprano, saxello, Conn-O-Sax (NOT A JOKE !!!), stritch (the only real stritch, made by King in the 20's) and a LA straight tenor.

For the Lacy project, the froup will be :


François Dumont d'Ayot on saxes, clarinets (in metal, from Eb to bass...), flutes

me on C-soprano, F-mezzo, C-melody, Db piccolo, alto flute, basset horn and contrabass clarinets

Marc Girardot on ophicleide, cimbasso, serpent, trombones, tubas

and accordion / bass / drums


weird group, isn't it ??
:-)

And7barton
04-03-2007, 08:43 PM
I can play tunes on a full bottle of beer...must be glass preferably a long neck.

That reminds me - Can anyone (besides me) get the first harmonic above the usual fundamental blowing across an empty beer bottle ?

And7barton
04-03-2007, 08:47 PM
hehe, i always feel quite backwards when i say i prefer to play flute/alto flute and bass clarinet for jazz and saxophone for classical, but i just feel each one better suits me in their respective genres. are there any other jazzers out there whos primary instrument they use in combos and such isnt saxophone (or tpt, bone,gtr, bass, drums or pno for that matter)? I still play sax for jazz, i play it in jazz bands/big bands and an occasional tune in a combo, but my primary focus is flute/bass clarinet. i'm just wondering how many other weirdos there are out there like me :P

on that note...
i was wondering if anyone can reccommend some bass clarinet mouthpieces that wont cost a fortune; jazz or just an all-around, i dont care so much. I just want a piece that'll give me a dark fat sound, lots of freedom in the altissimo, and as few squeaks as possible, lol.
and who are some good bass clarinetests to listen to? ive been listening to eric dolphy and chris potter recently, anyother good players out there to seek out?

i want to tame this beast, muhaha


I bought an ophicleide that was totally knackered with some of the keys missing - I paid a repairer £ 250 to make it perfect, and then learned to play it. I discovered just why this instrument went the way of the dinosaurs - When you play a scale, none of the fingering "follows on" from the previous note's fingering, but it was fun. The fingering makes even less sense than a bassoon's.

Swingtone
04-03-2007, 10:22 PM
Here's one--

Anybody know who the man on the right is?

http://www.donstiernberg.com/images/claude_williams.jpg

hakukani
04-03-2007, 10:56 PM
Claude Williams?

littlemanbighorn
04-03-2007, 11:29 PM
For Contra-Bass Clarinets check out Anthony Braxton, Vinny Golia and Frank Gratkowski.

Rodders
04-04-2007, 02:05 AM
Just to throw an Aussie perspective in...

I think I have mentioned this bloke in another post - Don Burrows, probably "The Father" of Aussie Jazz, primarily a sax clarinetist, has been known to play Bass Clarinet, and also a range of flutes, certainly bass flute.

To throw another Aussie in the ring, I think he is pretty well becoming a bit of a name outside Aus, James Morrison, brass - mostly Trumpet and Trom but also plays a very respectable sax and keyboard - he used to play Trumpet and accompany himself on piano. He also used to, not sure if he still does use Euphonium in his show, used it for ballads, more mellow tone. He also uses Picc Trumpet a bit too...

Cheers
Rod

Swingtone
04-07-2007, 06:00 AM
Claude Williams?

Ta DA! :D Claude FIDDLER Williams

hakukani
04-07-2007, 06:24 AM
Ta DA! :D Claude FIDDLER Williams

When I was a freshman at Wichita State, I went to the local Sunday jam at Bill's la Gourmet restaurant. The 'house' band was a bunch of older guys. Some piano player named Jay McShann and a rhythm section, a vocalist named Art Hicks, plus a guy on violin named Claude Williams. His melodic sense and sense of swing completely blew me away! It always will. He was the real deal.

It was nearly six months of listening to the Sunday jams before I put my horn together to play. I won't tell you how badly I played, but I will say that they were very kind to an 18 year old white boy that was badly out of his league.