Unusual Jazz Instruments

OLDUDE

New member
I was discussing the French Horn as a jazz instrument and Mat suggested I start a new thread about unusual jazz instruments.
Well here goes.
I will start things going by giving a short spiel on what I consider to be an
unusual musical instrument to be used in Jazz. I would hope for some lively discussion and eventually myself or anyone else will present another (different) instrument to fit the pattern and so on.
Ok lets give it a try!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

OLDUDE

New member
Bass clarinet in jazz
While the bass clarinet was seldom heard in early jazz compositions, a bass clarinet solo by Omer Simeon can be heard in the 1926 recording "Someday Sweetheart" by Jelly Roll Morton and His Red Hot Peppers. Additionally, Benny Goodman recorded with the instrument a few times early in his career.
Harry Carney, Duke Ellington's baritone saxophonist for 47 years, played bass clarinet in some of Ellington's arrangements, first recording with it on "Saddest Tale" in 1934. He was featured soloist on many Ellington recordings, including 27 titles on bass clarinet.[7]

Comments please about the Bass Clarinet
 

Dorsetmike

New member
Hi John, all your links in the above post come back with 404 page not found errors.

I've got some french horn, played by Jimmy Buffington early/mid 50s witrh Mel Powell on the Vanguard label, might be available on Spotify or last.fm.

As for unusual instruments not many jazz harp players, I only know of David Snell. Must say I've not heard much about bass clarinet, from your post above it's more than likely I will have heard some, but not recognised as such.
 

White Knight

Spectral Warrior con passion
Hi John, all your links in the above post come back with 404 page not found errors.

I've got some french horn, played by Jimmy Buffington early/mid 50s witrh Mel Powell on the Vanguard label, might be available on Spotify or last.fm.

As for unusual instruments not many jazz harp players, I only know of David Snell. Must say I've not heard much about bass clarinet, from your post above it's more than likely I will have heard some, but not recognised as such.

Olddude and MIke, I've been encountering the same problems as Mike recounts in the first part of his above post.
 
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gord

New member
i seem to remember a jazz bag pipe player. i think is name is rufus harley. gord
 

JHC

Chief assistant to the assistant chief
John, I am having the same problem with your links, also they should come out as a mustard colour if you are using the link tool [symbol of Earth and chain link] at top of message box
 

escher

New member
anyway, i'd like to know more stuff for woodwinds, oboe and bassoon in particular. I have only an excellent album by Lyle spud Murphy, gone with woodwinds, very advanced and original for his time, and a lot of chamber music by Alec Wilder (though is not real jazz).
 

Mat

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Oboe in Jazz - part 1

There aren't many jazz oboists out there, I believe. I spent a lot of time looking for any good ones and it finally paid off. The first one I found is Jean Luc Fillon. Here's a random clip from youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tobPaSWqhxA
 

OLDUDE

New member
Sorry all you guys looking for links in the quotation I gave.
There was no intention to give links (I still dont know how) but the blue highlights were there in the original reference (I think Wiki or maybe some obscure Google source I will have to dig up ) and were themselves just references.
However I will now give you the rest of the Quote which I had stored on Wordpad.

Harry Carney, Duke Ellington's baritone saxophonist for 47 years, played bass clarinet in some of Ellington's arrangements, first recording with it on "Saddest Tale" in 1934. He was featured soloist on many Ellington recordings, including 27 titles on bass clarinet.[7]
The first jazz album on which the leader solely played bass clarinet was Great Ideas of Western Mann (1957) by Herbie Mann, better known as a flautist. However, avant-garde musician Eric Dolphy (1928–1964) was the first major jazz soloist on the instrument, and established much of the vocabulary and technique used by later performers. He used the entire range of the instrument in his solos. Bennie Maupin emerged in the late 1960s as a primary player of the instrument, playing on Miles Davis's seminal record Bitches Brew as well as several records with Herbie Hancock's Mwandishi group. His style resembles Dolphy's in its use of advanced harmonies.
While the bass clarinet has been used often since Dolphy, it is typically used by a saxophonist or clarinetist as a second or third instrument; such musicians include David Murray, Marcus Miller, John Surman, John Gilmore, Bob Mintzer, Roger Rosenberg, James Carter, Steve Buckley, Andy Biskin, Dai Pritchard, Don Byron, Julian Siegel, Gunter Hampel, Chris Potter, Michel Portal and Oran Etkin. Very few performers have used the instrument exclusively, but such performers include the Baltimore-based American musician and bandleader Todd Marcus,[8] Luxemburg-based viruoso bass clarinetist Michel Pilz, Berlin-based bass clarinetist Rudi Mahall, Chicago-based bass clarinetist Jason Stein,[9] Amsterdam/Detroit-based bass clarinetist Jason AlderHYPERLINK \l "cite_note-9"[10] of the electroacoustic improvisation ensemble Sonido 13,[11] and French bass clarinetist Louis Sclavis with his famous disk "Clarinettes" ( "Django Reinhardt" award ) . Klezmer clarinetist Giora Feidman is known for idiosyncratic use of the bass clarinet on some klezmer and jazz tunes.

As you can see Escher your ref to Dolphy was spot on.

Do you all think the thread is worthwhile? If so keep your own info and comments on unusual instruments flooding in, and the more controversy the better.

Cheers John (No links to be found)
 
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JHC

Chief assistant to the assistant chief
I think a point worth mentioning is that if anyone is pasting/quoting from some one else's web page it should be noted in your post.
 

Mat

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I don't expect you to like it, Colin, but I think I should point out that there aren't many recordings of him on the Net available to be linked to, and I know the one I posted is not the best. I'll send you more details via PM.
 

John Watt

Active member
Bass clarinet for jazz? This is so last night.

I was watching "Around the world in 80 antiques", and the narrator went to India.
While he was standing in front of a historic building before he went in to record the sacred object,
a small band of youth walked by, not marching in formation, playing musical instruments.
The first person walking close to him was playing an old bass clarinet,
and seeing what I could see of the other instruments made me think they were left over from British occupation.

What made me smile more to myself was seeing how each young person would stop playing to smile at the camera and acknowledge the narrator.

Bass clarinet. I don't know what it's supposed to sound like, but it's a beautiful tone,
kind of neglected, like bass flute.
 

JHC

Chief assistant to the assistant chief
I don't expect you to like it, Colin, but I think I should point out that there aren't many recordings of him on the Net available to be linked to, and I know the one I posted is not the best. I'll send you more details via PM.
A friend who used to play Oboe in the Auckland Philharmonia years ago said it is the worst instrument to hear beginners practising on, it takes so long to develop an even, steady tone. I do like the English Horn I think that may sound better for Jazz but I have not heard it in that genre. he also pointed out that with the Oboe you use so little breath you gasp for air, so it must be very difficult in long passages.
 

Mat

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Colin, it's true - oboe beginners are a torture to hear. It is very difficult to produce a decent sound, compared to other woodwind instruments. But once you learn it, you can really play beautifully. Also true that after you've played a phrase, you always get an "air surplus" left in your lungs that you can't use. Most annoying feeling (saying that from my own experience). As to long passages, it doesn't always have to be difficult. I should mention that circular breathing can be a big help.

There are some jazz English Horn players. Here's a short clip of already mentioned Jean.
 

JHC

Chief assistant to the assistant chief
I have heard of circular breathing when I was studying Flute, but never did master the technique. for some reason I cant get your link to work I think my firewall is blocking it.
 

Mat

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Can't you unblock it? Don't worry, it's not a virus.
 
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