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 Re: Less-known gems (players)
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2017-03-11 04:21

In the 50s and 60s there were at least dozens of clarinet players still well within the trad New Orleans clarinet tradition. Harold Cooper, who played with the Assunto Brothers Dukes of Dixieland, was in his prime in the late 50s when he played with Al Hirt. They used to do a WWL radio show weekly with Cooper shining on Duke Ellington's "Sophisticated Lady." Cooper played an old Selmer big bore clarinet with a Selmer E mouthpiece and could gliss up and down maybe even better than Bigard and Artie Shaw. His tone was lush and covered in person and never really well captured on any of his recordings. The radio recordings did him better justice. He was followed in the Dukes by Jack Maheu, who lived in New Orleans after coming from the Salt City Six and played a Leblanc Dynamic H clarinet. Matty Matlock, of course, who flourished in the West Coast studios. He sounds great on the Paul Weston Crescent City Suite recording, especially the "Bayou St. John" solo and the classic chorus on "High Society." Then there is always the un-classifiable Pee Wee Russell who is sort of an abstract shadow of the New Orleans style always with unexpected quirks and byways. And don't forget the other Pee Wee, P. W. Spitelera, who played both on the Welk show (in the "Junior Band" with Warren Luening) and later with Al Hirt.

There are many, many more, but their names would mean little today. One I used to hear every week as a kid (playing with Sharkey Bonano) was Harry Shields--still on an Albert System--a relative (brother?) of Larry Shields. Three more are Albert Burbank and Louis Cottrell, who used to play with Paul Barbarin, and Bujie Centobie who played with Johnny Wiggs. They came from an older (mostly Albert System) New Orleans school of playing than Cooper, Maheu, Matlock, and Spiterlera--same church, different pew. In the truck parades that traditionally followed the Rex parade, many jazz clarinetists could be heard. One was Art Ryder (who had a very different day job), a clarinetist often praised for his 'workmanship" by Pete Fountain. And there was the mathematics professor at Tulane University who played New Orleans jazz clarinet on the side (can't remember his name) and another professor, at Xavier University, Dr. Michael White, who is still going strong. Orange Kellin, an emigre clarinetist from Sweden, has extensively studied the New Orleans tradition and can be heard in many venues. Doreen Ketchens still plays on her Royal Street corner. Among the longshoremen and skilled bricklayers of New Orleans there were many "mute inglorious Miltons" who played traditional jazz clarinet, maybe better than any I have named.

Poet/Novelist Andrei Codresu, transplanted from Romania to New Orleans, used to say there was something in the New Orleans rain that gave rise to its unique jazz style--moisture in the wood of the clarinet, if you will.

Lester Bouchon used to play a lot at the Beachcomber Grill on Canal St,, a few blocks from Lenfant's where Pete Fountain and the Basin St. Six played.

Post Edited (2017-03-11 06:52)

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 Topics Author  Date
 Less-known gems (players)  new
Fuzzy 2017-03-09 22:00 
 Re: Less-known gems (players)  new
Tony F 2017-03-10 11:56 
 Re: Less-known gems (players)  new
Fuzzy 2017-03-10 20:40 
 Re: Less-known gems (players)  new
Tony F 2017-03-11 03:42 
 Re: Less-known gems (players)  new
seabreeze 2017-03-11 04:21 
 Re: Less-known gems (players)  new
Fuzzy 2017-03-11 05:03 
 Re: Less-known gems (players)  new
Fuzzy 2017-03-11 09:20 
 Re: Less-known gems (players)  new
seabreeze 2017-03-11 10:25 
 Re: Less-known gems (players)  new
Fuzzy 2017-03-11 10:52 
 Re: Less-known gems (players)  new
MarlboroughMan 2017-03-11 21:44 
 Re: Less-known gems (players)  new
seabreeze 2017-03-11 11:48 
 Re: Less-known gems (players)  new
Fuzzy 2017-03-11 19:03 
 Re: Less-known gems (players)  new
Fuzzy 2017-03-11 23:52 
 Re: Less-known gems (players)  new
donald 2017-03-12 04:13 
 Re: Less-known gems (players)  new
Fuzzy 2017-03-12 05:24 
 Re: Less-known gems (players)  new
ned 2017-03-12 14:36 
 Re: Less-known gems (players)  new
ned 2017-03-12 15:02 
 Re: Less-known gems (players)  new
Fuzzy 2017-03-12 19:06 
 Re: Less-known gems (players)  new
faltpihl 2017-03-13 00:19 
 Re: Less-known gems (players)  new
seabreeze 2017-03-13 03:06 
 Re: Less-known gems (players)  new
faltpihl 2017-03-13 17:36 
 Re: Less-known gems (players)  new
Fuzzy 2017-03-13 20:27 

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