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 Less-known gems (players)
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2017-03-09 22:00

I'm sure a lot of folks on the board know of Johnny Dodds, Barney Bigard, Sidney Bechet, Irving Fazola, George Lewis, Jimmie Noone, Leon Roppolo, etc.

However, I'm curious what other lesser-known names are out there which might be shared.

A few of my favorite lesser-known gems are:
Raymond Burke
Lester Bouchon

(I realize that the offered names are mostly of performers who are no longer with us - though I'm not sure about Lester Bouchon...I didn't intend to limit the discussion in any way.)

I'd be interested to know your favorite lesser-known clarinet performers.

Thanks,
Fuzzy

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 Re: Less-known gems (players)
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2017-03-10 11:56

Sid Phillips

Tony F.

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 Re: Less-known gems (players)
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2017-03-10 20:40

Thanks Tony! I'm embarrassed that I didn't know of Sid. The samples I could find show that he was great at picking his band members too!

[Edit]: By the way - I noticed a comment on one of the YouTube links which indicated Sid played in Guernsey!! What a hoot! I bet that was quite the talk of the island.

Fuzzy



Post Edited (2017-03-10 20:59)

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 Re: Less-known gems (players)
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2017-03-11 03:42

I saw Sid Phillips a few times in London in the mid-50's. Once he was sharing a bill with Humphrey Littleton. He was playing what I remember as a plateau Albert system clarinet. I don't know what make.

Tony F.

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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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 Re: Less-known gems (players)
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2017-03-11 05:03

In further research today, I found out that he did, indeed, play a plateau clarinet. I saw one album cover which showed it to be either an Albert or Ohler (I still can't tell the difference once keys are added to the basic Albert), so your remembrance solidifies that for me. Thanks!

I also discovered that his performance in Guernsey was at St George's Hall! A number of years ago, I ignorantly walked past St. George's Hall ten or twenty times without having any clue as to its history - it just sat there looking like a normal building front to me, and never drew my attention. Now I wish I could go back and take more time looking at it!

I think my favorite link of his so far is: Plain Jane

From other accounts of his London performances, it sounds like he was a favorite of the dancing crowd!



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 Re: Less-known gems (players)
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2017-03-11 09:20

Wow Robert!!! Thanks!

I hadn't heard of Harold Cooper before - so I'll be looking him up. (Chances are that I've heard him with either the Dukes, or with one of Al Hirt's bands - but I didn't know his name...I'll have to check my liner notes and see if he's in my collection...listening to him via YouTube as I type right now though.)

Jack Maheu recorded with Tim Laughlin (or vice versa?) - and so I was exposed to his playing via my interest in Tim's album "Swing That Music." They played the Fish Vendor tune (which I never liked that much - but love their version!) In Tim's earlier recordings, I hear Jack's influence...though I hear a little less on the newer albums. I wish I had been able to hear Jack while he was still playing - what a treat that would have been!

I'm fortunate to live in the town which hosts quite a bit of the Bob Crosby Orchestra's original material/arrangements, etc. I've always been a big fan of Fazola, and Eddie Miller, but Matlock has taken me a bit of warming up to. I'm a huge fan of his talents though...not only his playing, but his composition/arranging skills! Seeing his on-the-fly arrangements for their later TV appearances, etc. is pretty cool. The guy had to be genius! (At least he appears that way to someone like me.)

Pee Wee Russell is another one who I had a hard time warming up to, but then I ran across this quote from Vol. 9, October 1958's The Second Line (page 5) - by Jake Trussell: (referring to Raymond Burke) "He had a style all his own. At times screaming, wailing, reminders of Pee Wee Russell -- but without the grotesque threatening-to-goof-the-next-note-but-never-doing-it quality of Pee Wee." Honestly, after reading that take on Pee Wee's playing, I was able to finally define why I had a hard time listening to Pee Wee - and it fixed it for me. I can listen to Pee Wee now - because Trussell was right...Pee Wee doesn't actually mess up - it just sounds like he's going to.  :)

Since I've already dragged you into The Second Line from Vol 9, October 1958; I feel compelled to share these Al Rose snippets with you pertaining to Raymond Burke:
"If there's a cloud with a silver lining, he plays the lining rather than the cloud."

and

"One summer night, I was talking with the late George Girard during an intermission in front of The Famous Door. 'Al,' he said, 'I'm going to be needing a clarinet player. Got any ideas?"

"How about Raymond?" I suggested.

"Man, that would be plain heaven!" George laughed, "But, if I had him I'd still need a clarinet player!"  :)

I do remember Pee Wee Spitelera being in Al Hirt's band, but I'll have to look him up again.

I have quite a few recordings of Louis Cottrell. If memory serves me correctly, Otis Bazoon loved listening to Louis during Otis' formative years.

I'm familiar with Harry Shields, but when I attempted to look him up, I found a GHB album (BCD-127) which included Raymond Burke, Harry Shields, and Pinky Vidacovich. Pinky is a new name to me - do you have information about Pinky?

Art Ryder is a name that I don't recall, so I'll be researching that one. Centobie is a name I'm familiar with - but I always thought it was "Benji Centobie!"  :) I'll have to correct that! I do have many of the Johnny Wiggs albums, so I am familiar with Bujie's playing - even if I've had his name wrong all these years!

"Orange" has recorded some lately. I have a couple of his newer recordings (such as with pianist Steve Pistorius - Steve always seems to choose great clarinetists.

I'd address the others you mentioned, but I see I've gone on quite long, so I'll end here! Thanks for all the great mentions. I know what I'll be doing this weekend!

Fuzzy



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 Re: Less-known gems (players)
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2017-03-11 10:25

I forgot Pud Brown, who used to play at the Maison Bourbon club and the Famous Door. If I listed all the clarinetists I heard at the Famous Door, I'd be up all night typing. Anyway, for Pud, who could have stepped into the Pete Fountain slot on the Welk show (Welk really wanted him to) but chose not to, Google to--Beloved New Orleans Musician Albert Pud Brown Dies. For info on Pinky Vidacovich, try http://allmusic.com/artist/pinky-vidacovich-mn0001199761.

I haven't seen Orange for a long time but I know he used to play an SML clarinet with a very old A. Lelandais mouthpiece.

Today I see a whole new generation of clarinetists from all over the world influenced by the New Orleans tradition. Marching in the Second Line for Pete Fountain's funeral was a lady from Germany with a full Oehler (not Albert) system clarinet. "You play jazz on that?" someone asked. I didn't hear the answer but I think I know what it was. New Orleans clarinet is now open to both genders. On Frenchman St. there are a few women adding their own
perspective to the ever-developing tradition--something new under the sun as far as I can tell, except for Doreen Ketchens. (I've never seen a female name listed with the likes of Rappollo, Fazola, Lewis, Bigard, Tio, Hall, Picou, and Bechet, but the times, they are a-changing.) Viva la Difference!



Post Edited (2017-03-11 11:21)

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 Re: Less-known gems (players)
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2017-03-11 10:52

Thanks for the great replies, Robert - I always appreciate hearing your stories and experiences...and love gleaning knowledge about the New Orleans scene from you.

Before she ran off with the Post Modern Jukebox crowd for their 2017 tour, Chloe Feoranzo was starting to make a big splash down there in New Orleans. Before that, (2010 or 2011), a young lady from the UK came over for a couple weeks and blew everyone away - I can picture her, but I can't remember her name - I think it was Amy Roberts - she was a seriously great player. I believe she's tearing up the UK now - mostly on saxophone). Aurora Nealand doesn't seem to play a whole lot of clarinet - but what I've heard sounds great! There's also quite a female contingent in the "up-and-coming" group...folks like Susan Gecker in the DC area, and Tere Coats in the Austin, TX area...and others that I know I'm forgetting at this moment. Of course Anita Thomas is a pioneer! (I love her YouTube performances with Kim Cusack - Festival Feetwarmers.)

At any rate - thanks again - I'll be busy "researching" (listening) this weekend! I appreciate the time you and Tony have taken to respond! You've both provided a few new names to me, and reminded me of names that I had neglected for a while.

I'm still open to any other names too in case anyone still wants to chime in (I'm hoping Eric might join in, as we don't have many "east coast" or "midwest" names in our list yet!)

Fuzzy

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 Re: Less-known gems (players)
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2017-03-11 11:48

I've heard most of the woman you mentioned but have never heard Anita Thomas exactly in a New Orleans setting. I enjoyed her duets with classical guitarist Candice Mowbray. Thomas can play a melody as a melody, with no apologies or attempts to disguise it with extraneous embellishment. I really like that; she brings a plaintive directness to the clarinet.

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 Re: Less-known gems (players)
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2017-03-11 19:03

Here's one of Anita and Kim playing China Boy. It looks like they had a great time.

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 Re: Less-known gems (players)
Author: MarlboroughMan 
Date:   2017-03-11 21:44

Hey Fuzzy--

Wish I could help you out, but most of the guys I listen to regularly are already well represented on this board. As a gigging musician with a large family, I don't really spend as much time out listening to others as I'd like to...it's a 'time of life' thing...

One guy in the midwest who I know wouldn't turn down wider recognition might be this cat (though he might also tell you his second chorus bridge on 'Topsy' was thrown a little off when he had to clear way for the waitress--the nightclub was a bit packed that evening... ;)) --

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJlE2Ehi0do

lol...that's the best I can do! This is a great thread though--some excellent names. :)


Eric

******************************
The Jazz Clarinet
http://thejazzclarinet.blogspot.com/

Post Edited (2017-03-11 21:47)

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 Re: Less-known gems (players)
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2017-03-11 23:52

Eric,

Hahaha! Nice plug!

I do understand about not having the time you'd like to listen. I go through stages where I have the time, then don't have the time. Right now - I have the time, so I'm trying to pack in as much listening as I can while I can!

I guess I'll throw easterner Dennis Lichtman onto the list. I know he's not really "lesser-known" in the eastern area, but perhaps he's not as well known elsewhere?
Dennis - playing Someday Sweatheart

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 Re: Less-known gems (players)
Author: donald 
Date:   2017-03-12 04:13

Indeed Chloe Feoranzo can play some good tunes, but my favourite is this fellow...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Muranyi
As a kid I LOVED his playing on the Shel Silverstein "Hairy Jazz" album, and many many years later STILL love it...
dn

my favourite track, a great solo!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIOP3TRg01w



Post Edited (2017-03-12 04:16)

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 Re: Less-known gems (players)
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2017-03-12 05:24

Thanks Donald!

That's a new name for me! I'm not a big Shel Silverstein fan, but I loved Joe's playing. Listening to other examples on YouTube now!!

Thanks again!
Fuzzy

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 Re: Less-known gems (players)
Author: ned 
Date:   2017-03-12 14:36

''...I guess I'll throw easterner Dennis Lichtman onto the list. I know he's not really "lesser-known" in the eastern area, but perhaps he's not as well known elsewhere?
Dennis - playing Someday Sweatheart...''

Yeah, excellent band. The clarinet player has a lovely tone and beautifully fluid execution...I'm envious.

The vocalist reminds me somewhat of Mildred Bailey, one of my favourites.

I'll spend some time looking at other YT offerings I see posted.

Thanks



Post Edited (2017-03-12 15:03)

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 Re: Less-known gems (players)
Author: ned 
Date:   2017-03-12 15:02

Here's Bunky Colman from 1964 and Frank Chace from 1951 . I was sent this link only last year and was unaware of either of these two until then.

BUNKY COLMAN (fluid new orleans tone and style)
http://jazzhotbigstep.com/OXTOT/China_Boy_Oxtot_Burp_Hollow.mp3

http://jazzhotbigstep.com/OXTOT/Since_my_Best_Gal_Turned_Me_Down_Oxtot_Burp_Hollow.mp3

FRANK CHACE (nice solo and beaut low register tone)
http://jazzhotbigstep.com/CHACE/Original_Dixieland_One-Steop_CHACE_Cass_13_Chace_Grosz_Cellar_1951.mp3

http://jazzhotbigstep.com/CHACE/Shimmie_Sha_Wabble_CHACE_Cass_13_Chace_Grosz_Cellar_1951.mp3

http://jazzhotbigstep.com/CHACE/Sorry.mp3



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 Re: Less-known gems (players)
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2017-03-12 19:06

John,

Thanks for the wonderful introductions! Both of those names are new to me, and they're great! Plus, I'm gonna spend a lot of time on the jazzhotbigstep site to investigate more - what a great site!

On Frank Chace's page, it mentioned that much of the material had been supplied by drummer extraordinaire, Hal Smith. That reminded me of another lesser-known clarinetist Hal recommend to me: Darnell Howard.

To me, Darnell sounds a lot like Pee Wee Russell - but not exactly. (Not my favorite style, but still a lot there to learn from!)

Darnell Howard

If I understand correctly, Darnell also played on Music to Listen to Don Ewell By

Thanks again for the names - I'll add them to my list!
Fuzzy

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 Re: Less-known gems (players)
Author: faltpihl 2017
Date:   2017-03-13 00:19

I listen mostly to German clarinet players, since I adore that sound concept, so I will add one of my idols: Sebastian Manz.

His latest Weber album is great!

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

Regards
Peter

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 Re: Less-known gems (players)
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2017-03-13 03:06

Sebastian Manz is a fine classical player on the Oehler system clarinet. Manz (and Wenzel Fuchs and Andreas Ottensamer, to say nothing of Sabine Meyer) is energetically showing that the Oehler, among gifted classical players, is not on the endangered species yet and may never be! In 2011, Dmitry Rasul Kareyev, in the Suisse Romande Orchestra, switched from Boehm clarinet to a Wurlitzer Oehler system and has been playing it ever since.

But so far the thread has been mostly about players in the New Orleans Jazz tradition and perhaps its swing extensions, so we can still add a few names there. Darnell Howard used to turn up in a lot of the same places as Albert Nichols, and Nichols' lines are maybe easier to follow. Another New Orleans player, Edmond Hall, is now represented in many recordings starting to turn up on YouTube; for example, the complete LPs, Rumpus on Rampart Street, Pete Fleur, and Dixieland Man.

Omer Simeon's Clarinet a la Creole is also up at https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Omer+Simeon+clarinet+a+la+Creole.

Johnny Mince was stylistically more of a swing player but, like Irving Fazola and Matty Matlock, he also played with the Bobcats and could easily cross the line. Mince could swing hard and construct very coherent solos that were spot on to the chord progressions and melodic curve of the tune. Always thought he was underrated. Listen to him with Billy Butterfield on
S'Wonderful: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Johnny+Mince+Butterfield+s'wonderful?



Post Edited (2017-11-05 04:49)

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 Re: Less-known gems (players)
Author: faltpihl 2017
Date:   2017-03-13 17:36

OH seabreeze, I didn't pay close attention to the names in the thread, since I didn't recognize any of them :)

I'll have to do some listening now I assume!

Regards
Peter

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 Re: Less-known gems (players)
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2017-03-13 20:27

Peter: I'm not big into non-jazz at the moment, but I fully enjoyed the link you shared. Wonderful to hear such great musicianship! Thanks for sharing!

Robert: Thanks for the Johnny Mince reference. I thought the name sounded vaguely familiar, so I searched and found that I do have a single example of his playing in my audio library. (an up-tempo Chinatown, my Chinatown). The specific album has 25 songs played by 25 different clarinetists, though - so I had never bound Johnny's name/style in my mind.

As per Omer...I thought I had a lot of Omer's stuff, but it turns out that I only have five examples of his playing.

Thanks for bringing up these two names - gives me more research for next weekend!

Fuzzy

[Edit:] Corrected grammar



Post Edited (2017-03-13 20:29)

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