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 Re: Jazz Clarinet
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2017-09-20 21:43

Fuzzy,

You mean Sharkey Bonano, the trumpeter whose trademark was a long feather in his fedora? On local radio and TV, shopping centers, park stands, New Orleans Jazz Club Meetings, dances, weddings, French Quarter gigs, and Mardi Gras parades, Sharkey--along with his clarinetist, Harry Shields, and Santo Pecora, his trombonist--was ubiquitous in New Orleans of the 1950s and early 60s. I heard him more times than I can remember, and also heard Harry Shields play "High Society" on his very antique-looking Albert system clarinet.

Here's a Sharkey Bonano recording featuring Irving Fazola on (you guessed it) "High Society." Fazola's rendering is pretty "canonical" in the New Orleans tradition.

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=High+Society--Sharkey+Bonano+Rhythm.

So what's canonical? I guess something that sounds more or less like earlier versions. As to note for note fidelity, about 30 years ago, I asked a jazz historian at Tulane if you could get the right version (the UR-text) of the "High Society" solo if you were able to hear Alphonse Picou play it. He laughed and said that would only work if you didn't hear Picou play it more than once because each time he played it, it was different! So much for absolute purity of sources. "There ain't none."

We saw and heard Picou here on a video from 1959, but listen to him with Papa Celestin on an old 78 rpm recording that YouTube misprints as "Hight Society" : http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=alphonse+picou+high+society+Celestin's+Tuxedo+Jazz+Band.

Which is the more "authentic," or does the question even apply? Picou was not attached to the piccolo or clarinet parts in the march arrangement enough to prevent him from transforming those into an ever changing version that has been further changed by players through the years.



Post Edited (2017-09-20 23:53)

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