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 Bass Clarinet Superstars?
Author: Speculator Sam 
Date:   2018-07-04 08:46

I suggest a list for those who're newer to the bass clarinet and aren't sure where to listen for in terms of a good sound concept. Classical, jazz, rock, genre doesn't matter. Before I pronounce the initial list, they're entire male and I realize that might trigger a few people so I'll mention Adison Evans here, because she's an amazing saxophonist who happen to play bass as well.

My list isn't all seeing, please if you know some others that are highly regarded, or should, then feel free to mention them here. I'll begin listing in no particular order.

Harry Spaarnay: Pioneer of not only contemporary music, but the instrument itself too. Didn't he inspire the invention of the Buffet Tosca basses? Great teacher, and will always be remembered for what he contributed to the world of this beloved "ugly duckling" of an instrument.

Michael Lowenstern: Student to Spaarnay, ambassador of the instrument. Sorta like Yo-Yo Ma, since he's crossed many genres well with the bass. Big inspiration of mine.

Eric Dolphy: There are so many tracks to choose from but I'll direct to this take on the jazz standard Naima because it's the one I find myself listening to the most that isn't too far down the "obsecure crazy jazz" rabbit-hole. I'm quite fond of his flute playing; I even wrote a flute song after it. Shameless plug here

Courtney Pine: A fantastic multi-instrumentalist, but this performance of "A Child is Born" is definitely breath-taking when you are a bass clarinetist listening to this.

Tony Park: Yamaha artist; an honorable mention

Josh Plotner: Another fine multi-instrumentlist, composer/arranger, and happens to have a great bass clarinet tone.

Michael Portal: The link leads to a piece that's quite tasteful and creative, another enjoyable jazz ballad here[/url. Portal's proof that it's not all about having a low C bass ;)

Sebastian Tozzala: Great bass clarinet sound to strive for. He's a good musician and it's always a pleasure to listen to his performances.

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 Re: Bass Clarinet Superstars?
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2018-07-04 10:08

I'd put Adison Evans in the regular list. She's got one of the best bass clarinet sounds I've ever heard--not a trace of buzz, hardness, or brittleness but round and resonant. She seems to have a more distinctive voice on bass clarinet than she does on baritone sax.

Yuen-Soo Yang is a excellent clarinetist on both soprano and bass instruments.
He has a very light but mellow sound and fleet, effortless technique.

Both Adison and Yuen-Suo manage to steer the bass clarinet away from a harsh, hard, barren kind of sound and invest it with real romantic lushness, color, and expressiveness. I'd like to hear how Adison sounds on the Vandoren BD5 bass clarinet mouthpiece.

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 Re: Bass Clarinet Superstars?
Author: clarin-ed 
Date:   2018-07-04 10:08

I would add Lawrie Bloom to the list–incredible performer as well as a highly successful teacher

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 Re: Bass Clarinet Superstars?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-07-06 00:01

Well we have to look at Eddie Palanker. 60 years or so with the Baltimore Symphony. Many of his gifted students are sitting in orchestras now.

Also John Bruce Yeh who got into the Chicago Symphony at the age of 19 on the bass clarinet. It's not his main instrument probably but it was the Chicago Symphony! One of the top orchestras in the world.

Both are really nice people too!

Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces

Yamaha Artist 2015

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 Re: Bass Clarinet Superstars?
Author: Tony Park 
Date:   2018-09-02 04:54

Hi Speculator Sam,

I am so honoured to be on your list- thank you so much for listening to my humble online endeavours. While I hardly qualify to be on such an esteemed list, I would like to nominate the jazz musician Roxy Coss. The track #MeToo on her The Future Is Female album is pretty remarkable. Also, I am not a Yamaha artist. I would love to be, though! ;)

Best Wishes,
Tony Park

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 Re: Bass Clarinet Superstars?
Author: shmuelyosef 
Date:   2018-09-02 19:40

I would second michael lowenstern, who is also a great ambassador for the bass clarinet, with his creative YouTube videos showing all the different musical genres that 'work' with the BC

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 Re: Bass Clarinet Superstars?
Author: DougR 
Date:   2018-09-02 23:20

No love for Louis Sclavis? I'm more a Zoot Sims kind of guy, but his playing is specacular, only jazz player of international reputation I've been aware of playing bass.

(I'm off to check out Adison Evans, thanks for the recommendation, Seabreeze.)

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 Re: Bass Clarinet Superstars?
Author: Speculator Sam 
Date:   2018-09-10 19:31

DougR thank for sharing that! Louis' solos reminded me of a lot. I felt some inspiration from dolphy, rock'n'roll alto sax, and some violin cadenzas from classical music. I haven't listened to much soprano sax lately but I felt a significant amount of Coltrane. The way he swung the 16ths and applyed the bebop scales all screamed "OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR COLTRANE BE-ETH MINE EXPRESSION". Fantastic band for that piece though. I'm adding that to my metaphorical iPod now.

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 Re: Bass Clarinet Superstars?
Author: bbillings 
Date:   2018-09-11 17:52

Think I'll mention Lee Livengood from the Utah Symphony and Steve Hanusofsky from the Phoenix Symphony. Both have held their chairs for quite awhile.

I think there are many good players out there if one were to listen for them.

The late Joe Temperly was wonderful on bass clarinet with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and his arrangement and playing of "Single Petal of a Rose" is perhaps the finest example of bass clarinet tone I've ever heard. Very moving. He first played it for his wife on their anniversary (believe 50th) if I'm remembering the story correctly. Begins at 52:39 on the video link below, performed just months before his passing.

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 Re: Bass Clarinet Superstars?
Author: Grabnerwg 
Date:   2018-09-12 03:55

I am going to nominate my good friend Sauro Berti. He is a monster! You also need to hear him play basset horn. Remarkable.

Walter Grabner
World Class Hand-Crafted Clarinet Mouthpieces

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 Re: Bass Clarinet Superstars?
Author: CapnCheapo 
Date:   2018-09-13 20:34

Don't forget Henri Bok, who in my opinion is just as influential as Harry Spaarnay on the advancement of the bass as a solo instrument and one of those who pioneered the bass clarinet performance degree program.

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 Re: Bass Clarinet Superstars?
Author: QuickStart Clarinet 
Date:   2018-09-13 22:44

I agree with the addition of Lawrie Bloom. He has played with the Chicago Symphony for many years, and is a staple of American bass clarinet playing.

Josh Goo
QuickStart Clarinet Founder

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 Re: Bass Clarinet Superstars?
Author: Mike Cyzewski 
Date:   2018-09-19 01:41

Jim Ognibene of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra is a superstar orchestral bass clarinetist . Every time I hear the orchestra, his solos stand out as equal or better than the other excellent principal players.

Chris Runk who recently retired from the Dallas Symphony is another favorite of mine. Hearing him play the first time opened my eyes as to how the upper register of the bass clarinet can sound beautiful.

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 Re: Bass Clarinet Superstars?
Author: James Langdell 
Date:   2018-10-04 08:26

Another bass clarinetist of interest is Bennie Maupin, heard on Miles Davis's "Bitches Brew", many Herbie Hancock recordings, as well as his own recordings.

There's at least one striking album by Buddy De Franco, "Blues Bag", where he mainly plays bass clarinet.

I studied with Rosario Mazzeo, but sadly I never worked on bass clarinet with him. I've been enjoying hearing the recent box of Munch/Boston recordings where Mazzeo played bass clarinet.

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 Re: Bass Clarinet Superstars?
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2018-10-04 19:01

Michael Lowenstern is certainly to mention!

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 Re: Bass Clarinet Superstars?
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2018-10-06 16:04

Lorenzo Iosco is one of the best of the best out there.

Look him up

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