Thursday, 22 July 2010

Clarinets (A - Z)

You'll maybe notice at the top of the blog a 'new' bar mentioning Home and Clarinets A-Z. This is the beginning of a list or page of links (in this blog an elsewhere) to clarinet players of interest in the jazz world. I decided after noticing a few remarks on other blogs mentioning the likes of John Carter and various other players, the lack of information on this wonderful instrument ..... especially in jazz! If I had to continue on I'd start to add players such as Richard Stolzman, Thea King, Ivo Papasov, Selim Sesler, Hüsnü Sendendirlici and the list goes ........ on. But, to be realistic I'll stick (for the moment) with those players found in the jazz world. This list is NOT complete, I will try to add to it over time with new people that I've heard playing and short comments on their music and recordings.

I had a MySpace page, which is now deleted, called The Blackstick where I tried to promote the clarinet by bringing together as many players of this instrument as possible. However, due to copyright laws I got fed up with endless emails and blocked accounts by MySpace and so ended taking the page down. To me it seemed kind of sad that an instrument that is often 'in the shadows' when talking about the jazz world, still doesn't have a larger following, especially in this day and age. However; one should be thankful that players such as Don Byron and Chris Speed have popped up and so given the clarinet some sort of credibility. I mention these two players as they really seem to have given the clarinet some sort of new life 'publicly', for young players, influencing them to take up (or continue) playing jazz, nu-jazz, rock-jazz and improvised music etc using this very difficult instrument.

I'm sure I've missed out many players from this list and I'll be more than interested to here/read any suggestions for players to be listened to (we have a fantastic audio library here in Belgium). I have just made this list from memory and what I have in my CD/LP collection. Some of the players are just doubling (which doesn't make them lesser players), so can be found playing the clarinet on a track or two  of a CD, others are featuring the instrument most of the time.

Try typing jazz clarinet into the YouTube search engine and see what comes up!

New blog list

Just a quick posting to suggest that anybody interested in serious music discussion should not forget to check out the 'Journalistic' music blogs list that I've started (see blog lists etc). After reading Ethan Iverson's blog, on many occasions, I start to realize the enormity of the number of blogs out there discussing (non stop) various concepts, likes and dislikes. It's almost impossible to stay up to date with the likes of all of these, but somehow in my spare moments I browse through some of what's on the list.

Read the interesting article on Richard Muhal Abrams here. I was particularly interested (yet again) by an appraisal on the work of John Carter which can be found here which is on Steve Smith's blog 'Night after Night'. This was in response to Ethan Iverson's post back in 2006 about great jazz recordings between 1973 - 1990 ( found here if his blog hasn't moved *). I'm certainly inspired to write a response to this article at a later date as the porr exposure that the jazz clarinet has had until now is amazing and it is maybe time to make a little appraisal of this instrument in the next blog article.

Anyhow, please check out some of these blogs as I add them (and move them around from one box to another).

* = The Do the Math blog is moving address sometime in July 2010.
** = Another interesting article about John Carter here.
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