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When I was listening to this CD about the great Phil Seamen , one piece caught my attention more than others.

This is called Reza (Laia Ladaia) and features Tony Coe on something that is described as a ‘clarinet” but is it?

It sounds a bit like someone is playing a chalumeau that isn’t playing all that well in tune ( it is rather more rhythmic than melodic so it isn’t that important).


Laia Ladaia is a nice bossa played by many other people

 

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It sounds like a normal clarinet to me. The unusual sound comes perhaps from the fact, that clarinet was not so common in that style. Tony Coe does not play with a old time jazz vibrato nor does he have a kind of classical sound here. Kind of falling between two stools soundwise. It sounds rather direct to me and he isn't always spot on in tune (ok, nobody is always in tune...). But it's a clarinet.
 

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In the lower register it sounds like he's playing a clarinet with a loose saxophone-style embouchure. In the middle register it sounds more like typical clarinet style. Like folks were discussing here about altissimo, less is more. I'm not a fan off all the shrieking. Not musical to my ears. I had to stop listening by the time he started with the shrieking.
 

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Well, first I'd like to say there are a lot of great musicians on that album. However, it's a little sad you chose to spotlight the only musician I wouldn't care to hear from again. Sounds to me like someone who probably plays clarinet as his third or fourth instrument...
 

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Well, first I'd like to say there are a lot of great musicians on that album. However, it's a little sad you chose to spotlight the only musician I wouldn't care to hear from again. Sounds to me like someone who probably plays clarinet as his third or fourth instrument...
Whether you like that specific recording or not (and I haven’t been able to listen to it yet as I am in a quiet public place with no headphones on me), Tony Coe is definitely a great musician, and he started on clarinet.

http://www.tonycoe.co.uk/biog.php
 

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I think this is more than great and I’m sure that his tuning in the first minute of this recording has something to with that the clarinet was cold and he just picked it up and played the first take like crazy and they took that for the record.
His skills and chops are unbelievable....
If the stick is cold it’s low and that’s how it sounds to me.
It sounds also that his mouthpiece has a big tipopening.
But I really liked this a lot.
 

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Typical Tony Coe.
Check out the Boland - Clarke big band that features Johnny Griffin, Ronnie Scott, Coe and Derek Humble on alto with Sahib Shihab on Bari/ Flute.
 

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To me it sounds like a clarinet with a reed softer than we are used to hearing accomplished players use - &/or rather slack lower lip support... deliberate?
 
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