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Distinguished SOTW Member
2,620 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was recently reminded of someone who was an inspiration and help to me with my saxophone and clarinet playing. I appreciated him at the time, but in retrospect, I think I now appreciate him more.

I was, ironically, reminded of him by the thread about "The Lobotomy Song" -

Back in the '70s I was a good high school clarinet player, but I hated marching band, and the bandleader was a jerk (confirmed by others, not just my opinion). I wanted to play, so was looking for other venues.

My father had a colleague named Carl Stromberg, who played tenor sax for local musical theater groups. Carl could double, but didn't really like to play clarinet, so he was happy to have me sit with him and play the clarinet parts. The musical directors were okay with this, as long as we could fit in the pit (fortunately I was thin then, as Carl was quite wide).

But I think the real reason the other players and the directors were okay with this unusual arrangement was because Carl was a wonderful player, with a beautiful, velvety tone, and he was a fun and warm person.

In any event, as a high school student I got to play for a whole bunch of musicals, with a bunch of really good musicians (all older than me). That was a really good experience, and valuable for me as a musician.

I also think in part it was Carl's tone that inspired me to (more recently) start playing sax, and to focus on tenor. It was a long time ago, but I remember him being somehow simultaneously clean and velvety and rich. I don't think I ever particularly noticed what horn or mouthpiece he was playing - I just thought of it as "Carl's sound." (Maybe I was actually smarter then.)

Anyway, I just wanted to give tribute and thanks to Carl here, where folks can appreciate what Carl gave me, and invite others to give their own tribute and thanks to their inspirations/mentors/helpers/etc.

Thanks, Carl.
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