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Discussion Starter #1
Not sure if this belongs in the clarinet sub-forum or not.

As far as jazz is concerned, was he? When people mention good bass clarinet players, jazz or not, Dolphy almost always comes up. Then I hear about people such as Bennie Maupin, David Murray, and Marcus Miller. I think Todd Marcus is pretty good, and even he says he was inspired by Dolphy.

In your opinion, was he the best? Also, was he the first jazz bass clarinetist?
 

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Eric is the most unabashed bass clnist... Any of these master saxophonists is the 'best' bass clnist... Depends... lyricist, colorist, melodicist, technician...
 

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John Surman is very very good but I honestly doubt there could be anyone better than Dolphy on that instrument. Given that he only started on it as an adult I still find his mastery (even just talking getting round the horn) absolutely astonishing. And then there's his artistic mastery...

I bet I'm not the only one on this forum who's tried bass clarinet on the basis that Dolphy makes it sound so amazing only to realise that that thing is an absolute beast to play.
 

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Also, was he the first jazz bass clarinetist?
This may be one of the earliest jazz recordings to include a bass clarinet solo (from 1926). Omer Simeon on bass clarinet starting @1:14.



Herbie Mann also recorded an album in 1957 exclusively on bass clarinet...(might be a surprise for some of you). The album was titled "Great Ideas of Western Mann".
Here's an excerpt from that album...(Get Out of Town, by Cole Porter)
http://coooljazzz.com/music/Mann.mp3

As another historical side note, Harry Carney (baritone sax) also played bass clarinet with Duke Ellington. The first Ellington recording to include a bass clarinet solo was Saddest Tale (1934).
Here's an excerpt from that recording...
http://coooljazzz.com/music/Saddest_Tale.mp3
 

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I bet I'm not the only one on this forum who's tried bass clarinet on the basis that Dolphy makes it sound so amazing only to realise that that thing is an absolute beast to play.
Oddly familiar!
 

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In my opinion, music is not sport, so it´s very difficult to choose an adjective like The Greatest or The Best, because there is no way, (and I think there is no sense) to rank a musician like Dolphy on such position, but I think he opened a whole new spectrum to the instrument even compared to these days like no other did, and also beyond the limits of jazz.
The best example of this are the versions of God bless the child he recorded on bass clarinet solo.
 

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In my opinion, music is not sport, so it´s very difficult to choose an adjective like The Greatest or The Best, because there is no way, (and I think there is no sense) to rank a musician like Dolphy on such position, but I think he opened a whole new spectrum to the instrument even compared to these days like no other did, and also beyond the limits of jazz.
The best example of this are the versions of God bless the child he recorded on bass clarinet solo.
+1 on ^^^^^^^

I really like Bob Mintzer's playing alot!

B
 

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Buddy Defranco recorded an album on bass clarinet of all blues tunes. Bags Groove I think it's called. Buddy sounded great on bass cl.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I can't believe I forgot to mention Bob Mintzer and Chris Potter. Thanks for sharing the links on the early bass cl. work, it's very interesting. Also, I wasn't aware that Buddy made an album on bass, I'll have to check that out.
 

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I like Oscar Noriega on bass clarinet.
 

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Would someone define greatest for me. I can't quite get my head around it in all honesty.
 

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What I admire about Dolphy is that as wild as he played, he never lost control. He was always in control while sounding like he was hanging by a thread off a cliff.
 
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