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VENDOR "Innovation over imitation"
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Well, Woody Allen is not a great musician…. by ANY means.
If I could make a great suggestion about an actor who played really great clarinet, the first one that jumps right out to me is Hal Linden.
Yes, Barney Miller himself.
He played great clarinet! If you guys haven’t checked him out, you really should.
There are many talented celebrities out there who are good/very good musicians also. Steve Martin was brought up, and he is certainly one of them. Phenomenal banjo player!
 

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1955 Conn 16M + 1973 Bundy 1 alto
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He's better on clarinet than I am on sax. But it's reassuring to learn that Hal Linden is even better. All is right in the world ... at least in the tiny world of celebrities who also play clarinet.
 

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My highly suspect memory tells me that he once said he originally wanted to play the soprano like Bechet. I think the Dixie Land soundtrack to Sleeper works very well. But I can’t believe I once celebrated his movie Manhattan when it came out, well before his later controversies. It’s like, how the hell could I have let that one fly back then?
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2011
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is he still insisting to handicap himself further by using albert system clarinets?
I know that some clarinetists, especially trad jazz players, feel that Albert system clarinets have a better tone for that style of music than Boehm system clarinets. One of the best players in that tradition, Ed Hall, played Albert system. Perhaps Woody feels the same way.
 

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I just listened to the video at the start of this thread. He's not very good. What's with playing the melody as staccato notes? And his tone and intonation and squeaks ... I couldn't have played this in 6th grade, but if I spent as many years playing trad jazz clarinet as I have playing rock sax, I hope I would be a lot better than this.
 
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VENDOR "Innovation over imitation"
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Those of you who remember the Barney Miller show, remember, Hal Linden. I always enjoyed his acting, but his clarinet playing was always great too. He’s in his 90s now and wonder if he still picks up the clarinet.

Here he was at 71 showing you how it’s done! Beautiful tone, beautiful, phrasing, great stage presence, great entertainer…..the whole deal!

 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2017
Picked up a sax in 2002 and here I am.
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Ok, Woody Allen is no longer a good clarinet player, if he ever was one. Very hard to listen to those jabbing notes!
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Just listened to that Woody Allen clip you posted (well, I should say I listened to the first minute or two, which was all I could take). A great musician?? You're joking, of course (I hope).
After watching a bunch of videos of him playing, his style grew on me. He doesn’t appear to need sheet music and has internalized all the melodies. I think in the context of the music he is playing, his clarinet adds something.
 
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