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Subject: so who plays proper instruments?


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Original Message                 Date: 31-Mar-02  @  02:32 PM   -   so who plays proper instruments?

bedwyr

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hehe! "proper"

anyway, i've played sax in various bands for the last ten years, how about you lot then?




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Message 71/87             14-Dec-05  @  05:10 AM     Edit: 16-Dec-05  |  06:30 AM   -   RE: so who plays proper instruments?

saxraxus

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Sax for 40 yrs. That is me on the bass.


(Edited to add: That bass sax is a restored 1923 Buescher)



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Message 72/87             14-Dec-05  @  11:50 AM   -   RE: so who plays proper instruments?

k

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r u sure that's not a hunting call device for imitating and thus attracting the greater woolly siberian Yak?

___________________________________

I had an idea for a script once. It's basically Jaws except when the guys in the boat are going after Jaws, they look around and there's an even bigger Jaws. The guys have to team up with Jaws to get Bigger Jaws. I call it... Big Jaws!



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Message 73/87             15-Dec-05  @  01:02 AM   -   RE: so who plays proper instruments?

psylichon

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compensating for something?



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Message 74/87             15-Dec-05  @  01:12 AM   -   RE: so who plays proper instruments?

k

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heh, ...chatup lines heard at jazz concert:

".....and thats why I play the PICCOLO baby!!"

___________________________________

I had an idea for a script once. It's basically Jaws except when the guys in the boat are going after Jaws, they look around and there's an even bigger Jaws. The guys have to team up with Jaws to get Bigger Jaws. I call it... Big Jaws!



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Message 75/87             16-Dec-05  @  04:32 AM     Edit: 16-Dec-05  |  06:38 AM   -   RE: so who plays proper instruments?

saxraxus

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Actually, we play a lot of music from 1915-1930, the early days of radio and recording.

In those early days of electronic sound reproduction the microphones were very crude, of limited range. The recording equipment even worse. And speakers... well, not much to them.

So, low bass was often "lost in the mix". Tuba and string bass, the two most popular bass instruments just did not record well, or come over on the radio. However, the bass saxophone, rich in reedy overtones, came through quite well. Tuba and string bass players quickly switched to the newly popular bass saxophone. It was either that, or lose their jobs.

I have even seen a photo of the Glenn Miller band with bass sax, only the bass saxophonist was sitting in the back by the drums, piano, and guitar... in the rhythm section, not up front with the sax section.

I can demonstrate even now by playing a recording with bass saxophone, and moving the lowest few sliders of an equalizer all the way down removing the fundamental. But the bass line can still be heard clearly.

Radio and recording affected other instruments as well. Around that time Selmer came out with their "Radio Improved" line of saxophones, with a bore designed to sound brighter, project more, record better. Mouthpieces with brighter tone were developed. All this because of radio and recording.

The bass saxophone remained popular in dance bands and small combos until better electronic equipment came along, and then almost disappeared from use. Now the bass sax appears only in a few diehard groups like ours. We play a lot of music by the Six Brown Brothers, the first Victor Talking Machine Company (Later Victor Records, then RCA Victor) recording artists. Most of their recordings were in the 1915-1919 period, when the Victrola was first being introduced.

Because of this, the Six Brown Brothers are said to have been responsible for the "Saxophone craze of the 1920's". Their recordings popularized this almost unknown instrument in America, and led to the saxophone section replacing strings in the "dance orchestra", and led into their use in the "Big Bands".

Yes, the music may be "corny", but we owe these early artists some respect.



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Message 76/87             16-Dec-05  @  09:12 AM   -   RE: so who plays proper instruments?

beds

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nice, didn't know any of that.

what do you guys play then?



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Message 77/87             16-Dec-05  @  11:53 AM   -   RE: so who plays proper instruments?

k

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cool info man, very interesting stuff!, also cool to see your attitude can take a few jokes!.. Many people would have come back and got angry at those little 'funnies'



actualy my uncle lives stateside (Flemington NJ) He's ex Black Watch (used to play in the regiment band) and plays big band jazz (also composes and arranges) heh heh, my oldest cousin was born on the road as my aunt followed him around on tour from hotel to hotel - he plays tenor. He taught music at some NJ junior penitentiary, and actualy taught the two key members of Steely Dan when they were 'serving a stretch' in their mispent youth  .. I wonder how much he influenced the formation of Steely Dan therefore.

he send me a recording of his current band recently actualy to try and 'do something with'

Great band, tight!... but the bloody recording (which is a stereo recording) has the ride cymbel on the kit totaly dominating the upper freq' end of the mix, I guess the recordist didn't notice that and placed the mic to close to the ride... the only way i could get it down to a decent balanced level in the mix was to actualy shelve off the top end from the whole recording, which had the effect of also making the recording sound really old by coincidence. It sounded quite good like that, more authentic in some ways with that limited bandwidth.

I'll try and dig it out and put up a track for you to listen to

hey, did you guys ever think to do brass samples and make a sample CD?

___________________________________

I had an idea for a script once. It's basically Jaws except when the guys in the boat are going after Jaws, they look around and there's an even bigger Jaws. The guys have to team up with Jaws to get Bigger Jaws. I call it... Big Jaws!



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Message 78/87             16-Dec-05  @  02:23 PM   -   RE: so who plays proper instruments?

saxraxus

Posts: 6

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[image file]


Yeah, I can take a joke, and dish them out, too.



We play a mix of Ragtime, Dixieland, Swing, Pop, even some marches and light classical. Bach to Beatles. You might hear some J. P. Johnson, "Jelly Roll" Morton, Gershwin, Bizet, Grieg, all in one concert.

At schools we try to be educational, tell the students about the instruments and music, get them excited about joining their band program. And we do a few sight gags.

At one time we had TWO bass saxes, so we did a "Dueling Basses" schtick.

Or I would walk off stage with my straight soprano sax, do some hammering and banging around on an old pizza tin unseen in the wings, squawking and squeeking on the horn a bit, then walk back out with a little curved soprano sax (shaped like a tiny alto), having seemingly hammered the straight one into a curve to match the other saxes in the ensemble.

Hey, if you aren't having fun, why do it?



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Message 79/87             17-Dec-05  @  07:17 AM   -   RE: so who plays proper instruments?

psylichon

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aw man we just got some coles 4038 ribbons at the studio that I bet would sound spectacular on that thing.

overtones are where it's at.... do much recording? How are you usually miced? I've found what works for alto ain't necessarily right for tenor or bari. I wouldn't even hazard a guess at that beast.



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Message 80/87             17-Dec-05  @  12:55 PM   -   RE: so who plays proper instruments?

k

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quote
Or I would walk off stage with my straight soprano sax, do some hammering and banging around on an old pizza tin unseen in the wings, squawking and squeeking on the horn a bit, then walk back out with a little curved soprano sax (shaped like a tiny alto), having seemingly hammered the straight one into a curve to match the other saxes in the ensemble.


heh heh heh... i'd love to see that!!... I bet the kids love it !

heh, that is one monster sax tho - I had a look round for that Big-band CD but I cant find the damned theing! rats, it must bhe buried under some crap somewhere in the house.

You dont hear much Bari in music unless you listen to Jazz, but one of my favourite cuts of all time is a Taj Mahal Live album track featuring a solo by Howard Johnstone. Great album, Live at Filmore East... he uses plenty brass but with some unusual additions:

Howard Johnson (baritone saxophone, flugelhorn, tuba); Bob Stewart (trumpet, flugelhorn, tuba); Joseph Daley (valve trombone, tuba); Earle McIntyre (bass trombone, tuba) - the sound of those big horns working as a section is phenomenal!

in fact, I have a realaudio version of it online:

Ain't Gwine To Whistle Dixie (Any Mo')

Howard Johnstone does an awesome Baritone solo starting at 2:30 - great stuff, the final part of the solo is done entirely with harmonics!

heh, I grew up with that album and some others & used to play all his stuff on acoustic as a kid, so Taj was a hero for me as a kid. Finally got to meet the bro back in the 90's... he was so small, I couldnt beleive it. You expect him to be massive by his voice  

___________________________________

I had an idea for a script once. It's basically Jaws except when the guys in the boat are going after Jaws, they look around and there's an even bigger Jaws. The guys have to team up with Jaws to get Bigger Jaws. I call it... Big Jaws!



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