[Dixielandjazz] Re: Bob Helm's clarinet

David Richoux tubaman@batnet.com
Mon, 26 Aug 2002 22:54:12 -0700

Bill Gunter wrote:

> I got to play with Helms a couple of times about 20 years ago while I was in
> the old Black Diamond Jazz Band. Bob played a couple of gigs with us and he
> sounded great! I think in recent years he may have become a bit feeble and
> his playing suffered somewhat but that's no reflection on his abilities and
> contributions as a clarinetist and composer.

I am not sure if there are any other members of the (Earl Scheelar's) Zenith  Band
lurking on this list, but Bob has been playing a lot with this band. I have had the
pleasure of playing with him on several occasions in the last few years - as
recently as last June. I found him to be a fine gentleman & musician and he was
still telling all sorts of stories about his early days in jazz during the breaks.
True, his intonation on the fish-horn was not perfect, but who really can play that
instrument perfectly in tune, anyway!?  I didn't hear him play a clarinet on those gigs.

I would guess that his most recent recording is a CD he did with the Zenith Band
last year - you can see more details at
http://www.jazzbymail.com/albums_mmr/mmr21.html   He sings a very jolly tune about
his adventures in San Rafael called "You've Got Everything a Sweet Mama Needs But Me"

Dave Richoux

BTW, found a very interestin list of current bands at: